DON’T CALL IT CHRISTMAS
Catalyst January/February Issue 2005
Catholic League president William Donohue addressed the growing aversion to the use of the word Christmas:
“The residents of Fontana, California celebrated their annual Festival of Winter last weekend. Santa Claus, who is not associated with anything other than Christmas, was inexplicably present in the parade through Miller Park. Just as curious, there was a tree lighting ceremony, though no one said why trees are lighted in December and why they always look like Christmas trees. In Glendale, Ohio, village officials had a Holiday Walk on the Village Square last Saturday, though no one explained what holiday was being celebrated. And in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the town sponsored ‘a series of holiday events’ that included a ‘Holiday Parade’ and ‘a Community Sing and Tree Lighting.’ Again, there was no mention of exactly what holiday these people were so happy about.
“In Michigan’s historic Village of Franklin, they used to have a Holly Day Festival this time of year. But now they have progressed to calling it the Franklin Winter Festival. Why? Because as Les Gorback said (he is a prominent store owner who pushed for the name change), ‘Holly Day had the connotation it was strictly a Christmas holiday festival.’ Gorback said, ‘we wanted to try to make it more inclusive, so we changed the name.’ Why he didn’t simply move to cancel Christmas, he did not say.
“Those who think that the censoring of Christmas is a blue-state phenomenon need to consider what happened today in the Wichita Eagle. The Kansas newspaper ran the following clarification: ‘A story in Monday’s paper referred to a tree that was lighted at Tuesday’s Winterfest celebration as a ‘Christmas tree.’ In an effort to be inclusive, the city is actually referring to this tree as the ‘Community Tree.’
“It’s time practicing Christians demanded to know from these speech code fascists precisely who it is they think they are protecting from dropping the dreaded ‘C-word.’ The assumption is, of course, that Jews and Muslims are bigots. It’s time we heard from them as well.”