Is it a Christmas tree or a holiday tree?
It’s December 1, which can mean only one thing: I’m about to be bombarded with stories about protesters upset about the word Christmas, menorah or nativity being associated with government property.
It also means I’m about to be inundated with notices about holiday savings, holiday parties, holiday treats and holiday trees.
As a Catholic, I have no problem with a menorah in the West Wing window. I also don’t have problem with remembering the druids with some evergreen branches in the Roosevelt Room. So if the administration wants to put up a Nativity scene in the foyer of the White House, that’s awesome too. Each of those symbols evoke the image of hope and peace. Two words I am only too happy to see finding a home in government office buildings or lawns.
Which reminds me, no where in the Constitution does it say church and state must remain separate. No where. Here’s the link to the Constitution, go find it. What? You couldn’t find it? Try here, in the Bill of Rights. Aha! The First Amendment! No religion!
Um, no. What it says is that the government can’t create a national religion or prohibit the practicing of a religion. It doesn’t say the government can’t put a menorah on the lawn. What it says is you can’t only appoint Jews as Supreme Court Justices. It means you can’t only establish laws that the Pope has rubber stamped. It means that we can’t use the Koran to dictate how Medicare will be funded. It means we can’t only have Freemasons as presidents. Hmmmm… may need to look into that last one.
The government can absolutely encourage the notion that there can be peace and kindness and that the miraculous can happen.
The term “Separation of Church and State” is attributed to a letter by President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists dated January 1, 1802. Read the letter, it’s really short, and tell me where Jefferson abhors Christmas trees on government property. By the way, he ends the letter by referring to God – our common father and creator of man.
No, Jefferson wanted to protect religion from the power of government and he wanted government protected from the zealousness of faith. He did not want the descriptions of religion forever removed from public service.
That takes care of the government issue. Now let’s slap around some retailers.
Do we really need to hide under the moniker of “holiday savings” when we mean “Christmas savings.” Are stores afraid of offending atheists? Do they think atheists both disbelieve in God and are stupid as well? Like an atheist opens up a circular, see’s a holiday coupon and ponders “What holiday are they talking about? And why does the Sears circular have so much green and red in it?”
I can understand one pro-holiday argument, it’s more inclusive, we Christians and Jews can both share in it. However, once Hanukkah is over, we’re back to Christmas.
And another thing, holiday is derived from the phrase Holy Day.
I forgot to mention my hatred of replacing “holiday” with “winter.” Perhaps the lamest anti-Christmas/Hanukkah workaround.
C’mon people, is it really that awful that the City of Philadelphia created a Christmas Village of shops in its City Hall square, but now must remove the Christmas Village name? I ask this, because the shops are still there and people are still buying goods. Do you suppose people are wandering around thinking, “I wonder why the city put up all these shopping stands in December?”
That’s what bothers me about the whole thing. If a government wants to add a little cheer and good will to their usually drab buildings, why would any of us object?
If the White House chooses to have a Ramadan service next August, I’m not going to be bothered. If they choose to build a minaret on the edge of the grounds for the five times a day call to prayer, I really won’t care. If my government wants to promote peace and atonement, how could I possibly be irritated by that.
I really don’t think this is the work of atheists. The beauty of atheists is that they don’t care if God exists or not. I can respect that. My problem is with political correctness gone insane. Can’t we all agree that there are real problems that we need to deal with in the world, and the use of the word Christmas doesn’t make the top 1,000?
The government isn’t promoting Christianity by putting up a tree or noting the Christmas season. If anything they’re invoking civic pride and joyousness.
Now, who wants to have a good ol’ fashion Christmas party! Egg nog for everyone!
At least I didn’t rant on the “X-mas” abomination.
- Wendy N. Powell: Christmas Tree or No Christmas Tree (huffingtonpost.com)
- The War on Christmas escalates (scienceblogs.com)