Group again seeks to nix ‘Christmas’ from La Jolla parade name

A marching band contingent traverses down Girard Avenue during last year's La Jolla Christmas Parade. File

56th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival
When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8
Where: Girard Avenue
Admission:Free
Information: ljparade.com

By Pat Sherman

For the second time in a decade, a small but vociferous group is working to remove the word “Christmas” from the title of the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and (subsequently added) Holiday Festival.

Debbie Allen, whose family once operated a Christmas business on Prospect Street, believes the name of the La Jolla Christmas Parade should be changed to be more sensitive to non-Christians.

The group voiced its concern during the public comment period of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) in September, and was placed on the HRC’s Oct. 16 meeting agenda.

Led by La Jolla Town Council trustee Howard Singer, the group told the commission it feels the word “Christmas” references the Dec. 25 celebration observing the birth of Jesus Christ and could cause Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths (as well as atheists and agnostics), to feel excluded from the nonprofit community event (formerly under the auspices of the La Jolla Town Council).

The 15-member HRC was formed to “conduct and promote activities that foster mutual respect and understanding; protect basic human and civil rights; and create an atmosphere that promotes amicable relations among all members of the community.”

Chief Deputy City Attorney Karen Li began the meeting by offering an overview of the city’s special event permit regulations.

Li said the special events ordinance is largely geared toward assuring public safety and health and that “everyone can participate.”

Singer noted that the names of most local events that formerly included the word “Christmas” have since been changed, including “holiday” parades in Encinitas, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach (formerly dubbed “Christmas” parades) and December Nights in Balboa Park (formerly known as “Christmas on the Prado”).

HRC Executive Director Danell Scarborough referenced this “evolution in the community.”

Though there are clear laws and guidelines about what is permissible in schools and the workplace when it comes to religious observances, she said when it comes to community events it is still a “gray area.”

“The balancing act between respecting First Amendment rights and … freedom of religion … and evolving toward respect, inclusion and inclusive activities for our community (is) still unfolding — and we’re participating in the unfolding of that,” Scarborough said. “Sometimes they seem mutually exclusive. That is our great joy, and our great challenge.”

The event, including required city permits and police presence, is paid for by private citizens, noted Debbie Allen, a name-change proponent and president of the San Diego Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

La Jolla Town Council trustee Howard Singer makes his case to the Human Relations Commission for why he believes the name of the La Jolla Christmas Parade should be changed.

“There is nothing illegal about the La Jolla Christmas Parade. This is no longer a government sponsored event; expenses are covered by donors, rather than taxpayer dollars,” she said.

“However, I do think it naïve to think that taxpayers do not contribute to the infrastructure within the community that allows the event to take place.”

Allen underscored how she feels use of “Christmas” in the event name — as well as this year’s theme, “Christmas in the Surf and Sand” — can cause people to feel excluded.

“It can be problematic for some non-Christians to expose children to the magic of Christmas when they wish for them to focus on their own heritage, and celebrate their own religious holidays,” Allen said, noting that for years her parents operated a Christmas gift shop on Prospect Street called, “All About Christmas.”

“At some point in my life, I came to realize that Christmas is not universally celebrated by everyone,” she said.

“Some in La Jolla will feel that an important tradition is being lost by changing the parade’s name, but I think it is more important to celebrate what we have gained since the parade’s inception — a true appreciation and respect for our multicultural community.”

San Diego Human Relations Commission members discuss the La Jolla Christmas Parade name dispute.

Name change proponent and attorney Bill Addams said that in reviewing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the Mt. Soledad cross case, Jewish War Veterans v. City of San Diego, it appears that there may be some precedent for a name change. According to organizers, the parade draws more than 20,000 people.

“I’m not convinced necessarily that it (the name) is legal, because of the factors that the court looked at,” Addams said. “When something gets to a certain size it goes beyond just being a small, private parade. It takes on an official status, and I think this is clearly the community’s holiday event.”

Singer again raised the specter of La Jolla’s anti-Semitic past, which included housing prohibitions from 1926 through the early 1960s meant to keep Jews and other minority groups out of La Jolla. Today, Allen noted, it is estimated that Jewish residents comprise more than 30 percent of La Jolla’s population.

