Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

Recommended Photo Store
 
Buy Through Our Amazon Link or Banner to Support This Blog
 
 
 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • The War On Christmas

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on November 19th, 2004 (All posts by )

    Secular extremists are on the warpath again and the location of this year’s pogrom is Maplewood, New Jersey. The battleground, as usual, is the school. The object of their contempt: Christmas. Just for starters, it’s no longer to be referred to as Christmas. Can’t have that. It’s now to be referred to as a “holiday season”. How inclusive.

    Schools planning “holiday season” programs have been instructed to not include any icons or images in their pamphlets or concert programs that might be construed as religious symbols; for example, Christmas trees or dreidels. That might be offensive to someone and might also be construed as promoting a particular religion. Children are so impressionable, you know. And sensitive to the mere mentioning of religions to which they may not belong.

    I can’t resist stopping for one brief second to point out that the word holiday is merely a contraction of the words holy day. Clearly the secular extremists aren’t paying close enough attention to details. If you’re going to wage a proper pogrom, at least be creative enough to invent some Orwellian euphemism with which to replace the nasty, unprogressive words “Christmas season”. Referring to holy days clearly won’t do.

    On the hit list this year is any performance of traditional Christmas (oops, I mean “holiday season”) music that contains, or even implies, any reference to religion. I say “implies” because even the instrumental versions of traditional Christian Christmas songs have been banned. In the article District bans instrumental Christmas carols we read:

    Instead of tunes about Jesus, and even Santa Claus, the 40-member Columbia High School brass ensemble will be limited for the first time to seasonal selections such as “Winter Wonderland” and “Frosty the Snowman,” the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

    Superintendent Peter P. Horoschak explained the brass ensemble’s Christmas carols have slipped under the radar since the policy was adopted in the 1990s. A few have complained about it, he said, and this year the district is trying to be proactive.

    “Rather than try to respond to all the various religions and try to balance them, it’s best to stay away from that and simply have a nonreligious tone to them and have more of a seasonal tone,” he told the Star-Ledger.

    A seasonal tone? And what season would that be, Peter? It’s certainly not Christmas. Must be winter.

    A citizen weighs in with these caring thoughts:

    …a parent of three children in the district said the policy might be “a little excessive” but worries that people who don’t observe Christmas, such as Jews and Hindus, might feel left out of the school activity.

    Poor dears. They could be scarred for life. You leave them alone, you nasty old Christmas celebrating meanies. Funny thing is, most of the immigrants I know love to celebrate Christmas. They put up trees, give presents, like Christmas music, the works. They don’t seem scarred to me. Nor do I think they feel compelled to religious conversion. They just have fun. Odd, that. Probably need to be re-educated.

    Dawn Eden, commenting in The New York Post, was more nostalgic:

    It’s a terrible loss, for the town and the kids.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I missed the era of institutionalized celebration of Christianity in schools. Back when my Jewish father went to public school, it wasn’t unusual for the kids to have to sing hymns like “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

    Even when I was growing up — under the modern rules that require religious music to be presented in a secular setting, as an expression of tradition rather than a devotional exercise — it wasn’t always easy being a Jewish kid in the chorus. The Christmas songs went on about Jesus, while the Hanukkah music usually got no deeper than “dreidel, dreidel, dreidel.” But things changed when I joined the concert choir at Maplewood’s Columbia HS.

    I knew something was up when Mr. Fenstermacher, the choir director, handed out the music we’d learn for the concert. Besides the usual carols and Hanukkah songs, we got two fat libretti: Handel’s “Messiah” and “Judas Maccabaeus.”

    For a 14-year-old, just looking at the swirling and overlapping musical notes was daunting. But I learned those songs and got a better education in sight-singing than I could ever have gotten from the pop fluff normally given to public-school choral students. A few years later, that education would help me pass an audition to enter New York University’s music-business program.

