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View From Lodi, CA Pittsburgh, PA: To My Atheist, Agnostic, Jewish and Muslim Friends—Merry Christmas!
Every year the
offenses against Christmas
grow more outrageous. A news item in the Charlotte
Observer detailed that the
When she found out that
Defending her decision, Michalak said that anonymous complaints from library employees and patrons lead her to review the Christmas tree policy.
And, Michalak added that libraries are places that offer information and belief systems from all corners of the world without judgment. According to her, displaying one particular religion's symbols is antithetical to that philosophy.
That, in a nutshell, is the definition of political correctness: if one out of 100 objects, he prevails.
My reaction—and this is from the perspective of a non-practicing Christian— is that anyone who feels so strongly that Christmas displays are inappropriate should be willing to be cited by name, rank and serial number.
For those students who happily accept our generosity by allowing them to study at American universities, then turn around to criticize our customs, perhaps they would be more at ease if they stayed home.
The "War Against Christmas" has been heating up for more than a decade.
Those who started and continue to wage it claim that its goal is to be culturally sensitive and more inclusive of the many holidays celebrated during December and January. By eliminating references to "Christmas," it eliminates any possible unintentional offense to non-Christians.
Opponents—the pro-Christmas combatants, of whom I am one—feel that an avoidance of the word "Christmas" is an effort to avoid a direct reference to Jesus or Christianity rather than an effort to appease non-Christians.
As evidence, we point out that nearly 97 percent of Americans including 20 percent of non-Christians, celebrate Christmas.
Encouragingly, pockets of common sense still exist.
Directly across the street, people lucky enough to have tickets can watch the Radio City Christmas Spectacular throughout December.
This year, the Rockettes performed a special "Christmas in August" show to preview the season.
I'm also happy to report that my
former home in
Lodi News-Sentinel reporter Ross Farrow told
the wonderful story about 14-year-old Ryan Neal and his
40-foot Christmas tree light display in front of his
Builds 40-Foot Tall Christmas Display in Lodi,
by Ross Farrow,
Neal has been constructing his Christmas exhibits for three years. This year, with the help of family and friends, is the largest ever.
Here in snowy Pittsburgh, one of the outstanding Christmas events is Overly's Country Christmas that began when Harry Overly decorated his rural Armbrust home with just a few strands of lights and is now one of the town's can't miss traditions.
Overly's show features over 2.4 million twinkling lights on 15 acres of Westmoreland County Fairgrounds.
As locals like to say, it the light strands were put end-to-end, they would stretch to Mars.
just a few miles from
And invariably, they will respond with Merry Christmas—and a smile.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.