A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Christmas is Christmas

'Tis the Season for attacking Christmas, once again. The Leftists, Liberals, Secularists, Athiests, and Wackos (really, all of the Above) will soon begin eliminating Christmas pageants, lights, Nativity scenes, Christmas Carols, and all the rest.

But Christians are fighting back. The United States is a Christian Nation and we have the Right to celebrate Christmas, in our homes and in the public square. After all, we founded this country and we pay for it.

Here we go.

AP: Tension Over Christmas Observance Begins---

It's weeks before Thanksgiving but already interest groups are preparing for an intense year of conflict over Christmas observances by cities and public schools, with one conservative group lining up hundreds of attorneys to work on the issue.

Communities and courts have long fielded protests against municipal creche displays and school Nativity pageants, based on strict views of church-state separation and sensitivity toward religious minorities.

In recent years, however, local disputes have extended — to carol singing, wordless instrumental music, Christmas trees and decorations, classroom visits by Santa Claus, distribution of Christmas-themed cards and gifts, "Merry Christmas!" greetings and designation of Christmas on official calendars.

This week, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group based in Scottsdale, Ariz., announced that its 800 cooperating attorneys have volunteered to handle without fee complaints about "improper attempts to censor the celebration of Christmas in schools and on public property."

In 2004, the second year of its "Christmas Project," affiliated attorneys sent a detailed memo on ADF's view of Christmas and constitutional law to 7,000 school districts. The 2005 effort, already under way, adds city officials.

A similar information campaign is being waged by Liberty Counsel, another Christian legal group based in Orlando, Fla., and the Christian Educators Association International, representing 8,000 public school teachers.

The topic also is the subject of a polemic by the Fox News Channel's John Gibson that is selling briskly: "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought."

Gibson, who calls himself a "non-practicing Christian," notes that his Jewish son researched the book. He says agitation against Christmas observance comes primarily from "secularists, so-called humanists, trial lawyers, cultural relativists and liberal, guilt-wracked Christians."

The American Civil Liberties Union is targeted in another new book, "The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values" by ADF's Alan Sears and Craig Osten. The ACLU doesn't initiate all the complaints and lawsuits, the authors say, but it created the environment for widespread anti-Christmas efforts.

Even as Christmas is suppressed, these writers complain, schools sometimes encourage Ramadan, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa observances.

ACLU religion director Jeremy Gunn was in meetings and unavailable, a spokeswoman said. But an official ACLU bulletin says the Constitution forbids school observances "that promote or emphasize the religious significance" of Christmas, but not aspects "that have become part of our country's secular culture." The ACLU has repeatedly fought displays with religious themes on public property.

Under Freedom Forum First Amendment Center sponsorship, the ACLU has come to agreement with evangelical and other religious groups on minimal rules about school religious issues. On holidays, the accord says schools may celebrate secular aspects and "objectively teach about their religious aspects" but not observe them as religious events.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State also endorsed the accord.
Public schools often celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa observances (though Kwanzaa is a made-up "holiday," created by a criminal). I have worked in schools and have seen celebrations with Jewish music and festivities and Kwanzaa "festivities," but Christmas songs were not allowed, other than tunes like "Frosty the Snowman."

Such hypocrisy.

The Constitution does not forbid regligious observances in schools or public places. I don't even think the Constitution mentions schools at all.

Rather, the Constitution forbids establishing a religion, meaning, if one looks at the historical context, establishing one Christian denomination as the official religion.

You see, the Founding Fathers were creating a country separate from Great Britain, where the Established religion was (and still is) the Church of England. If you were anything but, you were not allowed in government, etc., etc., etc. The Founding Fathers were merely trying to keep that sort of thing from happening, not eliminating any mention of Christianity from government.

Regardless, school systems are entities of the cities in which they are found. State governments have the right to establish religion, if their own constitutions allow it. In fact, several states had established religions at the time the Constitution was ratified.

We the People have a right to practice our religion freely, in our homes and in public places. The ACLU wants to limit free religious expression to Muslims and keep Christianity out of the public view.

Funny! That's the same thing the Muslim terrorists (but I repeat myself) want!

Christmas is Christmas. Christmas is a Christian observance. Anyone who believes mentioning it or allowing expressions of it in public better be at work on 25 December.