|With apologies To Dr. Suess
By Clyde Lewis
"Now the Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that Jesus wasn’t born on this date
and there needs to be separation of the Church and the state.
But I think that all Who’s in Whoville agree
That Christmas is Different for you and for me.
Whatever the reason,
for Christian or Jew
There’s trouble in Whoville and some want to sue."
A Cincinnati Attorney is suing the United States and challenging them to remove Christmas as a legal holiday. Attorney Richard Ganulin argues that Christmas is a religious event and in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, he says that establishing it as a public holiday violates the separation of church and state.
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League in Washington, D.C. is accusing Ganulin of being mean spirited over the whole affair.
Richard Ganulin says that he is not attempting to be a Grinch or a Scrooge and that he doesn’t want to eliminate Christmas he just wants a separation between the power of the state and the beliefs and practices that should be a matter of individual consciousness.
Mr. Ganulin said he does not celebrate Christmas or the birth of Jesus Christ and is damaged by the government-established holiday. A law enacted in September 1966 made Christmas and nine other days public holidays.
"Now history relates unbeknownst to the Who’s
That the season’s for selling gloves, jewelry and shoes
From Boxes, to baubles, and bangles and bows, from dolly’s
To mittens, and warm winter clothes.
Now all Grinches know this and history is quite clear
That the holiday of Christmas was not around in past years
It was a retailing gimmick just after a war
And people forgot just what it was for."
Now you may think that Mr. Ganulin is a kook for wanting to have all of this changed but you need to understand that the celebration of Christmas as it is today was never meant to happen. It just was a gold mine for retailers after the Civil war.
Before then Christmas was hardly observed.
The leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600’s so despised the idea of turning Christmas into a popish holiday that they passed a law against openly celebrating it. The law was repealed 25 years later.
In the early 1800’s there was hardly a mention of it in the newspapers of the day. However by the 1870’s Christmas had degenerated into the commercial holiday we have been programmed into participating in. All with the guise of Jesus and Santa mixed together in some sick winter deity.
"The Grinch despised Jesus" according to the Who’s,
As did atheists, pagans, agnostics and Jews.
The Blacks and their Kwanza all stacking the decks
And replacing the Christ word with that old evil "X"
One of the biggest misconceptions of people is that when the "non Christian minorities" start getting riled it’s because they are persecuting right thinking Christians who deserve at least one holiday set aside for them. Some of the scoundrels stoop to name calling and others start blaming the Jews and atheists for trying to devalue the holiday.
They start making up lies to prove their point. This obviously is done by both sides of the warring groups.
One of the more popular stories that I keep hearing is that when the word X-mas is used instead of Christmas it signals that evil non Christians are trying to take the real meaning away from the word. They believe that this is a modern phenomena meant as a disrespectful jab at Christianity.
This is Untrue.
The abbreviation of 'Xmas' for 'Christmas' is neither modern nor disrespectful.
Actually, the usage of the X is correct and not disrespectful for this simple reason. The first letter in the Greek word for 'Christ' is 'chi,' and the Greek letter 'chi' is represented by a symbol similar to the letter 'X' in the modern Roman alphabet.
This would mean that the usage of Xmas' is a legitimate abbreviation for the word Christmas. It is simply an abbreviation that is as old as Christmas itself. Yet people will argue that it is some plot to devalue Christmas.
Maybe they have reason to feel slighted but one must also remember that the early Christians felt slighted when they were called Christians. A derogatory term developed by Romans who persecuted the first Disciples of Christ.
And according to the Whos what did the Grinch like least of all?
Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing.
They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing
They’d sing about Jesus which is what they should do
But they would force others-- to sing bout him too
All Buddhists and Moslems were forced in the choir
Or they’d suffer embarrassment or worse the hell fire.
The Grinches objected (the atheists, the Jews)
All protesting in Whoville on the eyewitness news."
