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HOLIDAYS: Christmas is an American tradition

Letter by Janice L. Bellingar, Auburn on Dec. 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm with 66 Comments »
December 7, 2011 1:49 pm

We are continually told what is politically correct, that we must be careful about what we say and how we display our religious beliefs, even if we are showing no particular religious sect, but only beliefs steeped in American tradition.

Christmas is an American tradition just as much as a religious holiday, celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians. To take away the decorated tree, poinsettias, Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas carols, or the nativity scene is to take away the heart of America.

This would be no different than if Mexico declared that the piñata can no longer be displayed or enjoyed openly, because it might offend somebody.

For those that don’t like the old-time American traditions, start your own traditions. But let’s not take away what has been enjoyed and celebrated by millions throughout the centuries.

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Leave a comment Comments → 66
  1. beerBoy says:

    More war on Christmas nonsense……

  2. muckibr says:

    Nobody is taking away your right to celebrate or enjoy Christmas, Janice. But, you do have to realize that, American tradition or not, Christmas is a Religious Observance first and foremost, and as such, there is always going to be some non-Christian who is going to have a problem with CHRISTmas.

    My solution. Ignore them. If they don’t like Christmas, they don’t have to join in on the celebration. I’m not forcing them to, and no one I know of is forcing anyone to celebrate Christmas who doesn’t want to. Just like no one is forcing me to celebrate Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa or anyone else’s celebration.

    Freedom, in America, means the right to celebrate the way one wishes to according to one’s own religious or non-religious beliefs. That’s the only Politically Correct I accept.

    Merry Christmas y’all!

  3. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Boycott any business that does not say Merry Christmas.

    Old Navy, American Eagle Company, Best Buy, Banana Republic and Gap.

  4. muckibr says:

    Please disregard the boycott nonsense. This is AMERICA dammit! If somebody does not want to say “Merry Christmas” he or she has that right. Just ignore it. Maybe they are Jewish! If so, why should they be required to jump on the Merry Christmas bandwagon.

    I say again, THIS IS AMERICA, and we are all free to believe as we want to believe. If you think people should boycott those who don’t say “Merry Christmas” then you are UN-American! And that’s that!

    Happy Hanukkah y’all!

  5. surething says:

    “This would be no different than if Mexico declared that the piñata can no longer be displayed or enjoyed openly, because it might offend somebody.”

    What?

  6. muckibr says:

    surething, Haven’t you seen the “Save The Piñata” bumperstickers? Yah, its all about piñatas being representative of animals, and anti-cruelty to animals and like that. A person who smacks the heck out of a piñata is the same kind of person who would smack the heck out of a poor animal. It’s very offensive.

    I don’t know what piñatas have to do with Christmas though.

    Feliz Navidad y’all!

  7. Here we go again….Reminders of the Pacific Northwest Liberal Loon “We Hate Christmas..AND WalMart…and Santa Claus is a Republican” crowd! HAAA!

    It’s Christmas for cryin out loud. 99% of Americans call it Christmas, and Christmas is what it will be.

    All the rest of you feel good PC crowd just Happy Holiday yourselves to your hearts content! HAAA!! Sheesh!

  8. RW98512 says:

    yesterday, TaxedEnough was raving about the Freedom in America. Today he want’s to penalize those that don’t say what he wants them to say.

    Conservative hypocracy? You betcha!

    I thought Christmas celebrations began well before 1776. I guess you learn something new everyday. Thanks, Letter writer!

  9. Now I have fears…..night sweat, tremble producing fears…. of giant wandering Pinatas parading our streets, stumbling blindly like lost zombies hunting for our brains!!!!!!

  10. RW98512 says:

    “99% of Americans call it Christmas”

    since 2.2% of Americans are Jewish, the above is incorrect. Then there are the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc…..

  11. sandblower says:

    Sorry Janice, I don’t see the problem. They started Christmas before Thanksgiving around here. Even that is too soon for me.

  12. muckibr says:

    Janice wrote at the end of her letter, “For those that don’t like the old-time American traditions, start your own traditions.”

    Darn tootin!

    You got a problem with Christmas, then do your own thing.

    Festivus for the Rest Of Us, y’all!

  13. took14theteam says:

    Try they started Christmas before Halloween and you would be more correct.

  14. Haaa RW98512….You fell for it!! I just knew that within mere minutes, there would be at least one local PC manager who would be just anal enough to correct me!

    Okay, so let me rephrase my earlier comment….The VAST MAJORITY of Americans call it Christmas, and by golly even if they dont celebrate it, I’ll wager a bet that most of those of the Jewish faith you mentioned refer to it as Christmas too, simply because that is what we call it in this country! (Uh Oh! I dang near fergetted the Muslims and Buddists!!)

