WASHINGTON – As a Christmas present for our president, who’s been going through a rough time lately, I’m not writing the column this Christmas Eve.
In keeping with a holiday tradition I began last year, I’m giving the space to my conservative brother, Kevin, who delights in turning the Gray Lady a vivid shade of red.
I asked Kevin, a salesman and father of three boys who lives in a Maryland suburb of Washington, to write you, dear readers, a letter with his thoughts on the year. You will find his meditation a refreshing, or regrettable, change from me, depending on your perspective. Here it is, unexpurgated:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Maybe it was the extended absence from the stern Franciscan nuns at Nativity grade school. But more likely it was the decorations, the songs, the movies like A Christmas Carol and Miracle on 34th Street, that filled people with an unbridled joy and an unusual generosity of spirit. Christmas has generally been celebrated as both a secular and religious holiday in this country. Recently, the PC police have decided that the word “Christ” carries an unbearable religious aura, so they are working hard to strike the word entirely for the more generic “Holiday.” The battle for the soul of Christmas has heated up.
So first, I’d like to give a big thank you to Speaker Hastert for ordering the renamed Holiday Tree to revert to its original title of Christmas Tree. And why not? We do not decorate the tree for Easter or the Fourth of July. It is a Christmas Tree.
We live in a country of 295 million people. Eighty percent of them are affiliated with religions. Ten percent don’t believe anything at all. Who the hell does Christmas offend?
Go back two generations, and you will find the real diversity that made our country the greatest in the world. Immigrants brought their customs with them and were accepted. We were taught by our parents to respect the customs and religious beliefs of other people. Let’s reach around and give PC a swat, like to an annoying child in the back seat on a long trip, before Santa and St. Patrick are casualties of war.
My mother hated political correctness. “In my day,” she’d say, “people respected each other and minded their own business.” Still good advice.
To the PC Elites: The founding fathers guaranteed Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. Please go away; you are making my hair hurt.
To Target: You’d better check the sales and profit numbers that are CHRISTMAS-related before you ban the word.
To Michael Moore, Rob Reiner, Barbra Streisand, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Alec Baldwin: When did you get back?
To MSNBC: Susan Estrich, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Lanny Davis – Why?
To Bill O’Reilly: Thank you for dragging the PC crowd into the open. Maybe they will learn that America doesn’t want to be de-Godded.
To Maureen: Of course men are necessary; who else could write this column?
To Jesse Jackson, Sean Penn, Snoop Dogg, Susan and Tim: Tookie Williams KILLED four people. Community service does not seem enough.
To Judge Jones of Pennsylvania: No Intelligent Design? You are going to be hoping for a Big Bang if St. Peter is checking IDs.
To President Bush: Stay the Course. The same people that are calling for troop withdrawal were under their beds on 9/12/01, screaming, “Kill the Infidels!” Let’s fight them there instead of here and bring our troops home with honor as soon as possible.
To my mom: Thanks for teaching your children to love Christmas as much as you did.
In the 1950s, my mother used to take Maureen and me to the sloping hill outside the Church of the Nativity. There, workers had assembled a giant stable, complete with figures at least 4 feet high, on a bed of real straw. Driving north on 13th Street, you could see the floodlit display four blocks away. We stood and admired that display with our Jewish and Protestant neighbors. No one seemed offended. Across the top was an angel, holding a sign that said, “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.” Let’s save that.
So, my friends, let me wish all of you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Blessed Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad and to all the rest of you – have a nice day!Kevin