|City Councilor Bud Williams|
And then Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams stepped up to the microphone and offered some wisdom of his own:
"Jesus is the reason for the season," Williams said during remarks at the ceremony that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.Which kind of makes sense, since Jesus was a Jew. But he wasn't the reason for this season.
Councilor Williams later offered an explanation for his remarks:
"I thought it added something to the service, it didn't take away," Williams said Tuesday night.Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the mighty Greek occupiers within the Holy Land. It also celebrates the time when a menorah within the Temple was able to miraculously remain lit for eight days and nights despite there only being enough pure oil for one day.
The city councilor said he referenced Jesus Christ, whose birth is celebrated every Dec. 25 by Christians worldwide but not by Jews, after participants in the ceremony mentioned "the bright light" of 2,000 years ago – an allusion to Christ, according to Williams.
"They said it," Williams said.
The councilor said his remark wasn't meant as an expression of religious superiority or "dominance," but rather as a simple reminder about the "reason for the season."
"Jesus was Jewish," Williams said. "To me, Jesus is the messiah ... I thought I was being very positive."