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How the Left stole Christmas
American Conservative ^ | Dec 04 | Tom Piatak

Posted on 12/08/2005 12:09:11 AM PST by churchillbuff

In one generation—I was born in 1964—Christmas has gone from being a widespread and joyous public celebration to the holiday that dare not speak its name. We now have “holiday trees,” “holiday cards,” “holiday parties,” “holiday songs,” and even, in one particularly egregious advertisement, a “child’s first holiday.” Simply put, there is now raging a “War Against Christmas,” in author Peter Brimelow’s trenchant phrase.

A hallmark of this war is an aggressive multiculturalism that has elevated a variety of formerly obscure or even non-existent festivals into faux-Christmases, principally Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and now Ramadan, but also Diwali, Bodhi Day, the Birth of Guru Gobind Singh, Dongji, and Chinese New Year. The reason for the elevation of these holidays is their proximity to Christmas, not their cultural significance or intrinsic worth. Indeed, Kwanzaa was invented in 1966, Hanukkah is traditionally a minor holiday (with no basis in the canonical Hebrew Bible), and Ramadan was virtually unknown in America until a few short years ago. Despite their recent provenance—at least as pseudo-Christmases—these holidays are now treated as coequals of Christmas, with public figures sure to pepper any of the increasingly rare mentions of Christmas with references to at least some of these others.

The desire to efface Christmas that lies behind the elevation of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all the rest is illustrated by recent developments in the New York City public schools. The Thomas More Law Center is now suing the school system, which bans Nativity scenes but regularly display menorahs and Muslim crescents. Nor are the schools trying to rectify this now that their hostility to Christianity has been put in the spotlight. Instead, they are vigorously defending the ban, claiming that the “suggestion that a crèche is a historically accurate representation of an event with secular significance is wholly disingenuous.” The birth of the most important figure in history carries no weight in New York City, nor does the fact that the birth was first depicted in a crèche by another seminal historical figure, an itinerant friar from Assisi named Francis. It does not take a belief in the divinity of Christ or the sanctity of Francis to recognize their tremendous impact on the history and culture of the West. Apparently, though, the multiculturalists are eager to promote every culture but our own.

That the war against Christmas is part of a broader war against Western culture is shown by last year’s winner of’s invaluable War Against Christmas competition. The Columbus, Ohio, schools banned a performance of Handel’s Messiah, which for the previous nine years had been the highlight of the year at a specialized school for the arts. The performance would have violated the district’s religious-music policy, which came into being as the result of an ACLU lawsuit. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the policy stipulated that the proportion of religious music performed in concert be no more than 30 percent and that the performance of religious music be “based on sound curricular reasons” and not “manifest a preference for religion or particular religious beliefs.” The educational bureaucrats who devised the policy, trying to be helpful, suggested the students perform “Frosty the Snowman” or “Jingle Bells” instead of Handel. Their ignorance and philistinism is appalling, though characteristic of those waging the War Against Christmas. After hearing Messiah performed in London, Haydn was moved to exclaim, “Handel is the master of us all!” and to write his own great oratorio, The Creation. But, in today’s climate of “sensitivity” and “tolerance,” beauty and artistic merit are scarcely a sufficient warrant for exposing delicate ears to the name of Christ.

The transformation of Christmas to “holiday” and the attendant impoverishment of our culture was brought about to accommodate not the small minority of Americans who do not celebrate Christmas but the far smaller minority—comprising those of all faiths and of none—who resent the overwhelming majority who do celebrate Christmas. In my experience, most non-Christians do not resent Christmas and generally enjoy some aspects of its celebration. This sentiment was well expressed by Philadelphia Inquirer editor Jane Eisner’s thoughtful and generous essay of December 2002, in which she explained why, as a Jew, she was bothered by the suppression of Christmas and “[t]he conflation of Christmas, Hanukkah, and now Kwanzaa … into one big, fat indistinguishable holiday.”

But the transformation of Christmas into “holiday” would not have occurred without a dedicated, active minority who resented and despised it. An upcoming film on the art-house circuit, called “The Hebrew Hammer,” a spoof of blaxploitation films, features the film’s eponymous hero and his sidekick, the head of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, battling the film’s villains, the sons of Santa Claus and Tiny Tim. Among the villains’ acts of treachery: distributing videos of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” one of the greatest of all American movies and the favorite picture of both Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart. Judging from the film’s Web site, it appears that “The Hebrew Hammer” at least has the potential to be funny. But the reasons for its making are not. As the film’s director, Jonathan Kesselman, told the LA Jewish Journal, “I asked myself, ‘What as a Jew really pisses me off?’ It hit me when I was walking around a mall in December: I hate Christmastime.”

