Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ho Ho Hogwash

The Bill O'Reillys and World Net Dailys of the net are slapping themselves on the back over the latest great culture victory they achieved, smacking down the evil secularists over in Ft. Collins, CO. Not content with that, they're also now trying to create post-victory ripples.

A county sheriff who had publicly expressed frustration with "politically correct" antagonism from secular America toward the religious foundations of Christmas now is under investigation for his thoughts...

Alderden said he's gotten about 400 e-mails and telephone calls about the issue, and only a handful were negative. "Locally the response has been very positive. We've gotten $1,200 in donations. People are dropping off lights and ornaments. We've had some people donate a tree, and a tree services company volunteered to dig it up, and plant it again."

Brilliant, those culture warriors.

"In general the response has been that people are tired of political correctness," he told WND. "I've even had agnostics, atheists and pagans come in and see me and support what we're doing, just on the grounds that spirituality should be allowed," he said.

He said officers in other departments across the country, where tolerance for the Christian meanings for Christmas are less tolerated, have called to commiserate. One major U.S. city's airport, he noted, was installing footbaths for Muslims, but refused to allow Christmas trees.

"Where have we gone?" Alderden asked.

However, he did say the repercussions for his support for Christmas already are developing. He said county commissioners were reviewing his comments in his column, a statement confirmed by Commissioner Glenn Gibson.

"The sheriff's not accountable to the commissioners. He's accountable to the public," Gibson told WND. But the commentary on the sheriff's department part of the county website causes concern, he said.

"I have questioned whether that is the correct, proper place to air one's opinion," he told WND. "That is what is being looked into. That probably will be addressed in the future."

Gibson said Alderden was free to have his own website, something Alderden told WND he already was exploring.

"It's just that my concern that being on the county website, that also shows county approval. That's what we're going to have to address," Gibson said.

No kidding it's an issue- especially when the whole controversy is pure spin.

That's right, J-blogger Golda Leah lives in Ft. Collins, and according to her, the whole thing is crap.

...the original story got it wrong, and the Task Force did NOT recommend the complete non-Christmas-ifiyng of our city displays.

What it said was this:

Christmas trees can be part of the primary, multicultural display at the city Museum. Christmas trees can remain in city buildings, and it would be up to those building managers to design the displays.

Colored lights could be part of the display at the museum. The lights in the downtown area have always been white -- the trees that line the square look magnificent -- and that would not change. Colored lights would be allowed in city buildings -- again, the city manager decides.

The main thrust of the Task Force document was a request for sensitivity to the diversity of Fort Collins.

But you'd never know that by reading the papers or watching Fox News.

And now there's a pretty ugly subtext starting to emerge, both locally and nationally.

...I've had quite enough, and I'm sick of the Jews being blamed every time a government official or City freaks out about holiday displays. The Chabad Rabbi here never mentioned one word about taking down the Christmas Tree or the colored lights. Lots of Jews I know who were previously ambivalent about the menorah are downright rabid about putting one up now. It's polarizing, and I can't see anything positive coming from it.
Amen. Golda Leah's got a point- just take a look at what some people are saying about the panel:

Most of the speakers were very critical of the 15-member task force and accused it of deliberately downgrading Christmas.

John Morris said the task force was only tolerant of its own arguments and had no intention of being tolerant of Christmas

“The work of the task force has been hijacked by activists,” he said, adding that the ultimate intention of many on the panel was to create an atheist state.

Really? I can't help but think that would be news to them. Golda Leah describes the task-force being made up of "representatives from our congregation, another local Jewish organization, an ACLU person, ministers and priests from local churches, etc."

So come on Mr. Morris, they can't ALL be Humanist Jews. (Check out the membership here.)

Luckily, plenty of people seem to be holding the culture warrior dopes' feet to the fire on this, including Karen Schwartz, who was on the much-maligned taskforce. And my personal favorite, Bill Johnson, who notes that Christmas trees have almost nothing to do with Christmas (and asks, quite rightly, how Christians will react in a few years' time when Muslims want to get in on this public square action).

Oh, and incidentally: they still haven't solved the menorah issue.

Hat tip: On the Fringe.

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