Thursday, November 29, 2007

capitol idea


This photo was taken at a mall in Kentucky last week. There were no protesters in sight. Have you heard the debate in Wisconsin about what to call the 35-foot fir tree, displayed at the state capitol? It seems that people are offended whether it is called a "Christmas" tree or "holiday" tree.


I dunno, people. It looks like a Christmas tree, with all the lights and decorations, and presents, and even a choo-choo that encircles it. By common definition, it's a Christmas tree.


Does that make it religious? I don't think so. To most people, this symbol has everything to do with Santa Claus, and not the Messiah's birthday. Ergo: it is not really religious, despite the name.


It all seems so wasteful to me. Are tax dollars paying for those discussions? Don't they have any real problems to solve? In my own opinion, the matter can instantly be settled by either party with just one word: "Whatever."


Lara said...

Seems to me like some people are just looking to take offense where none exists. I once worked with a Jewish woman whose family put up a decorated evergreen in their home each year and simply called it a "Hanukkah Bush".

It's like you say, "Whatever".

Something to take offense or stumble over this time of year? How about the manger?

L.L. Barkat said...

Interesting question. I have Jewish friends who have Christmas trees, but I also have Jewish friends who say it's a totally Christian symbol.

As for whether we discuss these things publicly, I suppose that they represent deeper philosophies that might influence other issues. So. Hmmm... maybe it's important to discuss them?

Lifelong Learner said...

You know what's funny? It's Christmas on this side of the world. People know what it's about, so what's the big deal?

I can't imagine ever trying to change the name of another culture's holiday.

PS. That tree reminds me of the one we used to see in a mall in Hong Kong. It's a wonderful thing, to see a Christmas tree. :)

Craver Vii said...

AMM, they said on the radio this morning that some manger pieces have already been stolen this season. Some displays will have the pieces (esp. Jesus) secured with a cable and bolted down.

Sure LL, discussion is acceptable, but litigation?

Stacy, I thought it would be easier to get this tree at the mall, but there were so many people all over the place, it was hard to find a good angle, and then if I didn't keep mooooving like everyone else, I was afraid I might be trampled upon by the cattle--er, shoppers.

david mcmahon said...

I'm with you. A Christmas tree is a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree.


spaghettipie said...

The origin of the actual tradition of a "christmas tree" isn't even religious, is it? Isn't it amazing how hung up we get on words?

Inihtar said...

I agree with Stacy. . . no one would dare to change the name of any other religion's holidays or symbols. That would be too politically incorrect. Why is it only Christianity that people have such a problem with?

I grew up in South Asia, and interestingly, even though Christianity is a minority religion there, nobody denies that Christmas is Christmas. They say "Happy Diwali" and "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" and Eid Mubarrak". . . they don't lump them together just so they can avoid saying the word "Christmas."

Ok, this is the time of year when I get on my soapbox. Stepping off now.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I agree.

Cuckoo said...

I'm with you.
For me a Christmas tree and Santa Claus are interlinked.

Mary said...

Spaghettipie is correct.
Christmas trees are not Christian symbols. Sure, there's always some "cute" feel good story to make up about how Christmas trees represent Christianity (or some legend inspired by history)...quite like the candy cane story (which has no basis in truth). But ultimately the Christmas tree has pagan roots, where it was from a particular ritual where they would cut down a tree and decorate or shape it into one of their gods. So just calling it a holiday tree...I don't know if it really does bother me or not since it wasn't started for Christmas anyway. If it was an actual symbol to represent Christ, then yes, I'd probably take more issue with it.

Christmas being in December is also wrongly it was used to cover up a pagan holiday. Much like All Saint's Day trying to 'cover up' Halloween (though most Christians use Reformation Day for the day of now). If we were to be truly accurate with the entire Christmas season, we should be celebrating the birth of Christ around the time we actually celebrate Easter.

But I do agree...the whole thing seem so trivial to me. To argue about the name of a tree? I can think of better things to be offended by than a tree being called "Christmas" or "holiday."

Every Square Inch said...

It's a tree...does it matter what we call it? ;-)

Perhaps what people are taking offense about, is the marginalization of what the tree represents. But offense as a primary response on a minor issue, doesn't seem right.

We're becoming Pharisees - we're concerned about external appearances - wonder what Jesus would say to us?