The United States of America was founded on the principles of religious tolerance.  John Locke wrote on it and this impacted Thomas Jefferson when he was crafting our great Constitution.  While our country was built on Christian principles, it was also established on allowing every person to believe and practice their own religion without reprisal or discrimination.  With the country having  Christian based values, there are certain Christian holidays that have been celebrated since the beginning of our country and date back to Germany.  While these holidays are religion based and allows workers of all beliefs to have a day off from work, it is not mandatory that everyone within the boundaries of America must celebrate these holidays within a religious context.

 

Today political correctness is working itself into the social fiber of our country.  This correctness is being inserted into our celebrations in a manner that jeopardizes the rights of the institutions that provided our religious tolerance.  So many of our government agencies are opting to recognize Christmas as a religious neutral holiday and the beautiful nativity sets that brought warmth and peace to so many government buildings across our country are disappearing.  This will then not offend any one that doesn’t believe in Christmas.  Just last week the governor of Rhode Island refused to refer to their tree at the capital as a Christmas tree but has it referred to as a “holiday tree”.  What is lost from this conversation is the fact that the holiday was founded as a Christian Holiday, was identified as an official Federal Holiday and allows Christians to celebrate this special holiday in accordance with tolerance from other individuals.  Unfortunately, many of our governments have ignored the need to be tolerant of the holiday and instead they have opted to change the title of the event and the true meaning of the Christmas holiday in favor of a non-tolerant view.   This is in contradiction to the people’s doctrines that began the event and what the holiday was intended to be.

 

When I first went to Saudi Arabia I was told to ship our Christmas tree as a holiday tree and not to mention Christmas in the shipment description.  It would then get through customs.  I did so and my tree came through.  I also witnessed many Christmas trees that had been confiscated in the customs area at the Dammam port.  But Saudi Arabia was the keeper of the Islamic faith and they make sure that everyone understands this and there are no false expectations when a person goes there to work and live.  It is interesting to note that the compound I lived in use to decorate heavily for Christmas and one area was referred to as Christmas Tree Circle.  The company stopped the lighting so that they could be politically correct.  The largest group of people who were disappointed when the decorating ceased were the local Saudis as they loved to drive through the camp at night and enjoy the lights.  I took pleasure in placing a well-lit Christmas tree in my large picture window so people could drive by and enjoy the season.

 

There are glimmers of hope that the trend to sanitize Christmas and thus other religious holidays could be moving back to the traditions of our country.  Wal Mart, one of the largest corporations in the world,  just announced that they would now greet customers in America with a “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays”.  I use to purposely wish the cashier a “Merry Christmas” and wait for a response.  I usually had it returned to me.  Merry Christmas everyone.

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