    Performing in front of the townspeople, I also learned something about the power of inspirational music to bring people together. I knew that the lyrics about the Messiah weren’t about my religion’s Messiah. Yet I couldn’t help but be moved at how Handel’s intensely beautiful music, sung by teenagers in intricate four-part harmony, had such an uplifting effect on the listeners, many also not Christian. It was an awesome thing to sing the opening notes of the “Hallelujah Chorus” and see the entire audience rise as one.

    This year… Out are Handel, the Jewish hymn “Ma’oz Tzur” and “Joy to the World.” In are generic seasonal tunes like “Winter Wonderland” and “Frosty the Snowman.” From the sublime to the mediocre.

    Many parents are outraged, and they should be. Their children will miss out on some of the most challenging and enriching musical experiences of their high-school career — all to satisfy administrators who’d rather please no one than make the effort to oversee a culturally diverse and rich holiday program.

    But all is not roses in secular pogrom land:

    Even First Amendment lawyer Ron Kuby, an avowed atheist, is on the side of the angels. “Unfortunately, it’s always easier to stifle the speech than to risk a lawsuit,” he says. “But this serves no one’s interest. It infuriates the religious community without any corresponding benefit to maintaining the separation between church and state.”

    So yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. There’s just no Christ in Christmas. And stop whistling that Christmas song, you right-wing, fundamentalist, fanatical little brat. Have you no compassion? Happy Holidays!

     

    35 Responses to “The War On Christmas”

    1. incognito Says:

      I’ve made it a point every Christmas to say “Merry Christmas” instead of the pc “happy holidays”.

    2. Cafe HedonistiX Says:

      Extreme Secularism?

      This one from the Chicago Boyz:

    3. Lex Says:

      I send my kids to Catholic school. I pay twice. I can see why someone can say, I don’t want my tax money being used to celebrate a religion I don’t believe in. I agree. I say, I don’t want my tax money going to a school system which teaches things I don’t believe in, either, or which degrades the things I do believe in. Except I have to.

      The logical end state is we privatize the schools, or create vouchers so parents can cause their children to be educated in environments which do not demean their beliefs without financial penalty.

      More Leftist stupidity. The public schools are on thin ice now. And they continue to push this. They fail at their core mission, but they go out of their way to not even accomodate the majority’s religion. It is possible to treat everyone’s religion with respect. But saying you cannot even pronounce the name of the day Jesus Christ is not even extending minimal respect — it is open hostility. I resent paying for a system which chooses to be the enemy of my religion. Many millions of people think like me.

      There is already a Catholic school system. It’s not all that good, in most places. But it is better than the public schools in a lot of ways in most places. The answer is not homeschooling. The answer is a mass opt-out. 38% of the population of this country are “born again”. If they all walked into their town meetings, voted a zero budget for the local schools, gave themselves a property tax cut, and then organized private, denominational schools, probably buying the former public school building, that would be a political earthquake. It might happen. There is nothing stopping it. I hope it does.

      The American public school system is a Brezhnevite travesty which will disintegrate under the weight of its own failings. The sooner the better.

      I say, push back hard if something like this implicates you or your kids. The harder everyone pushes, the sooner the whole rotten system could come down.

    4. lindenen Says:

      It’s funny we were just discussing the ACLU and secular fascists at http://www.janegalt.net. The ACLU is attacking the Boy Scouts again. Religious issues are discussed as well.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      As a non-Christian I much prefer other groups’ frank expressions of religiosity, as opposed to the sorts of mush-headed public-school attempts to pretend that Americans really are all alike and that we share some kind of nondenominational “holiday spirit.” Well, we aren’t and we don’t. The “holiday season” is about Christmas and everyone knows it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we’ll have fewer problems if we stop pretending otherwise.

