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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Falwell prepares to go to war over Christmas

The story:

Boston set off a furor this week when it officially renamed a giant tree erected in a city park a "holiday tree" instead of a "Christmas tree."

The move drew an angry response from Christian conservatives, including evangelist Jerry Falwell who heckled Boston officials and pressed the city to change the name back.

"There's been a concerted effort to steal Christmas," Falwell told Fox Television.

The Nova Scotia logger who cut down the 48-foot (14-meter) tree was indignant and said he would not have donated the tree if he had known of the name change.

"I'd have cut it down and put it through the chipper," Donnie Hatt told a Canadian newspaper. "If they decide it should be a holiday tree, I'll tell them to send it back. If it was a holiday tree, you might as well put it up at Easter."

Falwell and the conservative Liberty Counsel led a campaign that threatened to sue anyone who spreads what they see as misinformation about Christmas celebrations in public spaces.

The rest of the story is here.

Jeff's Controversy Starting Soapbox Comments:

I was planning a more in-depth look at the winter holiday season and its origins later in the month, but I have to comment on this now. I find it very amusing that Jerry and company are threaterning to sue people over Christmas. Maybe those of us who know the actual origin of Christmas should sue him right back for spreading mis/disinformation. Jerry...buddy...the winter holidays were being celebrated thousands of years before the Church co-opted the season for the birthday of thier Savior, even though it is fairly well known among the scholarly types that Jesus was actually born in or around April. The Pagan peoples of Europe and the Middle East had been celebrating the Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, the birthday of Mithras and many other things before Christmas came calm down, have some eggnog and get into the spirit of the season that you are so vehemently "protecting". You know, Peace and Goodwill Towards Men and all that..

Peace and Light



At 6:44 PM, Blogger D L Ennis said...

Great job Jeff...I could not agree more!


At 7:00 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...


A good article and I agree that suing is going a bit overboard, but it does bother me that they would call it a holiday tree instead of a Christmas the guy said, let's put it up at Easter if it is a holiday tree.

I do know about the history of Christmas and how the Church latched onto 'pagan' celebration time in order to bring people into Christianity. What bothers me in our country is that Christians are being discriminated against by the politically correct.

There are children who can't sing hymns in school talent shows because people say it violates church and state. There is the whole 'In God We Trust' and Ten Commandments debate. There are children in school who are being told they can't wear crosses or clothing with Christian symbols on it to school as it might offend someone. And there was recently a case where a student employed as a Resident Assistant in a college was told he couldn't hold a bible study in his room because he was an employee of the state.

I find all of this ridiculous and insulting and discriminating against my religious beliefs. I tell my children about other religions and how they celebrate this time of year. I don't ban the word Hanukah or Kwanzaa in my home and I am offended that there are people saying that I shouldn't say Merry Christmas because it might offend someone.

Sorry, guess I sound as bad as Jerry. I really do think suing is ludicrous, but I do appreciate someone standing up for the rights of Christians.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger B O B said...

One thing I like about our blog, is that it is made up of individuals with diverse points of view. Each of us respects the other even if we reach points of disagreement.

I personally consider this a good thing. With each point of view you can see things from another perspective.

Open expression has been the key that makes this blog work. Lynchburg Virginia has moved in the top 100,000 blogs out of a universe of 22 million.

That is a pretty fair accomplishment for a blog that has only been in existence since mid July of this year.

I can thank all of the contributors for placing us this high on the pecking order in the blog rankings.

We have not employed tricks to improve our ranking, but just a sincere effort to inform our readers and challenge them to look at things different ways.

I want to thank all of our contributors for the efforts they have made, to provide you the reader with interesting and informative content.

Today our blog has found a world wide audience that continues to grow in the number of readers and returning readers. Who would of thought that a blog with the title of Lynchburg Virginia would gain such an audience? We never did, but as we continue to grow, we want to thank all those who have found our blog and have been faithful readers.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

I think there is (or should be) a median in this situation. We have always tended to overcompensate. I tend to agree with the people who want to take IGWT off the money and the 10 Commandments out of public places simply because, if 1 is there, then they ALL should be there (In Ra We trust, or Macha? Or Bast?) The story about teens not able to wear Christian jewelry to school reminds me of the situation in Lincoln Park MI where a Wiccan student was told she could not wear a pentacle because it was considered a "gang" symbol. Again, if one is allowed, they ALL should be allowed. Better yet, none, then no one can say they are being discriminated against.
As for the Resident Advisor, if he was told when he was hired that he was a state employee and his room was also an office, then tough for him. If however he has 'off-duty" time and his room is simply a dorm room, then I agree they were wrong.

I think what is happening is, in part, a whiplash effect. The country has presumed that "Christian" was the only way for a long time, and now that we have a myriad of paths out there, people are overcompensating and going the other way. Typical if you ask me.

As for the rights of Christians...what we need is not someone who stands up for the rights of Christians, or Jews, or Wiccans, or Muslims. What we need is someone who stands for ALL rights and makes sure they are protected equally.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...


I agree that it should be one wears their symbols or everyone wears their symbols. I am not opposed to uniforms in schools and think they make a lot of sense.

We are a society that tends to go too far one way and then too far another. And a middle road would be nice, unfortunately, I don't think it is going to happen anytime soon and I want to know that my children can celebrate Christmas just like others can celebrate their religious holidays. I mean a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree, a menorrah is a menorrah...why do we need to change the names of these items from what they have traditionally been called to keep from offending.

I recently had a Thanksgving feast with my fellow homeschoolers and I wanted to read them a story about the first Thanksgiving and the people who came to America and why they came. I read through the story I had and it mentioned God a lot and for a moment I thought to myself... is it okay to read this to my inclusive group (we have Jewish members, pagans, etc.) But then I realized that this was historically accurate reason as to why they came and how they felt. I don't have to change history to fit people's current wishes and beliefs do I? I want history as it was good, bad and ugly. That way my children and I and hopefully others can learn from it. If we go about white washing it to read what we wish happened, then we are doing ourselves a great disservice.

Now that I have left the topic, I will shut up now. It is time for baths, prayers and stories. But I enjoy the discourse we have here and hope others will add their opinions to the mix. That is how we all grow and learn.

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If however he has 'off-duty" time and his room is simply a dorm room, then I agree they were wrong."

Sadly, state workers, like religious leaders, are never really off-duty. I could not put a candidate's sign in my yard before our last election because I lead a religious group and the congregation sometimes meets in my home.

My concern is that we will begin to take a scorched earth policy on these issues: no one will wear religious symbols in school-that's a shame; no city will be able to put up lighted trees, Christmas or no-how drab...


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