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Comment Dated Dec 18, 2005
I've been reading that one of the latest infringements of liberty to be inflicted upon the Land Of The Free is an increasing proscription on calling Christmas what it is. Schoolchildren are being instructed to refer to the holiday as "winter break." Company staffs are forbidden to use the C-word in dealing with customers. A delivery service has banned its drivers from wearing Santa hats and decorating their trucks. For a season that supposedly celebrates such virtues as peace, tolerance, and goodwill to all, could anything be more absurd?
Apparently, one of the leading enforcers is the ACLU, which ironically features the word "Liberties" in its title. It seems to have played a prominent role in leading many Americans to believe, erroneously, that the words "separation of church and state" figure somewhere in the US Constitution. What the document does say, in Amendment 1, is that "Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion." That was to protect the newfound nation against the kind of practice common among European monarchies of forcibly imposing observance of their official state religions under penalty of criminal punishment or death--a far cry from feeling threatened by third-graders' party celebrations and wearing Santa hats, one would think. The other thing the Constitution says Congress shall make no law about with regard to religion is "prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That seems pretty simple and straightforward, in terms that not even a lawyer could complicate and confuse. So why shouldn't Christians be free to express themselves on what was originally their holiday, after all?
However, for those who enjoy their turkey, a bottle of Irish, and the rest of it, but at the same time feel that Western scientific civilization has been dominated for too long by traditions rooted in ancient Palestinian mysticism, I would draw attention to the fact that December 25 is the birthday, too, of Isaac Newton (in 1642). And who better to celebrate as the intellectual founder of mathematical, analytical method? So henceforth, those who, for whatever reason, have a problem with the traditional term can commemorate the formulation of his famous universal law by calling the season "Gravitational Mass," or, more simply, "Gravmas." In fact, I proposed just this some years ago, and I'm told that quite a vigorous practice of offering greetings and composing seasonal songs accordingly has sprung up as a result. Two thousand years from now, it could be the basis for the philosophy and world view of a whole new global culture, which by then might revolve around a race of supertech, spacegoing Chinese. To read the original, click here.