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 Post subject: Oh sweet Jesus
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:32 pm 
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The "war on Christmas" hit home today. We had to run to Sears today, who has apparently relented on their "we won't say Merry Christmas" stance. How did they do this, exactly? By putting up sheets of paper with nothing but "Merry Christmas!" (I seem to remember there being an exclamation point, but I'm not certain) printed on a (black) laser printer with 36 point Helvetica or something. Which made everything better!

Just as amusing are the lawmakers around here who are insistingthat the state "Holiday Tree" be renamed the "Christmas Tree". Must have come about due to some evil liberal demand, right? Umm, no:

Quote:
The state first put a tree up in the rotunda over the holidays in 1916, and officials began referring to it as the "Holiday Tree" in 1985, according to the governor's office. The moniker has continued through four different administrations.

"The last time I checked, Christmas is still a holiday," said Doyle spokeswoman Melanie Fonder. "It's too bad the Legislature has nothing better to focus on than what to call a tree."


Is this shit over yet?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:01 pm 
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I saw the same thing at the Sears here the other night. It was so obvious what was going on that I had to laugh.

The radical right -- saving American Christianity with Scotch tape and toner.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:16 pm 
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God bless Jon Stewart, Keith Olbermann, and Media Matters:

http://mediamatters.org/items/200512090007
http://mediamatters.org/items/200512080005

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:52 am 
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There's a hilarious and fascinating controversy brewing locally along these lines:

http://neros-fiddle.blogspot.com/2005/1 ... front.html

At this rate, they'll have to destroy Christmas in order to save it.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 1:09 pm 
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http://www.theonion.com/content/node/43438

Activist Judge Cancels Christmas

WASHINGTON, DC—In a sudden and unexpected blow to the Americans working to protect the holiday, liberal U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt ruled the private celebration of Christmas unconstitutional Monday.
Activist Judge Cancels Christmas

"In accordance with my activist agenda to secularize the nation, this court finds Christmas to be unlawful," Judge Reinhardt said. "The celebration of the birth of the philosopher Jesus—be it in the form of gift-giving, the singing of carols, fanciful decorations, or general good cheer and warm feelings amongst families—is in violation of the First Amendment principles upon which this great nation was founded."

In addition to forbidding the celebration of Christmas in any form, Judge Reinhardt has made it illegal to say "Merry Christmas." Instead, he has ruled that Americans must say "Happy Holidays" or "Vacaciones Felices" if they wish to extend good tidings.

Within an hour of the judge's verdict, National Guard troops were mobilized to enforce the controversial ruling.

"Sorry, kids, no Christmas this year," Beloit, WI mall Santa Gene Ernot said as he was led away from his Santa's Village in leg irons. "Write to your congressman to put a stop to these liberal activist judges. It's up to you to save Christmas! Ho ho ho!"

Said Pvt. Stanley Cope, who tasered Ernot for his outburst: "We're fighting an unpopular war on Christmas, but what can we do? The military has no choice but to take orders from a lone activist judge."

Across America, the decision of the all-powerful liberal courts was met with shock and disappointment, as American families quietly took down their holiday decorations and canceled their plans to gather and make merry.

"They've been chipping away at Christmas rights for decades," Fox News personality John Gibson said. "Even before this ruling, you couldn't hear a Christmas song on the radio or in a department store. I hate to say it, America, but I told you so."
Activist Judge Cancels Christmas

Gibson then went into hiding, vowing to be a vital part of the Christmas resistance that would eventually triumph and bring Christmas back to the United States and its retail stores.

The ban is not limited to the retail sector. In support of Reinhardt's ruling, Sen. Ted Kennedy, a Jew, introduced legislation that would mandate the registration of every Christian in the United States and subject their houses to random searches to ensure they are not celebrating Christmas.

"Getting rid of every wreath or nativity scene is not enough," Kennedy said. "In order to ensure that Americans of every belief feel comfortable in any home or business, we must eliminate all traces of this offensive holiday. My yellow belly quakes with fear at the thought of offending any foreigners, atheists, or child molesters."

America's children are bearing the brunt of Reinhardt's marginal, activist rulings.

