December 5, 2008 - 1:00am
Schools appear to be at the center of this week's storm of politically correct grinchiness. Below is a roundup of some of the Grinch-o-Meter alerts that have sounded this week at the Culture and Media Institute.
The examples below demonstrate that liberals are continuing to try to secularize, diminish or tarnish the celebration of Christmas – a holiday which has been celebrated since the founding of America, and many centuries before.
The University of North Carolina's libraries on the Chapel Hill campus will no longer display Christmas trees. The Charlotte Observer reports the trees have been in the libraries for “as long as anyone can remember.” The associate provost for university libraries made the call to keep the trees in storage and noted that displaying one particular religion's symbols is “antithetical” to the philosophy of libraries, where information from all corners of the world and all belief systems are offered. According to the Observer, libraries at Duke and N.C. State have also banished the display of Christmas trees. Grinch-o-Meter rating: 9
A school in England is postponing – until the new year – its traditional Christmas play because the performance date conflicted with the Muslim celebration of Eid. School officials told parents they had to respect “the cultures and religions of all the children.” (Reported by Fox News.com ) Grinch-o-Meter rating: 10
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Liberties publicized three more grinchy occurrences in schools:
· Elementary school students in Plainfield, Illinois are decorating a “Holiday” tree that represents 18 countries. Grinch-o-Meter rating: 8
· At a high school in Ocean City, Maryland, the annual “Winter Concert” this year will feature a performance entitled “Eid Mubarak,” a Muslim holiday song. Grinch-o-Meter rating: 8
· At Missouri State University, a new school rule explicitly bans displaying the menorah and the Nativity scene in common areas. Nonetheless, a menorah is displayed; a crèche is not. Grinch-o-Meter rating: 9
Other grinchy acts this week include:
Atheists hanging a sign attacking religious faith in the capitol building in Washington State. The sign reads, “At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” The privately-funded sign is hanging next to a privately-funded Nativity display. (Reported by The Olympian ) Grinch-o-Meter rating: 10
Costco, the deep discount membership club with 520 stores nationwide, refusing to use the term “Christmas” – at all – in its stores or on its Web site. (Report from the American Family Association ) Grinch-o-Meter rating: 9
The Catholic League also noted several politically correct acts of grinchiness committed by municipal entities and businesses.
· A “Holiday Revelry” will be performed at the Framingham Civic League in Massachusetts; it is a “multicultural” event that includes “PAC Sword Dancers” and “traditional” Christmas songs such as “Pat-A-Pan.” Grinch-o-Meter rating: 8
· “Winter Traditions” will be celebrated at the Fort Collins Museum in Colorado. They include “Celebrations of Light” that highlight “traditions, cultures and celebrations from across the world.” Grinch-o-Meter rating: 6
· At the Comcast Center in Philadelphia there will be a huge “Multimedia Holiday Show” featuring secular songs. Religious Christmas songs are expressly prohibited. Grinch-o-Meter rating: 9
· At an architectural firm in Wichita, Kansas, there will be no Christmas party. But there will be a party. The CEO says, “We call our December party a holiday party.” Grinch-o-Meter rating: 7
CMI is compiling a full Grinch-o-Meter report documenting this season's attacks on the traditional celebration of Christmas. We will also be launching a compilation of videos documenting Christmas clashes – and will encourage our readers to post videos they find that either promote the traditional celebration of Christmas (Santa's Helpers) or document the politically correct Grinches who want to take the “Christ” out of “Christmas.” The videos will be featured on www.Eyeblast.tv. Stay tuned!
Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.