Truly, people - the intolerance and hate and self-serving partisan dreck surrounding the anger of Bredesen's personal Christmas greeting - has gone on and on and on. Makes me wonder if some Neo-Cons need some time away from staring into The Abyss of Imaginary Woe and perhaps consider instead time spent contemplaing the bona-fide generosity and good will which the rest of us bask in during December.
Since banning all images beyond, beyond --- well, hell, what DO these folk want on a Christmas Card?
Surely not am image of a trio of Zororastrian judicial astrologers from Ancient Persia named Balthasar, Melchior and Caspar riding camels to visit a child in some barn!! There may even have been more such Easterners arriving at the Nativity setting!! Some scholars even say that "Caspar" was a form of the Persian name of "Jaspar," whose real name was Rustaham-Gondofarr Suren-Pahlav of the Suren-Pahlav Clan, the ruler of the eastern-greater Iran, (via WikiPedia). Perhaps we should all just limit Christmas gifts to gold, frankencense and myrrh.
And an image of some snow-covered log-cabin homestead? Obviously that's a reference to anti-materialism and Global Warming.
One *cough* minister, Patsor Maury Davis of Cornerstone Church in Madison has been widely quoted as saying: "Christmas ought to be kept pure," and compared the governor's gesture to sending out a picture of a Klansman on Martin Luther King Day
How about a picture of a decorated Christmas tree? Well .... even that is some kind of non-American European notion which elicited the ire of ministers who claimed the "tree" was anti-God, too. (See here)
Blogger Roger Abramson offers this thought:
"I realize that asking conservatives of the more whacked-out variety to use good judgment in their political discourse is basically asking for the moon, but it kills me how they seem to have dropped the ball here. If they had any sense, then instead of focusing on the religion issue, what they should have said was how great it was that in this period of gloom and doom, in which Democrats are cackling about the failures of the Bush administration's foreign policy, here is a Democratic governor highlighting--and implicitly endorsing--a relative success."
Using Christmas and politics is ... well, it's a common theme. Here's a sample of a speech which occurred last week in Greene County:
"The Rev. Alexander told the audience Thursday night that those in the right wing of the Republican Party would have “all kinds of problems” if they found out that Jesus was a liberal.
“It would remove one half of their vocabulary. They would no longer know what to say about us Democrats because they couldn’t call us ‘liberals’ because Jesus was one,” he said.
Alexander compared the Pharisees of Jesus’ time to many Republicans of this period of U.S. history.
“Who was the party of the rich? ... Who were the people that were guaranteed that nobody ever got onto their turf? ... That wanted to maintain the status quo? ... That didn’t want to change things?” he asked rhetorically.
“They had to do whatever necessary to maintain power. They had to protect the elite. They had to make sure that the rich got richer. They had to make sure that the poor continued to remain under foot and kept out. And they had to make sure that nobody ever did anything that would change anything,” Alexander said.
He continued, “Jesus said to these Pharisees the most scathing words ever recorded in all Scripture. He said, ‘Woe unto you, you scribes and Pharisees — hypocrites.”Perhaps a better indication of how some people get the whole idea of Christmas - it is not merely a chance to enhace the national economy, as President Bush said yesterday: "Go shopping." The following is from the Mountain Press in Sevierville:
Nikki Presnell, a teacher in grades six through eight who coordinated the upper-grade side of the fair, said she wanted her students to learn that the concept of Christmas is not all Americanized.
"Everyone celebrates Christmas in a different way," Presnell said. "(The students) also learn geography and where each country is. They've done basic research on the country, and they draw maps and flags, as well as find the Christmas information.
"The students also work with partners," Presnell said, "and that was interesting because you had to depend on someone else and show teamwork and how important that was. Some of the (older) groups worked with the younger students and differentiated instructions."
Sixth-graders Kaity Dunn and Kayla Durham worked together on a project about Greece.
"Instead of Christmas trees, they use this," Kayla said, pointing to a frame with holy water and some green branches around it.
"(Students) have been really high on this from the beginning," Ball said. "When we presented this to them, they were excited.
"We've had a lot of parents and community members involved," she said. "Parents found some of the recipes and cooked traditional dishes that they brought in to share with the kids, and they helped make some of the arts and crafts. This is turning into an entire community event, not just a school event."