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How the left stole Christmas

By Hans Zeiger
web posted December 8, 2003

A student at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis emailed me to say that a 12-foot decorated Christmas tree disappeared from her school atrium on December 2. Students received an email from the Dean for External Affairs, explaining:

"The tree came down because there were members of the law school community who thought it was divisive and inappropriate. The school will be putting up another holiday decoration to replace it---I think today--if at all possible. There were individuals who believed that the tree sent the wrong message to the law school community and would make some people feel excluded."

Law Professor Florence Wagman Roisman first complained about the tree, telling a local newspaper, "This is unacceptable at a place that presents itself as inclusive of all people." Now, the Indiana University School of Law atrium features a politically correct "Indiana Winter scene" devoid of Christmas-specific symbols. The setting includes fake snow, two small, bare trees, and poinsettia plants.

For university diversity administrators, tis the season for PC winter celebrations. And, you better watch out, the legal Grinches are coming to town in search of Christmas cheer on public property.

In Tipton, Iowa, the lawn of the Cedar County Courthouse has been decorated with a nativity scene each December for years. But now, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed an official complaint against the county, alleging that the nativity display violates the First Amendment.

Several years ago, the City of Troy, Michigan gave in to similar challenges to its annual Christmas displays. Last week, City Councilman David Lambert introduced a resolution to restore his city's nativity scene, but it failed by a vote of 5 to 2.

Not far from Troy, in Caro, Michigan, Wiccan activists are staging protests against the city's nativity display. Fortunately, when the witches filed a lawsuit last year to have the display dismantled, the case was thrown out.

In Baldwin City, Kansas, it was Santa Claus who was thrown out of an elementary school last week. The ACLU has filed a complaint against the Baldwin City schools for allowing a Santa Claus impersonator to visit young students and share with them the true story of Christmas.

In Elizabeth, Colorado, the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League are threatening to sue an elementary school if it continues to hold Christmas celebrations. In a letter to school administrators, the ACLU and the ADL demanded that holiday music programs be purged of all Christmas music, including even "Jingle Bells."

Christmas ought to be a time of peace, unity, and joy. It is quickly becoming a time of political correctness, division, and discontent.

Also, Christmas ought to be a celebration of life. In the case of Planned Parenthood, it has become a celebration of death. Last week, the nation's leading practitioner of murder announced that it is selling its infamous "Choice on Earth" holiday cards as it did in 2002.

Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt announced, "Planned Parenthood believes in every individual's right to make choices and live in peace with our planet." Besides the central phrase "Choice on Earth," slogans are littered around the front of the card such as "Women's Health," "Freedom," "Equality," and "Religious Rights." This month, Planned Parenthood plans to sell thousands of "Choice on Earth" t-shirts to its supporters.

For the most part, the radical Left has chosen to fight Christmas until it disappears from the calendar. But in the mean time, they are taking advantage of the cultural significance of the holiday to wage political war.

Instead of "Choice on Earth," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is exploiting Christmas for an anti-factory farm billboard campaign called "Hell on Earth." A second PETA billboard advertisement contains the tagline, "Go Vegetarian - it's an immaculate conception."

The radical Left's war on Christmas is just beginning. The best way we can fight back is by remembering - and observing - what Christmas is truly about. We can't forget that the Son of God was born in the filthy trough of cattle; that there was no room for Him in the inn.

So it shouldn't surprise us that in a nation that has forgotten God, there is no room for Him in the public square.

Hans Zeiger is president of the Scout Honor Coalition. His columns are published in the Seattle Times and online, and he is a student at Hillsdale College. Contact him at hazeiger@hillsdale.edu.

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