This Christmas, though, you won’t have to go to an art house to see a film inspired by disdain for Christmas. Disney is observing the holiday by releasing (through its Miramax subsidiary) another alleged comedy, “Bad Santa.” This movie’s Santa figure is shown being a drunk and having sex, is heard by other characters having anal sex, and repeatedly swears in front of children. According to the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass, Disney is promoting this charming film with advertisements on TV featuring “a veiled reference to oral sex and an unmistakable reference to feminine hygiene” at times—such as during Sunday afternoon football games—when it would be reasonable to expect children to watch them. As Kass archly observes, “About the only thing that Santa is forbidden to do these days is mention the real reason that gifts are given in late December.”

The whole point of “Bad Santa” is to mock and demean Christmas. The film’s boosters say as much. George Thomas, of the Akron Beacon Journal, wrote in early November, “The trailer shows this as an anti-holiday film and it could be the much needed antidote to that good-will-to-man feeling that permeates the season.” It goes without saying that the great Walt Disney would never have made such a film, but neither would any of the other major studios in Hollywood’s golden age. They were busy instead making such delightful films as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Bells of St. Mary’s” (the film playing in Bedford Falls as George Bailey runs down its snowy streets on Christmas Eve), “The Bishop’s Wife,” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” The journey from “Miracle on 34th Street” to “Bad Santa” is downhill all the way.

Kesselman has the same right to “hate Christmastime” as the rest of us do to love it, but it makes no sense to transform our culture and jettison beloved and popular traditions to appease such hatred. The malcontents and misfits who have litigated and complained to prevent such horrors as children learning how to sing “Silent Night” should not be allowed to set our course. What is needed, instead, is true tolerance, a recognition that the point of celebrating a holiday is just that—celebration—and the intent of those doing the celebrating is not to demean those who don’t. As Jane Eisner wrote, “Somehow we have to learn to coexist without calling in lawyers and initiating merger talks. We have to recognize the strength and distinctiveness of each celebration, and not force equality by pretending ‘I Had a Little Dreidel’ is on par with the heavenly melodies of Christmas carols.”

I first began thinking about this while driving to my parents’ in Michigan several years ago to celebrate Christmas. Even though I was driving on Dec. 23, I could not find Christmas music on any American radio station. Then I came across CBC 2, which was carrying nothing but Christmas music and whose announcers were regularly wishing their listeners a Merry Christmas. Their programming featured both familiar Christmas music and some gems in the seemingly inexhaustible treasury of beautiful Christmas music I had not heard before: Anne Sofie von Otter singing lovely Swedish carols, Charpentier’s beautiful Mass for Midnight, with its generous borrowing from French carols, and Praetorius’s stunning Mass for Christmas Morning. The sheer beauty of the music brought home what we are in danger of losing. And that the proudly tolerant Canadians were playing such music led me to wonder why we are, instead, sanitizing our culture of any reference to Christmas.

Rather than strip the altars, we used to try to add to all the beauty surrounding Christmas, the work done earlier by Giotto, Bach, Dickens, Charpentier, Praetorius, and the village priest and organist who collaborated to give us “Silent Night.” Although not quite on this level, Hollywood’s classic Christmas films have stood the test of time and are still being watched and enjoyed nearly 60 years after they were made. More recently, carols such as “The Little Drummer Boy” and cartoons such as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” have enchanted us, and they still do, nearly 40 years later. We no longer make such contributions, as the focus of the Christmas season is no longer the positive one of celebrating a shared tradition but the negative one of pretending that tradition does not exist, so as not to offend those who do not share it.

The result of sanitizing Christmas is now within sight: an undistinguished, uninspiring public celebration, devoid of religious or cultural significance or indeed of beauty, with nothing left but multiculturalist pap and tawdry commercialism. I do not believe that grim fate is inevitable. But that future will indeed be ours if we remain so unnerved by the thought of giving offense to those looking for a reason to be offended that we are afraid to celebrate our own culture, tradition, and religion. ____________________________________

Tom Piatak writes from Cleveland, Ohio.

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: antichristmas; christmas; culturewars; theleft
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1 posted on 12/08/2005 12:09:12 AM PST by churchillbuff
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To: churchillbuff

I'm offended by the word "Holiday". It's a derivative of the words "Holy" and "day". And our atheist friends just would not approve.

Maybe you should say "Notable Day".