    I really, REALLY would like to know, how many of those “non-Christians” actually fret and lose sleep if the rest of us call it Christmas? I tend to doubt many would! Those sleepless nights most likely land on the shoulders of those out to save them! Haaa!

    Good luck saving the world there Ol’ RW! ;)

  15. sandblower says:

    I also strongly vote for Festivus.

  16. denismenis says:

    Another pre-emptive shot on the imaginary war on Christmas.

    I don’t care how people say it, I’d rather be happy enough to accept the greeting in lieu of issuing a litmus test as to whether it’s “appropriate” enough.

    Get over it.

  17. Marry Chri$tma$ to one and all.

  18. aislander says:

    Actually, Christmas seems to be the piñata…

  19. aislander says:

    Really, the Constitution speaks only about “establishment of religion,” but based on the behavior of those who WROTE the document, there was no proscription about celebrating, stressing, or even endorsing religion…

  20. Dave98373 says:

    America has been long out of control in the PC department. Christmas is just an obvious one. However, as long as there are organizations that profit from PC-related issues we unfortunately are going to have to endure more of this garbage.

  21. Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, sexually non-specific-oriented, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice any religion at all!

    Additionally,
    have a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, color, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.

    (Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to further clarification or immediate withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or to others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)

    P.S. The whole damn world is ending on December 21st, 2012 anyway, so screw it! Until then, let’s party like it’s 1999 y’all!

  22. beerBoy says:

    Christmas is not a Christian holiday for the majority of Americans. I mean…sure…they have the creche with the little baby Jesus but the main event is Santa and rioting on Black Friday in a ritual of the Consumerist sect of the Market religion that worships the great god Invisible Hand.

    Christmas originally wasn’t a national holiday – the Christians were worried that that would tart up the holy day – and besides, any Christian knows that Easter is the big day.

  23. RW98512 says:

    “Haaa RW98512….You fell for it!! I just knew that within mere minutes, there would be at least one local PC manager who would be just anal enough to correct me!”

    Hey, if it helps you save face….

    There is nothing that the bigoted hate worse than facts.

  24. RW98512 says:

    http://www.thercg.org/books/ttooc.html

    A Christian take on “Christmas”

  25. beerBoy says:

    from the link provided by RW:

    Did you know that even the seventeenth century Puritans of New England understood how wrong Christmas was? They actually banned its observance by law, in 1659, throughout the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Fines and imprisonment could result from being found keeping it. It was almost 200 years (1856) before people stopped working on Christmas in Boston. The Puritans knew its roots and labeled it “heathen, papist idolatry.”

  26. LarryFine says:

    The war is being fought on several fronts. Time to reclaim it…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVqqj1v-ZBU

  27. Bandito says:

    This piñata smells more like a strawman.Cry me a river, Janice.

  28. muckibr says:

    This year, instead of a Christmas Tree, we should all consider decorating a Mayan Calendar.

  29. nothing like “old time religion”, huh, beerBoy?

  30. BlaineCGarver says:

    Oh, Geeeez…..it’s Merry Christmas for most of us. If you’re wished a happy “anything else”, smile and say thank you….that so damn hard??? LMAO

  31. BlaineCGarver says:

    BTW, Max Doom on those that try to control by law other’s right to celebrate what they wish when they wish. There is NO mention of any separation of church and state in the constitution.

  32. There is always one, with little understanding of the Bill of Rights, who makes the foolish comment when the “separation of state from church ” provision of The Constitution is mentioned. I blame this on a failure of the American education system to properly educate the young’uns on the basic tenets of our government.

    Therefore, here is the obvious lesson that was missed in “somebody’s” edumacation…

    The phrase “separation of church and state” (sometimes “wall of separation between church and state”), attributed to Thomas Jefferson and others, and since quoted by the Supreme Court of the United States, expresses an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”, while Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    That is to say, just because the specific words “separation of church and state” are not actually written verbatim in the text of The Constitution, the INTENT of those words and that meaning are IN FACT in there, and have been since it was first written.

    And, more precisely, the intent is actually to separate the state from the church, rather than the other way around.

    Joyous Noel, y’all!

  33. Blaine – you follow one intelligent post “If you’re wished a happy “anything else”, smile and say thank you” immediately with a meaningless one.

    “Separation of Church and State” is a phrase attributed to Thomas Jefferson (you know, the Founder who wrote the Declaration of Independence)

    In its 1879 Reynolds v. United States decision, the court allowed that Jefferson’s comments “may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment.” In the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote, “In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.”

  34. RW98512 says:

    taxedenoughintacoma says:
    Dec. 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm Boycott any business that does not say Merry Christmas.

