When it comes to separation of church and state, some states present more of a challenge than others.
My family and I are planning to get a Christmas tree this weekend. We usually opt for a Fraser fir. They’re attractive trees with sharp needles that discourage our two cats from getting too close.
I have no problem calling it a Christmas tree because we celebrate Christmas. But if someone called it a “holiday tree” or even “a seasonal evergreen display,” I wouldn’t much care. The holiday will come either way, and we’ll still experience all of our traditions.
One of the Religious Right’s favorite tricks is to do something that pretty much everyone agrees is legal, and then thumb their noses at groups like Americans United when nobody gets in trouble for doing it.
With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, we’re racing full throttle toward Christmas. Tree lots and holiday lights have already sprung up in my neighborhood. (How much time did you spend shopping online yesterday? Be honest.)
For those who celebrate the holiday, it’s a festive time of year, marked with twinkling lights, decorated trees, greeting cards, rich food, gifts and social events with family and friends. For many, it’s also a time of religious devotion, attending services at their chosen house of worship. It’s supposed to be a time of goodwill and good cheer.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a weekend of leftovers in between, so this looks like a good time for an update on the “War on Christmas.”
It’s over. We won.
To be more accurate, I should point out that it’s not possible to win a war that was never really waged. And there never was a war on Christmas. The “war” was a figment of the Religious Right’s imagination all along, or, more accurately, a cynical creation designed to help theocratic groups raise funds, win new support and get their names in the media.
Last night, my wife and I attended the annual winter concert at my son’s middle school. Paul plays a mean clarinet, and I was proud to see him on stage with the advanced band tooting away on a variety of songs.
The pieces were drawn from various cultures. We heard an old Russian song called “Minka’s Sleigh Ride,” a Japanese folk tune titled “Sakura, Sakura” and my personal favorite – “The Three-Minute Nutcracker,” all of your favorite numbers from the Nutcracker ballet condensed into 180 seconds.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is not happy this holiday season.
He feels his religious beliefs have been snubbed now that his hometown has taken the word “Christmas” out of its seasonal parade and exchanged it for the word “holiday.”
“I feel like if they take Christ out, then take me out, too," said Inhofe, despite the fact that the parade is still replete with Christmas symbols and decorations.
It’s the first day of December, which means Christmas is coming up soon – and you know what that means: Yep, it’s time for the Religious Right and its allies to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace by lying about our public schools.
The tiresome pattern works like this: Someone tells a wild story about Christmas being banned in a public school. Religious Right legal groups get outraged. The Fox News Channel reports it without bothering to check if it’s true. Far-right bloggers have a field day.
It’s almost Halloween, so you know what that means: It’s time for the Religious Right to start carping about the “war on Christmas.”
Actually, Religious Right groups are getting a bit of a late start this year. In previous years, they’ve actually started their seasonal whine-fest as early as August.
But no fear – things are on track for another lucrative year for the Religious Right’s “Christmas police” who obsess over what we say and how we celebrate the December holiday.