I doubt that this government sponsorship of Christianity would fly here at home, in the United States. ACLU or FFRF attorneys would bring down a legal sledgehammer on it right quick.
Abroad? That’s another matter.
Christmas is the high season in Bethlehem. The traditional birthplace of Christ is the biggest tourist attraction in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Nearly 2 million people visit Bethlehem each year — a number that has risen steadily over the past several years. …
This holiday season, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) donated almost $400,000 to bolster the Christmas celebrations on Manger Square. A tree, entertainment and a small Christmas market are staples, but this year saw more music, more booths and more days of activities.
Isn’t this a textbook confluence of state and church — the kind that the U.S. government is constitutionally obligated to refrain from?
Also, if the 20,000-strong population of Bethlehem draws two million visitors a year, and most of those tourists have fat wallets, I can’t say I understand why the residents don’t thank their lucky stars for that annual windfall, and why they expect American taxpayers to donate a small fortune in order to help promote the cult of Jesus.