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The W - Current Events & Politics - How the Left Stole Christmas (Page 2)
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by CRZ
    I'd like to think you at least HAVE an excuse for starting the thread over here. Do you?
Yes. The fact of the matter is that the demonization of Christmas is for political(i.e. politically correct) reasons. There are societal reasons, but the reason we have "Holiday Trees" and that asinine PETCO commercial is because the politically correct of society have decided, for whatever reasons, that it is verboten. The societal destruction of Christmas involves Commercialization and so forth, but that's being going on for fifty years.

    Originally posted by CRZ
    I mean, I read "I put this out not to flame, but to discuss" back in #1...yet I didn't really see you back into this thread doing any discussing until #19. You know?
Work Chirstmas party....and computer problems at home.



ThreepMe
Morcilla








Since: 15.2.02
From: Dallas

Since last post: 3680 days
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#22 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.75
"I swear, religious people are so damn touchy."

Wait, was not the original post about how we are straying from "Christmas" and more into the realm of "faux-Christmases?"

Well, my point was that who cares about the "religious" name? Just as long as people are nice to eachother and take some time to be in the holiday spirit.

The idea was, religious people want to stick their particular religion's label on Everything! And this little Christmas vs. Rhamadan/Kwaanza/Hanukkah is a prime example of religious people trying to one up each other.

For those of us who give less than a rats ass about whether it's "Christmas," "Rhamadan," or "Thursday," it just looks like religious people screaming (to quote George Carlin), "My God has a bigger d*ck than your God!"

Chill out, smoke a doobie, celebrate how you want to, and have fun. Quit being so damn "touchy."

Disclaimer: Not ALL religious people are touchy. Just the Holier Than Thou sect are. And conversely, not all touchy people are religious. You can still be a meddling rat bastard and not believe in anything.



I would like to congatulate Al Snow on his contact with La-Z-Boy. Because we all know Al doesn't sell chairs. - Mick Foley
OlFuzzyBastard
Knackwurst








Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#23 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.98
What about "Elf"? I mean, if "Bad Santa" was proof that the liberal atheist Hollywood Jewish conspiracy was plotting to destroy Christmas, undermine Christianity and make the baby Jesus cry, how does he explain the fact that a few weeks prior, the same Hollywood released the sweetest and most innocent and pure Christmas movie I've seen in years? Considering that movie did better business than "Bad Santa" and "The Hebrew Hammer" combined, I'm hard pressed to believe the writer never heard of it.

Meanwhile, this "Bad Santa" movie has been a sticking point on the right-wing blogs, generally with them making the same "point" as the article. There's a few things that trouble me, however:

1) They seem to be confusing Jesus and Santa Claus, almost to Ali G levels. ("So is Jesus real, or is him just your dad dressed up?") He acts as though portraying "Santa Claus" in a negative light somehow is an act to bring down Christianity. If the movie was "Bad Jesus", he might have a point. (Actually, he still wouldn't - but he wouldn't seem quite as pathetic in his attempt to have one.)

and

2) Billy Bob Thorton is not playing Santa Claus in this movie. He's playing a con-man who gets a job as a mall Santa in order to rob the place. Certainly, we're allowed to undermine the sanctity of mall Santas, aren't we? I don't want to tell Mr. Piatak this - but that's not really him. He doesn't even work for him. It's just some old drunk in a suit, who probably enjoys the kids on his lap a bit too much. Your mother was just trying to keep the holiday magical - but I think you're old enough to learn the truth.

A few more points:
Pittsburgh is not a right-wing town. Hell, while we do *have* a mayoral election in the fall - and while there's always a Republican running - we all know that the Democratic primary is the real election around here. This is still a steel town, even though the industry's long gone - a union town - a Democrat town, to it's very core.

There are currently three radio stations playing Christmas music 24/7, both the country stations are mixing in god-awful Shania Twain covers of "Little Drummer Boy" and it's ilk, and most of the rock stations are mixing in Christmas music as well. (In fact, this close to Christmas, I'd be willing to bet they've gotten to the point where every third song is "Father Christmas" for this year.) Hell, I bet the rap station is at least playing "Christmas In Hollis".

