Sunday, December 4, 2011
It's a Christmas Tree, Damn It!
It’s a Christmas Tree, Damn It!
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 4, 2011
Alex, I’ll take “things that don’t make sense” for $100.
The answer is: “a holiday tree in America’s smallest state.”
“What is a Christmas tree in Rhode Island?”
Sadly, that is correct.
Never missing an opportunity to be a complete and utter bonehead, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (I, former RINO) emphasized his desire to refer to the state’s Christmas tree as a holiday tree. And just what holiday does this tree represent? There’s nothing nebulous about it. Christmas, you imbecile! It’s enough to make one apoplectic.
The tree certainly doesn’t represent Chanukah. I’ve been Jewish all my life and I’ve never had a tree in my house. The occasional cactus, sure, but that doesn’t make me a Druid.
When is all this ubiquitous politically correct nonsense going to stop? The Jewish population in the United States is roughly 1.5 percent and about 85 percent of the country identifies themselves as Christians; thus when people wish each other a Merry Christmas, there’s going to be an 85 percent chance that they are wishing it upon a fellow Christian. Those are pretty good odds. If I were a gambling man, I would take that bet. And if it is wished upon me, I take it in stride – after all, the odds – and it sure as hell won’t damage my self-esteem. I take it for what it is – a friendly gesture.
I wish my Christian friends a Merry Christmas and my Jewish friends a Happy Chanukah – it even says so on the cards I mail out. None of this season’s greetings crap. Greetings of what season? Are we actually celebrating winter? Winter is simply lugubrious. Pass. Anyone who knows me knows I hate the cold and the only season I celebrate is baseball.
Chafee claims his need to refer to the Christmas tree as a holiday tree is so not to offend anyone or impose any one religion on the populous. If Chafee is thinking of the Establishment Clause, he can go back to thinking of Santa Claus because calling the tall bushy thing a Christmas tree does not violate the Establishment Clause. Chafee is being obtuse and licentious in his pandering to the PC crowd.
The Establishment Clause refers to government’s imposing a specific religion upon the masses. A Christmas tree does no such thing. No one is required to pray to or before it. It in no way damages anyone’s precious self-esteem to have a Christmas tree at the town square, in front of city hall or in the governor’s mansion.
In my home town we had a large enough Jewish community that we took it upon ourselves to construct a menorah and gift it to the town. For years the tree and menorah were placed side by side, and lit in an ecumenical ceremony honoring both Christmas and Chanukah. This is the problem with the objectionists – they want to eliminate everything, while the inclusionists look to enjoin the community in the festiveness of both holidays.
The same goes for observing the holidays in the schools. Some school districts have gotten so outrageously PC that they have banned the simple greetings of Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah. With all the bullying going on in the schools, a little holiday cheer is the least we can all share and enjoy.
I am going to invoke my First Amendment right of free speech and expression and wish my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy Chanukah. To do otherwise just wouldn’t be kosher.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.