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I am one of the first people who will tell you that there is NO place for religion in government, politics or law. One of the beauties of this country is freedom OF and FROM religion. And politicians with extreme religious beliefs actually scare me.
I have been thinking a lot about religion lately and I will be writing more about it in the near future. But I could not discuss this current topic without fully disclosing that I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state.
That being said (clearing my throat)…
Oh Holiday Tree, Oh Holiday Tree … wait, that doesn’t sound right.
A holiday tree by any other name … no. That isn’t right either.
Those darn sprucey, evergreeny, prickley trees. If they aren’t dropping seemingly forever embedded needles into my carpet, they are causing verbal commotions and endless debate.
A couple weeks ago, I had quite the belly ache. It wasn’t because of turkey binging or the tummy flu. It was from laughing and laughing. A young (11 year old) member of our family announced to us out of the blue that “Walker saved Christmas.” She has some very religious relatives who continue to fill her with information she does not have the capacity to understand. In fact, she was once told at the age of eight that President Obama was a “baby killer.” She literally thought that our President was out killing infants on some murderous spree. Poor kid.
After this announcement, all I could picture was some cartoonish Dr. Seuss character saving Christmas for all the girls and boys from some evil Pagan villain who has been stealing gifts and burning down Nativity scenes. Thus, once I left the room, I had a hardy chuckle.
I asked her how he saved Christmas and from what or whom? I inquired about all the previous Christmases which, to my memory, had all remained intact. She had no answers. Just confusion. Again confirming my belief that kids don’t need to be filled with political propaganda until they are able to fully understand what they are digesting.
“Christmas was and is just fine. It is in no danger. Now go play,” I told her.
Of course, I knew to what she was referring – even though she did not. Scott Walker took time out of his precious schedule to announce that the Capitol Holiday Tree would now be called a Christmas Tree. Well, holy holly balls … now we can all rest at night.
Did people really lose sleep over this? Was there mass hand-ringing and tears shed over what a plant was named? If we really want to dissect the issue, an argument can be made that the symbol itself was indeed a Pagan tradition. Even before that, it was a means of celebrating the solstice and happy farming to come. It had nothing to do with Jesus or the Wisemen. But that is neither here nor there.
Calling a Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree is just silly. It is not like it appeases people of the Jewish faith who don’t recognize Christmas anyway. True Atheists do not celebrate the holiday. And let’s face it, there is always room for a Festivus Pole. When there is an evergreen-type tree with sparkles, lights and ornaments in the middle of any given room, we are all pretty aware that it is, indeed, a sign of Christmas. And I will add that if someone is offended by the pine scented glitter catcher, then they should be able to erect the celebratory symbol of their choosing. If we are to allow religious sentiment in the Capitol, then ALL religions should have the opportunity to be represented. And if you are an Atheist, then just ignore all of it. After all, I don’t believe in paying 300 bucks for a handbag, but I don’t demand all Louis Vuittons be abolished (but they are butt ugly).
I have no issue with a Christmas Tree being called what it is – a Christmas Tree. Just like the Easter Bunny (pretty sure that isn’t in the Bible either) isn’t a Holiday Bunny.
Now, if the argument is to keep the celebration of religious holidays out of government buildings, well then calling it a Holiday Tree really doesn’t make a difference, does it? It is what it is. Because we all really know that there is no such thing as a Holiday Tree. And making things up which do not exist for the sake of entertainment and fodder is just so contradictory to our culture. Now excuse me while I finish my letter to Santa and worry about rampant voter fraud.