In addition, the Allegheny County Courthouse has an enormous Christmas tree (referred to as "the Christmas tree".) They do also have a Menorah - which I'm sure offends some of you, but Pittsburgh does have a pretty big Jewish population and those of us living in the 21st Century understand that we can recognize other cultures without it somehow undermining our own. (It's not like anyone's gonna look at the menorah and say - "Aw man, fuck Christmas! I'm converting!", even though that is why Ann Coulter told me we can't legalize gay marriages - but that's a whole other thread I don't want to start.)

No one is trying to take away Christmas. No one wants to tell anyone what they can and can't celebrate any holiday - except, of course, right-wing Christians come Halloween, which I'm now going to co-opt and decide means that everyone to the right of Joe Lieberman wants to take Halloween away. Why won't Grimis let the children trick-or-treat?

Anyway, in closing - I may well be the furthest left on this board these days. I'm a liberal who will wear the label with pride. I've been campaigning for Howard Dean and I will work tirelessly to help George W. Bush only have one more Christmas in the White House.

I also have the only Christmas themed avatar I remember seeing on the board, have written a fucking essay in every Christmas themed thread that's popped up, actually enjoy Christmas shopping, and have listened to almost nothing besides the score of "A Charlie Brown Christmas", the first disc of "Now That's What I Call Christmas" and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the last three weeks.

People try to politicize everything - and it's really pissing me off that the right tries to co-opt Christmas, much like they somehow co-opted patriotism. (If you love America, you gotta hate gays and school funding!) It's fucking absurd.

What could be more liberal that Christmas - Jesus certainly wasn't a Republican (I really don't think he'd have gotten behind pre-emptive strikes and the death penalty, do you? His dad - maybe... He kinda had a temper, didn't he?), Santa Claus - what a liberal social program that is - he's just giving toys away! (Although, again I should point out that, much like Bush's tax cut, he always did seem to bring a lot more presents to the rich kids than the kids in the projects.) "Peace on Earth and goodwill towards man" - holy shit, why does Christmas hate America? Christmas can take all it's pinko Hollywood commie friends and go live in Iraq if it loves Hussein so much.

(That last paragraph was completely tounge-in-cheek, for those of you who are going to choose to take it at face value and attack me for it.)

Anyway, as Krusty the Clown said - "Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Kwazy Kwanzaa, Tip-Top Tet and solemn and dignified Ramadan".



"Be it Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Harvest or December 25th - peace on earth to everyone, and abundance to everyone you're with."
---Blues Traveler, "Christmas"
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#24 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by OlFuzzyBastard
    In addition, the Allegheny County Courthouse has an enormous Christmas tree (referred to as "the Christmas tree".) They do also have a Menorah - which I'm sure offends some of you, but Pittsburgh does have a pretty big Jewish population and those of us living in the 21st Century understand that we can recognize other cultures without it somehow undermining our own......No one is trying to take away Christmas.
This may be true in Pittsburgh, but in all of the cities and towns that make up the Peoples Republican of Montgomery County(for example), every muncipality bans the term Christmas Tree(remember Kensington, MD; the town that banned Santa from the Christmas Parade?)

The fact of the matter is that I, for one, don't have a problem with a Christmas tree AND a Menorah being on the lawn. But when schools can talk about Kwanzaa and Hanukah and Ramadan and all of this other stuff and are NOT allowed to mention Christmas(all of this is true incidentally; my mom works in an elementary school). That's sheer HYPOCRISY.

(edited by Grimis on 19.12.03 1022)


Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 177 days
Last activity: 177 days
#25 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.97
    Originally posted by Grimis
    The majority of the left has gotten so bad about being politically correct do we really need an excuse to demonize it; just walk outside and it's all around you.



This bothers me. Yes, lets blame all political correctness on 'the left'. And hell, not even leftist extremists, but the majority of the left. Because really, when it comes right down to it, we lefties might not control the White House, or congress, but beyond that we control everything else. Conservatives are a vast minority in this country, and are trying to fight back against the 'pervasive liberal hegemony'. If I didn't find it so disturbing that you actually believe this, it'd probably make me giggle. I'm sure some of you could provide me with actual data, but I'm just gonna make it up and say that the liberal/conservative split in this country is somewhere near 50/50. So what does that mean? That the big bad scary liberals need some help from the conservatvies in order to make everything PC enough to kill Christmas. But you don't really want to see that, do you? So you use two tiny little words, 'Liberal Media' and feel all cozy and safe with your blinders back on.