"Why did the bad man take away Christmas?" 5-year-old Danny Dover said. "I made a card for my mommy out of paper and glue, and now I can't give it to her."

Shortly after Dover issued his statement, police kicked down his door, removed his holiday tree, confiscated his presents, and crushed his homemade card underfoot.

A broad, bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has been working closely with the White House, banding together in the hope of somehow overruling the decision. So far, however, their efforts have been fruitless.

"Our hearts go out to the Americans this ruling affects," Sen. Chip Pickering (R-MS) said. "If it's any condolence, I wish you all a Happy Holidays, which, I'm afraid, is all I'm legally allowed to say at this time."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:53 pm 
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God Bless the Onion.

The weird thing about the whole "political correctness" issue re: X-mas is that I've never known (or even heard of directly) a single person who actually objects to the secular celebration of the holiday. It seems that it's the politicians and/or store owners who repeatedly jump the gun on any perceived offenses and who then have to backtrack when their changes upset everyone else.

But I guess that's the funny thing about political correctness in general: no one seems to support it and yet its rampant. :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:35 pm 
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You liberals should check out this book:

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:43 pm 
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"careful U.S. studies had already shown that at least a thousand sexual contacts are needed to achieve heterosexual transmission of [HIV]"

Let the fucking begin!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:28 pm 
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Here's some useless data from CNN. Honestly, what does this prove? More importantly, who cares?

Thanks for ruining Christmas, fundies. Now I can't hear the words "Merry Christmas" without thinking of your self-righteousness. Fuck you and your navel-gazing "culture war."

Here's a crazy idea. Maybe "happy holidays" was meant to encompass both Christmas and New Year's, not to make baby Jesus cry. Ever think of that, fundies? No, of course not. You're too busy being professional crybaby victims of imagined oppression.

Poll: More Americans prefer 'Merry Christmas' greeting

Tuesday, December 20, 2005; Posted: 1:57 p.m. EST (18:57 GMT)

(CNN) -- In the cultural battle over whether to use the seasonal greeting "happy holidays" or "Merry Christmas," the latter appears to be winning, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Tuesday.

In the poll, which surveyed 1,003 adult Americans by phone, 69 percent said they prefer "Merry Christmas" over "happy holidays," which garnered 29 percent.

Compared with the 2004 Christmas -- or holiday -- season, the number of people who said they use "happy holidays" has dropped 12 percentage points, from 41 percent to 29 percent.

That's bound to be good news for some Christian conservatives who've been pushing for advertisers and stores to wish patrons "Merry Christmas" rather than the more secular and inclusive "happy holidays."

Those who prefer "bah humbug" were not included in the survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Much of the greeting debate has been driven by how people prefer to be greeted by clerks at stores and public institutions. In the poll, 61 percent of respondents said more stores and institutions using "happy holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" is a change for the worse.

Last year, 43 percent said the use of "happy holidays" was a change for the worse.

On the political front, although the campaign for "Merry Christmas" appears to be waged largely by conservative Americans, many Democrats and liberals appear to be affected by it, according to the poll.

A majority of liberals and a majority of Democrats said they preferred "happy holidays" last year. But this year, a majority of liberals and a majority of Democrats said their preference was "Merry Christmas." Those findings have a margin of error of plus or minus 7 percentage points.

The poll was conducted Friday through Monday.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:12 am 
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Apparently it's against the first amendment to *not* put up a bunch of Jesus shit. Bolding mine.

http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/20 ... 822353.txt

Man demanding Christian symbols in Racine played St. Nicholas for years
By Rachel McCormick

RACINE - A man who says he's trying to save the Christmas spirit in Racine played St. Nicholas for 11 years and claims he visited with more than 250,000 children throughout southeastern

Wisconsin.

Now, 20 years after he hung up his St. Nick costume, 65-year-old Robert Wortock is working again to bring Christmas to Racine - this time with a lawyer. The Wind Point resident is threatening to sue the city for not including Christian symbolism in its Downtown Christmas displays.

The fight is a encore of sorts for Wortock, who started playing St. Nick in 1978, visiting schools and hospitals in Racine and Milwaukee counties and in Madison.

