There are many ways to celebrate a Hanukkah menorah lighting. Announcing that "Jesus is the reason for the season" is not one of them.
Bud Williams, a city councilor in Springfield, Massachusetts, found out the hard way when he spoke at the city's annual menorah lighting this week. Williams, a Baptist, told a crowd of Jewish community members and local leaders that "Jesus is the reason for the season."
"Jesus was Jewish," Williams continued. "To me, Jesus is the messiah. ... I thought I was being very positive."
The key phrase there, of course, is "to me." Jesus may be the messiah to him, but that's irrelevant when speaking at an important ceremony for a different religion. Two other speakers — Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno — managed to talk about the city's religious history without embarrassing themselves.
So if Williams is invited to speak again next year — and that's a big "if" — let's hope he leaves the proselytizing at home.