Though HRC Chair Mark Dillon said he invited parade chair and La Jolla Town Council trustee Ann Kerr Bache to attend the HRC’s Oct. 16 meeting, she did not attend.

Responding via e-mail to a La Jolla Light request for comment, Kerr Bache said she heard about the HRC meeting “informally.”

“The chairman of the HRC did call my home and spoke to my husband, Tom,” Kerr Bache stated. “Tom told him to contact me if he wished to invite me to attend. I am not aware of any further attempts to contact me. I don’t know anything about the HRC.  If I knew more about them and their meeting (time? place? purpose?) I might have attended — or maybe I wouldn’t.”

When asked to elaborate on the La Jolla Parade Foundation’s reason for retaining “Christmas” in the event’s name, Kerr Bache responded, “I have nothing new to say about it, but I often reiterate the well-known facts to those who aren’t already familiar with them.”

Singer said he feels parade organizers view themselves as “above discussing this with other people.

San Diego Human Relations Commission members listen as Howard Singer makes his case for the name change.

“Therein lies the problem and that’s why we’re here,” he told the HRC. “We know you’re not miracle workers. We just want to get the ball rolling with them.”

HRC member and La Jolla resident Joyce Abrams said local leaders and police and fire safety personnel offer the city’s tacit endorsement of the parade, and thus its name, by participating in it each year.

“I know from living in the community,” Abrams said, “that what is being said here is very accurate. It does seem ridiculous that at least a conversation isn’t held. If the two parties can’t get together on their own, I feel the city could have some part in getting them together.”

While Chair Dillon noted that the group could issue an opinion on a name change, he said, “At this point, we feel the problem is the communication problem.”

Noting that the HRC cannot demand that the name be changed, the commission unanimously voted to draft letters to the offices of San Diego City Council members and Interim Mayor Todd Gloria recommending that the city help facilitate mediation that would bring parade organizers and name-change proponents together to work toward a resolution.

“If we recommend mediation it makes it more onerous on the party that doesn’t participate,” HRC member emeritus Bruce Abrams said, adding, “I’d be willing to (offer) my office to Sherri Lighter and to Mayor Todd Gloria for the parties to speak with these individuals.”

HRC member Lorena Slomanson said that if parade organizers decline mediation, “it might be prudent to consider revisiting the issue.”

Related posts:

  1. La Jolla News Nuggets: MESOM readies for opening, Cove cleanup, Windemere saga at City Council … and more
  2. La Jolla merchants’ group counters claim that Cove odor is gone
  3. La Jolla News Briefs: Children’s Pool lifeguard tower demolition to begin, injured sea lions found at La Jolla Cove … and more
  4. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to foxtrot for La Jolla Town Council fundraiser
  5. La Jolla Rotarians host District 1 City Council debate

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=115642

Posted by Pat Sherman on Oct 22, 2013. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

25 Comments for “Group again seeks to nix ‘Christmas’ from La Jolla parade name”

  1. Don’t you dare take CHRISTMAS out of the season or the parade!!! This is still a CHRISTIAN nation and we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Anyone is welcome to celebrate too. Enough of this PC!

    • I suggest reading:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli
      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion …
      The treaty was a routine diplomatic agreement but has attracted later attention because the English version included a clause about religion in the United States.
      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    • Jesus didn’t celebrate Christmas, nor asked you to.

      Christmas is a corporate holiday, not a Christian holiday.

      It makes lesser families feel inadequate and makes families who don’t believe in Santa Claus (also not found in Christianity, nor the scriptures) think Christians who believe Christmas is theirs feel stupid.

      Though nothing is funnier than a group of atheist Santa Claus’ who can’t explain themselves.

      You know what is Christian? Love.

      “By this they will know you.”

      Going back to 1926 or so, La Jolla had a deep anti-semitic history. The “La Jolla Covenant” or “Gentleman’s Agreement” was a protected code of conduct that allowed for Jews to be restricted from buying homes, joining country clubs, and owning businesses in La Jolla.

