Here we go: another absurd, ill-informed and sadly wrong PTA has kicked Santa Claus from school pictures at a public school in South Carolina.
The reason? Because they want kids of all religious backgrounds to be included in the pictures. Santa is being replaced by a “winter wonderland” scene.
Santa is religious?
Show me where Santa is in the Bible, will you? Tell me where Santa has ever given a sermon, said a prayer or uttered a religious thought.
The Supreme Court LONG AGO declared Santa — and Rudolph and Frosty and other characters of Christmas — SECULAR.
Don’t mistaken this for mere political correctness. This is BLATANT religious discrimination. What the PTA in this school is doing is saying “If it can be remotely associated with Christianity, we’ll ban it.” That’s what this is.
It isn’t a War on Christmas. It is a War on Christians.
Get this right. Pictures of the kids are not taken with Jesus. Not a cross either. For years they have done it with SANTA CLAUS. Now they are saying Santa is “too religious”.
That’s an attack, folks.
According to the media reports there have only been mixed reactions to this news.
We don’t believe that for one second. People should be OUTRAGED.
A fire fighting crew from Ohio has received disciplinary action against them for chipping in money to pay for a billboard wishing their community a Merry Christmas.
Seventeen firefighters belonging to one shift, known as Crew 3 or Super Crew 3, have received punishments ranging from reprimands for the firefighters and suspensions and probationary periods for three lieutenants and a captain. In addition, a retired captain has been barred from all fire stations in Lancaster.
The billboard was paid for by the firefighters, who decided that they would show “crew pride” instead of exchanging gifts. The billboard was in place from November 30 to December 15 when it was ordered removed. A city attorney determined it presented a civil liability because the “Merry Christmas” message expressed religious favoritism. Those involved are also in trouble for failing to get permission to take the picture at a Lancaster firehouse while they were on duty.
Once again, the arbitrary decision of one (the city attorney) determines the fate of many proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished.
The report cites the growing influx of immigrants and refugees as causing local officials to overcompensate by doing things like changing the name of a Christmas tree to a “festive tree”.
The study was headed by Dame Louise Casey, the government’s integration tsar. She said a white manager invoked the change in the name of the tree to avoid offending Asian and Muslim citizens.
“What offence did he think he was causing? What did we ever think would be offensive about celebrating Christmas with a tree?” Dame Louise said.
The report also says waves of immigration have dramatically changed the character of some state schools and left Brits feeling unsettled.
Casey blasted local councils for “over worrying” about causing offence. She said that only by promoting “core” British laws, traditions and cultures in every ethnic community can Britain hope to integrate fully and defeat the “hate-mongers” from the far-Right and Islamist extremists who want to divide the country.
The report notes that these sensitivities swing further into dangerous territory than just Christmas trees. In one case officials in Rotherham turned a blind eye to sexual exploitation of children by men of Pakistani background.
“The council and police were in denial about what was happening in their town,” she said. “That was a tragic failure on so many levels, not least for the victims who weren’t heard or whose abuse could have been prevented.”
As we’ve been observing all year the UK is now the leading front in the so-called War on Christmas.
We knew this day was coming. The controversies over last year’s Christmas parades are now today’s lawsuits. The Sons of Confederate Veterans, who for years have marched with Confederate flags in Christmas parades all over the South without incident, are beginning a series of court battles over first amendment free speech rights violated last Christmas when they were told to keep the flags out of the Christmas parades.
The city of Natchitoches and its Mayor Lee Posey have been sued by Sons of Confederate Veterans because they were barred from displaying the flag last Christmas.
Thomas Taylor, the division’s former commander, said in a telephone interview that its flag-carrying members marched and rode floats in the parade for nearly two decades without causing any disruptions.
“We have never had a problem before,” said Taylor, a Sterlington resident who said the Louisiana division has about 1,250 members. “The crowd loves us, but this politically correct stuff raised its ugly head.”
The lawsuit cites a Nov. 2, 2015, letter from Posey to the parade’s organizers in which the mayor said allowing the Confederate flag to be displayed by marchers could cause “substantial disruption or interference with the parade” and could be seen as an “endorsement of a symbol that is viewed as racially inflammatory.”
Mayor Posey knew the incident would be controversial. At the time he said “To be clear, the city of Natchitoches has not banned the Confederate flag from public display. The only thing we have banned is the flag being marched in the Christmas Festival parade.”
That, according to the lawsuit, is unconstitutional. And the Son’s of Confederate Veterans are right — and should win.