      There is no solution to the problem of reconciling public-school Christmas celebrations with non-Christians who don’t like them. The old system of (sometimes) making the Jews (nowadays that would read: Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists and Wiccans) go along with it is unacceptable. The new system of prohibiting all religious expression, and thereby abusing the Christian majority, is worse. The only good way to deal with this issue is to privatize the schools. I share Lex’s hope for a popular uprising.

      Note that I don’t mind if they hold Christmas concerts in the public square. No one is being forced to attend, which is not the case WRT schools.

      We’d have fewer problems if we didn’t pretend that all men are brothers etc. Americans share a political and civic culture but not always a religious one (though our civic culture has religious elements). There are still lots of differences between us, which is good. It makes life more interesting. Christians should be able to observe a major religious holiday without pretending to share it with groups for whom it means nothing. Members of those groups might feel better if Christmas didn’t take on quasi-civic trappings. I’d rather celebrate diversity, to borrow a phrase, than engage in PC pretense.

    6. Richard A. Heddleson Says:

      Having come from a district where there were so many observant Jews that school was closed for Local Holiday on Yom Kippur as well as Winter Break near Christmas, I always wondered to whom we were giving thanks on Thanksgiving. The next target I suspect, especially with all those Puritans involved.

      The only solution is to get government out of the business of telling people how and what to think. End government schools!

    7. incognito Says:

      I voted no on every single funding initiative for public schools in my local measures on Nov 2. X high school needs improvements? no. New bond? no. New tax? no.

    8. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      …saying you cannot even pronounce the name of the day Jesus Christ is not even extending minimal respect — it is open hostility.

      Got that right, Lex. Of course, if it were ‘Womens Studies Month’ or ‘Black History Month’ or some other politically correct month we’d be hearing PSA’s on the radio about it. There’d be posters in the school lobby and essay contests and scholarships handed out. But Christmas? Don’t even say the word. It’s the biggest holiday in the Western world, but let’s all pretend it doesn’t exist, shall we?

      The logical end state is we privatize the schools, or create vouchers so parents can cause their children to be educated in environments which do not demean their beliefs without financial penalty.

      I couldn’t agree more. I like the voucher idea. I want all kids to have access to quality education and I think society benefits tremendously when the maximum number of children get the best posssible education. Everyone – yes, I mean everyone – should pay into the education pool, which is collected at the state level. Each student is allocated a given number of dollars for education. The parents decide how and where that education money is to be spent.

      There is no church versus state issue since individual parents are making their own particular choices. Schools will be forced to compete for students and funding dollars, driving up quality and moderating costs. The free market can be a wonderful thing.

      Maryland recently elected its first Republican governor in 30 years, Bob Ehrlich. Unfortunately, he’s apparently decided the school voucher idea is just too controversial to take up in his first term. Grrrr.

    9. PJ Says:

      When polls show that 85% of Americans want to celebrate Christmas, why the repression? Why is sharing our culture bad? I think it’s preemptive chickening out by bureaucrats as they watch their TVs noting the latest ACLU stsings rooting out all those unlawful Christmas trees!

      I’m not even devout, a cultural Catholic, but I email all my catalog vendors back saying, “Thanks for your interesting catalog, but I will only be spending my Christmas dollars at stores that actually mention Christmas.” I told Nordstrom that as well about their big green “giving” (not Christmas” tree.

      Fight back! Separate schools, holidays, and neighborhoods will bring us only the Balkans.

    10. Mitch Says:

      My daughter has a hard time with the school lunch policy. There is no refrigeration for the kids’ lunch bags, so naturally she went with peanut butter in its many delicious manifestations. Then, because a couple of kids were allergic to peanuts, they set up a peanut-free zone in the cafeteria. Also, homemade cookies and snacks for birthdays and holidays were banned, lest they contain the dreaded nut. Finally, because one kid allegedly licked her fingers after handling a book handled previously by a peanut butter consumer, the entire school was declared peanut-free. The kid in question suffered no medical problems, but her mother was hysterical and had a lawyer on speed-dial. So now the schoolkids either risk food poisoning by bringing perishable food from home, or eat whatever the school dishes out.

