Catholic League president Bill Donohue released these remarks today on the latest round of anti-Christmas incidents:
“Like most Jews, Olympic skater Sasha Cohen is not offended by Christmas carols. But that didn’t stop a government employee from trying to protect her. While Cohen was skating at a rink in Riverside, California, a high-school choir started singing ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,’ immediately sending Michelle Baldwin into orbit. She summoned a cop and got him to institute a gag rule: he ordered the choir to stop singing. Baldwin maintained that because Cohen was Jewish, she would be upset by the carol. But she never bothered to ask the skater if she objected. As it turns out, Cohen couldn’t have cared less. As usual, those who say we must be careful not to offend non-Christians at Christmastime are the ones who object to Christmas—not those whom they falsely claim to represent.
“Like Baldwin, Sandra Byrne, principal of an elementary school in Delray Beach, Florida, has a need to show how inclusive she is. That’s why she has no Christmas tree, nativity scene or menorah in her office. Instead, her spot is adorned with teddy bears wearing sweaters. Moreover, only ‘winter parties’ and ‘winter celebrations’ are tolerated. ‘We’re very careful about this,’ she says. No doubt she is.
“Here’s another example of anti-Christmas fever. In a Detroit suburban school district, they’ve instituted a quota system on religious songs that can be sung at school concerts. That’s right, only 30 percent of the songs at Howell Public Schools can be religious. It’s not certain whether the choir director will be fined or imprisoned if a multicultural monitor finds that 31 percent of the songs are religious. We recommend incarceration.
“After Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, Castro made a good-faith gesture by allowing Cubans to celebrate Christmas again. Maybe we should hire Fidel to talk to these madmen.”
If only they had hired the singers from my last years parody and none of this would have happened.
PORTLAND, OR (Roto Reuters) A new children’s choir groups is getting lots of attention and bookings during the winter season. The Silent Night Seasonal Semi-Singers sidestep the problems inherent in a multi-cultural society and what has been called the "Christmas wars." Secularists are upset with the lyrics of explicitly Christian carols and Christians become upset when these carols are left out. To solve this problem Ms. Giesel of the the Glencoe school elementary choir decided instead of hymns to do hums. Students are gagged while performing to ensure no actual Christian carols are ever sung. The instrumental portions of traditional Christmas carols are slightly altered to ensure no one in the audience might attempt to sing along. Silent Night is sung just as intended – totally silent. To ensure fairness winter holiday songs are also hummed.
Parents at first were hesitant to endorse the idea until they found out how enthusiastic their kids were. Now even students with no musical talent can join the choir and hum along. The provided humnal makes it very easy for kids to learn songs since they do not have to memorize any lyrics. When the audience is invited to join in and hum along nobody ever feels bad or put down since they don’t know the words or only know the first refrain.
The idea is catching on in neighborhoods where kids bundle up and go around the neighborhood from door to door humming or what some have called humoling. People are thrilled to find hummers at their door humming along to slightly familiar tunes invoking the winter season. So if you see a group of humolers approaching your door this season then open your door to the joys of holiday humoling.
As a non-American who has visited the US several times (including the infamous OC Diocese where I saw a New Age-style “eucharistic adoration chapel” with a rock amethyst crystal on display), I find Baldwin’s behavior waaaaay over the top. Too much legalese, is this what the battle for Christmas is reduced to? Shades of Cromwell’s Puritanism, in a different way of course.
hum, hum hum hum hum hum, hum hum hum hum hum, hum hum hum hum hum, hum hum, IN EXCELSIS DEO! HUM—- Oh wait, no words! This is a sad funny though as it is almost true! Pray for the world, that it would not be afraid of God.
I’m really astounded at all this “War on Christmas” stuff. Mostly because here in Australia, although we are an *extremely* secular nation, nobody really seems to kick up a fuss about Christmas.
I have a hard time with the fact that the “Xmas” frenzy gets started here often as early as September (ie Way Before Advent) but nobody has problems with wishing people Merry Christmas.
Americans – I’ve heard from my atheist friend who lived in Texas for 2 years – are much more religious than we are. So, why the antagonism? It’s so over the top.
I know we Aussies are rather apathetic and maybe that’s why there’s not much of a fuss here, but given the extreme nuttiness of the “War on Christmas” in the States, I’m not sure I mind our more laid-back attitiude.
(Not criticising your nation, just this bizarre aspect).
We have actually noticed a change for the better where we live.
Last year, it was “Happy Holidays”, “Seasons Greetings” and “Winter whatever”. In the fever to offend no atheists, secularists, or muslims, nobody mentioned the word. The stores offering “Winter Specials for all your holiday giving” seemed to do very poorly.
Charities however, did a roaring business. We like so many have tamped down on the gifting at Christmas and give instead to the food banks, meal programs, shelters, and so forth.
This year, clerks are wishing people “Merry Christmas”, there are “Christmas” flyers, and even *gasp* CHRISTMAS carols played and sung in the malls! The Salvation Army has been invited to have kettles everywhere. Their bands have been playing all over the place.
There is even a nativity in City Park. Our mayor is Jewish, and he has said that there must be an end to the silliness. So, there is a nativity in City Park and a Hannakah menorah as well.
No Christians are even slightly offended by menorahs or Stars of David or snowmen or Santa’s or anything else.
The offended ones are politely ignored.
A crafty fellow wrote to our local paper and suggested that workplaces that forbid the mention or display of Christmas should be required to keep open at Christmas and Easter, as should government offices, post office, etc. If they really are going to erase all signs of religious affiliation then they really shouldn’t be taking off religious days with pay now should they? That letter got a firestorm of affirmative replies.
The city has taken notice.
The retailers have taken notice.
Christmas is coming back.
So…the free market strikes and wins.
If all Christians were to protest with their wallets, charities would thrive and the anti-Christmas crowd would be choked off.
Our mayor has suggested that those who find Christmas offensive, should simply avert their eyes and ignore the whole celebration. It will soon be over….
We love this guy.
I teach at a public school in Oklahoma (admittedly one of the more sane states in the union) and we have no problems with “Merry Christmas” or Christmas carols and never have. I do have Jewish students and one objects to Merry Christmas until I also say “and Happy Hannukah.” Which is just just fine by me because, of all the holidays I don’t celebrate, Hannukah is one of the coolest. Judas Maccabeus didn’t apologize to atheists or Assyrians.
But never, ever, ever, will I say “Happy Holidays” as a way of sanitizing the religious aspects of the religious holy days.
Sometimes when people wish me Happy Holidays, I like to respond with Happy Holy Days.
I like that response, John. “Holiday” comes from Holy Day anyway, doesn’t it?
Hummmmmmmm? Give me a break!
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