    • The idea, Mr. McQuiston, is not to take anything away but rather to ADD something. The word “Christmas” is exclusive in that it denotes a specific group of people joined by a specific religion and excludes all the rest. The word “holiday,” for example, is inclusive and includes anyone who wants to celebrate.

      As for America being a “Christian Nation,” using the same logic required for this to work, America must also be a “Slave Nation” or a “Genocidal Nation” and identified by many of the things that describe the first peoples to invade this land and use slave labor and the removal of native peoples for their own success. But we have long since move on from this and written into our laws freedoms of and from religion, prohibitions of slavery, and the protection of native peoples.

      The United States of America is an experiment in SECULARISM and it has worked exceptionally well. But we are seeing this success flounder in light of religiosity attempting to take hold of politics. It seems we Americans have a very short memory.

      Changing the name from Christmas to Holiday is not a problem for anyone who wants this event to be something for the COMMUNITY. It is only a problem for people who are using the event to promote their own specific religion. And if this event uses public resources, this kind of public sponsored proselytizing is illegal.

      The first step is always to ask nicely for there to be a change. And people are doing this. But if the response is to reject doing what is right and legal, the next step will be to point out which public resources are used and to eliminate them.

      1. Is the council a public council?

      2. Are the resources being used our public resources?

      3. Does the event give the IMPRESSION it is a publicly sponsored event?

      If this matter does move into litigation, the “Christmas” event will be either stripped of its public involvement or become an all-inclusive event.

      The people running this event might want to consider what they could be facing by insisting on promoting their own particular religion. is it worth it? Are we really trying to get away with using public resources to evangelize?

      This is 2013 – not 1813. Catch up with the rest of us.

  2. Darcy

    Any individual or group is welcome to put together an inclusive “Holiday” event- be it parade or other option. If there is a desire for it, then the people who want a holiday event can put their efforts into making it happen. It is bizarre to me that instead they are attempting to dictate how the La Jolla Parade committee should spend their volunteer time and how they should spend their voluntary contribution. These folks want a Christmas Parade and they spend their own money and dedicate their own time- to the tune of hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.

    There are 31 days in December- so there are plenty of days to make something fun happen that satisfies a desire for a “Holiday” event. So my advise is to get together and make something inspiring happen.

    Correction on the statement by Debbie Allen- to my knowledge, the Parade has never been a government sponsored event. The La Jolla Town Council is and always has been a private organization.

    • Kudos to the hard work of the parade committee(s) and volunteers over the years. It takes a lot. All we excludees are asking is that we be … well … not excluded by such a narrowly focused event – Christ & Christianity. The concept of “community” has evolved with the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. Diversity, inclusiveness, cooperation, amity, I believe are still values that enable we humans to evolve, mature in our world outlook. Is this particular San Diego suburb behind the times?

    • Stitch

      Darcy:
      These are my responses to each of the sentences contained in your three paragraphs:
      Paragraph 1:
      1, Are you aware of any other greater San Diego communitiy such as Balboa Park (City of San Diego), Encinitas, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach which have more than one annual December event in their communities?
      2. (beginning of your quote) “If there is (was) a desire for it, then the people who want (ed) a holiday event can (did) put their efforts into making it happen.” (end of your quote) when these greater San Diego, such as La Jolla, changed the names of their events, formerly “Christmas on the Prado,” and 3 of the San Diego communities changed the names of their events from “Christmas” to “Holiday.”
      3. & 4. Would THOSE on (beginning of your quote) ” . . . the La Jolla Parade Committee should (who) spend their volunteer time and how they should spend their volunteer contribution (and) these folks (who) want a Christmas Parade and they spend their own money and dedicate their own time- to the tune of hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars” (end of your quote) CONTINUE to do EVERYTHING you have PREVIOUSLY DESCRIBED if this San Diego community of of La Jolla was required to have the name of this San Diego community of La Jolla parade name CHANGED to reflect Diversity and Inclusiveness?
      Paragraph 2.
      1, & 2. You are correct when you said, (beginning of your quote) “There are 31 days in December.” (end of your quote) (1. cont’d.) (beginning of your quote) “so there are (were) plenty of days to make something fun happen (they did) that satisfies a desire for a “Holiday” event, (end of your quote), when the City of San Diego San Diego changed the name from “Christmas on the Prado” and 3 other San Diego communities decided to change the name of their parade(s) from “Christmas” to “Holiday.”
      Paragraph 3.
      1. Has the SAN DIEGO community “La Jolla Town Council” been a non- governmental organization if the City of SAN DIEGO Mayor and the City of SAN DIEGO District 1 Council Member administer the oath of office to every La Jolla Town Council Trustee?
      2. Beginning of your quote) “The La Jolla Town Council is and has always been a private organization.” (end of your quote) (beginning of your quote)
      If (beginning of your quote) “The La Jolla Town Council is and has always been a private organization.” (end of your quote) WHY does this PRIVATE ORGANIZATION located in the SAN DIEGO community of La Jolla ask the City of SAN DIEGO Mayor and the City of SAN DIEGO District 1 Council Member to administer the oath of office to every La Jolla Town Council Trustee?