Challenges to the separation of church and state occur often, with debate centering on topics from "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency to Bible readings by astronauts in space. The truth is that all of these things including the inclusion of God in the pledge of allegiance was all brought about by zealous Christians who constantly feel as though they have to rub the non believers nose in the muck regarding such things. It has always been the notion that these things are done to turn a nation "back to god" but it is the Christian God they are talking about without having any regard for those who have differences in belief.
Some Christians feel as if it is obvious that they have right of ownership for the time of the year and when people protest and say they want it privatized they are labeled Grinches or Scrooges. How many times have we observed Chanukah or Kwanzaa in the Town Square? Or have closed a school in observance of Yom Kippur?
When do we observe the Chinese New Year? How many times have we heard people try and demonize Halloween as being the holiday set-aside for Satan?
During the Holidays the default setting for celebration is Christmas. In schools we hear choirs singing songs of praise to the Christ child. Some places require that students with differing beliefs sing these songs and perform them for grades in their classes.
When someone objects we start hearing the name calling. I recall the story of Rachel Bachman a Jewish girl in Salt Lake City Utah who refused to sing songs in her school concert choir at Christmas time. She claimed that the songs were Christian based and that it violated her civil rights. It was sacrilege for a Jewish student to protest in a predominantly Mormon community and she was ostracized by other students who felt she was being a "party pooper" or a "Grinch."
Beyond the evils of anti-Semitism there are others who just don’t believe in God, or Santa and wonder if we have confused the two during the holiday.
Cliff Walker who is an atheist and publisher Of Positive Atheism Magazine says
"Christmas is a secular holiday that was absconded by the Christians during the fourth century, so it is not necessarily Christian. It's about revitalizing the economy (always has been) and it's about celebrating the fact that the Sun only goes so far south, and no farther.
I wouldn't put it past the most die-hard fundamentalists to avail themselves of that one if they needed to. However, I am against it being a paid holiday, and always have been. "
"Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
THE GRINCH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!"
"I know just what to do!" The Grinch Laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat.
And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Grinchy trick!
"With this coat and this hat, I'll look just like Saint Nick!"
Santa Claus according to some people is the biggest demon of all. There are some people that believe that he is the biggest Satanic Icon of the whole Christmas season.
Many children are not allowed to have Santa in fanatical Christian households and others believe that Santa is a Christian Icon.
Still there are others differ and call him the icon of Christmas commercialism and that he should be brought down and in fact brought to trial for crimes against Children and humanity.
Prof. Kay Gillespie, who chronicles executions in the state of Utah and has been present during several of them, believes Santa Claus is nothing more than a representation of Satan.
Gillespie has argued in interviews including one on Ground Zero that
"Christ represents the spirit of giving, Santa is the spirit of getting. The color white, which means purity, characterizes Christ, while Santa’s color is red, the same color used to depict the devil. Christmas is a time for giving in hopes to be glorified, while the message of Christ is to give anonymously. And, while Christ teaches honesty, it takes lies to perpetuate Santa."
He also does word play
"If you take the N out of Santa and place it at the end, what does it spell? That’s right—Satan."
He also laments that children are not allowed to sing songs about Jesus in School anymore, but they are forced into singing songs about a truly heroic Santa Claus, who breaks into homes and commits all horrible deeds on Christmas Eve.
"I’ll Lie to the Children and convince every Who
That Santa is Satan that’s just what I’ll do
I’ll pack up my Bags and all of my sacks. I’ll steal all their Christmas
And put it in packs.
And when I am done every sniveling Who
Will call up their lawyers and threaten to sue."
I was thinking about what kind of case could be had if Santa was sent to trial. After all there are many who hate him and wish that he would go away. I was discussing this over some coffee with a friend of mind name Jim. We were having a good laugh about it and then I realized that in the realms of fantasy where Santa Claus dwells there is a man who knows about the laws that govern the realms of supernatural.
Batton Lash who is the author of Supernatural law takes these issues head on.
I asked him about a list that Jim had compiled regarding a lawsuit against Santa Claus.
"Well I am not a lawyer but we need to look into statutes regarding breaking and entering, labor laws, FAA restrictions and whether or not his sleigh is up to code."