"I would tell stories of the Christ child and how to live well," he said Wednesday.

His role-playing stopped on Dec. 6, 1989, after a 125-year-old sleigh - which he spent $10,000 restoring - was hit and destroyed by a car. Reports from the time note that Wortock was at fault for the accident. He was given a ticket for running a red light in his sleigh.

This week, Wortock returned to the local Christmas scene by demanding that Racine officials put up a nativity scene and display signs that say "Merry Christmas" before Christmas Eve. If the city does not, Wortock has threatened legal action.

The Liberty Counsel, a religious civil liberties education and legal defense organization headquartered in Virginia and Florida, sent a letter to Mayor Gary Becker stating that displaying Christian symbols for Christmas was not illegal, but not displaying them shows hostility toward Christians - and possibly violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which protects religious expression from government infringement.

In an interview Tuesday, Becker said he had no control over what is put up as far as holiday decorations go.

The city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department must approve the decorations, while Downtown Racine Corp. worked with merchants to plan and pay for the decorations. No city money was used on the displays, which include a sign labeling the Christmas tree on Monument Square a Community Tree.

On Wednesday, Wortock said he'd received several phone calls in support of relighting the city's Christmas spirit by putting up Christian symbols to celebrate the holiday.

"When you start to minimize Christmas, you start to minimize people's beliefs," Wortock said.

Wortock said holidays such as Christmas symbolize a time for giving and forgiving. By not celebrating it correctly - by having a "community tree" versus a "Christmas tree" - it takes that effect away, he added.

That was one of the reasons he played St. Nick, as opposed to Santa Claus. While he played St. Nick, Wortock said he thought the children appreciated seeing a real character of Christmas and not someone that a soda company made up.

"I like Santa Claus, but St. Nick was real," Wortock said. "And for St. Nick it wasn't about children telling him what they wanted, like it is with Santa. It was about morals."

Wortock said even though the City Council won't meet again until 2006 - and therefore can't act on his demands - he will not stop fighting for the Christian symbolism.

"They have four days," he said. "I'm not trying to offend anyone but I'm not going anywhere. The city has the means."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:33 am 
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Quote:
"I like Santa Claus, but St. Nick was real," Wortock said. "And for St. Nick it wasn't about children telling him what they wanted, like it is with Santa. It was about morals."


I guess Wortock doesn't realize that he's a child telling the City Council what he wants.

Ryan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:39 am 
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St. Nicholas was a minor 4th-century saint latterly recruited to the Christmas cause -- his feast day (celebration optional in the Catholic church since 1969, when forty saints were de-sainted and ninety others, Nick included, demoted) is actually Dec. 6th.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 2:05 am 
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Nick's a big deal in Germany, though. I.e., who cares?

Coca-cola did pretty much invent modern Santa Claus, though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:51 am 
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Dodgeville strikes back.

Dodgeville district firing back over Christmas controversy

GEORGE HESSELBERG ghesselberg@madison.com
January 25, 2006

The Dodgeville School District, accused in December of launching an "attack on Christmas," has counterattacked the accusers.

In a sharply worded letter from its lawyer, the district this week demanded a widely distributed apology, a retraction of claims the school's policies are "hostile" to the U.S. Constitution, and $23,899.48 in damages from the Liberty Counsel. The Florida-based group grabbed national publicity and solicited donations based on its charge that a Dodgeville elementary school had "decided to eliminate Christmas from the Christmas season."

The district and media debunked the charge and the program went on, holiday-appropriate music and all, but under strict security.

The group threatened lawsuits and ignored the truth even after the school posted on its Web site an explanation of its program, the district charged in a letter to Liberty Counsel.

"Your dissemination of false and misleading information and your threats of specious and frivolous litigation resulted in enormous cost to the district. You have yet to present the facts either through a press release, one of your 'alerts' or through any other means. You used this red herring to attempt to collect money through the form of donations," the district's lawyer, Eileen A. Brownlee, wrote in a letter to Mathew D. Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel.

The letter chronologically details contacts with the group, which had named the district's Ridgeway Elementary School winter program as its "exhibit A" in the "war on Christmas."

