Bush WH "holiday" cards angers Christians - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-07-2005, 12:54 PM   #1
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,471
Local Time: 06:57 AM
Bush WH "holiday" cards angers Christians

[q]'Holiday' Cards Ring Hollow for Some on Bushes' List

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 7, 2005; A01



What's missing from the White House Christmas card? Christmas.

This month, as in every December since he took office, President Bush sent out cards with a generic end-of-the-year message, wishing 1.4 million of his close friends and supporters a happy "holiday season."

Many people are thrilled to get a White House Christmas card, no matter what the greeting inside. But some conservative Christians are reacting as if Bush stuck coal in their stockings.

"This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Bush "claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one," said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it."

Religious conservatives are miffed because they have been pressuring stores to advertise Christmas sales rather than "holiday specials" and urging schools to let students out for Christmas vacation rather than for "winter break." They celebrated when House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) insisted that the sparkling spectacle on the Capitol lawn should be called the Capitol Christmas Tree, not a holiday spruce.

Then along comes a generic season's greeting from the White House, paid for by the Republican National Committee. The cover art is also secular, if not humanist: It shows the presidential pets -- two dogs and a cat -- frolicking on a snowy White House lawn.

"Certainly President and Mrs. Bush, because of their faith, celebrate Christmas," said Susan Whitson, Laura Bush's press secretary. "Their cards in recent years have included best wishes for a holiday season, rather than Christmas wishes, because they are sent to people of all faiths."

That is the same rationale offered by major retailers for generic holiday catalogues, and it is accepted by groups such as the National Council of Churches. "I think it's more important to put Christ back into our war planning than into our Christmas cards," said the council's general secretary, the Rev. Bob Edgar, a former Democratic congressman.

But the White House's explanation does not satisfy the groups -- which have grown in number in recent years -- that believe there is, in the words of the Heritage Foundation, a "war on Christmas" involving an "ever-stronger push toward a neutered 'holiday' season so that non-Christians won't be even the slightest bit offended."

One of the generals on the pro-Christmas side is Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss. "Sometimes it's hard to tell whether this is sinister -- it's the purging of Christ from Christmas -- or whether it's just political correctness run amok," he said. "I think in the case of the White House, it's just political correctness."

Wildmon does not give retailers the same benefit of the doubt. This year, he has called for a consumer boycott of Target stores because the chain issued a holiday advertising circular that did not mention Christmas. Last year, he aimed a similar boycott at Macy's Inc., which averted a repeat this December by proclaiming "Merry Christmas" in its advertising and in-store displays.

"It bothers me that the White House card leaves off any reference to Jesus, while we've got Ramadan celebrations in the White House," Wildmon said. "What's going on there?"

At the Catholic League, Donohue had just announced a boycott of the Lands' End catalogue when he received his White House holiday card. True, he said, the Bushes included a verse from Psalm 28, but Psalms are in the Old Testament and do not mention Jesus' birth.

"They'd better address this, because they're no better than the retailers who have lost the will to say 'Merry Christmas,' " he said.

Donohue said that Wal-Mart, facing a threatened boycott, added a Christmas page to its Web site and fired a customer relations employee who wrote a letter linking Christmas to "Siberian shamanism." He was not mollified by a letter from Lands' End saying it "adopted the 'holiday' terminology as a way to comply with one of the basic freedoms granted to all Americans: freedom of religion."

"Ninety-six percent of Americans celebrate Christmas," Donohue said. "Spare me the diversity lecture."

Diversity has been a hallmark of White House greeting cards for some time, according to Mary Evans Seeley of Tampa, Fla., author of "Season's Greetings From the White House." The last presidential Christmas card that mentioned Christmas was in 1992. It was sent by George H.W. and Barbara Bush, parents of the current president.

Seeley said the first president to send out true Christmas cards, as opposed to signed photographs or handwritten letters, was Franklin D. Roosevelt. "Merry Christmas From the President and Mrs. Roosevelt," said his first annual card, in 1933.

Like many modern touches, the generic New Year's card was introduced to the White House by John and Jacqueline Kennedy. In 1962, they had Hallmark print 2,000 cards, of which 1,800 cards said "The President and Mrs. Kennedy Wish You a Blessed Christmas" and 200 said "With Best Wishes for a Happy New Year."

Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson continued that tradition for a couple of years, but it required keeping track of Christian and non-Christian recipients. Beginning in 1966, they wished everyone a "Joyous Christmas," and no president has attempted the two-card trick since.

Seeley dates the politicization of the White House Christmas card to Richard M. Nixon, who increased the number of recipients tenfold, to 40,000, in his first year. The numbers since have snowballed, hitting 125,000 under Jimmy Carter, topping 400,000 under Bill Clinton and rising to more than a million under the current Bushes, with each president's political party paying the bill.

The wording, meanwhile, has often flip-flopped. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter put "Merry Christmas" in their 1977 card and then switched to "Holiday Season" for the next three years. Ronald and Nancy Reagan, similarly, began with a "Joyous Christmas" in 1981 and 1982 but doled out generic holiday wishes from 1983 to 1988. The elder President Bush stayed in the "Merry Christmas" spirit all four years, and the Clintons opted for inclusive greetings for all of their eight years.

The current Bush has straddled the divide, offering generic greetings along with an Old Testament verse. To some religious conservatives, that makes all the difference.