  3. Blame it on globalization, the present financial economic breakdown or perhaps the raised variety of entrepreneurs in the society, either way all people have a small business idea and they wish to make it big.

  4. Bill

    I agree with Edward McQuiston. It’s called a Christmas Parade because it IS a Christmas Parade. If you want to have a Hanukkah Parade, be my guest. I’m sure you would be outraged if people tried to drop “Hanukkah” from the name of the Hanukkah Parade. Duh! We cannot abide the tyranny of the minority. Why not remove “God” or “Creator” from the Declaration of Independence because it offends athiests? Enough is enough.

    • Stitch

      Bill:

      Please be precise and don’t rush your answer. Where does it say this is a “Christian nation?”
      Who celebrates the birth of Jesus?
      Which one of the events below lacks diversity and inclusiveness? December Nights, Encinitas Holiday Parade, Holiday Bowl, La Jolla Christmas Parade, Ocean Beach Holiday Parade, Pacific Beach Holiday Parade?

      Your answer_________________________________

      Do you know why did Encinitas, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach changed the names of their parades from Christmas to Holiday?_______________
      Do you know why the City of San Diego changed the name of the Balboa Park event from “Christmas on the Prado” to “December Nights?”
      ___________________________________________________

      Do you know why the “Holiday Bowl,” since its inception, has always been called the “Holiday Bowl?”
      ____________________________________________________
      Do you know why a private organization in the San Diego community of La Jolla continues calling their December event the “La Jolla Christmas Parade?” ___________________________________

      Are you familiar with the discrimination and prejudice in the San Diego community of La Jolla which existed from 1889 until UCSD was established in 1960. A yes or no will suffice.___________________

      Mr. McQuiston: If you know the answers to the following 3 questions, please state the reasons in your response.

      Do you know why African-Americans were not allowed to purchase houses or property in the San Diego community of La Jolla until UCSD was established in 1960? __________________________________

      Do you know why Foreign-Nationals were not allowed to purchase houses or property in the San Diego community of La Jolla until UCSD was established in 1960? __________________________________

      Do you know why Jews were not allowed to purchase houses or property in the San Diego community of La Jolla until UCSD was established in 1960?
      __________________________________________________

      The names of these events were not to hide the religious essence of Christmas. Instead, words such as Holiday or Community were chosen to make everyone feel welcome regardless of ethnicity, race or religious belief.

    • ” I’m sure you would be outraged if people tried to drop “Hanukkah” from the name of the Hanukkah Parade. Duh! We cannot abide the tyranny of the minority. Why not remove “God” or “Creator” from the Declaration of Independence because it offends athiests? Enough is enough.”

      Are you so sure about the dropping of Hanukkah? Why do you focus on Jews? Why not some other group? Re: the removal of god stuff, yup! Remove it! And, BTW, the spelling of the fastest growing group in the U.S. (as science & the i-net assist in educating people) is A-t-h-e-i-s-t. aka A-theist. Anti the supernatural.

  5. Bill

    FYI, people are not forced to attend the Christmas Parade. It’s open to all; no one is forced to attend. You can take it or leave it.

    • As the article points out, this ain’t no longer a neighborhood or block backyard BBQ. It is now a whole “community event”. One would have to leave the San Diego suburb of La Jolla to avoid said event.

