I was talking to a friend about Christmas parties at work and she explained how this year they were having a "winter festival". She works for the State of North Carolina. I see that move by a group as an attempt at being inclusive of all involved, that is good because it was voluntary by the people involved. Yet some states have forgot that Christmas is a distinct Christian and secular holiday for most Americans. A few days later, a nod for the Winter-Solstice comes from Washington State. This time it doesn't involve a tree, but a Nativity Scene at the state capitol in Olympia. A sign from an atheist organization was placed next to the Nativity scene. The explanation for the sign was from Dan Barker of "Freedom From Religion" who said: "Our members want equal time," Barker said, "Not to muscle, not to coerce, but just to have a place at the table." Now, the third instance is reported for the week. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where the Christmas trees, which have traditionally decorated the libraries, were kept in storage with the orders coming from Sarah Michalak, the associate provost for university libraries. Michalak comments: “We strive in our collection to have a wide variety of ideas,” she said. “It doesn't seem right to celebrate one particular set of customs.”
There are points to consider with of each of these situations. Americans understand the concept of freedom of religion and to worship as one chooses. With this aside for the moment, most Americans still want to practice their customs and traditions without grief. Culture and tradition keep a society together. Most Americans respectfully allow other religions to observe their religious holidays, and permit, if not enjoy observing other religious celebrations.
Most Americans are attempting to say: 'do not interfere with Americas greatest holiday tradition' . The holiday still brings happiness to so many. Are there issues with it? Certainly. But I have no wish to defile another religious display. Would I expect to go a Jewish display of a candelabrum and place a sign that said: "Hey, you forgot Jesus." ?
What about the actions of the atheist group in Washington? Why would they even want "a place at the table" of a Christian holiday'? Isn't there plenty of room in Washington to display the atheistic sign somewhere else? No logic involved here.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and please Ms. Michalak, put the trees back up at UNC...TRedwine