-Jag

Oh, and I find the word 'leftist' really rather offensive. Mainly because it's used in the same way as terrorist, racist, or cultist. I liked it much better before the right got all PC and used 'dirty hippies'.

(edited by Jaguar on 19.12.03 1031)


"I'm going to go now and demand beer money from my representative. We simply must deal with the problem of my sobriety." - PalpatineW
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 3012 days
Last activity: 225 days
#26 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by CRZ
      I'd like to think you at least HAVE an excuse for starting the thread over here. Do you?
    Yes. The fact of the matter is that the demonization of Christmas is for political(i.e. politically correct) reasons. There are societal reasons, but the reason we have "Holiday Trees" and that asinine PETCO commercial is because the politically correct of society have decided, for whatever reasons, that it is verboten. The societal destruction of Christmas involves Commercialization and so forth, but that's being going on for fifty years.


And it will go on for another fifty years, and another fifty after that, and another fifty after that. It's not as if Christmas was carved into Scripture and had been unchanged for centuries before Man invented shopping malls and screwed the whole thing up.

For all practical purposes, there is Santa Christmas and there is Jesus Christmas, celebrated simultaneously. It's not contradictory for religious families to celebrate both. Those who choose to may celebrate the birth of Christ, while the fat guy with the sled lets the heathens play, too. It's not as if the two are wholly incompatible, or as if Santa Christmas is the first "pagan" tradition that Christianity has assimilated.

Most of the Santa Christmas traditions (gift giving, trees, wreaths, caroling, stockings, ornaments, mistletoe, Yule logs, Christmas cards) came over with European immigrants. St. Nicholas himself may or may not have actually existed (some credit him as being a recycled pagan god, rather than a human being); his slow transformation to the "American" Santa can be largely credited to Washington Irving, Clement Moore and Thomas Nast, and he's had dozens of other incarnations in other countries.

The date of Christmas itself is an invention; the Bible specifies no month or date, for obvious reasons, and December 25th was not formally adopted until centuries later (coinciding with pagan Winter Solstice celebrations). Even then, many preferred (and still prefer) to celebrate January 6th instead.

(For those who wish to explore this further, Google calls.)

The "demonization" of Christmas revolves around a simple fact: as a general rule, our society makes a much bigger deal about Santa Christmas than about Jesus Christmas. Some devout Christians are upset that the "true meaning" of "their" holiday has been undermined, and doubly upset when people raise a fuss about public institutions and government formally endorsing Jesus Christmas. Their interpretation of Christmas doesn't have a monopoly on December celebrations any more. Well, that breaks MY heart!

I have no problem with government endorsing Santa Christmas (as a non-denominational, tradition-based holiday reflecting values and beliefs that both religious and secular citizens can get behind). I have a problem with government formally endorsing Jesus Christmas (a holiday directly based on religious belief).

None of that prevents _anyone_ from celebrating Christmas (or any other holiday) privately, however they choose to do it. Nobody's going door-to-door and locking up anyone who thinks that Jesus Christmas is the real "reason for the season." SWAT teams aren't breaking up Christmas Masses. But government and government-funded institutions shouldn't be in the role of endorsing specific religious beliefs -- PERIOD. (And I stand by that for all religions; if crosses get yanked but menorahs stay, that's questionable.)

If nothing else, enjoy the fact that "Christmas" in ANY incarnation (secular or religious) is widely celebrated in America, drawing attention to the Christian side of its origins, and that "Christmas music" stations bring more gospel to the airwaves than at any other time of year -- not that you couldn't hit seventeen Christian-themed stations with a thrown bread roll as you go up the AM dial anyway...

    Originally posted by Grimis
    The fact of the matter is that I, for one, don't have a problem with a Christmas tree AND a Menorah being on the lawn. But when schools can talk about Kwanzaa and Hanukah and Ramadan and all of this other stuff and are NOT allowed to mention Christmas(all of this is true incidentally; my mom works in an elementary school). That's sheer HYPOCRISY.



I agree that it's silly to pretend that Christmas in all its incarnations doesn't exist. If schools want to discuss the holiday season multiculturally (mentioning Christmas AND Hanukkah AND Ramadan AND similar holidays), that's one thing. But they'd need to be consistent; if they're going to talk about Christmas and Easter, talk about Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah and such. In for a penny, in for a pound.