    • Stitch

      Bill:
      Good morning, Bill.
      You’re absolutely right. (beginning of your quote) “FYI, people are not forced to attend the Christmas Parade. It’s open to all; no one is forced to attend. You can take it or leave it.”
      Bill, please allow me let me pose this question to you. Why have a private group of people, most of whom live in the SAN DIEGO community of La Jolla, continued using a description of “their” parade with a name that isolates many segments of a community and screams a lack of diversity and inclusiveness.

      Why has every other greater SAN DIEGO community such as the City of San Diego – “December Nights,” Encinitas, Ocean Beach, and Pacific Beach -”Holiday” Parades, and the annual December college football bowl game played at Qualcomm Stadium since its inception in 1978, continue using their original name,the “Holiday Bowl?”

      To help you answer these questions, please refer to my postings to:
      Mr. Edward McQuiston, Darcy and Bill (both of your comments).

      Perhaps in your next “Comment,” you will take the time and effort and see if you are able to provide the answers to the questions I have posed to Mr. Edward McQuiston and Darcy. If you are able to do so, please provide your answers in your next “Comment.”

      In the event you have questions you would like to ask of me, please insert your questions and provide answers to my questions in your next “Comment.” Thank you.

  6. judi curry

    The ignorance expressed by the five people above only go to show that prejudice is still alive and well in La Jolla.

  7. Sharon

    Mr McQuiston,
    The Declaration of Independence was written mainly by Thomas Jefferson; he was not a Christian, he was a deist. The Declaration describes “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” This nature’s view of God agrees with deist philosophy and might even appeal to those of pantheistical beliefs, but any attempt to use the Declaration as a support for Christianity will fail for this reason alone.
    Also, the Declaration of Independence is not the document that governs America, The Constitution is and nowhere does it mention that we are a Christian nation, or the word God.
    It is wonderful that you are a Christian, but the Pilgrims left Britain so they could practice ANY religion or NO religion without persecution from the governing bodies of the country whether that be the government or a sovereign.
    You can refer to many documents and recorded history from the times to show most of the founding fathers were not Christians – believed in a god, certainly, but not your Christian god, but here’s one for you to read: The Treaty of Tripoli from 1797 that the John Adams ratified. Here is a link to the actual document: http://www.nobeliefs.com/document.htm and, what it says is:

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    The mention of God on money and the pledge was introduced in the 1950′s (illegally imo since it completely goes against The Constitution) in opposition to communism – you can look that up for yourself – a simple Google search will suffice.

    Hope this all helps and shows that we are not a Christian nation Sir, even if you may be a Christian.

  8. Kirsten

    Why do people persist with this business about it being a “Christian nation”? The framers of our Constitution may have all identified as “Christians,” but they drafted a governing document that said government must not create laws that show preference toward one religion or another. This is a secular nation, which means that even though a lot of people ARE Christians… we can’t spend public money giving the impression that Christianity is “the primary” or “the main religion” in the U.S. I know that this is very disappointing to a lot of people, but I am a true blue American and even I know this is not a Christian nation. This is a nation of people all similarly free to shun the beliefs of the majority, and to go on with their own wacky religious beliefs whatever the hell they may be. Or none at all, like the “atheists.” This is getting as silly as the “mommy wars.” This is not “a Christian nation” so just move on. Or move to the U.K.

  9. jeez, i say let them have the parade they want, when they want, and name it what they want if they have in on PRIVATE property.

    but, as soon as any religious organization want to use the taxpayer’s streets and shut them down for any reason whatsoever, let them understand that the first nations, the other religions and the non-denominational people of this country might ask for the same thing as they think they are entitled to.

    so when the islamists ask for a parade, guess what?

    they will get a parade as well.

    buddhists? great!

    shinto? sure!

    hindus? damn straight!

    sikh? i should hope so!

    wiccan? come one come all!

    satanists? well even i might have a problem with that one, but hey!

    freedom of religion works in all kinds of mysterious ways.

    lucky for us there are 12 months in which to fit all of these parades.

    i am sure that all of the shop owners and businesses will be happy with the new slew of “holiday” parades that will bring the throngs to the girard ave business district.

    i for one would love to see the satanists and the atheists on the same day.

    of course the satanists would only start after “son down”

    RECAP: to shut down taxpayer’s street must be a non religious event.

