Unsigned Creche

POLITICS

IT'S CHRISTMASTIDE IN Cambridge and that means more than the usual rush on Square boutiques--it's time for the annual creche controversy.

This year, the Knights of Columbus have again erected a nativity scene, which the local Catholic group bought from the city for one dollar after the 1982 creehe crisis. The Knights have placed a dozen seven-foot figurines depicting the birth of Christ on the Cambridge Common.

The creche is sitting on public property, which according to a Supreme Court decision two years ago is legal. We think, however, that there should be a disclaimer on the scene, making it clear that the Knights and not the City of Cambridge have placed the Yuletide decoration on the Common.

The city's administrators, some of whom are Knights themselves, should have been more sensitive to the rights of the minority of Cantabrigians who don't adhere to the Christian holiday tradition. Placing a creche on public property is not a violation of the credo of separation of church and state, but not designating the creche's ownership is. In a democracy, the minority should not be alienated by state-sponsored religious symbols.

Let's put a sign on the creche and enjoy the season.