I asked about the stealing of food like cookies and milk and he told me that there would have to be depositions drawn up for every child who wanted to testify to this.
Here are the charges that plaintiffs could levy against Santa Claus:
Operation of a vehicle while intoxicated (OUI)
Violation of FAA regulations
Violation of OSHA regulations regarding the treatment of employees (elves)
Violation of DOT regulations
Violation of DEA regulations and laws
Violation of IRS regulation and statutes
Violation of EPA regulations regarding the handling and disposal of hazardous waste material (reindeer droppings) Violation of Federal,State, and local statutes regarding pedophilia, stalking, treatment of animals, traffic ordinances, littering, etc.
The Grinch cracked a smile as best as he could
"The Lawyers would take it, Almost anyone would!"
That’s just what will happen I know they will sue
From the Mayor of Whoville to Cindy Lou Who
"They’ll drag me in chains" he said with a hoot
"And I’ll get them right back with a Grinch-Santa Suit"
"They would never expect me to be the litigious sort
And if they demanded their Christmas I’d see them in court!"
So what are the chances of anyone winning a lawsuit eliminating Christmas?
Well in the case of Cincinnati attorney Richard Ganulin ABC news reported that Ganulin, argued that the Christmas holiday amounts to a government approval for a day of Christian religious origins marking the birth of Jesus Christ, competing with lessons he would teach his child.
"As a matter of law, it cuts me out, it excludes me, I’m an outsider, I’m an observer," he said, after describing his Hebrew upbringing. "It’s a sectarian celebration." Ganulin sued the federal government in 1998, arguing that Congress violated the separation of church and state by embracing the Christian holiday more than a century ago. Martin, one of three judges hearing the case, said he still wasn’t convinced that the holiday harms Ganulin. There is no requirement that Americans accept the views of their countrymen, the judge said.
Meanwhile Lowell Sturgill Jr., a Justice Department lawyer representing the government, urged the appeals court to uphold a federal judge’s decision last December that threw out Ganulin’s lawsuit. Ganulin lacks standing to challenge the holiday and failed to show how it harms him, Sturgill said.
Roman Storzer, lawyer for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, backed the government’s arguments that the Christmas holiday is constitutionally permitted. The private organization represented three federal employees who intervened in the case. Martin and fellow Judges Ralph Guy Jr. and R. Guy Cole Jr. did not say when they will rule.
The Grinch was beside himself
He knew he would win
His smile grew wider
A vampire like grin
He eyed his dog Max
With his demonic stare
And spoke quite pointedly
As if his dog cared
"And the Grinches like me
(Who have their cases to plea)
Will gather together and they’ll side with me,
It will be us against them the Grinch against Who
I’ll bring in the atheists and secular few."
While many people have tried to sue to get the holiday removed there are a lot of people who have just given up the cause.
Cliff Walker "The Positive Atheist " says:
"The arguments against Christmas are very compelling, but to try to revoke it as a national holiday would not fly, not in today's climate of pouring tax money into faith-based so-called charities. Not when we were wondering, earlier this year, whether Jesus was going to be the running mate on the Republican ticket or the Democratic one. Not when I've done time in the Justice Center for refusing a court order to undergo religious instruction.
Besides, we have some extremely serious matters, which deserve our full attention, and I would put this one way down on the list, considering that the separationists' resources are very limited -- compared to who we'd be going up against on this one!"
Professor Gillespie who calls Santa "Satan" has a curious caveat to his rhetoric he says that it is OK for children to fantasize about Santa but unfortunately Santa is taught as a reality—and not a "reality" usually corrected by parents. He concludes that he promotes a lot of these "Satan Santa ideas for fun, he uses it as an object lesson to get parents to stop and think about whether or not the Grinch who stole Christmas was really Santa in disguise.
So the old story Goes that the Grinch packed a sleigh
And cleaned out the homes and swept them away
Of Boxes and bows, bright lights and the trees
And took them away with the greatest of ease.