    Old Navy, American Eagle Company, Best Buy, Banana Republic and Gap.

    and then

    BlaineCGarver says:
    Dec. 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm BTW, Max Doom on those that try to control by law other’s right to celebrate what they wish when they wish.

    Amazing

  35. RW98512 says:

    Separation of Church and State – according to Conservatives, MUST be in direct language in the Constitution. The phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” doesn’t work.

    Right to Bear Arms – delete “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” and interpret the rest as it suits your personal desire.

    This is how the Conservatives teach the Constitution.

  36. muckibr says:

    RW… We also know that the Right Wingers here also have a problem with the First Amendment statement insuring “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” since they seem to have a huge problem with the Occupy Movement in any location, not just Wall Street.

    First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    In fact, there’s a lot in there that the Conservatives have a problem with in specific regard to the Occupy Movement.

    No wonder they have such and issue with Freedom Of Religion and Christmas alternatives!!! I’d guess they’d like to just do away with the First Amendment and replace it with something like…

    America is Christian. Love it of Leave it! Merry Christmas!!!

  37. aislander says:

    Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists was taken wildly out of context in order to write “separation of church and state” into the Constitution through an act of de facto legislation by the Supreme Court. The fact that Jefferson authorized and attended Christian religious services in the Capitol debunks the more novel interpretations of his and the other Founders’ intentions…

    The Northwest Ordinance (considered a predicate of the Bill of Rights) states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    That is encouragement and endorsement of religion with establishing a religion…

  38. aislander says:

    Should have read: “…withOUT establishing a religion.”

  39. RW98512 says:

    America is Christian. Love it or Leave it! Merry Christmas!!!

    Good one, muckibr! LOL

  40. citizen65 says:

    Easy solution.
    If you are affended by a company’s refusal of Christmas, don’t shop there. Remember it for the next year and write letters to the company stating your position.
    If you appreciate a company’s political correctness, shop there. Remember it for the rest of the year and write letters to the company stating your position.
    It’s a democracy. The important parts of both positions are the last two. Make it stick and write letters. Every year we hear the same complaints. How many of the complainers are back shopping by February and never let the company know their problem?

  41. Aislander says, “The fact that Jefferson authorized and attended Christian religious services in the Capitol debunks the more novel interpretations of his and the other Founders’ intentions…”

    Aye, aye, aye. A President attending church debunks nothing, as proven by the President who, although he and his family attended Christian services in the Capitol and were baptised, they were nevertheless, unable to debunk the novel interpretations of their Muslim intentions.

  42. beerBoy says:

    In 1797, the United States Senate ratified a treaty with Tripoli that stated in Article 11:

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_the_United_States

  43. I always find this interesting in a funny sort of way. Take those Muslims, and Buddhists. Put ‘em together in a room and get em talking about THEIR holiday. Probably never get the conversation started. Because its no big deal to either of them what the other celebrates.

    But get a batch of American Atheists with a handful of PC Managers and put them with a bunch of Christians and watch the fireworks begin. And frankly if the Christians were left in peace to celebrate their holiday, you wouldn’t hear a word from them either.

    The PC Managers need to crawl their super sensitive, world-as they see it-saving butts back under the rocks they crawled from, and the Atheists…..Well heck, if there is no God as you say, then what on earth are you spending so much time crying about something that “doesn’t exist”?

    Sheesh.

  44. ……after re-reading my post I’m sure it wont be long before someone has those Muslims whacking the heads of those Buddhists, but I thinks I’ll just let someone else run with that ball.

    Ya ask me EVERYBODY just needs to mind their own silly business about this stuff, and if someone has the audacity to wish you a Merry Christmas, just take it as the well intended greeting its probably offered as, and go on about your day.

    I swear, I wish I had half the energy that is spent by so many people just being OFFENDED!

  45. Murigen says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings have all been used for this season here in America. If a business wants to hang decorations that say Happy Holidays they are being just as American as the business that hangs up Merry Christmas. Greeting cards have also used all three greetings…including Happy/Merry Yule.

    Christmas in church is a religious observance. In public it’s secular and in the home it can be either.

  46. beerBoy says:

    To take away the decorated tree, poinsettias, Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas carols, or the nativity scene is to take away the heart of America.

    The origin of Christmas is from Saturnalia – a Roman holiday
    The decorated tree originated in Germany but goes back to pagan Egyptian honoring of evergreens
    Poinsettias are of Mexican origin.
    Santa Claus was Turkish
    Reindeer are from the Lapps in Finland
    Christmas Carols….many have no mention of the birth and come from various countries
    the Creche (Nativity Scene) comes from St. Francis of Assisi.

    So…the heart of America is Roman, German, Egyptian, Mexican, Turkish, Lapp, Italian and various other cultures…..sounds about right.