      I mention this by way of analogy. There are apparently some kids (or their parents) who believe exposure to the slightest trace of religion will will send the kid into anaphylactic shock. To accommodate these hypersensitive souls, the rest of the kids either get nothing but the secular leftist twaddle the schools dish out, or if their parents undertake their moral and religious education, they hear nothing supporting this and much contradicting it at school. This is establishing the religion of leftist secularism, and a jihad against us infidels who do not subscribe to it.

    11. Brock Says:

      What Mr. Hiteshaw said. Every word.

      I really think issues like this is what will drive hordes of voters into the private school system.

    12. Jonathan Says:

      PJ, who said anything about the Balkans? I am talking about respectful mutual recognition, and indeed appreciation, of religious differences, which is what Americans mainly practice already. That’s the antithesis of the Balkans. What bothers me are 1) the secularist jihad and 2) the bureaucratic response to the secularist jihad, which is to go to absurd lengths to avoid discrimination complaints by prohibiting authentic religious practice, while pretending that a bowdlerized version of the majority religion is not really religion and is somehow appropriate for everyone in the society.

      I might add that while it is true that most Americans want to celebrate Christmas, not everyone does, and one is more likely to gain the political cooperation of the ones who don’t if one recognizes their concerns. Some of the ACLU’s supporters are no doubt anti-religious bigots, but most of them are probably people who are concerned that the majority’s views will be imposed on the minority. A live-and-let-live attitude on the part of the majority goes a long way toward allaying such concerns. Complaints about how the minority are being spoilsports are counterproductive.

    13. jrdroll Says:

      Leftists as puritans:

      In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas.
      http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/christmas/real3.html

    14. Yehudit Says:

      Thank you, Jonathan, for your voice of sanity.

      Can we distinguish between genuine religious expression and “holiday season” commercialism? Most of the “Christmas holiday” crap us non-Christians find oppressive is the constant music and iconography in the department stores, TV, radio, etc. I know Christians who are just as put off by it, since it has nothing to do with actual Christmas. I am just as put off by commercial Hanukkah drek which has nothing to do with a minor Jewish holiday which has been blown up out of proportion to compete with exactly this commercialized Christmas drek.

      In my ideal world each person in a public school would be able to explain their holiday customs to their classmates, and adhere to them, in a dignified way, and the whole community would be enriched by the diversity. Christians are currently one group of many in very diverse immigrant-heavy communities, although they have a near monopoly in other communities. If we were past our sensitivities about injustices of the past, we would just let that be what it is.

    15. dick Says:

      Jonathan,

      You are asking for a live and let live on the part of the majority. How about a live and let live on the part of the minority? Why is it fair to have to ban a celebration because one person might hear something religious and thereby stopping the majority from celebrating their holiday? It becomes a tyranny of the minorities and that is what we are having to put up with all over the country.

      You are forcing the majority to live a lie to protect the tender sensibilities of a minority when you really don’t even know whether the minority really wants the lie in the first place. The whole thing is beyond ludicrous.

      They had this problem in Lakewood, NJ a few years ago. Lakewood has a rather large minority of Orthodox Jews and at the time the mayor was jewish. The City Council forced the city not to allow the traditional Christmas tree to be displayed beside the lake that gives the town its name. At the same time they permitted a menorah to be displayed there. The result was that the menorah was burned down every night after they lit it and the city spent a lot of money trying to find out who was destroying the menorah. The problem was not the menorah. The problem was the minority tyrannizing the majority by not permitting the Christmas tree.

    16. Yehudit Says:

      “The problem was not the menorah. The problem was the minority tyrannizing the majority by not permitting the Christmas tree.”

      Seems to me the problem is privileging one celebration over another. I would not agree with putting up the menorah right after banning the Christmas tree. That’s just rubbing it in. You put up both or neither.

