Friday, November 18, 2011

The Christmas Word

Idalis Burgos

                                                        THE CHRISTMAS WORD

Idalis Burgos
The Word Christmas
Just the other day I came across an e-mail in my inbox that caught my attention.  The topic of the article is a direct reaction to the White house calling a Christmas Tree a “Holiday Tree” this year.  This reminded me of the situation that I’d often thought about since last year’s “Christams Village” dilemma.  It happened last year around mid to the end of December.  In case you’re unaware, there was a problem with an atheist woman and many others wanting the word “Christmas” to be taken out of the sign, “Christmas Village” in Center City because they found it offensive.  Needless to say, there was a big controversy about this throughout the holiday season.  The word Christmas was taken down until Mayor Nutter stepped in and had the “Christmas” sign put back up that is in fact what it is.   
I personally don’t find it offensive or threatening when I walk passed a building and see a large Menorah and a sign that reads “Happy Hanukkah”.  I was brought up in a Christian family and I was raised to respect the religion of others.  Having grown up in the Philadelphia School District whom observes many of the Jewish holidays as well, I understand that the Menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah just as the Christmas Tree is one of many symbols of Christmas.  They educated us on most religious holidays to help soften the clashes between cultures.  The colliding of cultures from time to time is inevitable, but as a society we must remain respectful.  Christmas is to Christians as Ramadan is to Muslims.  To ask either one to change the name of a symbol of ANY religious holiday to sound less Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. in order not offend anyone would be like taking away from their religious identity; and all I the name of politeness? 
This is what Ben Stein had to say about the Christmas Tree situation:

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America .
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every  single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.  I don't feel threatened.  I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me.  I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .  If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me  as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God?  I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's  intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina)..   Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.  She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.  And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.  How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he's talking about.  And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail  and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages  regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace,  but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and  workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

My Best Regards,   Honestly and respectfully,



  1. I find this post really interesting. I am also a Christian but I interact with people of different religions every single day. My boss is Jewish and every year around Christmas he decorates our small office with stockings and we all exchange gifts. He says merry Christmas to us and we say Happy Hanukkah to him. But we also get Holiday mail from clients saying merry Christmas. No one gets offended and quite frankly no one really cares. No one thinks it's some huge conspiracy or lack of respect for someone else's religion. I think people who get offended feel threatened or maybe they feel like someone else's religion is getting shoved down their throats. But I feel that what's actually happening is what is SUPPOSED to happen. American is not bound any nationality or religion. I feel that what actually defines this nation is that we are so diverse. You don't have to believe what anyone else believes to find the beauty in family togetherness or to show appreciation for your loved ones. There are so many people who claim to be atheists but they will still exchange gifts on December 25. If it bothers you so much, then don't participate at all. I find that each year someone finds a way to attack someone else's religion by calling it overbearing. However, even child networks are doing their part to make sure no one feels left out. For example, even nickelodeon says happy Christmahanakwanzika (Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa) so that everyone feels included. Our nation is diverse. People need to get over that, and see it as a positive attribute of our culture as opposed to a negative one.

    By: Ashley Rivera

  2. Thank you for your feedback. I never understood why some people get so offended by Christmas, Kwanzas, Hanukkah or any other religious holiday. As you said, the nation in which we live is too diverse for anyone to take offense to holiday greetings or the name of a symbol (Christmas tree). My attitude has always been if you don't agree with it, then don't participate. But I never thought to try and change something that I'm not a part of or simply don't understand. So when I hear stories like the one in my post, one saying comes to mind: "Misery loves company."