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Published:December 6th, 2008 14:51 EST
Christmas Trees

University Bans Christmas Trees From Its Libraries

By Robert Paul Reyes

"CHAPEL HILL For as long as anyone can remember, Christmas trees adorned with lights and ornaments have greeted holiday season visitors to UNC Chapel Hill`s two main libraries.

Not this year.

Christmas Trees

The trees, which have stood in the lobby areas of Wilson and Davis libraries each December, were kept in storage this year at the behest of Sarah Michalak, the associate provost for university libraries."

Christmas trees have their place in private homes, churches and private clubs, but a Christmas tree in a library in antithetical to everything an institution of learning represents.

Library patrons are free to read and research books representing every philosophy under the sun. A library should not make a judgement on the relative merits of the competing ideologies contained within its collection of books, magazines and periodicals.

If a library prominently displays a Christmas tree in the lobby it`s a none too subliminal message that the library staff considers Christianity the superior religion. This is a slap on the face to Muslims, Jews, Hindus, atheists and everyone who considers libraries a secular institution of education.

A library is a secular temple, just like in a church we are admonished to keep quiet, and we open the classics with a sense of awe and reverence. An overt religious symbol like a gaudy Xmas tree destroys this sense of reverence and peace.

If I walk into a library and I see a Xmas tree it would fill me with a sense of fear and foreboding. I would think: This library is run by Christians and they might censor books they consider profane or sacrilegious.

If a library displays a Christmas tree along with the symbols of other religions to demonstrate how different cultures celebrate the holidays, I wouldn`t have a problem.

I won`t be satisfied until the Christmas trees are moved from the storage room straight to the dumpster