Louisiana law makers love Christmas. Not a single lawmaker in Louisiana cast a “no” vote on that’s state’s version of the Merry Christmas Bill.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed legislation that would allow for holiday symbols to be displayed in public schools as long as items representing multiple religions or secular belief systems are represented. No part of the display could promote adherence to a particular religion.
Educators would also be authorized to teach children about the “traditional celebrations in winter” and offer greetings such as “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Kwanzaa”.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Alan Seabaugh, has said the proposal is largely based on a Texas law that has been upheld in court. He said he was confident that the law would be upheld by the courts if legal challenges from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) materialized. The ACLU typically frowns on religious symbols being placed in public schools and government buildings.
The La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival could soon be called something else. Local media reports a movement is afoot to change the name and that there is little opposition to dropping the word “Christmas” because it allegedly excludes Jews, Muslims, atheists and other non-Christian groups.
The San Diego County Diversity and Inclusiveness Group, formed by former La Jolla Town Council trustee Howard Singer to change the name of the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival to one that does not reference a particular religion, is proposing the changes. On May 18, the La Jolla Democratic Club, of which Singer is a member, voted 22-0 to support the name change.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Club President Derek Cassady. “When it was brought up, I thought there might be wide discussion and even some traditionalists would say that it should be left like it is, but, by golly, there was no appetite for dissent. For people there, it just felt like they understood and felt like this should be the way it is.”
Although the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission advisory group has acknowledged that the parade name does not violate any city laws or ordinances, it has also expressed its support for the name change and urged parade organizers to enter into mediation with the Diversity and Inclusiveness Group — an offer parade organizers declined.
That Christmas as a national holiday was founded on secular principles has no bearing in the discussion of the parade name in San Diego.
The Consumerist this week published an article complaining about Christmas decorations for sale at Hobby Lobby — in May. While they gushed forth about the impropriety of Christmas before summer The Consumerist has set a dubious record of their own by complaining about Christmas Creep earlier than any other media outlet in history. They shattered the previous record held by Time magazine by nearly three months.
Last year the media barrage against Christmas began on August 20th and lasted past November 15th as various outlets lambasted retailers for advertising Christmas too early in what they have come to call “Christmas Creep”. Even though history has solidly recorded that advertisers have promoted Christmas year round for over a century and that no one other than the media seems to care the campaign to complain about Christmas grows earlier and earlier every year.
The world of advertising is solidly in the corner of retailers — naturally. In fact, Google is urging retailers to jump on the Christmas bandwagon as early as possible. Naturally, Google’s major source of revenue comes from advertising and retailers traditionally get their biggest sales from Christmas.
While The Consumerist article singles out Hobby Lobby it should be noted that Hobby Lobby is a retailer of crafts, decor and items for the do-it-yourself decorator. In contacting Hobby Lobby — which The Consumerist failed to do — we were told that their strategy meets the demands not only for the Christmas project maker looking to get a jump-start on early Christmas projects but also supports those who celebrate Christmas in July, a growing trend.
We also note that reports of early Halloween, early winter coat sales, early Valentine’s decorations, early Easter decor and early Back-to-School sales events all seem to be neglected by the media on a regular basis. But this report from The Consumerist will kick off a steady stream of media complaint about Christmas that will last well into Thanksgiving week this year.