2 posted on 12/08/2005 12:13:51 AM PST by Tzimisce
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To: churchillbuff
Merry Clownza and a Happy Peaceter!
3 posted on 12/08/2005 12:15:46 AM PST by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
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To: churchillbuff

The thing that bugs me is that the 'Holiday' reference is invariably a euphemism to avoid saying Christmas. It isn't wrong to say Christmas tree when that is what it is. Nobody puts up a holiday tree in their living room or else they could sell little cherry tree branches on the fourth of July or sometime in February. There is no reason to buy a holiday gift except at Christmas. The tradition is tied to Christmas. There is no April Fools day gift exchange. We all know this and the argument for not saying Christmas is just lame.

4 posted on 12/08/2005 12:25:44 AM PST by carumba
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To: Tzimisce

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune* might say that maybe Christmas deserves an asterick.

5 posted on 12/08/2005 12:27:11 AM PST by GeronL (Leftism is the INSANE Cult of the Artificial)
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To: carumba
Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all DUmmies too, they need to be merry before they all start wearing explosive belts in the malls.

Merry Christmas to the ACLU, whether they want it or not

Merry Christmas to PETA, we be snacking on reigndeer jerky y'all

Merry Christmas to bin Laden and those other terrorists around the world, we be sending those JDAM's giftwrapped!!

Merry Christmas to the MSM folk who have to stand in line for unemployment benefits! neener neener neener

You all are getting a chunk of low-grade coal in your stockings.

6 posted on 12/08/2005 12:30:57 AM PST by GeronL (Leftism is the INSANE Cult of the Artificial)
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To: churchillbuff

I received this in an e-mail. I hope you enjoy.

My Christmas Mission

By Debbie Daniel

I'm on a "Merry Christmas" mission and I'm in full throttle. My little yellow VW Beetle has turned into a Christmas billboard with Merry Christmas written across the back window. Yes, I've decided to trek off to work everyday on the public highways with a message that seems to offend people.

At stop lights, I even turn my music up a little louder, and to top it off, I sing along with it. Don't I know that stopping at a red light to roll my windows down only to share the joy of Christmas carols on public streets is a No-No? Don't I fear the Christmas Gestapo and those who would have me remove the written message from my car?

I'm sorry folks, but the only person I'm concerned about "offending" during this Christmas season is the Lord himself. LEAVE THAT MANGER ALONE! We've allowed the Baby Jesus to be kicked out of His lowly manger, and those offended by Christmas are still not happy.

I refuse to let this happen. I'm going to do my part to make sure "Merry Christmas" doesn't become extinct. Because like it or not, if the believers in Christmas don't take a stand now, it's gone forever.

Listen folks, the Christian community has been underestimated before; we will have to show ourselves again.

I walked into a Wendy's Restaurant the other day and was rather exuberant with my "Merry Christmas" greeting to the manager. He didn't have much of a response and I said, "Where's your Christmas spirit?" He said, "We're not allowed to use the words "Merry Christmas" when greeting customers. We can only say "Happy Holiday."

This morning I grabbed a quick breakfast at a Whataburger Restaurant. I noticed there wasn't a single decoration in the store. I asked the manager why they weren't decorated for Christmas. He told me the corporate headquarters decided not to send any decorations to any of their stores, and he didn't know why.

After I heard about all the Macy's and Federated Stores taking down their Merry Christmas signs, the Target stores not allowing the Salvation Army to "Ring the Christmas bells," and the many incidents of children, choirs, and bands not allowed to play or sing Christmas carols, I realized it was happening right here in my own little Texas town.

How can this be? Not Texas!

We do, however, have a store, Hobby Lobby, that plays nothing but Christmas carols during the season. On Christmas Day they run a full page ad in our local newspaper. That ad is not to promote the store, but uses the entire page to tell the story of Jesus' birth. Now that's taking a stand. We need to thank them.

When I saw a news report the other evening of children being taught new words to a song we've sung for years - "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" - I was saddened to hear "We Wish You a Splendid Holiday."

I know now that it's just a matter of time that the "Merry Christmas" greetings will be gone. Look around your town. Notice the "Holiday" greetings and not "Christmas." It's happening right before our very eyes.

Start singing the songs; go down the streets of America singing to your heart's content. Get some of those wash-off markers that these kids use to write on their car windows when they're rooting for their hometown football team. It's easy to do, and if a torrential rain washes it off, write it on there again.

We've got to get this message out. "Go Tell It On the Mountain . . . that Jesus Christ is Born." Sing it, speak it, be a billboard for our Lord.

The story of this "Baby Jesus" alone has brought about more goodwill at this time of year than any other day we celebrate. How can we sit back and allow Him to be snuffed out of our lives?