And when that happens, how many minutes will it take for the first enraged parent to scream at the school board about how teachers were pushing HEATHEN RELIGIONS on their kids, because Junior drew a picture of a menorah in class and took it home to show Mom?



(edited by vsp on 19.12.03 0832)

"There were times when I intensely wanted to walk out of the theater and into the fresh air and look at the sky and buy an apple and sigh for our civilization, but I stuck it out." -- Roger Ebert
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 12 days
#27 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.79
    Originally posted by Grimis
    But when schools can talk about Kwanzaa and Hanukah and Ramadan and all of this other stuff and are NOT allowed to mention Christmas(all of this is true incidentally; my mom works in an elementary school). That's sheer HYPOCRISY.

    (edited by Grimis on 19.12.03 1022)


I keep saying this, and you keep ignoring it. Other people say it, you keep ignoring - one last time, and then I promise I am done:

THERE IS NO LEFT-WING MOVEMENT TO ELIMINATE CHRISTMAS. Not one activist I know would agree with what is happening at your Mom's elemenatry school (which I suspect is highly exaggerated, but assuming it's not). And if it is happening, then it SHOULDN'T.

Funny, but even during the course of this thread, from both sides, not one person thinks Christmas should be eliminated. People should be educated as to the other holidays, but not by the elimination of Christmas.

Stop putting this on the Left. Hell, I went to Christmas party that was hosted by a bunch of left-wingers just last week (complete with Christmas tree, ornament hangings, egg nog, and a viewing of A Junkie's Christmas by William Burroughs). Converntional no, but not one person said, "Gee, shouldn't we be celebrating Kwanza instead?."

A swear, if a dog pooped on your lawn you'd find a way to blame it on the Left.

(edited by Leroy on 19.12.03 1005)


"It's hard to be a prophet and still make a profit."
- Da Bush Babees

"Finally, a candidate who can explain the current administration's position on civil liberties in the original German."
- Bill Maher on Arnold Schwarzenneger

"You know, I'm a follower of American politics."
- President George W. Bush, 8 Aug 2003
Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#28 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by Leroy
    Not one activist I know would agree with what is happening at your Mom's elemenatry school (which I suspect is highly exaggerated, but assuming it's not). And if it is happening, then it SHOULDN'T.
But it IS happening. That's the problem. Who is doing it? Why is it happening? And why can't it be more like this school in New Jersey that seems to make everybody happy without a dictum from the government.

Incidentally, I agree with the notion that Christmas is not natural to December 25th; Jesus was born in August. But the first Thanksgiving was in October. Christmas, though, has been celebrated in December for roughly a millennium and a half. It is a tradition to celelbrate it for nearly 90 percent of the country. So what if we celebrate the birth of a diety? So what if it was really the birthday of Osiris?

Why do we need to piss Christmas away? You can deny it all you want, but it is happening.



vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 3012 days
Last activity: 225 days
#29 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Incidentally, I agree with the notion that Christmas is not natural to December 25th; Jesus was born in August. But the first Thanksgiving was in October. Christmas, though, has been celebrated in December for roughly a millennium and a half. It is a tradition to celelbrate it for nearly 90 percent of the country. So what if we celebrate the birth of a diety? So what if it was really the birthday of Osiris?

    Why do we need to piss Christmas away? You can deny it all you want, but it is happening.


Even though we're in agreement, I reserve the right to giggle over the fact that you just linked to one of the Church of Scientology's home pages.

Devil's advocate question: what percentage of that 90% are truly celebrating the birth of a deity, and what percentage are celebrating what I referred to as "Santa Christmas?" (I'll exempt kids from this question for fairness's sake. How many eight-year-olds will spend Christmas Eve dreaming about the baby Jesus, instead of straining to hear Santa on the roof and wondering what presents they're gonna get?)

Most people don't seem to have much of a problem with the secular aspects of Santa Christmas. (Nobody's picketing the mall because they're hosting Christmas sales and have a sit-with-Santa display but don't make a big deal out of Yom Kippur or Ramadan.)

When religious groups push to get Christian icons onto public/govt. property or into schools (whether it's Christmas items like Nativity scenes, or the Ten Commandments any time of year), they're finding more and more that non-Christians are pushing back, often to the point of forcing even secular reminders of Christmas to be removed.

When religious groups celebrate Christmas in their own way and on their own property... nobody seems to bother them.

Who's really "pissing away Christmas?"

