From the archives:

Back in December 2009, the Buncombe County Commissioners were considering in their January 2010 meeting, to substitute a moment of silence for the official (predominantly Christian) prayer that had traditionally marked the start of their meetings. As they waited for the results of legal challenges to such practices in local counties such as Forsyth. They indicated that year they would switch to a moment of silence, but after several people showed up at a commissioners’ meeting to oppose that idea, the board instead handed the responsibility of giving the opening prayer to board Chairman David Gantt, who said he would continue to give a “non-denominational” prayer, even after a narrowly-divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld Christian prayers at the start of local council meetings in a 2014 ruling.

This cartoon strained to take punny advantage of the Christmas-Winter-Holiday-themed names of the commissioners at the time, as well as the Santa-like appearance of still-in-the-news-today, commissioner Bill Stanley (Santley), in addition to chairman (City of) David Gantt, and other 2009 commissioners: Holly Jones, Carol Peterson, and K. Ray (protagonist of It’s A Wonderful Life, George) Bailey.

That same year, there was a similar controversy in  a Virgina city council that also opened their meetings with a specific religion’s prayer, so the final line by county attorney, Michael Frue (as an elf) about the precedent of a Virginia city and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, was a pun on the famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause” line from the 1897 New York Sun article.

That was the topical reason for the seasonal cartoon, but before that punchline, I was able to get in many jokes about what a “Christmas Commission” would tackle in their holiday-world meetings.

Here is the comic in a larger, more vertical format for better mobile-device scrolling viewing:


Cartoon originally published in the Asheville, NC alt weekly paper, “The Mountain Xpress”.

© 2019 – Brent Brown, Brent Brown Graphix