Is it Jesus, or is it His followers that the "offended" don't like? What kind of revulsion galvanizes one to campaign so vehemently against the mere mention of His name, the mere singing of a carol, or the mere visual of a sign that says "Merry Christmas?"

I can listen to my own boss at work use some of the vilest words and follow up with, "Excuse my French." I may cringe inside at his damning of God's name, but I tolerate it. So if you don't like me wishing you a "Merry Christmas," I'll say, "Excuse my joy." You may cringe that I celebrate the birth of Jesus, but just tolerate it.

I cannot be concerned that "Merry Christmas" offends you. If I'm not careful, the day will come when saying I'm a Christian will offend you.

I'm offended that you're offended. How about that?

When we get to a point that we can no longer take part in a tradition we hold dear, we have no choice; we either defend that tradition or we give it up to those who say NO. That's it . . . period. So, which will it be?

I'm not giving up my "Merry Christmas" joy to anyone. If I know of someone that celebrates another holiday during this time of year, I will be glad to wish them whatever holiday they want. Just tell me what it is and I'll shout it to the world and wish you a grand celebration.

Just give me Christmas. To you merchants: Stop being so hypocritical and "filling your tills" on the back of Jesus! Who do you think is the symbol of giving at this time of year? It was the wise men bringing gifts to the newborn Christ-child.

You want your coffers full, but have ordered your employees to take down all the Merry Christmas signs. If that's the case, I'll buy gifts at a place that understands my joy.

If you're worried about offending someone, you just did. The most recent Newsweek survey shows that 82% of Americans believe that Jesus is the Son of God. So, in trying not to offend a few, you've offended many.

It's okay to jump into the "Merry Christmas" spirit when it fills your cash register, but let's call it something else . . . and don't stop giving . . . and don't stop buying. . . we'll just change the name and you'll never know the difference.

I know the difference and I'm feeling it greatly. It's hard not to be aware that townships across our country have actually banned the singing of Christmas carols because it might offend someone. And it's not just the religious songs; it's the secular ones too. No more "Jingle Bells" or "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" because they're associated with Christmas. Boy, aren't we getting sensitive?

If we're not celebrating Christmas for the hope it gives with the birth of our Savior . . . there is no hope!

I noticed a few years ago that we changed the name of Abraham Lincoln's and George Washington's birthday so as to be all inclusive regarding the Presidents. Hark, if we should recognize anyone as exceptional. Now it's called Presidents' Day.

Well, if we're going to be so all inclusive, next month I'll have to refer to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as Civil Rights Leaders' Day. We don't want to exclude great Americans like Rosa Parks or Cesar Chavez, do we? And to think that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton might be left out.

We might need to change Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Grandparents' Day to All Parents' Day. Just lump them all together.

It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? So what's the difference?

My freedom to celebrate Christmas in the tradition of the Christian religion is as much my right as it is your right to be offended by it. So what are we going to do? Did anyone hear me . . . what are we going to do?

Do we defend a person's right to go forward with a time tested tradition (how about 2000 years?), or do we defend a person's right to end it all because they're offended? As long as we live in this great land and have the freedom to express ourselves and what we believe in, we will always offend someone.

If we try to make everything right for everyone, we won't have anything for anyone.

May you always have Christmas in your heart!

7 posted on 12/08/2005 1:02:14 AM PST by freema (Proud Marine Mom-What fools they are who doubt the ability of liberty to triumph over despotism)
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To: GeronL

Ho ho ho!

8 posted on 12/08/2005 1:02:49 AM PST by carumba
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To: churchillbuff
"Simply put, there is now raging a “War Against Christmas,”

It's not a war against Christmas, it's a war against Judism- Christianity- Against God himself. In scripture, revalations, the book of Daniel, it's called 'the Great Revolt' the beginning of the Apocalypse.

Prophacy has a lot to say about these times. Maybe that's why books o the subject are selling so well.

9 posted on 12/08/2005 1:46:16 AM PST by Forte Runningrock
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To: freema
"We do, however, have a store, Hobby Lobby, that plays nothing but Christmas carols during the season"

Hobby Lobby!!!! That is my very favorite store in the whole wide world! When my kids were young, they called it dad's toy store. I'm an avid RC'er, and now, so are my kid's, and no doubt, someday their kids will be too. I'm dreaming of a hobby Lobby Chrstmas! There's a new airplane kit I want to know with wings, shiny and wide! and a 4 stroke engine delight... hehe

10 posted on 12/08/2005 1:59:16 AM PST by Forte Runningrock
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To: Forte Runningrock

LOL! You sound like my hubby! Now, my brother, an avid Christmas Story fan, should find this under his tree:
But hubby would love nothing better than to find a shiny new airplane kit under the tree! He always looooooooooved to get 'the kids' those things when they were waaaaaaaaay too little to even begin to know how to operate them. But he and my brother were always so generous in showing the kids how that stuff operated. In fact, all my 'boys' would love a Hobby Lobby Christmas this year! Thanks for the idea! I'll need to paint the name "Forte Runningrock" on the plane!

