County Terminates “Christian Pride Month” After Jewish Groups Call It Antisemitic

On July 18, the five supervisors of El Dorado County, a rural region situated south of Lake Tahoe with approximately 200,000 residents, conducted a vote to officially designate every July as American Christian Heritage Month. The vote was successful, with a majority of 4-1. One supervisor claims to have abstained from the vote, but the record inaccurately reflects her stance as an affirmative “aye.”

Just two months later, the board chose to reverse their decision after outcry from Jewish groups.

During a Tuesday session, the county’s elected governing body unanimously opted to rescind the proclamation. This decision came as a response to the significant backlash received from various sources, including local Jewish community members, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is mostly made up of Jewish Americans, and other individuals who asserted that the proclamation irresponsibly propagated the notion of the United States as a solely Christian nation, which they considered inappropriate.

Rabbi Evon Yakar, representing Temple Bat Yam situated in South Lake Tahoe, expressed appreciation for the board’s process of introspection and subsequent reversal. Following the vote, Yakar, alongside other concerned residents, had voiced their objections to the proclamation during the board meeting leading to its annulment. In response to the board’s decision to rescind, Yakar commended their willingness to acknowledge the divisive effects the initial proclamation had brought about, highlighting the positive nature of their reconsideration.

Upon learning of the decision, Marla Saunders, a massage therapist residing in South Lake Tahoe, expressed feeling “verklempt,” a Yiddish term denoting being overwhelmed by deep emotion. As a member of the Jewish community, Saunders had initiated an online petition urging the board to retract the proclamation. The petition had garnered over 1,000 signatures by September 19.

Overwhelmed by a sense of joy, Saunders confessed to being moved to tears, knowing that the board had heeded the voices of those who opposed the proclamation.

Saunders added a cautionary note too, saying that some opponents of the proclamation wouldn’t have come to Tuesday’s board meeting if law enforcement hadn’t been there. “They wouldn’t feel safe,” she said.

But still, she said, she’s pleased with the result of Tuesday’s vote.

“We beat back hate and division,” she said. “The way the community came together made me more optimistic about our country and the county I live in.”

Supervisor John Hidahl, the individual responsible for introducing the proclamation, delivered a statement before the vote emphasizing his perspective. According to the Sacramento Bee, Hidahl asserted that the United States, a remarkable nation, was established not by adherents of different religions but by Christians. Furthermore, he emphasized that the nation’s foundation was not based on various religious doctrines, but on Christian principles and values. Hidahl’s intention with the proclamation, he explained, was to remind people of this significant historical background.

However, critics of the proclamation contended that it contravened the fundamental principle of the separation of church and state, and favored one religion above others. In a letter dated August 25 addressed to the board of supervisors, the ACLU of Northern California expressed its objection, stating that the proclamation essentially conveyed the County’s explicit support, endorsement, and promotion of specific religious beliefs. Consequently, the ACLU argued that the proclamation violated the California Constitution.

El Dorado Supervisor Brooke Laine said that public pressure and media coverage contributed to the board’s eventual decision, Laine said, as did the “threat of litigation” from the ACLU. “We couldn’t afford that,” she said.

The same groups were involved in banning God from public schools in two Supreme Court cases in 1962 and 1963.

In June of 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved for use in schools was in violation of the First Amendment by constituting schools an ‘establishment of religion.’

The following year, in June of 1963, the Court disallowed Bible readings in public schools for similar reasons, in Abington School District v. Schempp.

The same groups were also behind the creation of the NAACP and other formations that have now become the racial-cultural wars we see today, as well as the normalization of gay marriage and homosexuality.

Earlier this month, a video of Israelis spitting on Christians went viral on Twitter. As many users claimed this ‘was not the norm’ in Israel when it comes to Christian sentiment, several others pointed out that it is normal and common.

Some Twitter users pointed out the dozens of instances just like this, as well as other incidents where Israelis would destroy Christian monuments and desecrate Christian cemeteries.

The vast majority of Israelis when polled say they have very negative attitudes towards Christians.

Earlier this year, a law was almost passed in Israel, banning Christians from worshipping Jesus in public.

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