Monday, December 05, 2005

How the Lazy Whiny Professor Saved Christmas

Once upon a time there was a college named Auburn who had taken to calling their annual Christmas Tree a "holiday tree" thus ruining Christmas for all. Fortunately Laura Steele, a member of student government, brought forward a petition in favor of calling the Christmas tree a Christmas tree. Let's look at some of the provisions.
Whereas, calling the tree a Christmas Tree preserves historical correctness and embraces religious diversity;
OK here's a problem; how does calling the tree a Christmas Tree embrace religious diversity? It would seem like the opposite would be true. Underlining that the Holiday Tree is a Christian symbol would tend to push aside those of other faiths. Maybe I'm missing something.

I understand that the school might set aside X amount of dollars for specifically Kwanza or Hanukkah or other festivities or decorations. Or, alternatively, the campus Jewish or African American societies might take some of the money they get from the school and put up something. Such displays or celebrations would naturally cost only a fraction of what the school spends celebrating Christmas, but such celebrations don't have to acknowledge Christmas, either. You wouldn't go to a Hanukkah party and complain about the lack of a manger; why should Jewish people go to a Christian Tree Lighting ceremony and expect to see a Menorah?

The answer is that the lighting of the Holiday tree is an Auburn Ceremony; it is intended to be a celebration involving the whole school. An Auburn Jewish Community's celebration of Hanukkah isn't intended for the school as a whole, nor would a celebration of Kwanza be intended for all.

The lighting of the Holiday Tree is intended by the school leaders to bring together the entire Auburn community.
Whereas, labeling a Christmas Tree as a "Holiday Tree" appears to be religiously intolerant toward those who celebrate Christmas
I really don't understand this one; other than referring to the aforementioned dichotomy between the small celebrations put on by religious and ethnic groups which do not have to reference Christmas, and the larger scale celebration intended for all.

But Christmas is a Holiday, isn't it?

Anyway the Lazy Whiny Professor is Mike S. Adams who covered this story in his latest article. I call him lazy because two thirds of the article is simply reprinting Ms. Steele's proposal verbatim. I call him whiny because I've read his columns before.

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