11 posted on 12/08/2005 2:36:52 AM PST by freema (Proud Marine Mom-What fools they are who doubt the ability of liberty to triumph over despotism)
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To: churchillbuff

Only when enough of us decide not to financially support companies or organizations that demean Christians will this stop. If Target depended solely on sales from non-Christians, they would not be in business long. IF Christians did not buy the latest DVD-rereleases from Disney, their bashing would stop.

12 posted on 12/08/2005 2:58:12 AM PST by Sociopathocracy (Real men know the significance of the following numbers: 383, 426 and 440.)
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To: Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi; churchillbuff

It's no big mystery why this has happened. The Left hates Christmas because they love abortion and sodomy (which Christians oppose). The attack on Christmas derives from their insane, deranged, and pyschopathic enthusiasm for murdering unborn human children. Their hatred for Catholics and Evangelical Christians pops up in this frenzied and sick assault on the celebrations of the birth of Christ.

13 posted on 12/08/2005 3:07:08 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: churchillbuff

The ACLU,and how they stole our country right in front of our eyes and we let them get away with it..these are the goals of the ACLU..
Freeedom From Religion Foundation another commie orginiation that stole Christmas.

Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions, by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all form of artistic _expression. An American communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings," substituting shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.
Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."
Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.
Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and television.
Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural and healthy."
Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a "religious crutch."
Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious _expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."
Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of "the big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the communists took over. Obliterating the American past, with its antecedents in principles of freedom, liberty and private ownership is a major goal of the communists then and now.
Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture – education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

14 posted on 12/08/2005 4:03:24 AM PST by Beth528
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To: churchillbuff

I think that one of the best ways to combat this War On Christmas and I don't think a Christian would be angry about doing it, is to not buy ANY and I mean ANY Christmas gifts from any store this Christmas season. Just tell whoever ask you that you are boycotting all stores this year. The same with New Year. Don't book any reservations at any restaurants or hotels or go out of the country.
Then get after the schools, to get schools to have classes during Christmas and New Years. Don't worry about students having to stay longer for the school year because according to almost all 50 states a school year has just so many days for the students to go to school and if those days are already filled by spring then the school can close earlier than other wise before.
If you don't want to do it this year, then make plans for next year by buying a gift here and a gift there and hand it out at Christmas, that way all stores will not have a Christmas surge of profits and the taxes to the state and country will be less.

15 posted on 12/08/2005 4:58:47 AM PST by AIC
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To: churchillbuff
16 posted on 12/08/2005 5:05:37 AM PST by apackof2 (You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down)
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To: churchillbuff

The war against Christmas is a war against Christins and our Saviour, God in the flesh, Jesus Christ. The end of this war will occur at the end of the 7 year tribulation determined upon the earth by God, our Father.
All those useless religions of men will be destroyed and Jesus the Christ will rule from Zion for 1000 years. Until then, those who literally hate Christ will persecute the body of Christ, many of them bearing the name Christian but hating The Word of God.
The just shall live by faith.

17 posted on 12/08/2005 6:24:25 AM PST by kindred (Democrat Party- the Grinch that stole Christmas.Party leader,Ebeneezer Scrooge.)
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To: Beth528
You said it so well in so few words, you are no pontificating liberal.
18 posted on 12/08/2005 6:28:13 AM PST by kindred (Democrat Party- the Grinch that stole Christmas.Party leader,Ebeneezer Scrooge.)
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To: churchillbuff
Do these Christmas haters realize what Pandora’s Box they are opening? Do we want a colder society? No Christian charity to our fellow man? Just leave the poor and helpless to die alone in the dark, take advantage of anyone you can, cheating is OK as long as you don't get caught?

These Christmas haters are inviting a new order ruled by the strong and cruel. We should fight back as hard as we can with kindness; wish everyone you can a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Merry Christmas to all my fellow mankind!
19 posted on 12/08/2005 6:30:52 AM PST by 2001convSVT ("People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence")
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To: Tzimisce
‘I Had a Little Dreidel’

That should be ‘I Had a Little Holiday Dice'

20 posted on 12/08/2005 6:31:06 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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