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December 15, 2005

Dispatches from the War (on Christmas)

From WorldNetDaily...

Attorneys at Liberty Counsel say they have sent two separate letters to housing authorities subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development demanding that they reverse their positions regarding Christmas.

In a statement, the law group says the Housing Resource Development Corporation has informed those senior citizens living in its Winter Park, Fla., subsidized housing facility that they may not sing Christmas carols, nor may they have outside religious groups or churches sing Christmas carols in the facility....

Liberty Counsel also targeted Bethany Towers, which provides housing to low-income seniors and people with disabilities in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The managers reportedly have barred Christmas decorations from the lobby and the day rooms on each floor, and have prohibited decorations with religious connotations on individuals' entry doors....

Mathew Staver is president and general counsel of the law firm.

"Some of these elderly citizens and persons with disabilities will celebrate their final Christmas in these housing facilities," Staver noted. "It is unthinkable that these housing authorities would rob the elderly and the dependent residents of their joy in celebrating Christmas. It is hard to imagine what these officials are thinking when they tell senior citizens that they may not celebrate Christmas, and then in the same breath, seek to justify their discrimination on the basis of inclusion. Forbidding these senior and dependent residents from celebrating Christmas is the most exclusionary act imaginable."

Also from WorldNetDaily...

Representing a Jewish organization that defends Christians, comedian Jackie Mason will ride down New York City's 5th Avenue today to highlight the "war on Christmas."

Mason is a founding member of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, or JAACD, the organization sponsoring the event. According to a statement from the group, the entertainer will ride in a 15-foot Ford Excursion with banners proclaiming, "Jews for 'It's OK To Say Merry Christmas.'"

As well from WorldNetDaily...

A Wisconsin school that had secularized the lyrics of the beloved Christmas carol "Silent Night" has now agreed to change the words back to the original after receiving countless phone calls and e-mails about the issue.

Liberty Counsel, the law firm working on behalf of parents upset about the secularization of the carol, says it was both public pressure and two letters attorneys sent to the school that prompted the change.

If it seems like I'm only referencing WND, it's because they are the lead on all these stories, and, apparently, the only one covering them so far, other than the Liberty Counsel press releases.

From the Palm Beach Post...

With residents holding signs reading "Is there no room in Wellington for the nativity?" and "Keep the Christ in Christmas," the village council voted unanimously Tuesday to add a crèche to a holiday display on public property, along with reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and maybe even Santa Claus....

The 200-plus crowd at the Wellington Community Center Tuesday personified the dozens of e-mails and phone calls urging the council to include the Nativity scene outside the center....

Although nearly everyone in the room stood to give the mayor a standing ovation, some in the crowd sat in protest, citing their political and religious views about displaying the Christian symbol on public property.

"I'm opposed to all religious symbols on public property in the United States," said Allan Taylor of Delray Beach. "I think it's a disgrace. You can have plenty of religious symbols throughout the city, but when it comes to public property, that is not the place for religious symbols."

But apparently he wasn't there to protest the menorah, just the crèche.

Posted by Danny Carlton at December 15, 2005 05:35 AM

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Hmmm, Why only on WND? Hmmm, I wonder.....

Wisconsin "Silent Night" controversy..

Posted by: grumpy old fart at December 15, 2005 02:56 PM

Oh, and by the way, that Bethany Tower thingy. B.S. also. I took the time, which neither the Liberty Gestapo nor WND apparently had, and contacted Bethany Towers. Here is their response.

Bethany Towers Fact Sheet

¨ Christmas is alive and well in Bethany Towers! Residents continue, as they always have, to decorate their apartments, their entry doors, and the alcoves near their apartments for the holidays.

¨ To clarify, residents may also decorate the common spaces in their buildings, it is staff who are restricted from displaying religious symbols in public areas.

¨ Christmas carolers are welcome at Bethany Towers. Religious services and other Christmas programs are conducted at Bethany Towers and residents are free to attend activities of their choosing.

¨ Bethany Towers is open to people of all cultures and religions, and residents celebrate their beliefs as they see fit. The health and well-being of residents is the primary concern of management and staff and enabling them to express their individual beliefs is part of valuing residents.

¨ Bethany Towers is a not-for-profit organization providing housing to low-income seniors and disabled people and subject to regulations of the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. In keeping with applicable regulations, staff will not place religious decorations in public areas, but residents can place their Christmas decorations anywhere in their building.

¨ Bethany Towers is owned and operated by Bethany Development Company, a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation with a local board of directors of community members and local management.


Posted by: grumpy old fart at December 16, 2005 08:45 AM

Oh, another thing. I forwarded all this info to WND. No reply. Go figure.

"If it seems like I'm only referencing WND, it's because they are the lead on all these stories, and, apparently, the only one covering them so far, other than the Liberty Counsel press releases".

What does this tell you? Think people, think.

Posted by: grumpy old fart at December 16, 2005 10:28 AM

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