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Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Fire marshals vs. the flaming chalice.

Here's something to think about:

Each Sunday a child walks to the front of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Blacksburg to light the church's chalice, the official symbol of the denomination.

But that practice may be illegal under a new set of fire codes adopted by Virginia in October. In fact, the code bans many uses of candles and open flames in houses of worship.

And it's not just Unitarian Universalists, with our single candle in a dish:

While the section of the International Code Council that prohibits cut trees and other "decorative vegetation" in public buildings and apartments has received some attention recently, Section 308 of the code has been largely ignored. It bans open flames, such as candles and oil lamps, at public meetings or gatherings, including religious ceremonies.

This isn't as important as the case before the Supreme Court, of course, but I thought you'd like to know.

("Fire code may extinguish churches' holiday spirit," Roanoke Times 12.3.03)

Update 12.5.03: Matthew Gatheringwater has me wondering: Will we start turning on lightbulbs of joy and concern?

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 3 December 2003 at 5:51 PM

Previous: Dean: Northern evangelist.
Next: New Yorker vs. Clark, part II.

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2 comments:

Matthew Gatheringwater:

December 3, 2003 11:15 PM | Permalink for this comment

Curses! What am I supposed to blog about now?

Melanie:

December 4, 2003 04:18 PM | Permalink for this comment

Chris,

If you think this is a problem for UU, just imagine what a disaster it is for Catholics?

How many Catholics does it take to change a lightbulb? No lightbulbs. Candles.



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