  10. David Bloch

    There are some things that I don’t know about the La Jola Xmas parade. If this is truly not a community operated, community and taxpayer funded, event, and it is something that a private organization is putting on, then that private organization can call the parade whatever it wants.
    On the other hand, if this is a community, municipality, publically funded, organized and operated endeavor, then, if only on the basis of the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state, the name should be changed to something applicable to everyone, like the Winter Holiday Time Parade.
    Indeed, while Xmas, due the commercialization of the holiday, has been pretty much separated from its liturgical meaning, it still is, primarily and essentially, a Christian Holy Day.
    For these reasons, the sensitivities and sentiments of non Christians and non religious people, like atheists, should be accommodated

  11. Ronald Shenck

    Just remember, most atheists, jews, muslims, buddhits, etc., really do not care that the word Christmas is used. (For the record, I fall into one of the aforementioned groups that does not care.) This is a small vocal group that wants to change the name. I agree that as long as it is not a government sponsored event, it can be named whatever the sponsors want. I don’t even care that I’m forced to listen to Christian prayers before government planning meetings, although I’m not sure if it’s legal.

    • You’re right Ronald… many people do not care, but I think you may be assuming too much when you project your own apathy onto others. Vocal minorities form in part because of active discrimination by the majority. Most people don’t speak up in any situation, let alone those situations where they are the minority, and a despised minority at that! It hasn’t always been the case, but the LJ parade is now operated and funded privately. Well established decades ago, they had to change their ways of operating in order to comply with the first amendment. As a nod to non-Christians, they added the phrase, “and holiday festival”. what we are now seeking is a complete and honest assessment of the residents of San Diego. If they want a community parade… who is in the community? If they wish to be more inclusive, they can change the name. We are asking them to consider it. That’s all. Now… about prayer… Government sponsored religious activity, such as prayer, is illegal, and should NEVER EVER happen during a government funded events. It does seem silly to me that this is still an issue. Individuals can pray before they come to the meeting, at the meeting, during the meeting… prayer, however, should not be led by government officials, nor should there be any religious observances during the meeting. For a complete guide to what is and what is not illegal I suggest going to au.org the website of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

  12. David Bloch

    You know, I don’t see the name of this event – ” The Xmas Parade” – do much as offensive, or attacking, of non Christians. I hope that I’m right in believing that the name is not meant to be a hostile act, or hostility motivated.
    What I hope I am correct in thinking that the organizers, the community, would want to change the name to be more welcoming to non Christians and non believers.
    Someone mentioned that there were only a few, or only 5, people who complained. That may well be correct, but I do not believe that the fact that only a small number of people complained means that only a handful of people don’t like but, that the. Entry is called The Xmas Parade. Fact is, La Jolla is home to a greater diversity of religions and cultures than the vast majority of American towns. There is Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic population in La Jolla than is typical in most towns in America. There is also a larger that usual proportion of atheists in La Jolla than in the vast majority of towns in America. However, there is a profound tendency for atheists not to be vocal, since many people (mostly Christians, according to research findings) harbor hostile and prejudicial attitudes towards atheists. One may wonder how I can say with certitude that there is a much greater than usual proportion of atheists in La Jolla? Here’s how: the proportion of atheists increases in groups of people as educational level, financial affluence, and scientific knowledge increases. The population of La Jolla is all three: highly affluent, educated, and scientifically knowledgeable. (Fact: over 90% of members of The American Academy of Science state that they are atheists).
    Based on the above, I’m willing to wager that fully a fifth of La Jolla residents are atheists or agnostic, and another fifth are believers of non Christian religions. That would be about 40% of the residents of La Jolla are not Christians, but to be conservative, let’s say that a quarter – 25% – of La Jolla would not be Christians. That’s huge. I believe that, for this reason, careful consideration should be given to the proposition of renaming the parade, or making the parade a private project, without community or taxpayer sponsorship.