      I just want to say I love all the lights on people’s homes, and driving around to look at them. Actually that’s a custom some Jews have adopted, putting colored lights on our sukkot. Different time of year though.

    17. Jonathan Says:

      dick,

      If you look at my previous comment you’ll see that I wrote:

      Note that I don’t mind if they hold Christmas concerts in the public square. No one is being forced to attend, which is not the case WRT schools.

      I also generally agree with Yehudit’s comment about “privileging one celebration over another,” though a sense of proportion is called for (I don’t see why it’s a problem if a town with a small Jewish minority doesn’t make nearly as much fuss about Jewish holidays as about Christmas, for example). I’m not knowledgeable about Lakewood but it sounds like the town leaders behaved foolishly. This is an area that should be the province of local custom and common sense. Not everyone has common sense but that’s not a solvable problem.

      In case my earlier commments weren’t clear, I don’t advocate suppressing the Christian majority’s celebration of Christmas. Quite the opposite. I am suggesting that we would be better off if our bureaucracies, particularly the schools, didn’t pretend that religion doesn’t exist or that everyone equally shares an appreciation of a dereligionized “holiday season.” The reason I wrote that it’s unproductive to complain about minority-group spoilsports is that I have been on the receiving end of such complaints and find them unconvincing.

    18. chel Says:

      Hi Michael,

      I noticed you used the word “pogrom” 3 times in your post. I’d really recommend against using this term when you discuss your disdain about Christmas being driven out of a public school. It just makes it seem like you are belittling a tragic period in history and it distracts the reader from your argument.

      For more information on pogroms, see:

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

    19. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Chel,

      I’m aware of the word’s provenance. I ran across the word many years ago and looked it up. It led me to reading up a little on the history of pogroms in tsarist Russia.

      I used it deliberately and ironically, in the sense of attacking a particular group for their religious beliefs. Similar, I might add, to Jon’s using the word ‘jihad’ in an ironic sense. I guess if you’re Sudanese and recently on the receiving end of jihad, you might be offended.

      I’m sorry if you find it offensive. It was not meant to offend or belittle anything. I was simply cashing in on the words cache. Have you ever used the word ‘inquisition’ to describe some process of overdone interrogation? Wouldn’t you (or anyone) be guilty of the same thing you’re accusing me of?

      Oddly, your complaint fits in perfectly to this discussion. Should people be disallowed from using the word ‘pogrom’ out of its exact historical context because a particular group finds it association with historic events unpleasant? Are you prepared to admonish people not to use the word ‘inquisition’ without prior approval from any atheists/Protestants/Jews/Moslems/etc who might encounter or hear the word for fear of offending them? How about slavery? Can we use that word? Jihad? Suicide bomber? Lynching? Where does it end?

      This is exactly the problem we’re having with Christmas in the schools. Someone complains they don’t want their atheist/Jewish/Moslem/Hindu/Buddhist/Druid/Wiccan child exposed to very mention of the word Christmas for fear it might upset them. It’s political correctness running mad. As Dick said, it’s becoming a tyranny of the minority. The majority is being admonished against celebrating its biggest holiday for fear some minority member might be present and not wish to be exposed. To them I say, stop being so infantile and ridiculus.

    20. tony Says:

      PJ. I did a similar thing re flyers. Got one from Loblaws the main supermarket in this neck of the woods in Canada, all festive season this and holiday season that. I e-mailed them saying I’d intended to do much of my Christmas shopping there but since they didn’t seem to be selling any Christmas goods this year I would unfortunately have to shop elsewhere.
      Too many people think it doesn’t matter, not important enough to get your knickers in a twist over, but it does matter if only on the level of the stupidity of the reasoning behind it.

    21. chel Says:

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for reading my comment!

      I do not think that people should be dissallowed from using any words on their blogs. I just think that sometimes people have reasonable points that can get lost in language. I was guessing you didn’t mean to belittle pogroms, but it could be interpreted that way by someone who didn’t know you.