Staver on Wednesday called the district's requests "ridiculous," and said if the district had simply contacted Liberty Counsel directly after its first letter, the entire affair might have been cleared up immediately.

But Diane Messer, Dodgeville superintendent, said the group never asked for a reply or for an explanation in its first letter, never checked its facts and even got its final statement wrong, when it issued a press release incorrectly claiming the school "dumps" a song, "Cold in the Night," and "returns" to "Silent Night."

Contrary to Liberty Counsel's information in a string of press releases, "From the beginning," wrote Messer to the group Dec. 13, "the program has included the singing of religious songs with their original lyrics. Yes, 'Silent Night' will be sung. 'Cold in the Night' will not be sung." Instead, that song was narrated.

Messer, in an interview Wednesday, said Liberty Counsel exploited incorrect information for a publicity advantage, disregarding the truth.

In one press release, Staver said the school district "intentionally mocks Christian Christmas songs."

Comments like this were "what in part incensed our district and our School Board," said Messer.

"We answered his question, he chose to frame it differently, focusing on 'Silent Night.' As a result, that is where he made his errors. That and . . . not verifying the facts of the matter.

"I am surprised that he has chosen this approach, since he is representing a Christian organization that certainly would uphold the Ten Commandments. He is not honoring the commandment that thou shalt not bear false witness."

Staver was unapologetic.

"I wish they would have called" in response to his first letter, Staver said.

"Hindsight is 20/20. I wish they would have let us know about their press release on their Web site. Communication would have been very helpful. That is why we sent the first letter," he said.

Messer provided a copy of the letter from Liberty Counsel as evidence, that the letter did not request a reply, information or explanation. It did say, "Please contact us if we can assist you in changing current practices or policies in the district."

Staver continued to claim that "Messer and the rest of the school should have or could have and were requested to call us to resolve any alleged misunderstandings that they say there might have been, but they did not do it."

The group describes itself as a "national public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law, particularly free speech, religious freedom and church-state matters." The group, registered in Wisconsin as a tax-exempt charitable organization, is also active in legal battles against gay marriage and abortion.

The story was bandied about by national and local columnists and on a national conservative television show. After an initial round of exposure based on the Liberty Counsel release and resultant barrage of e-mails and calls to the school, the media reported the headline-grabbing accusation, that a hallowed Christmas carol had been "secularized" by the Dodgeville School District, was false.

Staver blamed the district for the confusion.

"They never clarified any (issue) until we were well into this matter, and now they say they have incurred costs. They ought to be glad they didn't incur a lawsuit," said Staver.

"It is ridiculous they even think we would pay a bill."

The bill, described by Messer as " compensation for damages on behalf of our taxpayers," includes $20,376.43 in compensation costs for 469.5 hours put in by district staff, $2,539.65 for law enforcement, $407.40 for buses and $576 for lawyer fees.

Though the Liberty Counsel said in its first letter it had been contacted by "concerned parents" in the Dodgeville School District, and in another letter it had been contacted by "additional parents" in the district, Messer said no parents complained directly to the district.

Staver said his group's broad concern was the school policy on "ceremonies and observations, religious holidays," which he said was "problematic."

The policy in part says that materials and activities cannot "promote religion," and plays cannot be used to "convey religious messages."

"Plainly," the group accused, "someone misunderstood the policy to mean that 'Silent Night' could not be sung because it conveys a religious message."

There was no decision to not sing 'Silent Night,' school officials said.

Messer said the district's policy, and winter program, will not change.

"There was not one thing wrong or inappropriate or against our policy or against the constitution in our winter program. Why would we change?"

Does she think the Liberty Counsel will send the district a check or an apology?

"I would like to believe that given their Christian basis, that somebody there would realize that right is right. And since they used their actions as part of their fundraising campaign, certainly something should be forthcoming. If nothing more than a token of compensation for what they unfairly subjected us to."

She said that she hopes "next year, if this group continues to wage their 'War on Christmas' publicity campaign, they will research first to understand the facts of whatever the issues are at the next location. This might prevent someone else from becoming a victim of their bullying tactics."

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:29 pm 
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I hope they nail Staver's ass to the wall.

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