The evergreen tree with a star at the top is purely Christian [emphasis mine].I would not be writing this if they had left the word "purely" out of the statement. But its use raises red (in the non-Christmas sense of "red") flags for me. Do the NCP editors really intend to make their statement a quasi-hygienic nod to purity vs. contamination, when the tree comes down to us from a very amalgamated and adulterated history?
Terms like "purely" expose some of the impetus at the center of this debate: it is the drive toward cultural cleansing and purification. Fundamentalism--"the striving for purity of belief based on precise, unquestioned fundamentals, coupled with a willingness to do whatever it takes to insure that those basic tenets are protected from the challenges of secular society"--is the machine behind the controversy. Even President Bush is getting bulldozed by that machine simply for sending out culturally impure Christmas cards.
I have already pointed out that the term "holiday," is just as traditionally and generally (not purely) a Christian-oriented concept as the Christmas tree is. So, taking a side in this ridiculous fight is a little unChristian, although not "purely" unChristian.