Catholic League president Bill Donohue released these remarks today on the latest round of anti-Christmas incidents:
“Like most Jews, Olympic skater Sasha Cohen is not offended by Christmas carols. But that didn’t stop a government employee from trying to protect her. While Cohen was skating at a rink in Riverside, California, a high-school choir started singing ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,’ immediately sending Michelle Baldwin into orbit. She summoned a cop and got him to institute a gag rule: he ordered the choir to stop singing. Baldwin maintained that because Cohen was Jewish, she would be upset by the carol. But she never bothered to ask the skater if she objected. As it turns out, Cohen couldn’t have cared less. As usual, those who say we must be careful not to offend non-Christians at Christmastime are the ones who object to Christmas—not those whom they falsely claim to represent.
“Like Baldwin, Sandra Byrne, principal of an elementary school in Delray Beach, Florida, has a need to show how inclusive she is. That’s why she has no Christmas tree, nativity scene or menorah in her office. Instead, her spot is adorned with teddy bears wearing sweaters. Moreover, only ‘winter parties’ and ‘winter celebrations’ are tolerated. ‘We’re very careful about this,’ she says. No doubt she is.
“Here’s another example of anti-Christmas fever. In a Detroit suburban school district, they’ve instituted a quota system on religious songs that can be sung at school concerts. That’s right, only 30 percent of the songs at Howell Public Schools can be religious. It’s not certain whether the choir director will be fined or imprisoned if a multicultural monitor finds that 31 percent of the songs are religious. We recommend incarceration.
“After Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, Castro made a good-faith gesture by allowing Cubans to celebrate Christmas again. Maybe we should hire Fidel to talk to these madmen.”