Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has designated the traditional state Christmas tree as the “holiday tree.” So, what holiday does the tree represent — Kwanzaa, Chanukah, New Years, or Eid al-Fitr? Are our holidays now interchangeable, or are they one big homogeneous politically correct melting pot? Imagine walking through Macy’s and hearing, “Silver bells, silver bells. It’s Kwanzaa time in the city. Ring-a-ling, soon it will be Eid al-Fitr.”
It’s a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree. It has always been a Christmas tree, and you can call it a holiday tree, but every two-year-old knows it’s a Christmas tree. No one is being fooled. Those afraid to mouth the word “Christmas,” as if it were some sort of obscenity, just appear foolish.
The University of California, Berkeley, provides a prayer room in the student union for Muslim students, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn has installed footbaths for Muslim students, as have a dozen other universities. A technical school in Minnesota has installed footbaths, but the coffee cart’s Christmas music has been turned off as a violation of the separation of church and state and, perhaps, insulting to those taking a footbath.
Ever vigilante when Christianity is ostensibly intruding in the public domain, the ACLU has been reluctant to object to footbaths, calling the issue “complicated.” And universities, in their typical newspeak, have claimed that anyone can use the footbaths. We all know how many non-Muslim students are in need of a footbath five times a day.
As a society, we seem especially sensitive to the presence of religion in the public square when that religion is Christianity. Otherwise, religion in the public square is simply celebrated as part of our multicultural heritage.
Perhaps, we need to be reminded that despite what President Obama said in his Islamic-pandering speech in Cairo, this is a Christian country. A majority of Americans still identify as Christians and some 95% of Americans, Christians and non-Christians, celebrate Christmas. These non-Christians celebrate Christmas as an authentic and quintessential American holiday. It was this fact that led the Supreme Court to uphold the right to have a Christmas tree in the public square and to call it that.
Christians have so far been incredibly tolerant of the affronts to their beliefs. No person who created, funded, or otherwise supported the outrageously offensive “Piss Christ” has been physically harmed for it. I doubt if those who smugly believe that Piss Christ is pushing the parameters of art would attempt a similar work involving Mohammed.