December 05, 2005
O Come Let Us Abhor Him
Our local pal, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) is the guy that will flip the switch to light the Capitol Holiday Tree on Dec. 8. Last week he whined that it should be called the Capitol Christmas Tree: "I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree."
Wait a minute.
"Join the White House"?
The other day, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State gleefully pointed out that the White House holiday card, sent out by the Republican National Committe and signed by George and Laura, has no trace of the words "Merry", "Christmas" or "jesus". It has no image of a tree, a star or a goddamned manger--just a drawing of the White House on the cover with an inside that reads, "With best wishes for a holiday season of hope and happiness 2005." Now, it also has a bible quote; however, it is from the Old Testament where, as we all know, no jesus in a manger is to be found. Executive director Rev. Barry Lynn notes that christ-mas complainers such as O'Reilly and Jerry Falwell have been strangely silent about it: "Falwell calls his Christmas crusade 'Friend or Foe'.....he believes you either agree with him or you’re an enemy. When is he going to take on his latest foes the president and Mrs. Bush?"
Getting back to Hastert and the Capitol tree, the Sun-Times reports that, "His office said the tree began to be referred to as the Holiday Tree in the 1990s. Spokesman Ron Bonjean said the reasons were unclear." Unclear? that sounds a bit vauge and uncharacteristically benign. Could it be that the name was changed in the part of the 1990s when Bush the Smarter was still in office? I have to think so, because if it had been changed during the Clinton years, you can be sure as shit that all of them would be bringing it up over and over again each year.
Once again, all this shit is just another opportunity for the religious right to falsely portray themselves as a persecuted minority--and they're using one of their main holy days as a tool. Fuck, what would baby jesus think?