"There's a verse from Scripture in it. I don't mind that at all, as long as we don't try to pretend we're not a nation under God," said the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...601900_pf.html

[/q]
__________________

__________________
Irvine511 is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 01:07 PM   #2
Blue Crack Addict
 
U2democrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: England by way of 'Murica.
Posts: 22,140
Local Time: 11:57 AM
All I can do is laugh.
__________________

__________________
U2democrat is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 01:22 PM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 03:57 AM
If the cards were "Christmas Cards" we'd get a Theocracy Watch thread.

I guess we must have it pretty damn good in this country when these are the "issues" we face each day.

__________________
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 01:26 PM   #4
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,471
Local Time: 06:57 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
If the cards were "Christmas Cards" we'd get a Theocracy Watch thread.

I guess we must have it pretty damn good in this country when these are the "issues" we face each day.



yup. the defense of a secular democracy against the totalitarian instincts embedded in all theocracies must be consistently maintained. if some toes are stepped on in the process while defending the inclusive nature of our government, so be it.




i *loved* this quote:

[q]"I think it's more important to put Christ back into our war planning than into our Christmas cards," said the council's general secretary, the Rev. Bob Edgar, a former Democratic congressman.
[/q]

because Jesus doesn't need body armor. or a post-war plan.
__________________
Irvine511 is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 01:29 PM   #5
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 07:57 AM
Whiny little twits.
__________________
indra is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 01:37 PM   #6
War Child
 
MumblingBono's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The State Good Bands Skip Over
Posts: 566
Local Time: 11:57 AM
Really, though, can anyone get behind "Happy Holidays"?
__________________
MumblingBono is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 02:32 PM   #7
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,471
Local Time: 06:57 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by MumblingBono
Really, though, can anyone get behind "Happy Holidays"?


i can.

i think it's inclusive, respectful, and allows the receiver to put their own meaning into the phrase.

for the life of me, i can't imagine what problem anyone has with "happy holidays."

if you have the time for separate Christmas and Hanakkuh cards, go right ahead. i also don't have a problem if stores want to just say "merry christmas." it would be nice if they'd say "happy hanakkuah" as well. but they are privately owned, so they can do what they want.

the government should be inclusive.
__________________
Irvine511 is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:06 PM   #8
New Yorker
 
Sherry Darling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,857
Local Time: 07:57 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
If the cards were "Christmas Cards" we'd get a Theocracy Watch thread.

I guess we must have it pretty damn good in this country when these are the "issues" we face each day.

Problem is, though, that these are NOT the real issues that we face as a nation, which does in fact have serious problems of violence and poverty. They seem to have surfaced for about a month after Katrina and gone back out with the tide....

PS Happy Holidays everyone
__________________
Sherry Darling is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:10 PM   #9
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
BluRmGrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Leather Heaven
Posts: 7,808
Local Time: 07:57 AM
Quote:
At the Catholic League, Donohue had just announced a boycott of the Lands' End catalogue when he received his White House holiday card. True, he said, the Bushes included a verse from Psalm 28, but Psalms are in the Old Testament and do not mention Jesus' birth.

"They'd better address this, because they're no better than the retailers who have lost the will to say 'Merry Christmas,' " he said.
This was my personal favorite. Could someone PLEASE tell me when we became a country full of damn whiners???
__________________
BluRmGrl is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:21 PM   #10
Blue Crack Addict
 
joyfulgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 16,615
Local Time: 04:57 AM
Joy to the world.
__________________
joyfulgirl is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:40 PM   #11
Blue Crack Addict
 
Dismantled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Vermont
Posts: 21,345
Local Time: 07:57 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by MumblingBono
Really, though, can anyone get behind "Happy Holidays"?
__________________
Dismantled is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:43 PM   #12
War Child
 
MumblingBono's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The State Good Bands Skip Over
Posts: 566
Local Time: 11:57 AM
The problem with "Happy Holidays" is it sucks balls, it's fucking idiotic. It represents the worst of what we've become as a society - fractured, fearful, homogenized, consumeristic, tepid and generic.

I'll go on record here as being one of the silent milllions who quietly seethe at the use of "Happy Holidays".

Flame away.
__________________
MumblingBono is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:50 PM   #13
Blue Crack Addict
 
Dismantled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Vermont
Posts: 21,345
Local Time: 07:57 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by MumblingBono
The problem with "Happy Holidays" is it sucks balls, it's fucking idiotic. It represents the worst of what we've become as a society - fractured, fearful, homogenized, consumeristic, tepid and generic.

I'll go on record here as being one of the silent milllions who quietly seethe at the use of "Happy Holidays".

Flame away.

no wait I was agreeing with you

"sucks balls" isn't Christmas talk



__________________
Dismantled is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:55 PM   #14
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 03:57 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dismantled





"sucks balls" isn't Christmas talk



"christmas"

"holiday" talk
__________________
deep is offline  
Old 12-07-2005, 03:56 PM   #15
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 07:57 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by MumblingBono
The problem with "Happy Holidays" is it sucks balls, it's fucking idiotic. It represents the worst of what we've become as a society - fractured, fearful, homogenized, consumeristic, tepid and generic.

I'll go on record here as being one of the silent milllions who quietly seethe at the use of "Happy Holidays".

Flame away.

Okaaayyy.... then I wish you Unhappy Holidays!

There ya go!
__________________

__________________
indra is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com