Holiday tree, this is the “War on Christmas?”

There was so much spinning on the O’Reilly Factor this week that the people in New York thought Hurricane Sandy had returned. So what catastrophic event warranted all this hot air? In Rhode Island the Governor Lincoln Chaffee followed the example of the previous Governor and called a decorated tree in the State capital a Holiday Tree. Seriously, that was the big emergency that Bill O’Reilly needed to save our country from.

So why is big bad blowhard Bill so animated over this event? Not surprisingly, his anger is fueled by ignorance. Bill insists that the tradition of a Christmas tree started in Germany. Bill is wrong. A decorated tree in December has been a tradition long before the Bible was ever written. It is a pagan tradition celebrating the Winter Solstice. Something to think about for those who don’t celebrate Halloween because it’s a pagan holiday, but put up a decorated tree in December and color Easter eggs in the Spring.

So why does Bill have such a problem with Holiday trees? This is never explained. He insists a Christmas tree is a secular symbol. If that is true, what’s the beef with calling it a Holiday tree? To steal a line from Penn Jillette, doing Holiday instead of Christmas brings everyone in; not only the atheists, but Jews, Muslims and other religions as well. Bill accuses Governor Chaffee of removing a tradition. He says this while the governor is standing in front of the decorated tree. The tree is there! No one is taking it away or even talking about removing it. It’s just called a Holiday tree. Once again, what is the problem?

Secularism is taking hold of the United States and has been for some time. It’s not the 1950s anymore. Easter break is now called Spring break. Christmas break is now called Winter break. This is not due to a war on Christianity; this is due to a desire to include everyone. The grand holiday in December is a mixture of Pagan traditions, the legacy of Saint Nicholas, and Americanization such as fat Santa and Black Friday. Many people of all religions come to settle in the United States and celebrate the winter holiday. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, the Solstice, Kwanzaa, something secular or anything else, the grand celebration in December is for you. So in the spirit of being fair and balanced and looking out for everyone, even the people who don’t have the same beliefs that I do, Happy Holidays to all! And may logic and reason bless us, everyone.

James Kirk Wall

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