When Communist China is More Tolerant of Christmas Messages than America

Jim Hoft has a gallery of photos from malls around Shenzen, China that needs to be seen to be believed. Images like this one.

If China's Communist government had a problem with anyone wishing anyone else a Merry Christmas in public, the wishing would not happen. Yet it is. Meanwhile, here in the United States the members of the US House are banned from including "Merry Christmas" in their newsletters to constituents. We're not talking about a special holiday card or letter, but just including the phrase "Merry Christmas" at the end of their normal newsletters.

According to the Washington Examiner, members who submit official mailings for review by the congressional franking commission that reviews all congressional mail to determine if it can be "franked," or paid for with tax dollars, are being told that no holiday greetings, including "Merry Christmas," can be sent.

"I called the commission to ask for clarification and was told no 'Merry Christmas.' Also told cannot say 'Happy New Year' but can say 'have a happy new year' – referencing the time period of a new year, but not the holiday," a Hill staffer who requested anonymity told the paper.

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A franking commission spokesman told the Washington Examiner that members of Congress indeed cannot wish constituents "Merry Christmas" in any official mailing.

"Currently, incidental use of the phrase Happy Holidays is permissible, but Merry Christmas is not," said Salley Wood.

The Senate, by the way, is allowed to say "Merry Christmas" in a newsletter.

Gov. Deval Patrick got into holiday heat for inviting people to the lighting of Massachusetts' "holiday tree," with politically correct invitations that never mentioned Christmas. And while the White House still has an official tree to note the season, that tree says very little about the reason for the season. Unless...

The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree's base that uses the word “Christmas,” or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ.

On the north side of the tree--at a height of about 4 feet and easily visible to people standing near it---there is an ornament that says: “I ♥ President Obama.”

The state of California provided this year's tree, and it's responsible for the ornaments displayed on it. Which explains a lot, actually.

In keeping with this special invitation to students, the official website also produced some environmental “lesson plans” that teachers could use in helping their students create ornaments.

“We ask that all ornaments for the Capitol Christmas Tree be made out of natural or recycled materials,” said the introduction to the lesson plans. “Please share the thoughts in our mini-lesson ‘There is No Away’ with your students when they create an ornament for the Tree.”

The American left never misses a chance to proselytize for its religion.