They take their Christmas seriously in Australia. The Lord Mayor of Melbourne is warning against sending Christmas cards without the word “Christmas” in them. Phrases like “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” are appearing all to often on official Christmas cards sent between governmental organizations.
Other local politicians are expressing support for the idea. Councillor John Kavanaugh is pushing for proper use of the word Christmas. “It lessens the message when you say Season’s Greetings,” he said. “I want to make sure that the message of a Happy Christmas is there.”
In fact, Kavanaugh feels so strongly about it he is putting forward a motion to require the use of “Happy Christmas” in all seasonal messages going forward on official organizational greetings.
The Lord Mayor backs the proposal. “If you’re sending a Christmas card it is not a season card, it is a Christmas card.” he said.
It should be noted that the hubbub over Christmas cards are coming after a contentious debate over Christmas decorations in this area of Melbourne known as Moreland. Money for Christmas decorations was reallocated for what they call “Moreland Celebrations”, a nod to the growing diversity of the area and a clear move away from the emphasis on Christmas.
Clearly, there is a battle over Christmas brewing in Melbourne.
A tax payer funded guide published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill accuses the term and the practice of Christmas vacation of being a “microaggression”.
Microaggressions are everyday words that some interpret as causing anger or frustration in others. In other words, they are terms, behaviors or practices that cause offense.
A “Christmas vacation” is so labeled, the guide says, because “academic calendars and encouraged vacations” which “are organized around major religious observances” centralize “the Christian faith” and diminish “non-Christian spiritual rituals and observances.”
Curiously the long break between semesters at UNC Chapel Hill for the 2016-2017 academic year will last from December 17 to January 10 — thus covering Christmas as well as the New Year’s Day of the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is named for Pope Gregory XIII. The Roman Catholic Church introduced the calendar in 1582.
So far nobody seems to be too stirred up about that.
It is important to note that the guide does not single out just Christmas as an offense. Golf outings, women’s shoes, the words “boyfriend”, “girlfriend”, “husband” and “wife” all are microagressive terms.
To save time we’ve determined that “microaggression” as a word is offensive.
An Omaha, Nebraska school board member raised eyebrows with his rant against atheists in a classic argument of whether the December off-time of students should be called Winter Break or Christmas Break.
“I’m getting a little bit tired of a minute minority in this country that keeps pushing Christmas out, keeps pushing God out, keeps pushing Christ out, when the majority is still a Judeo-Christian country,” Paul Meyer, a Millard school board member, said. “I would like to make a motion that we rename this period ‘Christmas break,’ and those atheists who don’t like it can crawl back into their hellhole because I for one will not put my lord, my god aside for a few atheists.”
Nobody supported Meyer’s outburst — or proposal.
For several years school boards across the country have grappled with how to name calendar break periods given the growing diversity of their student populations. What made this event noteworthy was that the school district made the change to “Winter Break” years ago — and little has been said about it since. There is little to support a change and Meyers appeared to be acting out of personal beliefs.
Omaha-area atheists, naturally, took offense and exception at the outburst.
“His bigoted language, telling atheists to ‘crawl back into their hellhole,’ attempts to discredit the broad range of people who support keeping government out of religion,” said Tom Gray, president of the group Omaha Atheists, who has children in the Millard school district. “If he believes we are literally pitchfork-wielding demons, then we are concerned for his grasp on reality.”
Once again the will of a singular school superintendent is overtaking a town Christmas tradition. In Marlborough, New Hampshire the town has an annual tradition of lighting a Christmas tree. A local veteran plays Santa and rallies the community every season to attend. When he went to a local school to speak to students he was called and told to remove “Christmas” from the name of the event.
John Fletcher, the commander of the American Legion in Marlborough, New Hampshire, wrote an editorial in the local paper after he said the superintendent barred him from promoting the event to students unless he changed the name of the event.
“I was very upset, I really was,” Fletcher said. “If it’s not a school sponsored activity, I don’t understand why ‘Christmas’ had to come out of ‘Christmas Tree’.”
Fletcher, who also raises money to buy gifts for children who attend the event, said a few days after Veterans’ Day, Superintendent Robert Malay called him and said Fletcher needed to “revise” a flyer that would be handed out to students.
“He wanted me to change it to say “holiday tree lighting” instead,” Fletcher told FOX25. “It’s not a holiday tree, it’s a Christmas tree. If you want a holiday tree, then do it for Valentine’s Day, or Columbus Day, or whatever you want.”
You gotta wonder what Christmas looks like in that town’s schools.
Liberty Counsel, a staunch defender of Christmas and religious liberty, has published their annual Nice and Naughty list of retailers and their use of the word “Christmas”.
