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We'd Like Your Input - Resident Survey

Village of Mundelein Religious Holiday Display Feedback

During the 2016 holiday season, the Village of Mundelein received a request from a resident to display a menorah as an addition to the annual holiday tree lighting event. At the August 28 Village Board meeting, Mayor Lentz and the Board of Trustees discussed this issue and decided to invite residents to comment on the matter throughout the month of September.

For nearly two decades, the Village has only maintained secular displays on public property. The holiday tree, the centerpiece of the Village's annual holiday tree lighting event, is not considered to be a religious symbol by the federal courts. The Village Board would like to receive feedback from Mundelein residents on this matter prior to making a decision.

Please continue to read below for a brief history of how this issue was dealt with by the Village in past decades in order to provide some necessary context and perspective. To take the survey to provide feedback to the Village Board, please Click Here.

A Brief History of the Village of Mundelein and Religious Holiday Symbols

The Village Board has addressed this issue in the past, and for reference, here is a quick overview:

November 1987: A crèche (nativity scene) included as a part of the Village’s holiday display received some backlash from the public and a lawsuit was filed against the Village in the United States District Court.

January 1988: The Village Board conducted a public hearing regarding the display, at which time statements were made from several residents, representatives of the American Jewish Congress, and the American Atheists. The District Court placed a permanent injunction on the Village, not allowing the display of the crèche. The Village appealed the decision.

November 1989: The United States Seventh Court of Appeals reversed the permanent injunction against the Village, which allowed the display of the crèche among other symbols within the annual holiday display.

December 1996: The Village Board allowed for a menorah to be included within the annual holiday display at the request of a resident.

November 1998: The Village Board passed Ordinance No. 98-11-49. This ordinance allowed for a redesigned holiday display which did not include a crèche or menorah, on a temporary, trial basis.

October 1999: The Village Board passed Ordinance No. 99-10-57 which called for the redesigned holiday display to continue without a crèche or menorah going forward. Since 1998, the Village has not displayed religious symbols on public property.

Thank you for your time. We value your opinions.

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