This archived article was written by: Erik Falor
The holidays have been a time to reflect on what makes us good, to think upon those things that enable our society, and to do things that are genuinely charitable. When we have the opportunity to actually do those things, we can make the world a little better. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
People are freezing and hungry on the streets. College students go weeks on end without doing laundry. Somehow, Brittney Spears makes records. There is no shortage of charitable work that can be done, and the best answer the American Civil Liberties Union can come up with for all this is to take Christmas off our calendars?
This shows how completely out of touch the ACLU is with mainstream America. They fail to propose a plan that addresses our most pressing concerns. A family not having any heat in their home, or food on the table is a life-or-death matter. Having your feelings hurt at Christmas is not something that warrants government intervention. It is something that is more likely to be remedied by throwing you down a flight of stairs. Nobody will die because the Post Office doesn’t close on somebody’s special day. The government has a responsibility to protect life and health first; protecting your feelings comes in a distant second.
The ACLU’s intention is to revoke Christmas’ status as a federally recognized holiday and replace it with a completely secular “winter festival.” Should they meet with success, it would go farther than any other previous effort to take Christmas out of the government.
It is true that Christmas has its origins in religion, but that does not make it intrinsically bad or offensive. Its observation does not harm society. The fact that the government and most businesses shut down is not so much a matter of religious preference as it is of convenience. The overwhelming majority of American citizens want that day off.
Gino Scarselli, Associate Legal Director for the ACLU of Ohio said that “Public schools may close on religious holidays only if they have a religion-neutral reason for doing so.” Mr Scarselli was the lawyer sued a public school that attempted to close its doors on a Jewish holiday. Mr. Scarselli’s job is to make sure that if government institutions shut down for a day, it had better not be because of religion. Yet by his reasoning, Christmas gets to keep its own red square on the calendar solely on account of 86 percent of Americans who traditionally celebrate it.
The issue then becomes what words to put under the number 25 in the box. Their claim is that by calling it “Christmas,” the government is overtly discriminating against all other holidays that happen to fall on the same week. The solution: change the name of the holiday from a religious reference to a secular title. This is the origin of “Winter Festival.” That story has “heartwarming” and “made for TV special” written all over it.
This is the same caliber of silly logic that spawned the ludicrous 1985 Supreme Court ruling known as “The Reindeer Rule.” According to www.limitedgovernment.com, the Reindeer Rule requires that any religious display on public property be balanced by secular displays in order to avoid any hint that the state is endorsing religion. That is like drafting a law that makes homosexuals not act too gay in public, or telling racial minorities to behave more white. I don’t care what the Supreme Court thinks, I know that a fat elf in a red suit stands for Christmas and not for Hanukkah.
This ruling, and others like it do not address the issue that religious observances of other faiths are neglected. It demonstrates that this movement is not about leveling the playing field for all religions, but instead is a thinly veiled attempt at discriminating against the most widespread faith in America.
Calling the holiday by another name changes nothing, but only alienates mainstream America farther and farther from what the ACLU stands for. Someday, there may be something important for the ACLU to get excited about, and when it comes time to rally support the people will say “You were the guys who tried to steal my Christmas! Get off my porch before I sic my hounds on you!”
The thing that the ACLU needs to realize is that Americans are as afraid of radical special interest groups as they are of the government itself. Especially special interest groups that play the Grinch. After all, we can elect government officials to their posts; special interest groups appoint themselves to police the policies that pique their interests.
Stephen R. Felson, a cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Ohio said “In the most religiously diverse country in the world, we need to be aware that closing public schools for any or all religious holidays, in the end, only fosters division among those of different faiths instead of promoting tolerance … ” Let it be known that I am not opposed to taking time off from school for Ramadan, Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, Rosh Hashanah, David Koresh’s birthday, etc.
The solution to intolerance in America isn’t going to be found in forcing people to relinquish their traditions to fit in with everybody else. Just because you are the only person on your street who doesn’t celebrate Christmas should not mean that you are an outcast. And nobody should have to cease their celebrations of Christmas just because it might make someone feel uncomfortable.
Maybe we should paint a disclaimer on the Statue of Liberty: “Dear potential citizens, please be aware that you have chosen to immigrate to a country peopled mostly by Christians. Do not be offended when they do things that are, well, Christian.”
“We are in danger of being governed by our fears rather than our values,” says ACLU President Nadine Strossen. I want to know who’s values the ACLU is standing up for. It is plain that they are attacking traditional American values on every side. What advice does Strossen have for those of us who live in fear of being served a lawsuit for saying something that somebody doesn’t like?
Anybody who construes a government-endorsed holiday as being the same as the government endorsing a religion, probably thinks that Chicken McNuggets were white meat all along.
If the government wanted to endorse a particular religion, nobody would trust them enough to go join it. Every other November they set up booths where you can choose your next leader, and not even half of all registered voters show up for that. I don’t know who would be impressed by that show of influence.
Face it, Americans are a bunch of spoiled brats. It is the holiday season and we are bickering about what we want for Christmas. Come on folks, the holidays are supposed to be about togetherness and giving and warm, fuzzy feelings. What ever happened to peace on earth and good will to men/women?
To be honest, I have as hard a time believing that there’s really are ultra-sensitive people as I do believing in elves or Dennis Rodman. I think that it is all an act put on by people who are so desperate for attention that they will make complete fools of themselves. From a psychological standpoint, I am not altogether convinced that taking their lawsuits seriously and feeding into their delusions is a healthy way to treat them. These folks should count themselves lucky that the worst thing that can happen to them in December is that somebody might wish them a Merry Christmas.
This ongoing anti-Christmas campaign underscores a deep distrust the far-left has for all things religious. To make millions of religious people repress an important portion of their life-style because it is offensive to others, and encourage millions of homosexuals to live their lives in a way that is disagreeable to the majority is at once capricious and unfair. I neither call for nor justify discrimination against gays; but I do call for the discrimination against religious people to end.
Good luck on your finals, and have a Merry Christmas!