Thursday, December 15, 2005

Protect symbols of Christmas

DailyPress reports Saying Christmas is under attack, Virginia Rep. Jo Ann Davis sought passage Wednesday night of a resolution expressing support for "the symbols and traditions of Christmas." The largely symbolic resolution, scheduled for a House vote as early as today, triggered a partisan culture clash in the House chamber. Conservative Republicans applauded the measure, but many Democrats criticized it as religiously insensitive.

That is because they prefer to see the US become a secular country like much of Europe.
Davis, an outspoken Christian conservative from Gloucester, said she was spurred to act after seeing news reports of retailers telling their employees to wish customers a "happy holiday," instead of "Merry Christmas," and schools forbidding everything from Christmas plays to Santa Claus. "Christmas has been declared politically incorrect," Davis told colleagues on the House floor. "Any sign or even mention of Christmas in public can lead to complaints, litigation, protests and threats. America's favorite holiday is being twisted beyond recognition." Her resolution, if adopted, would put the House on record as supporting the use of Christmas symbols and traditions, while opposing "attempts to ban references to Christmas."
I agree with her, but will those symbols just be Christmas trees and Santa Claus, or will they include Nativity Scenes, and songs like Silent Night?
"It was just something that was burning inside me," Davis said in an earlier interview. "At what point did Christmas become so offensive?" But many Democrats protested the resolution, saying that Congress has no business praising one religious holiday over others.
No one is asking Congress to praise one religious holiday over others. Celebrate all of them.
"I'm offended by this," said Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., who's Jewish. "You've drawn me out. Why not protect my symbols?"
Which of your symbols are endangered? The Supreme Court has said that Nativity Scenes are ok on public property as long as they are part of a display that includes secular symbols like Santa, and symbols like your Mennorah.
Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y, asked Davis to amend her resolution to include symbols of other holidays, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but Davis refused.
That is a mistake (although she is right)
"The attack has not been on the menorah or any symbols of the other religions," Davis said, referring to the Jewish candelabrum used to celebrate Hanukkah. "I will leave it as the resolution stands." The divisive public battle appeared to surprise Davis, a Republican and member of the Assembly of God church. "I didn't realize there would be some opposition, but apparently, there is," she said before the House floor debate. An amended version of her resolution, which expressed support for Christmas symbols "for those who celebrate Christmas," did little to dampen the opposition. "You can always tell when the right wing is in trouble," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., who's Presbyterian. "They invariably cook up some kind of culture war."
And you can tell when the left wing is in trouble because they attack everything, including Christmas.
U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, D-Newport News, opposed Davis' resolution as a largely meaningless exercise. He said it masked what he suggested were immoral decisions by Congress to cut food stamps and Medicaid for the poor while cutting taxes for the wealthy. "What really needs to be protected is not the symbols of Christmas but the spirit of Christmas," Scott said.
Would that "spirit" include the person whose birth is being celebrated?
"We ought to express our passion for Christmas through deeds, not words."
Do both.
Conservatives insisted that the measure was needed to combat what they described as a growing assault on religious free speech. "There is a war against Christmas," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., who's Catholic. "Our children can't sing Christmas carols. They can only sing holiday tunes." But the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said, "This is possibly the silliest bill ever presented to the United States Congress.
I'm sure that is wrong. Congress passes many silly bills.
"If they honestly think there's some kind of war against Santa Claus or the baby Jesus, they are just not getting out enough."
How many nativity scenes do you see on either government property or on commercial property by companies wanting Christians to buy things in their stores? Some school districts have even outlawed the colors red and green.

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