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The Tentacle


December 19, 2007

Playing “The War on Christmas” Card

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Fortunately, this year in “The War on Christmas,” no overwhelming weapons of mass Christmas destruction have materialized and it appears that Christmas is winning. And that’s a good thing.

Sure – to be certain – there are reports of minor skirmishes here and there. But at this point, it would appear that America will once again, observe Christmas next week.

On December 11, Congress took up the matter of Christmas and held a vote on a resolution on “Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.”

The measure was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R. IA), who preached on CNN: “I recognized that we’re a Christian nation founded on Christian principles, and we’re coming up to Christmastime. … It’s time we stood up and said so … Be who you are and be confident. And let’s worship Christ and let’s celebrate Christmas for the right reasons.”

We all can now rest easy and resume our holiday planning because Christmas won by a 372-9 vote, with 10 members voting a neutral “present” vote and 40 members not voting.

It should have been a no-brainer vote, but the nine Democrat representatives who voted against Christmas are Gary Ackerman and Yvette Clarke of New York; Diana DeGette of Colorado; Alcee Hastings of Florida; Jim McDermott of Washington; Bobby Scott of Virginia; and Barbara Lee, Pete Stark, and Lynn Woolsey of California.

Political writer Amanda Carpenter cites an “eagle-eyed Republican House staffer who pointed out that those same members, (the Democrats who voted ‘nay’ or ‘present’ on the resolution) with one exception, voted to ‘recognize the commencement of Ramadan,’ a Muslim religious observance in October.”

Cable news programs and the blogosphere got all wrapped around the axle and worked themselves into a lather. For those who are old enough to recognize inane political silliness; we were amused to watch people chase that perennial toy rabbit around the track a couple of times as we channel-surfed for some substantive news and commentary – on another network.

Representative King said in a news release: “The naysayers didn't make it to the floor to debate. I would like to know how they could vote ‘yes’ on Islam, ‘yes’ on the Indian religions and ‘no’ on Christianity. The foundation of this nation and this culture is Christian. ... I think there's an assault on Christianity in America.”

Yeah, right! Let’s be clear, we must be ever vigilant against the steady march of the secular progressives who wish to sanitize and devalue the tradition values that made this country great. Nevertheless, those who study history recognize that the 225 million Americans who observe Christmas and this nation will persevere.

Besides taking the likes of the “Grinch nine” Democrats who voted “no’ to Christmas, off our Christmas card list, most of us are going to go about the business of volunteering for our communities and making sure that our friends, family and neighbors have a great holiday.

Many agree with Steel Turman, a conservative political commentator, when he wrote, “There IS a war on Christmas, Christians and WASPs in general, of that there is no doubt. However, all the time, money and energy both sides spend and waste in this continuing battle could sure as hell be better spent.”

As a necessary aside, the whole matter of separation of church and state as enumerated in the “establishment clause” is the source of bewilderment for those who understand that the point of the Founding Fathers was to prevent the Anglican Church from being established as a state-sponsored religion.

It remains beyond comprehension how in the world a Christmas tree, a nativity scene or a Menorah in a public place can be construed as compelling anyone to observe a particular religion or attend a state-designated church, synagogue, or mosque.

Meanwhile, a Christmas tree is no more a holiday tree than a Menorah is a holiday candlestick holder.

Back in March, during the appearance of Al Gore in the congressional “global warming” hearings, Maryland 6th District Congressman Roscoe Bartlett was quoted as saying: “It’s possible to be a conservative without appearing to be an idiot.”

Congressman Bartlett’s admonishment needs to be generally taken to heart. In as much as some get all exercised when the left blows issues totally out of proportion in a desperate attempt to score empty political points or maintain relevancy, perhaps some conservative leaders may want to look hard into the cracked mirror in which they stare at their navel.

We can all be happy that the House of Representative has voted overwhelmingly to affirm Christmas. Perhaps, now – in their spare time – they will address a few minor matters such as the national debt, supporting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, health care, education, illegal immigration, and the omnibus-spending bill to fund the continued operation of the government.

Meanwhile, with all due respect, please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my heartfelt best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday.

Please enjoy the annual event within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious, secular persuasion, and or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

Merry Christmas!!!

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster: E-mail him at: kdayhoff@carr.org



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