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War Against Christmas 2003 Competition [III]: "We Were Here First."
"Christmas will return again," we wrote last week when introducing our War Against Christmas 2003 competition. And it is indeed returning—albeit against ferocious opposition.
- Lalia Sullivan writes us from Lake Oswego, OR:
"The editor of our local small-town newspaper [the Lake Oswego Review] finally after about five years took the City Council to task for referring to the 'Holiday Season' and lighting of the 'Holiday Tree,' and that the newspaper will from now on not follow suit and will return to calling it the 'Christmas Season' and the 'Christmas Tree.'
I sent the editor an email congratulating him for his good sense [send another], and I got a response that my 'letter' will be published. A small victory—but it all counts.
- Another reader reports from Australia. Australia has religious freedom (and no Established Church) but it doesn't have the judicially-invented "separation of Church and State" that has been imposed on the U.S. Still, one day an American politician will say something like this!
"Political correctness is killing Christmas - at least,
that's what the
Howard Government reckons.
"On the eve of the festive season, Multicultural Affairs Minister [VDARE.com note:!!!] Gary Hardgrave has called on schools and kindergartens to set up nativity scenes, throw Christmas parties and remember the story of the birth of Christ.
'We should get out there and flaunt it rather than having people retreat from it,' he told The Australian…"A lot of kindergartens and schools and businesses have decided they have to ban things because they might offend others, and they've got it completely wrong."
As for celebrating the Jewish festival of Hanukkah or the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, Mr Hardgrave said that was a choice for each school to make.
Defining multiculturalism as built on a bedrock of Western Christian values and traditions, the minister said input from other cultures was welcome but this occurred in a framework established by past generations.
"'Our culture, our tradition are something that has attracted people from all around the world to come and live here and be part of,' he said.
"'We have an opportunity to learn from the cultures they brought to Australia.
we were here first, our framework was in place because
of all of the efforts of previous generations.
Our framework is what made it possible for all those
people to come, and we should never be afraid of it.'"
to keep the Christ in Christmas," By Sophie Morris,
Melbourne Herald Sun, December 3, 2003.]
- Ann Koopman writes from Bozeman, MT:
"Howdy from Montana!
"I linked to your Christmas info from Izzy Lyman's Homeschooling Revolution blog. THANKS SO VERY MUCH for what you're doing.
"It almost broke my heart recently to read in our local paper that the National Holiday Tree was coming through town. Cut in Idaho, it's being transported across the country and stopped for viewing in Bozeman, Montana, last Sunday afternoon.
"For as long as I can remember, we've watched Presidents 'on the mall' in Washington, ceremoniously lighting the national CHRISTMAS tree. What other 'holiday' would he be recognizing while lighting a decorated tree?"
Even here, this bad news is almost good news. The tree that passed through Bozeman was the U.S. Capitol's Holiday Tree—not the one the President lights. That is, miraculously, still called the National Christmas Tree. Whew!
The website claims that "Correspondence of 1919 in the records of the Architect of the Capitol indicates that a holiday tree was purchased that year."
Er, no. In 1919, there wasn't a "holiday tree" anywhere in North America. Only Christmas trees.
reader sent us the
Anti-Defamation League's press release ["ADL
Offers Schools Guidance for Negotiating the 'December
12/2/03 9:30:00 AM] and commented
"The ADL's description of Christmas as a 'December Dilemma' should at least win the competition in the best euphemism for Christmas category."
(Interestingly, the ADL contrived to avoid using the dreaded word "Christmas" anywhere in its release.)
- Roger Chaillet, an old friend, writes:
"The Coca-Cola two-liter bottles have a drawing of Santa Claus drinking a Coke, together with the "Holiday 2003" bordering the top of the label. No mention of Christmas at all."
- A reader reports a correct canine Christmas:
"Last night on the Food Channel I saw a commercial from PETsMART [contact them]. A couple had just bought their dog gifts and the woman mentioned it would 'be his first holiday.'
"I have never known anyone in the non-TV world to use that expression for Christmas. The dog is obviously more intelligent than the company or the advertising agency."
- David Irving (no, not that David Irving) sent a news story that
"To ward off any potential protests, Phillipsburg [NJ] Postmaster Victor Lopez said his post office will not be putting up Christmas decorations this year.
'The reason is, last year we put decorations up, and you want to take a guess what happened? People complained,' Lopez said. "So I figured this time I'd play it neutral.'"
But at least one Phillipsburg resident has instinctively grasped the point: Christophobia is offensive:
"Crystal Hummer said the postmaster's ban on Christmas decorations is an affront. All Americans celebrate Christmas in one way or another according to their religion, she said.
"'If you're in this country, you definitely know how we celebrate our holidays. And if you don't like it, well, I'm sorry, then go back to your own country,' Hummer said." [Feedback over decorations prompts decision to go 'neutral' By Jeff Schogol, The [Easton, PA] Express-Times, December 04, 2003]
- A reader writes from Cedar Rapids:
"This year, for the first time, my wife and I received Happy Thanksgiving cards from our financial advisor and a state conservation organization that we support. My expectation is that we will not be receiving holiday greetings from them."
To some Christmas cowards, this might seem like a good idea. If you can get your cards out of the way in November, you won't have to explain why you're sending cards in December.
But Thanksgiving's next on the list!
- A New York reader is fighting back:
"It's that time of the year again - meaning it's time to go hunting for the Madonna and Child Christmas stamp to use on your cards and packages. If the USPS sticks true to form this year, the stamp will be unavailable in USPS vending machines, which tend to feature only the inoffensive "Frosty the Snowman" stamps. Thus, patrons who want the actual Christmas stamp are forced to wait on a long line to buy it—IF they even know about it. (I NEVER see the stamp advertised, and it is hard to find on the USPS website.)
"Call me paranoid, but I think the USPS does all this to ensure that no one even knows about the stamp. Thus, it can renew its mid-90's effort to kill it by claiming "there's no demand for it anymore."
"Prove them wrong! If you don't want to wait in line, you can order it online here.
"Also, let Washington know you are watching them by asking why the stamp is so hard to find.
"A shame we have to do this every year, but that's the culture we live in. Merry Christmas!"
- And a reader pointed out that the Thomas More Law Center is also fighting back. It is suing over the New York City school system's amazing non-denominational fatwa denying the "historical fact of the birth of Jesus." [Birth of Jesus Denied By New York School System to Justify Ban on Christmas Nativity Displays, Nov 11, 2003].
"New York's legal briefs disputed the claim that the Nativity scene depicts a historical event, and that this event is the basis for the celebration of Christmas."
The ingenious argument: If the Nativity never happened, then the New York Schools Board can ban Christmas! But Ramadan and Hanukkah need not be banned.
You really can't make this up.
Hmm. Ramadan goes back to the prophet Mohamed, definitely a historical figure, (and what a historical figure). Hanukkah dates from the reign of the pagan ruler Antiochus IV, in 167 B.C. (see the Book of Maccabees, in the Apocrypha).
Antiochus prohibited public worship of God, and set up his own idols in the Temple. He "wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and that all should give up their particular customs."(I Maccabees, 41, 42)
Sound familiar? It sounds almost as if, rather than commemorating the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes, the New York School Board wants to repeat them.
Antiochus lived to regret his evil ways.
The New York City school system (and some other grinches) might profit by his example.
Send more entries to firstname.lastname@example.org —marked "Christmas Competition'!