  13. Christie

    Why do people like Angela, Sharkey, Teddy, and Stitch always feel so left out of things just because the title refers to a particular group and their name isn’t in the title? Is their next target St. Patrick’s Day? Do they feel left out because they aren’t Catholic? Will they insist it be called “March Generally Mid-Month, Angela, Sharkey, Teddy, and Stitch Day?” In Pacific Beach a church recently hosted a Polish celebration. I am neither of their faith nor Polish, but I didn’t feel left out and consequently demand that they re-name their festivities the Pacific Beach European Continent and Christie Celebration. The event was rather well attended, too, which created some traffic in front of the church – On City Streets!! This, according to Angela, Sharkey, Teddy, and Stitch, made it a city-sponsored event giving Angela, Sharkey, Teddy, and Stitch the right to demand that the name be changed because otherwise the city is – uh – well, Angela, Sharkey, Teddy, and Stitch lose me there but I think it’s that Angela, Sharkey, Teddy, and Stitch feel left out. (I actually don’t follow the logic of that; are they saying it’s a state-sponsored event when everyone drives to work on the state-built, -maintained, and –patrolled freeways in the morning?) C’mon, Angela, Sharkey, Teddy, and Stitch, please allow us Christians to enjoy our Christmas and Christmas celebrations. (Be honest; that really is what all the hoopla is about, isn’t it?) We would love to have you join us. Please don’t feel left out, just because we identify ourselves and your name isn’t in the title.

  14. Stitch

    Christie,

    A few easy questions for you. Take as much time as necessary to provide your answers. After you answer my questions, I would be glad to answer as many questions as you desire to ask.

    1. Do you have any idea why the annual December parade in the San Diego community of La Jolla is named: “The La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival?”

    2. Why were African Americans, Foreign Nationals and Jews barred from purchasing houses and property in La Jolla from 1889-1958?

    3. Do you know why African Americans, Foreign Nationals and Jews were finally permitted to purchase homes and property in La Jolla?

    Following is an important list for you to reflect upon.

    December community events held in the greater San Diego area:

    December Nights – formerly Christmas on the Prado
    Encinitas Holiday Parade – formerly Encinitas Christmas Parade
    Holiday Bowl – since its inception in 1978, always the Holiday Bowl.
    La Jolla Christmas Parade – La Jolla Christmas Parade
    Ocean Beach Holiday Parade – Ocean Beach Christmas Parade
    Pacific Beach Holiday Parade – Pacific Beach Christmas Parade

    Which one of the events above lacks diversity and inclusiveness?

    The names of these events were not changed to hide the religious essence of Christmas. Instead, words such as Holiday or Community were chosen to make everyone feel welcome regardless of ethnicity, race or religious belief.

    From 2005-2013, the La Jolla Light newspaper has written 3 editorials strongly recommending the word “Christmas” be changed to reflect diversity and inclusiveness so everyone feels welcome.

    Is there something about La Jolla’s discriminatory past when African Americans, Foreign Nationals and Jews were barred, which causes some residents to continue to reject the more embracing appeal to a wider range of ethnicity, race and religion?

  15. Joe V

    I think the strongest reasons to expand our perspective by updating the title of the La Jolla Christmas Parade etc reside within the law and our constitutions.

    Without getting into a long legal litany, I believe we need look no further than the First and Fourteenth Amendments in the US and California Constitutions. I would wager that if a legal action was pursued, there would be several courts upholding the removal a religious title from a public event requiring govt permits, licenses and expenditures. And I believe the US Supreme Court would uphold this position if this issue ever reached that far.

    As pointed be several others, a long list of San Diego communities have updated their December event titles by renaming their winter holiday events without reference to one particular faith.

    Consider this….how much support would there be if the title of a public and govt-sanctioned event was the La Jolla Ramadan Parade or the La Jolla Hanukkah Parade? But in sum, this isn’t a matter of personal taste. It’s a matter of what our Constitution requires. We always hear “we are a nation of laws….not a nation of men (and women).” There is no corollary that says “unless you personally don’t like what the law requires.”

    I hope this helps enlighten others. Looking forward to many more happy holidays in our beautiful part of the world!

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