The Asheville Downtown Association’s parade committee has denied the application of the Only One Earth Coalition to march in the annual holiday parade on Nov. 18.
The Only One Earth Coalition is an association of local organizations that promote saving our planet and peace on Earth.
While recognizing the other cultural and faith-based celebrations during this time, the celebration of the holy day (versus commercial holiday?) of the birth of Jesus is usually what first comes to mind when we speak of “the holidays.”
Although the coalition was permitted to participate in last year’s parade, apparently promoting peace at an event based on celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace will not be allowed this year.
Many of my Christian family members and friends lament how commercial their sacred holy day has become. I would think that a parade unit supporting peace on Earth and saving Earth — far more in line with the true meaning and purpose of the Christmas holy day than the commercial event into which it has evolved — would be welcomed.
I have lived in Asheville for 23-plus years. I had many reasons for relocating here, one being Asheville’s embrace of inclusivity, especially of people and characteristics that made our town fun and unique. Sadly, much of that quality has been lost during recent years.
Can we not try to keep some of that inclusivity alive during this season by allowing a parade unit that promotes care for our home — Earth — and peace as a big way to do that? A parade that is supposedly based on a day celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, whom Christians embrace in their faith?
In closing, I would like to note that I have observed high school ROTC units in previous years’ holiday parades. Why not balance such military-based displays with a unit devoted to peace?
— Cynthia Heil