      I am *certainly* not innocent of offending people or using the wrong words. And it really sucks when people feel like they can’t even express themselves because they have to be so careful not to offend. I actually don’t use words like inquisition, holocaust, crussade, lynching, jihad casually (although oddly I was using the word fatwah for a while in the late 1990s) but I definitely can be really, purposely, inflamatory if you get me going on the right topic. But when I’m trying to make an argument (rather than just commiserating with friends who already agree with me) I try not to use words that will turn folks off before they’ve heard me out. I might totally be misunderstanding the chicagoboyz blog here… I’m a new reader. Perhaps this is more of a space for people who share your views already. And that’s *totally* cool. Everyone who reads my blog agrees with most of what I post (the most recent posting on my blog was of a rabbit hood ornament.)

    22. Sandy P Says:

      –but most of them are probably people who are concerned that the majority’s views will be imposed on the minority. —

      Like a paid federal holiday?

    23. Paul Says:

      The PC trend is actually even worse than this. I was at my daughter’s pre-school “holiday” concert (last year), and while they sang Hannukah songs, they sang nothing that could be construed as a Christian song. However this was at an EPISCOPALIAN CHURCH pre-school. And one where the parents orientation includes boilerplate on “this school is a part of our Christian mission”.

    24. Anita Says:

      Recently at work I heard that our annual Christmas party has now been changed to End of Year Party because the Jews complained. I was hurt to hear this because I’m Jewish and I know all the Jews at work and know very well that no-one had a problem with that. I emailed our CEO and as it turned out it wasn’t the Jews who complained but word was already out and being a large company I guess it sticks.
      I see religion as cultural and that can only be seen as enriching unless of course the religion is forced on you like in many Islamic countries.

    25. Retread Says:

      If it were as easy to convert others to Christianity as exposing school children to class parties and school concerts, wouldn’t all other religions have died out in the US by now?

    26. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I might totally be misunderstanding the chicagoboyz blog here… I’m a new reader. Perhaps this is more of a space for people who share your views already.

      Hmmm. I’d say this is a blog whose members are generally conservative in their political outlook. But it’s definitely not religiously or culturally homogeneous. There’re at least three major religions represented here: Christians, Jews and a Moslem. Jonathon started this blog and he’s Jewish. In addition, Syl is French and Sulaiman is Afghani and Ralf is German. Regular commentors include Matya (I have no idea of his nationality) who seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Asian and Middle Eastern history and Helen, who I believe is German. Pretty eclectic bunch we are. I like it that way.

      Which reminds me, I wonder if we could entice a Brit or two to sign up?

      Sylvain once wrote, “We use live ammunition around here.” Meaning we say what we really think and expect others to tell us what they really think, which makes for a lot of interesting and sometimes fairly heated discussions.

    27. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Like a paid federal holiday?

      Ouch.

    28. Jonathan Says:

      Isn’t Chicago a culture too?

    29. PJ Says:

      I agree with Jonathan and Yehudit that all religions should be explained and honored, etc., but our point is that Christianity specifically is not. In my CA city, the city hall removed all references to Christmas in their official documents. No tree lighting this year–too tough to light up a tree and figure out what to call it.

      LA County is removing a tiny cross from its seal for fear of an ACLU lawsuit like the one against Redlands, which has already caved.

      At the university where I work, the word Christmas has been banned, yet the Muslim Student Association sponsors a Ramadan feast on school property!

      I go to my nephew’s bar mitzvah and read up on all the customs and the appropriate gift to give beforehand so I can honor someone else’s traditions. If the word “Christmas” or the sight of a tree on public property is “offensive” the fault lies within the beholder. Life is not perfectly equal; the whole argument to me smacks of sibling rivalry rather than some kind of oppression by the majority culture.