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit,
He rode all the way to the tiptop to dump it!
"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
"Then all the Whos will then cry BOO-HOO!"
If the Grinch was reality then the battle would be his. The retail out of control Christmas is all based on the almighty dollar and not on the true reasons for Christmas.
Children were surveyed in great Britain and the majority of them expressed that Santa and Toys are what they think Christmas is all about. Causing many religious organizations to frown and realize that somewhere the message is being drowned out by commercialism.
As parents battle for the hottest new toy in the toy store and fathers stand on street corners holding up signs asking to pay top dollar for high end toys, would Christmas be as joyful with no presents at all?
Maybe if Richard Ganulin’s case was won and the Holiday was revoked maybe Christians would focus on Christ without all of the trappings and presents and trinkets.
Maybe we would cease all of the lawsuits and the war of words. Maybe Santa would come to homes that want him there. Maybe we could stop and learn about other cultures and what they are celebrating rather than robotically going through the motions of trying to be pleasant and not feeling guilty about failing to meet the Christmas demands without denting the family budget.
The Grinch stood there cold in the new fallen snow
And he looked at the Village of Whoville Below
He shook his head quickly and spoke up out loud
"I tried to show everyone and for that I am proud
Christmas is ribbons its toys and its tags!
It ‘s shiny bright packages, it’s boxes and bags!
And it pains me to say this , it makes my head sore.
But Christmas for some comes out of a store.
And if Whos down in Whoville start laying the smack
If they tell you that Grinches have knocked it off track
Remember the bills and the cards you have maxed
In order to keep the yule spirit intact…
There are some who want change and they’re aim is true.
But if Christmas is lost
Who’s to blame tell me Who?
There are others who have gone to extremes in the attempts to dampen Christmas cheer. Of course if Dr. Suess were alive to see this he would realize that yes people get awfully angry when their trees, wreaths and lights get taken from them or the displaying of such things is against the law.
Eugene Oregon the first city in the United States to take the politically-correct step this year and ban the displays of Christmas trees and wreaths in public.
Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, has that Eugene had made "a wise decision".
Their aim is to "practice diversity" and recognize its residents that have different faiths. The decision by city manager Jim Johnson has made Eugene the center of a national constitutional debate.
The heartfelt Christmas card that is the story of the Grinch demonstrates to us that no matter what happens to Christmas the spirit still reigns and that people will know it’s meaning regardless of the date.
However it is a fantasy and one that should be retold over and over with a bit of practice. It is obvious that many people get angry when others to try to mess with Christmas and all of it’s trappings and retail receipts piling to the ceiling.
The stealing of Christmas will not be done in any courtroom or any protest. It will be accomplished when we willingly lose the magic of our innocence. The moment when our hearts like the Grinch’s heart are two sizes too small.
The Grinch was all beaming for he knew in his heart
That it was easy as pie to tear Christmas apart
Just get people angry and then it’s a cinch
To start seeing people become a lot like a Grinch
Start taking their presents, their trees, and their sleighs
Remove all the lights from their public displays
Demand equal time and take em to court
And say there’s no Santa on the weather report
They say it’s about Jesus and all about love
About shepherds and angels that fly up above
But love dissolves quickly like snow in the heat
And tolerance has been known to make its retreat
When someone decides that that they’re not being heard
Love then escapes in discouraging word
Wars then break out now and again
And we growl peace on earth and good will toward men.
And we belt out our bigotry to those who lend ear
Thus so it goes year after year.
Somewhere in some children’s book there is a Grinch who’s heart grew three sizes bigger. In a place where there seems to be tolerance and the ability to see past the dates, and the holidays and the time off. In Whoville Christmas came without decree, or special law.
There are no decrees and special laws for people who celebrate Chanukah or Kwanzaa or Ramadan. There are no people demanding special displays of the yule log in public places. These quiet people have had to be like the Who’s celebrating with their hearts and without public display.
So if they are more like the Who’s
Then where does that leave the rest of us?
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