TJ Maxx, The Limited, Radio Shack (which is nearly dead), Old Navy, J Crew, Gap, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and American Eagle round out the list of retailers shunning Christmas this year.
In years past this list was big media news but the fight against retailers being so politically correct has been so effective that the “naughty” portion of the list has diminished significantly. Liberty Counsel’s efforts have to be credited for these changes.
Liberty Counsel’s name frequently gets cited in some of the highest profile cases in the War on Christmas as they jump to the aid of schools, families and individuals whose religious liberties are threatened in their celebrations of Christmas.
It is interesting to note that Liberty Counsel is considered a hate group in some quarters because of their support of traditional marriage and the defense of controversial figures such as Kim Davis.
We live in a funny world. The American South is embroiled in a Christmas controversy over Confederate flags in community Christmas parades because many now define that flag as offensive, even though it has been in past parades for decades without a batted eye.
But their Yankee cousins aren’t free from the offensive things of Christmas either. Just because they come from a store doesn’t mean this stuff should be paraded around, at least according to some. This is the odd tale of two Christmas sweaters. The first many know about.
Target Corp came under fire weeks ago for selling a bright red Christmas sweater with the tagline of “OCD — Obsessive Christmas Disorder” emblazoned on the front. Like the Confederate flag, this is not a new item on the shelves of Target at Christmas. It is also a meme that has floated around on social media for years. But 2015 is the year of being offended and those with the very real mental disorder of OCD are now really upset at Target for mocking their disease.
While some people would like to see it pulled from store shelves, Target says it plans to keep selling the sweater during the holidays.
Meanwhile, another store has a Christmas controversy over another sweater. Uber-snooty Nordstrom’s — yes, those uppity merchants who every year make hay by claiming to “celebrate one holiday at a time” and refusing to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving — had to quickly remove a Hanukkah it had for sale on store shelves (in November??). The Nordstom’s sweater was by the label Faux Real that reads “Chai Maintenance” followed by “Hannukah J.A.P.,” referring to the abbreviation for Jewish American Princess. Needless to say, customers on Nordstrom’s Facebook page were not pleased, with one poster calling the slogan “degrading.”
Nordstrom’s — fearing the discovery that they actually DO celebrate holidays prematurely — quickly removed the item from their shelves.
“We made a mistake by not looking more closely at the words on the sweater before we posted it — had we done so, we wouldn’t have offered it,” said Nordstrom spokeswoman Tara Darrow. “As soon as we heard from customers, we removed it from our site right away. We’re terribly sorry for offending people and sincerely apologize.”
No word yet on whether or not Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to wear these sweaters to Christmas parades held this year in the South.
A Louisiana mayor is under fire — and being applauded — for banning the confederate flag from the City of Natchitoches Christmas Parade scheduled for December 5th. For more than 20 years the Sons of Confederate Veterans have marched in the parade with a float and a rifle company with upwards of 40 people all carrying Confederate flags. They will be sitting this one out, unless attorneys file a first amendment claim.
“As mayor, I am accountable to all citizens who live in our city, and for many the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate, bigotry, violence and division,” Posey said during a news conference attended by about 50 people in the Natchitoches Arts Center. He said that while there will be many confederate flags flying he cannot allow the “flag of controversy”, even if such was permissible in the past.
“To be clear, the city of Natchitoches has not banned the Confederate flag from public display,” Posey said.
“The only thing we have banned is the flag being marched in the Christmas Festival parade.”
The parade “should be a symbol of the Christmas season and should be associated with peace, love and unity,” Posey said.
“I truly believe that our Christmas festival should seek to bind us, not divide us,” he added.
Earlier this month, Posey wrote to the Christmas Festival Committee to ask that the flag be banned from the parade, saying the flag “could cause substantial disruption or interference with the parade.”
Posey said he knows some members of the community disagree with his decision on the flag.
No word yet on whether the ACLU will take up the case of the Sons of Confederate Veterans on the basis that they have a right to express free speech, but that argument has been made and the idea forwarded by many.
The fiasco of a publicly perceived swipe at Christmas political correctness will soon be forgotten thanks to the quick action of Simon Mall CEO David Contis. Simon had come under rapid fire over the weekend for their new Santa set that would provide what they called “The Glacier Santa Experience” which basically featured Santa in a high-tech snow cave absent of any Christmas trees, lights or traditional decor. Reaction was swift and negative on social media.
“It was a mistake, and we had to correct,” Simon Mall President David Contis said Sunday. “If we lose money, so be it.”
The media is reporting that not only will the North Carolina display disappear but so too will similar displays Simon was either erecting or planning to install for this holiday season. Returning will be the trees, the lights and Santa looking anything but cold.