    30. Jonathan Says:

      PJ, I don’t care if LA has a crucifix on its seal — it’s historicalIy significant and trivial in the scheme of things. I think it would be fine if our bureaucracies openly acknowledged the various religions’ holidays — including especially Christian ones, since most Americans are Christians. I just wish bureaucrats, and those who take their signals from them, wouldn’t pretend that the “holiday season” is everyone’s holiday season, or that Christmas doesn’t exist but Christian Americans care deeply about Ramadan and Channuka. Privatizing schools would go a long way toward reducing everyone’s irritation in these matters.

    31. MatyaNoBaka Says:

      Japanese pop culture is a hobby of mine. Not the Saturday morning cartoons of, say, Pokemon and YuGiOh, but pop culture aimed at least at the high school level.

      An interesting thing is that, judging from the pop culture shows, Japanese celebrate Christmas with no Christian influence at all. It’s a purely secular holiday. It’s as commercial a holiday as our worst stereotypes of Christmas.

      And yet, i suspect that the anti-Christmas movement would have as big a bellyache about Japanese Christmas as they do about US Christmas. Because of religion? No, because of the sense of community, consideration and reconciliation. Christmas episodes in dramas (we might call them prime time soap operas)are the ones where the divorcees reminisce about what went right about their marriage. In Maison Ikkoku, an animated prime time soap, it’s when the male love interest character goes and gets a rock analyzed and appraised, because it was owned by the prior husband of the widow he is courting, and special to her. Never mind that he feels he is in direct competition with the dead husband for her affections. (Everlasting one true love is not just an Anglosphere story line.) It’s when the feuding office co-workers resolve that next year, they will work together.

      And if we judge from US pop culture? Beavis and Butthead, The Simpsons, gangsta rap? It’s pretty easy to see how folk with these cultural aspirations could be alienated, not by religion, but even by How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and MaGoo’s Christmas Carol.

      PJ points out that a Ramadan feast was allowed on school property. This one wonders if it would have been acceptable if it had been realized that Ramadan is a time of fasting and restraint, not just from food, but from anger, sexual activity and quarreling.

      Matya no baka

    32. M. Simon Says:

      Dreidels are especially bad as some religions are quite harsh on gambling. Gamboling too. But that is another matter.

      I once gave a talk to some 3rd graders, I think, on Channukah and one third grader (maybe it was fifth grade) was astonished that the holiday was celebrated with kids wagering.

      That particular kid treated the dreidel as if it was radioactive.

      ;-)

    33. M. Simon Says:

      Zoroastrians deserve equal time.

    34. gene Says:

      As everyone has noticed,that curtain rights have been and are going to be removed in all fairness to the larger minorities of this constutoional embaressment.No christian,Im,sorry,no,chrismas is to be held in this fragile country in to days minoritiy run venue.

    35. Cyndie Says:

      I think it is simply obsurd to take the words”Christmas”,”Jesus, or God” out of everything it has been in for so many years! I also am offended BIG TIME by the school’s thinking that if they take such words out of the “Christmas Programs”, then it will some how not be offending! Obsurd,Obsurd,and again Obsurd!
      Do those of us wanting to hear “Traditional Christmas Songs”, just not matter? Does it only matter that someone is offended by songs that have been around for longer than I have even been living, so now we must change everything so that we do not offend them? I am sorry,they feel the way they do, like someone else said,”We all know the Holiday is Christmas,and what is wrong with that?” I am not objective to my children learning other songs at all, but I am objective to the fact they can no longer say these words or sing them. I do Home-School my children for the simple fact that this has gotten so out of hand and I think they are better off for now anyway.
      Maybe we should just lay down and let all of those who are sooooo offended have everything they want just the way they want it, change our Amendments, take away our Freedoms,ect…I DON’T THINK SO! I and those who want Christmas to remain the way it has been for years and years have the right to those Freedoms.
      I refuse to not say the things we have been saying for many years just because I am afraid of offending someone! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!