Wednesday, December 07, 2011
THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS
Three posts below -- from Australia, the USA and Canada
Australia's Woolworths and the way we were
In response to my post earlier today about the apparent anti-Christian bigotry at Woolworths. I received the following email from a retired American:
Your item on the absence of Christian Christmas cards hits hard, as I am retired from the original F W Woolworth Co started by Frank Woolworth in 1879. The Australian Woolworths has no affiliation with the USA company, nor its British subsidiary; its founders slipped the trademark registry in while the USA operators slept at the switch.
My dismay is occasioned by the fact Frank Woolworth made his stores the Christmas headquarters in the USA, importing blown glass ornaments from Germany before WW II, and placing a strong emphasis on the Christian part of the Holiday, both in merchandise and in advertising itself as the Christmas HQ's.
Among its featured window items were creches, as well as box upon box of greeting cards commemorating Christ's birth. Woolworth USA was the first major retailer, if not company, to institute a Christmas bonus for its employees, as well as annual vacations.
Coincidentally, just yesterday I had just spent the better part of an hour trying to convey to my granddaughter the way those older variety stores operated during Christmas during the 50's -- selling cases of icicles, for example, that were strewn over millions of trees bearing ornaments sold by it, which glittering garlands were fashioned from that modern bug a boo, lead.
Merry Christmas from the USA!
(On the lead scare, read the latter part of the article here -- JR)
Mockery of Christmas
County Displays Crucified Santa on Courthouse Lawn. Would they mock a Muslim holy day?
A Christmas display outside the courthouse in Leesburg, VA featuring Santa Claus crucified on a cross was torn down by an angry resident in spite of arguments by elected leaders that the display was Constitutionally-protected free speech.
“I am shocked that the county would allow such a thing as a crucified Santa on the courthouse lawn,” Elizabeth McGuirk, a mother of three told Leesburg Today. She it would “seriously disturb my children.”
“Disgusting, outrageous and absurd,” Supervisor-elect Ken Reid told MyFoxDC.com. “This fellow crossed the line. I’m worried about kids seeing this at the parade Saturday.
The display was erected by Jeff Heflin, whose application was submitted and approved by the Loudon County Board of Supervisors.
“The county would not dismantle it, the county gave it permission for it to be there,” Supervisor Steven Miller told the local newspaper. “We had the same thing happen a year ago when Ed Myers put up some vulgar parody lyrics of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Well those came down within an hour and that’s vigilantes.”
The Loudon Times reported that Heflin described his display as “art work of Santa on a cross to depict society’s materialistic obsessions and addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy and kindness that is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.”
“It was meant to show the over-commercialization of Christmas,” said Jonathan Weintraub, of the NOVA Atheists. “I agree. It is over commercialized. People should keep their hands off the display, all the displays.”
The display was torn down by an unidentified local resident, according to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Dept. So far, no one has been arrested.
Gisela Bresler wrote a letter to the county leaders condemning the exhibit, calling it a mockery that dishonors the Christian religion.
“As I was coming to the Courthouse this morning, I was confronted by one of the most repulsive and disgusting displays of the misuse or our free speech that I have ever had the misfortune to witness,” Bresler wrote in a letter published in the Loudon Times. “In front of the Old Courthouse building there is a display of a cross with a Santa suit draped over it and the Santa has a skull for a face.”
“Perhaps the person or organization that displayed this monstrosity wants to make a point that Christmas is dead, or that Christ is dead,” the letter continued. “The point is that free speech is a two-way street. It is fine for whoever decided to display this obnoxious thing to have it displayed, but it is also correct for those who are insulted by it to speak against it. I am, therefore condemning this and I am repulsed by the fact of it.”
Canada: Town of Mount Royal latest to refrain from religious decorations
‘Tis the season for holiday decorations – and holiday controversies. A group of Muslims living in TMR asked town officials if Islamic symbols could be added to the holiday display at city hall. Instead, town officials decided to remove everything except a Christmas tree.
The decision, intended to keep from offending anyone, is not sitting well with some residents. "I think it's dreadful," said one TMR resident. "I was born in the town. I remember that since I was little. I don't think they should remove that at all."
Mayor Philippe Roy said the move was in response to a request from a local Muslim group who wanted Islamic symbols displayed at City Hall as well.
Instead of adding the religious symbols, Roy said council decided to take a different tack and remove their nativity scene and menorah. "We talked about it and we felt it wasn't the best place to do a religious display... at city hall," he said.
Council gave its menorah away to a local synagogue and its nativity scene to a local church.
The move meant TMR missed an opportunity to display its inclusive attitude, said Samer Majzoub from the Canadian Muslim Forum.
"It is very shocking that they go that far to the opposite side to remove everything, instead of dealing with the issue positively," said Majzoub.
Roy said the decision is final, and that all religions are welcome in the Town of Mount Royal, but religious symbols will stay out of City Hall.
It's not the first case of religious sensitivity irking Quebecers this season. On Friday, Service Canada [a federal welfare agency] admitted it made a mistake by banning all Christmas decorations from its location at Complexe Guy Favreau. They reversed the decision and will hang Christmas decorations at the federal outlet.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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