EDIT: The NJ school you referenced does have the right idea; treat 'em all with respect, and few have any reason to complain. As you noted previously, a Christmas tree next to a menorah doesn't raise many hackles. (There aren't that many secular icons for Hanukkah, are there?)

But there are lots of people who get upset if the Nativity's not there... and others (thankfully, far fewer) who get upset if other religions ARE there.

Lots of places strike a reasonable balance. They just don't make the news when they do.


(edited by vsp on 19.12.03 1324)


"As far as my lack of professional courtesy and my obvious immature humor in referring to using your head as a pickle jar, well, I reserve my courtesy for those whom I respect. Your lack of personal integrity has given me much grief, and I find that thinking of your hollowed-out head sitting on top of my fridge and providing a safe haven for pickles is a comforting thought."
-- the immortal Bill Mattocks
Nate The Snake
Liverwurst








Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#30 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.65


And it lasted two weeks back then! Forget Xmas' transformation, who the heck changed a fortnight's worth of festivities into one day's worth of bingeing and football?

At least we have leftovers...

    Originally posted by Grimis
    Christmas, though, has been celebrated in December for roughly a millennium and a half. It is a tradition to celelbrate it for nearly 90 percent of the country. So what if we celebrate the birth of a diety? So what if it was really the birthday of Osiris?

    Why do we need to piss Christmas away? You can deny it all you want, but it is happening.


I've never particularly seen a problem with Xmas as the observance of Jesus' birthday, myself. I think it's just our current tendency to overcompensate for our percieved historical wrongs - Christians "stole" the Feast of Mithras, so now we must let the truth be known!!1!

Me, I wouldn't mind if stuff like that was more widely known, but shutting out one important aspect of the holiday (THE aspect, as far as Christians are concerned) is a little much. Next thing you know people'll try to force kids to attend school on President's Day since it's not REALLY Lincoln's birthday.

(edited by Nate The Snake on 19.12.03 1538)


Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#31 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by vsp
    When religious groups push to get Christian icons onto public/govt. property or into schools (whether it's Christmas items like Nativity scenes, or the Ten Commandments any time of year), they're finding more and more that non-Christians are pushing back, often to the point of forcing even secular reminders of Christmas to be removed.
And they should be. I have some falangists in my local GOP club. And they scare me. Hell, one of them got elected...

    Originally posted by vsp
    Even though we're in agreement, I reserve the right to giggle over the fact that you just linked to one of the Church of Scientology's home pages.
Shit...

(edited by Grimis on 20.12.03 0910)


DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#32 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.59
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by Leroy
      Not one activist I know would agree with what is happening at your Mom's elemenatry school (which I suspect is highly exaggerated, but assuming it's not). And if it is happening, then it SHOULDN'T.
    But it IS happening. That's the problem. Who is doing it? Why is it happening? And why can't it be more like this school in New Jersey that seems to make everybody happy without a dictum from the government.

    Incidentally, I agree with the notion that Christmas is not natural to December 25th; Jesus was born in August. But the first Thanksgiving was in October. Christmas, though, has been celebrated in December for roughly a millennium and a half. It is a tradition to celelbrate it for nearly 90 percent of the country. So what if we celebrate the birth of a diety? So what if it was really the birthday of Osiris?

    Why do we need to piss Christmas away? You can deny it all you want, but it is happening.


Grinis as I have pointed out to you before, the plural of anecdote is not data. The religous aspects of Christmas should be kept in the family and church. As a strong Christian I prefer it that way. Have some areas and institutions gone overboard? It would appear so, but that damn broad brush you and other conservatives want to paint with just doesn't have much paint. Those are issues that can be dealt with if the public involved has the balls and cares. Most don't

And even though it was said in jest, yes Christ was a leftist and extreme Liberal. The Right can deny it all they want, but read the New Testament. I find it amusing that the Right wants to paint the left as anti-Christian when a true leftist would be in strong agreement with Christ.

And when I was a kid 40 years ago, people said Happy Holidays often. It was said to denote both Christmas and New Years.

And the comment that Christians consider this the one special holiday of the year. Wrong. Even though its not a Federal holiday, most of us consider that one holiday Easter. We enjoy much of the Christmas scene witht he best of the pagans.



