Recalling Christmas
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       Every year at this time, maybe the controversy surrounding the hope of some citizens that we take the word "Christ" and maybe even the spirit of Christ out of Christmas, rests on their belief that the 1st amendment demands it. It reads in part ".....Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise of." Now, it seems to me that denying a right to display a nativity scene, or removing "Merry Christmas" from advertisements and replacing it with "Happy Holidays", or some such phrase, are examples of prohibiting the free exercise of one's religious beliefs. These gestures are about as American as apple pie, baseball, and Mother. The Constitution allows, not restricts, religious belief expressions, for "Christ's" sake.
      The only reason there is a Christmas celebrated is because Jesus Christ was born. To say that his name should not be mentioned in any celebration of that fact would be, if not so pathetic, comically ludicrous. The Founding Fathers of the United States did not frame the Constitution with any religion in mind but Christianity, and to say that it is out of place to remember that fact, no matter what the venue, can only be described as inane.
     Are George Washington's or Abraham Lincoln's birthdays called by any other name? Or Martin Luther King's? Shall the Declaration of Independence be left out of the 4th of July parade? Even Punxsutawney Phil would resent his name not being mentioned at least a couple times on Groundhog Day!
      Isn't it true that Christmas and Martin Luther King's birthday and the 4th of July are legal holidays, where government employees, and other businesses where they respect these holidays, are given days off work with pay? Perhaps the government employees who are atheists, and others who want to remove Christ from Christmas, and the racial bigots who do not value the work of Dr. King, should be made to work those days. Not as punishment, but rather a reminder that Christmas time is one of America 's most cherished seasons and celebrating it is a fundamental aspect of America 's culture. Let's not let the Christmas spirit be recalled by a radical few. Let's recall the times in our lives when Christmas meant family gatherings with home cooked meals, wide eyed children opening gifts on Christmas morning or the night before, kids getting new bikes or doll houses, Christmas parties at work and maybe bonuses, relatives calling to say hi, postmen bringing stacks of Christmas cards full of good cheer bearing Season's Greetings, Christmas trees and homes and main streets of town all lit up, Christmas carols in the background wherever we went, going to Mass on Christmas Eve or to the Church of our choice on Christmas day. Let's recall these memories of Christmas and hold on to them and not let anyone take them from us. I'm sure the Founding Fathers would have it this way.