Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's Christmas in April in the General Assembly

The General Assembly is currently considering a bill "to affirm and support the use of the words 'Christmas' and 'Merry Christmas' when referring to events or activities traditionally associated with Christmas." Parts of this monumental-waste-of-time resolution seem fairly benign: for instance, in the "WHEREAS" that says "the vast majority of Americans are not offended by the use of the words 'Christmas' and 'Merry Chritmas,' but rather give and receive love, hope, comfort, and joy [background vocals repeat, "comfort and joy"]." However, sponsors of the bill have overplayed their hand by adding "WHEREAS's" like "according to a recently completed survey 90% of Americans consider themselves Christian" and "this General Assembly states that it affirms and supports the use of the words 'Christmas' and 'Merry Christmas' instead of non-descript, general terms such as 'Happy Holidays.'" This resolution is nothing but a mean-spirited, undiplomatic, piggy-back pander to the theo-cons, as if the very existence of Christmas hung in the balance over a stupid resolution in the Tennessee lege.

Thanks for affirming "Merry Christmas," guys and gals. I do have to hand it to you. You artfully dodge the overtly theological supremacy of Jesus by watering his status from "Lord and savior" to an "extraordinary life ... [that] profoundly impacted ... the United States." By my calculations, that places him on par with Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr. and a host of other very fallible and very mortal human beings. Your resolution basically dumbs down centuries of Christian theology in the name of saving a word or two. Now how about solving some of the state's real problems? And I want to be the first to wish an early "Happy Holidays" to you all.

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