Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the craziest Christmas stories of 2009:
There is a Christmas tree inside town hall in Cary, North Carolina, but town officials couldn’t bring themselves to call it by its proper name, so they relabeled it the “Community Tree.” They used to have a “Holiday Tree” in Madison, Wisconsin, but even that was deemed too improper this year, so they opted for “The State Capitol Tree.” American Atheists threw a party decorating what they called their “Solstice Tree.”
Vineland, New Jersey opted to call their Christmas parade the “Holiday parade,” maintaining that because Urban Enterprise Zone dollars are used to fund the parade, they can’t call it the Christmas parade. In Howard County, Indiana they decided not to have a manger scene this year, and elected instead to have a lighted display of the Loch Ness Monster, a whale and other animals. Waterbury, Connecticut is awash in “Winter” concerts and the like, and the sages there even renamed their holiday parties “celebrations.” What they were celebrating remains a mystery, but one thing is for sure: Santa was not allowed to give out gifts as that job was assigned to Frosty the Snowman.
In Benton, Arkansas children put on Christmas skits, and in one of them the lead character wore a hula. Why? To show that the “Hula Girl” was rejected because she was not deemed “Christmasy.” It was announced by the woman in charge of this mess that “The meaning of Christmas is not to judge each other.” Santa was banned from the festivities in the Northern Lehigh School District in Pennsylvania; his role as gift-giver was taken by the district mascot, the Bulldog.
Finally, one corporate diversity wag (her actual title is executive director of diversity, inclusion and engagement) advises against saying “Happy New Year.” She recommends “Looking Forward.” By contrast, we at the Catholic League are old-fashioned. We are pro-Christmas trees and parades, pro-Santa and wish everyone—including the “Looking Forward” types—a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Susan A. Fani is the Director of Communications for the Catholic League. This press release was originally issued on December 21, 2009.