Perception is reality
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#33 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    And even though it was said in jest, yes Christ was a leftist and extreme Liberal. The Right can deny it all they want, but read the New Testament. I find it amusing that the Right wants to paint the left as anti-Christian when a true leftist would be in strong agreement with Christ.
The only thing I can think of that makes Jesus leftist would be "Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's" which is justifaction for higher taxes. Everything else in my interpreation in charity, tolerance, etc. has nothing to do with the government.

Of course, does it really matter?

(edited by Grimis on 20.12.03 0914)


DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 15 days
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#34 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.59
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by DrDirt
      And even though it was said in jest, yes Christ was a leftist and extreme Liberal. The Right can deny it all they want, but read the New Testament. I find it amusing that the Right wants to paint the left as anti-Christian when a true leftist would be in strong agreement with Christ.
    The only thing I can think of that makes Jesus leftist would be "Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's" which is justifaction for higher taxes. Everything else in my interpreation in charity, tolerance, etc. has nothing to do with the government.

    Of course, does it really matter?

    (edited by Grimis on 20.12.03 0914)


Grimis add to the leftist list the Beatitudes (meek inheriting the earth and all), turining the other cheek, giving your cloak and a whole host of other examples including tha it is easier for a camel to got hrough the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Really, both sides can point out examples to support their cause. My problem is the right has attempted to co-opt everything from patriotism and crime to God. The reality is IMO that both sides are patriotic, against crime and for God. They may have differnt approaches but neither side is against these things. And being right or left means more than just the governemnt and its policies, it should be a life style philosphy.



Perception is reality
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#35 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Incidentally, though I do credit the school for fixing it....

CMU jeered for anti-Santa Web warning
Thursday, December 18, 2003
BRYCE HOFFMAN
THE SAGINAW NEWS

MOUNT PLEASANT -- Ho, ho ... hold it.

Santa Claus banned on campus?

Some folks at Central Michigan University last week seemed to think so. The school's Affirmative Action Office posted a "Christmas Warning" on its online calendar to ward off displays of holiday cheer.

The advisory titled "How to celebrate Christmas without offense" has received statewide and national media attention for its seemingly extreme political correctness.

"It is inappropriate to decorate things with Santa Claus or reindeer or other 'Christmas' decorations,"
it said. "Good ideas for decorations during this time are snowflakes, snowpeople, poinsettias to give a feeling of winter."

The calendar did not contain warnings to behave appropriately for other cultural holidays in December, such as Hanukkah, Las Posadas and Kwanzaa.

CMU removed the warning Friday after President Michael Rao's office received a fax from the New York City-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights criticizing the site.

A written statement issued by League President William Donahue blasted the university.

"So if the multicultural Gestapo remove Santa, what do they do if they stumble on a Nativity scene -- smash it with their clubs?" it said.

CMU administrators did not know about the Web page, said spokesman Rich Morrison, who called the anti-Santa warning "over the top."

"When we learned of it, we took care of it," he said. "The bottom line is it was a mistake, and we fixed it.

"Using the word 'Christmas' and the word 'offend' or 'offensive' in the same sentence -- that just doesn't jibe. The tone was negative, and that's not the point. It should be positive."

Conservative radio hosts jeered the message, and Fox News called CMU for a possible story. Morrison said the network apparently has not aired anything.

Individual offices at CMU are responsible for producing Web content for the university, and pages are not reviewed by public relations staff or administrators prior to posting them online, Morrison said.

"CMU has more than 100,000 official Web pages," he said. "I don't know that anyone knew that this was up."

CMU replaced the stern Christmas-specific language with a softer "suggestion" advising the campus community to "please be sensitive and respectful of others of all cultural traditions."

The new advisory is online at www.cmich.edu/aaeo/holiday-suggestions.htm.

CMU's swift reaction suggests the school likely did not know about the anti-Christmas sentiments on its Web site, said Louis Giovino, director of communications for the Catholic League.

The organization discovered the note on CMU's diversity calendar while searching the Web for multicultural items, Giovino said.

"The diversity crowd is usually like this," he said. "They are really censors. Diversity is I say 'Happy Hannukah' to a Jewish friend, and he says 'Merry Christmas; to me. Diversity doesn't mean we don't say anything."

The News was not able to reach CMU Affirmative Action Officer Phyllis Powell.




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No damn it I am desperately waiting for Reindeer Games 2. What about all the lose ends of the movie? Don't leave us hanging Ben.
- Dahak, Affleck for Senate? (2004)
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