Public Christmas BANNED in Berlin

Public Christmas BANNED in Berlin

Apparently it is official: there will be no Christmas in any public form in a sector of Berlin, Germany known as Kreuzberg. It has been banned, according to local German news source MMNews.de:

The district office of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg has abolished Christmas. The authorities do not allow Christmas celebrations in public places or streets. A tree must be placed only in a central, previously assigned by the authorities – reports the “Berliner Zeitung”. Councillor Peter Becker responded to public outcry of the ban by asking, “Why should religious festivals be celebrated in public?”

The censorship was supported by the left-wing councilman as a response to demands by Muslims in the district that they be allowed to celebrate the end of Ramadan in the streets. Due to a fear of noise complaints, council officials decided that the best solution was to ban all religious festivals from being publicly celebrated in the district.

The ban reportedly also applies to Christmas decorations and displays on private property that might be seen by the public.

Other controversial events will still be allowed to take place in the area. According to an interview Becker gave to a local Berlin news outlet, gay and lesbian festivals will still be permitted to take place in Kreuzberg.

The measure also took away honorary awards for citizens based upon religious merit, as left-wing councilors saw no religious service as worthy of consideration.

Peter Storck, a local Protestant church leader, was critical in his response to the developments in Kreuzberg, which he sees as outright discrimination against religious individuals.

“State neutrality towards religion and the church should not be misunderstood as ‘freedom from religion,’ this requirement is rather a policy of totalitarian states,” Storck declared.

Kreuzberg is an area renown both for its counter-cultural reputation and as a prime destination for Turkish immigrants. A third of its population is composed of immigrants and the most popular political party in the district is the far-left Green Party.

Pennsylvania Town Blames Unions for No Christmas

Pennsylvania Town Blames Unions for No Christmas

Middletown, Pa. will not have Christmas lights or decorations this year. No snowmen, no Christmas trees, no nativity scene, no lights — nothing.

That’s because they have no money.

Their plight is not unusual for governments small or large. In fact, they are simply following a trend seen all across the USA in recent years. But the powers that be in Middletown are being outspoken about one small fact: their lack of money has more to do with union costs than budgetary woes.

You see, last year the town was decorated by volunteers. And the union doesn’t like that.

Middletown was advised against using volunteers to decorate the town and Hoffer Park this year because of outstanding union grievances from last year’s decorating activities, Councilor Barbara Arnold said at a council meeting on Monday, Sept. 16. Teamsters Local 776, which represents the borough’s non-uniformed employees, is asking for 4 to 8 hours of overtime compensation for each volunteer who participated last year, said Arnold, who has spearheaded borough-sponsored community events and decorating projects.

“It was so wonderful to see people come together for the good of the town,” she read from a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, the union cannot see it that way. The union’s approach to Christmas is, ‘Bah, humbug.’ ”

Given a difficult financial situation in the borough, the borough can’t afford to pay employees to decorate, she said. Nothing in council’s decision would stop an independent organization from deciding to decorate the town, but as far as the borough is concerned, “I see no way we can proceed this year,” she said.

Activist Launches Campaign to Reclaim Christmas for Christ

Activist Launches Campaign to Reclaim Christmas for Christ

On Constitution Day, Tuesday, September 17, 2013, author and long-time Christian advocate Sandra Lee Snowden will be praying in front of the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. to inspire Christians across America to rally behind their faith. “I want Christians across America to take action now in order to support and secure a nativity in their own state capitol, city, and town,” says Sandra.

Sandra fought for three years in one of the largest federal court cases for a nativity display in her former hometown of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida. The federal court issued an opinion finding Bay Harbor Islands to be in violation of seven of Sanda’s constitutional rights. Bay Harbor Islands paid $262,000 of taxpayer money in legal fees to combat Sandra’s rights as a citizen, resulting in her court victory. Sandra signed a ten-year Consent Judgment with her then hometown, ensuring that her nativity would be displayed beside the town’s menorah. “This is a big legal win for Baby Jesus,” said Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, when Sandra was invited as guest on his show. Sandra was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Miami-Dade County after forcing her mayor to step out of office, for referring to her request as “trivial.”

Sandra claimed her right as a US Citizen to arrange for an American flag to be flown on Constitution Day above the capitol building in dedication to Reclaim Christmas for Christ’s cause. “I would like to empower all Citizens to continue to stand up and stand strong against our elected officials who try to limit or silence our Constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom or religion, and equal protection,” said Sandra, who expressed her excitement regarding her trip to DC.

The demand for Sandra’s work has grown since her initial court battle, and she has decided to respond to the Christian community by launching her new website: www.reclaimchristmasforchrist.com.

Sandra’s site will serve as a community resource where Christians will be able to network and share their own stories about their experiences regarding nativities in their hometowns / state capitals. “We hope to partner with organizations across the country to provide free nativities to members, and aspire to offer accessible opportunities regarding legal advice surrounding this issue,” said Sandra. Many organizations are expected to join together to support Reclaim Christmas for Christ, as Christians begin to rally for this cause.

Sandra invites all citizens to join her, or email prayers and pictures of nativities from around the world to share during her trip, where she will pray for religious rights, granting nativities in all US hometowns.