Simon has made nice. But will Starbucks?
Not likely. In response to the backlash over it’s removal of Christmas from their cup designs a social media campaign encouraged Starbucks customers to give baristas their name as “Merry Christmas” when ordering at Starbucks in order to compel Starbucks employees to say Merry Christmas.
Over the weekend several high profile Christian pastors took Starbucks to task for their stance. It remains to be seen if the backlash will continue or if it will ultimately affect Starbucks sales.
It is only early November but already there is a different feel to this Christmas season. Instead of localized battles over Christmas we are seeing for the first time widespread discontent and outrage over the common battles of Christmas and political correctness now especially associated with it.
We reported on the flap over Starbuck’s 2015 Christmas cups the other day. That report centered on a conservative news site claiming the cup was a statement of political correctness and a slap against Christmas. We disagreed in giving Starbucks the benefit of the doubt and, like us, most gave Starbucks a pass.
Then Starbucks stepped in it. In a published statement an official said “Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays. We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s [a] more open way to usher in the holiday.”
And then the Internet erupted and well it should have. Starbucks a sanctuary? Wow, is that self important. They are a coffee bar. That is all. But even worse is the sentiment that their cups are somehow making the world more inclusive. Starbucks is promoting a political agenda, just as the original news story reported. There’s no other way to say it.
But for as widespread as that was a whole new bizarre situation erupted when a mall in North Carolina erected a new home for their Santa Claus absent of any sign of Christmas. Calling it “the Santa glacier experience” the new set had Santa sitting inside of what one television reporter called “that spaceship looking thing”. Shoppers remembered all to well the same spot in the mall where last year a towering Christmas tree dominated the mall space — and they were outraged. One even took the complaint with his kids to Youtube and song:
The situation worsened when another mall in New York featured the same set. The outcry there was enough to get the attention of local media and that story lit the fuse on Twitter and Facebook. Both malls played defense by claiming the display was not yet complete — and they quickly erected a couple of small pre-lit trees in a weekend attempt to quell the backlash.
The widely reported case of a high school sued by the Freedom from Religion Foundation for performing a production with a live Nativity has taken a new twist. In an announcement to local media the school now says the Bible verses previously used in the production have been removed and replaced with historical references to Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. The live Nativity stays, making the event “consistent” with other legally allowed events associated with public schools, according to a local attorney.
The case has been one of the rare events where a school refused to back down on their production and face the FFRF in court — until now. Reactions to the moves on social media have been mixed.
“I see nothing wrong with including Hanukkah and Kwanza I think it brings unity to the season.” writes Debbie Barden.
Richard Dick Trowbridge takes exception. “Apparently Mr. Wheeler has not read the Constitution, and has caved into the demands of the bullies that want to force Christianity out of our culture. The School should hire a real attorney who understands the Constitution. You have never needed to have equal representation of other religions or their history at a Christian presentation. Government can support religion but not interfere in the Free exercise of that religious experience.” Educate yourselves it is your Freedoms that are at stake.”
Some are predicting more kids than ever are now going to drop from participating in the program because of the changes.
In a new piece being broadcast today Starbucks is being accused of whitewashing Christmas through a series of incremental changes since 2009 to their iconic red cups. Every Christmas season as a seeming signal to consumers that the holiday season has arrived Starbucks changes from using white cups to red cups. In years past they have had festive holiday designs on their cups. This year, they don’t. It is just a red cup with Starbuck’s odd logo on it.
This is war on Christmas?
Raheem Kassam says so:
“But Ragih,” I hear you say. “Why do you care about what Starbucks is doing anyway? It’s crap coffee and none of us buy it.” Sure, but plenty of people do. And subliminally, they’re being told/reminded that this time of the year is no longer about Christmas. It’s about the colour red, or something. It’s a “holiday season”. Don’t say Merry Christmas. It’s offensive.
Let’s bring this back to reality.
First of all, nobody looks to Starbucks as a Christmas bellwether. Is it not Christmas because Starbucks or any other corporate entity says so.
If Starbucks wants to make a political statement with their packaging let them. Want to know what matters to them, really? It’s sales. That is all. If they go too far in their politics guess what? People won’t go there (see Target). People vote with money and Starbucks is most interested in money over Christmas. Christmas is just a means to their money end. That is all. When they go to far they will have slit their own throat.
Kassam may well be right in that corporate entities in America are whitewashing Christianity away from culture. But we don’t have to jump on the war on Christmas band wagon to make this point. Christmas isn’t going anywhere because it was never at Starbucks to begin with.