Well, as former NY Yankee great and stand up philosopher Yogi Berra would say, "It's like déjà-vu all over again."
Apparently, the amount of complaints to City Hall were too much for city officials to handle and they decided to bring back Christmas to the village.
After two days of controversy that grew to national proportions, Mayor Nutter announced last night that the word "Christmas" will be restored to the 15-foot-tall arch that welcomed visitors to a German-style Christmas market outside City Hall.However, to quote Yogi again, "It ain't over, till it's over."
The word, spelled out in tiny white lights, had been removed Monday afternoon after city Managing Director Richard Negrin said he had responded to complaints from an unspecified number of city employees and visitors.
But the Daily News' story on the removal went viral and prompted a wave of negative reaction, including a protest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and a pending resolution from City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski accusing the administration of "disrespecting Christians" in favor of political correctness.
Nutter called reporters into his office last night to say that he'd just talked with the promoter of the Christmas Village, who had agreed to reconnect the lights dismantled two days earlier.
"We'll have the full 'Christmas Village' sign back in place [today]," Nutter said. "I'm totally respectful of any of our public employees or citizens who have a complaint, whether about this or anything else. At the same time, we have any number of employees and citizens . . . who enjoy this particular kind of commercial enterprise. The Christmas Village is not a religious service."
Earlier yesterday, the Archdiocese issued a statement calling the removal "very disappointing."
"If we are to be a truly diverse and inclusive community, we must certainly be respectful of all of the various celebrations that occur during this time of year," the statement said. "Christmas deserves its rightful place among those."
Do I hear the anti-God ACLU's feathers ruffling? Stay tuned...