  47. muckibr says:

    Murigen, excellent post! Especially the wrap-up: “Christmas in church is a religious observance. In public it’s secular and in the home it can be either.”

    Perfect!

    beerBoy, again another informative and educational set of facts that will no doubt sail right over the heads of those who don’t want to be bothered by the facts. In short, Christmas, like America itself, is a “melting pot” of people and their traditions. How could it not be more American?

    Nice job!

  48. aislander says:

    Christmas carols such as “Silent Night,” “O, Little Town of Bethlehem,” “O, Holy Night,” “Come All Ye Faithful,” et many al were once taught and sung in our public schools, and not that long ago. The fact that Christmas songs, such as “Deck the Halls” (with bowdlerized lyrics) are all that are allowed to remain of that cultural tradition is prima facie evidence of the waging of that war…

  49. Not sure how the specific songs being taught in SCHOOL have anything to do with the central mission of the school – you know, teaching.

  50. aislander says:

    Cultural literacy, beerBoy…

  51. So you are in support of arts education then!

  52. aislander says:

    It is important to understand how the various arts movements relate to subversive political ones, so I am in favor of teaching art history, as well as various artistic techniques. Art itself, however, is no guarantor of a humanistic weltanshauung, as proven by a certain Austrian…

  53. aislander says:

    Crap. The italics didn’t close. Sorry…

  54. One of the most brilliant art exhibits was the Nazi display of “Degenerate” art in an attempt to denigrate it. Their competing exhibit of “good” German art contained works that are only remembered for being rather kitschy and of no importance.

    Attempts to impose/control a humanistic weltanshauung oftentimes leads to the direct opposite.

    The most important thing about arts education is to train young minds in creative problem solving. Yes there are other elements, including an understanding of historical/cultural significance of works but, when it comes to what this nation needs in its young workforce it is essential that we have many who can see multiple possible solutions, not just regurgitate the one right answer that has been memorized for the test.

  55. Of course, the Nazis had a narrow race/nation-based weltanshauung steeped in pseud0-religious mythology which is antagonistic to a humanistic viewpoint.

  56. aislander says:

    Futurist art was associated with the Italian Fascists, while socialist realism went with the Soviets and the Nazis. Bauhaus appealed to socialists, while the entire Romantic movement went along with a rejection of the enlightenment that was in concord with the Nazi and other socialist movements.

    Until Romanticism and its offspring, art mostly was a civilizing force, rather than a revolutionary one…

  57. Where would Christians be without someone to assist them in their efforts to become martyrs?

  58. Sigh……

    I shouldn’t be surprised that aislander sees the purpose of art is to look back to and reinforce a classical aesthetic. And that, to that end, he has put forward a simplistic, simple-minded caricaturization of major art movements.

  59. Of course aislander, seeing the worth of arts simply based upon their political slant is rather Marxist of you….

  60. aislander says:

    Only since the advent of the Marxist mantra that everything is political, beerBoy, has it been necessary to judge art in those terms. So…which is preferable: to put art in the service of that classical aesthetic, or in the service of dehumanizing political movements?

  61. What I find funny about all this stuff every year, is that the people who complain about those nasty Christians doing this time of year in celebration of their beliefs, but they dont make any mention of what any other groups believe….EXCEPT THEY want the rest of us to make sure THEY get to spout off about what THEY think.

    I’m just gonna do what THEY do, and celebrate this Holiday season the way I do…..I’ll just do it QUIETLY.

  62. “So…which is preferable: to put art in the service of that classical aesthetic, or in the service of dehumanizing political movements?”

    What is favorable is to promote the largest individual freedoms – including the freedom of expression of artists.

  63. aislander says:

    So…while we are promoting these individual freedoms (which I favor) what do we do about government’s supporting and promoting art that carries an agenda–either promoting an ideology OR subverting the culture to make space for a “new, improved” culture?

  64. You know, of course, that the US got into offering support (small as it is when compared to other countries) to the arts as part of the efforts in the Cold War.

  65. aislander says:

    That is relevant only to the extent that we copied the methods of tyrants in order to resist tyranny. That is both ironic and ineffective, and we didn’t need to do it: we already had Norman Rockwell, whom the market preferred, obviously. He didn’t need a subsidy…

  66. Maybe I just think of things differently……but I kinda find it a little weird that some old coot with a wife who keeps him locked up all year, then ONE NIGHT she lets him out on the loose, where he runs around in red clothes with a screwy reindeer sidekick, (and we know what red noses indicate!!!)and jump around on peoples roofs all night, not to mention sneaking inside through a chimney to steal cookies! You ask me this guy is just bizarrre!

    So its PARTY TIME!!!!!!!!! :D

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