A new holiday definition of “freedom”?

Nothing says freedom to certain “tea partying” segments of the American public than forcing school children to sing or listen to the songs that these self-styled “patriots” want them to hear. And they want to make a law foisting their choice of music on public school students.

And just what would these songs be that are so…oooo very “important” that every student in the US of A should give voice or ear to?   Not what you would think.

Anyone assuming that these preferred songs would be “America the Beautiful”, “God Bless America,” “The Star Spangled Banner” or even “This Land Is My Land” would be totally wrong. After all, one or the other of these tunes is heard already at every professional sports game and NASCAR event, and usually at every political rally, too. So it is not overtly patriotic songs that these so-called patriots are concerned about.

What, then, could be so important that a law is needed to make sure they are part of the educational experience of every American school child?

Why that would be CHRISTMAS CAROLS!!! The folks who say they are in favor of limited government want to make sure that every American school child has Christmas carols! Not solstice songs, not Hanukkah songs, not Kwanzaa songs, not Divali songs, not Eid songs, not Wiccan songs, not Native American winter songs – nothing from the seasonal traditions of many (non-Christian) Americans – no, it has to be Christmas carols.

In a stunning display of ignorance of winter traditions other than her own, one California Tea Party “leader” publicly embraced the idea of legally mandating Christmas carols for public school students. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/10/merry-hyatt-tea-party-pat_n_387408.html

“Bottom line is Christmas is about Christmas,” said Erin Ryan, president of the Redding Tea Party Patriots. “That’s why we have it. It’s not about winter solstice or Kwanzaa. It’s like, ‘Wow you guys, it’s called Christmas for a reason.’ “

The proposed California law is the brainchild of Tea Party activist and substitute teacher Merry Hyatt and is called “Freedom to Present Christmas Music in Public School Classrooms or Assemblies” initiative.

One factor that these Tea Party “patriots” seem to have overlooked is the U.S. Constitution: in particular, the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

Using taxpayer money to support a particular religious view is prohibited under the First Amendment establishment clause. Any proposal to spend taxpayer dollars to foist Christmas carols on American school children would therefore be clearly unconstitutional.

Have any of these so-called Tea Party “patriots” actually read the U.S. Constitution? Do they even know what’s actually in it? Did they sleep through high school Civics class?

In addition, it would be a good idea for them to bone up on the origins of the Christmas tree, wreaths and other holiday paraphernalia that are rooted pagan (pre-Christian) traditions. Skeeter Sanders does an excellent analysis of the 5,000-year-old traditions that have become associated with Christmas in the U.S. http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/20043

Christmas has never been — and will never be — a Christian-only celebration and the time has come for Christian conservatives to stop denying the holiday’s true origins, for it didn’t start with the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem stable. The truth is, the holiday the world celebrates each year on the 25th of December pre-dates the birth of Jesus by tens of thousands of years.

Indeed, it is the most ancient holiday on the planet.

What we now call Christmas is actually the Christian adaptation of the many millennia-old Pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. With the notable exception of the Nativity creche, all of the symbols and decorations that we associate today with Christmas — the tree, the wreath, the holly and the ivy, the lights, the mistletoe, the eggnog, the Yule log, the caroling and even Santa Claus — are of Pagan origin and have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.

Sanders also points out one fact that the Tea Partyers would probably find most disturbing: the name of the holiday they call “Christmas” varies around the world:

Indeed, the very word “Christmas,” with its direct reference to Jesus as “The Christ” — which is derived from the Greek word kristos, or “savior” — is almost exclusive to English-speakers. In only nine other languages — Dutch (Kerstfeest), Farsi (Cristmas-e-shoma), French (Noel), Greek (Kristouyenna), Indonesian (Natal), Italian (Natale), Portuguese (Natal), Spanish (Navidad) and Ukranian(Khrystouvym) — does the name of this holiday come even close to referring to the birth of the Christ child.

I suppose “War on Noel” or “War on  Navidad” just doesn’t have the same ring to it for the Tea Party crowd. Plus they would then have to insist on people saying “Joyeux Noel” or “Feliz Navidad” – just like those darn “furriners” do.

Explore posts in the same categories: "War on Christmas", meaning of Christmas, Tea Party idiocy, U.S. Bill of Rights

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