Full Court Media Press on Christmas Creep Under Way

Full Court Media Press on Christmas Creep Under Way

Right on time and as predicted, the media — which, ironically, makes their living through advertising — is mocking their advertisers by launching their annual complaints of Christmas creep. Leading the charge is this snarky video from MotleyFool.com:

The fools at MotleyFool.com are not alone. CNBC, Daily Finance, Business Insider, InsiderMonkey.com, RetailWire.com, Consumerist, and even — gasp! — Fox News whined about it this week.

Know what all these media outlets have in common? They are supposedly experts. In fact, they should know better. They are complaining at EXACTLY the same time as they complained about this last year.

“Christmas creep” is, like the war on Christmas itself, totally false. It isn’t real. Christmas does not come earlier and earlier every year as almost all the media experts listed above complain.

In fact, the argument could be made that Christmas is a little late this year. Thanksgiving falls on November 28th, giving this season several fewer days to “sell Christmas” than in years past. If Christmas creep were, in fact, real, retailers who are all too aware of the late date of Thanksgiving would have scheduled their ads to begin more than a month ago. But they didn’t. They waited until after Labor Day — which that they have done for decades.

You see, it is kind of a rule in retail. You don’t sell summer clothes until February 1st, you don’t put out Back to School until after July 4th and you don’t do Christmas until after Labor Day. That was true 100 years ago and it is true today. Christmas isn’t any earlier than it ever has been.

Now, if the past is any indicator, complaining about Christmas creep will peak right around the middle of October, when the annual lament of “let’s celebrate fall first” begins, a chorus where the media cries about the maligned celebrations of Halloween and Thanksgiving being over-shadowed by Christmas.

Social Media Pounds Kmart for Early Christmas Ad

Social Media Pounds Kmart for Early Christmas Ad

With 105 days to go to Christmas Kmart launched a new commercial this week. Forget the fact that the commercial’s theme is “Don’t let the sneak up on you”. Forget that what they are really promoting is their layaway program — a hotly contested part of Christmas marketing that Walmart started more than a month ago. Just remember that it uses the words “Christmas” and “holiday”.

That’s all that is needed to set people off.

A quick visit to Kmart’s Facebook page tells the story:

The fact that your corporation would even CONSIDER airing a holiday related commerical on SEPTEMBER 9th insures that this “consumer” will never spend a DIME on your merchandise when this holiday season actually does begin!

In the advertising business there are mixed reviews about Kmart’s strategy.

Kmart does admit they are “just excited about the holidays” but will go to work on “tweaking” the ad. Here it is:

Early UK Christmas Tree Draws Complaints

Early UK Christmas Tree Draws Complaints

Evidently folks get really riled up in the UK over seeing a Christmas tree in the month of September. They’ve taken to writing letters and everything.

Mail Online is reporting that a bowling alley in Cambridge put up an artificial tree last week top promote booking of holiday events at their venue. Some customers, however, see it differently, going so far as to say “…The tree was probably extremely offensive to people who do not have Christianity as their main religion.”

Secularism is alive and well in the UK where the difference between freedom of religion is often confused with religious freedom.

But, seeing that the Christmas tree is a secular symbol anyway, why would someone who isn’t Christian be offended?

Folks need to realize that for as silly as such news reports and incidents seem there is a world-wide debate raging over the presence of religion in the public space — even spaces controlled by private entities like a bowling alley in Cambridge.

These media-driven incidents blow out of proportion the “offense” such things cause. Chances are that now that the news reports have been published there will be no more letters written in haste to the venue’s management. They got what they were seeking.

Christmas is an easy target for secularists. By calling anything religiously affiliated “offensive” pressure is applied to remove it — even from private property.

Secular Politics Threaten Public Christmas in Germany, Quebec

Secular Politics Threaten Public Christmas in Germany, Quebec

Political outcry is subduing Christmas in two separates parts of the world — the Canadian province of Quebec and the country of Germany.

Quebec is locked in a debate since the rise of Parti Quebecois (PQ) whose leaked legislation last week is causing a stir not only for Christmas enthusiasts but also for defenders of rights of religion and speech. According to a leaked document published by Journal de Montreal, the long-awaited “Charter of Quebec Values” set to be released this fall, will forbid employees in courts, law-enforcement, schools, hospitals, and daycares from wearing “conspicuous” religious symbols. Banned religious symbols will reportedly include turbans, hijabs, kippas, and crucifixes. Christmas enthusiasts fear this will include Nativities, Christmas trees and even Santa Claus.

In Germany, home to so many symbols, icons and traditions of Christmas, the trend towards “religious neutrality” is leading some to contend that Christmas is being erased.

Already Germany’s famed Christmas markets have been renamed “Winter Markets”. Christianity is not alone. There are wide reports of the transformation of the feast marking the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, to Sommerfest (summer festival), with the district apparently saying that religion has no place in public places. Apparently the district has also removed the word “religion” from the official criteria for its awards for citizen engagement.

Berlin especially will be the focus of anti-Christmas activity this year. The authorities are allowing no more Christmas celebrations in public places or streets. A Christmas tree may only be set up in a central location, allocated by the authorities in advance – so reports the “Berliner Zeitung”. The ban on celebrations was decided by the Greens, the Left and the Pirates. The SPD [Socialists] and CDU [Merkel’s party, mainstream right] were apparently against it.

Christmas fans can expect this trend to continue. While there will be no shortage of Christmas in stores and advertising the continued attacks against public Christmas celebration, observance and even acknowledgement will continue.