Friday, November 30, 2007

Missouri: Where Christmas is Safe


On Monday, Missouri State University’s dean of the College of Humanities ordered a 20-foot Christmas tree taken down when a faculty member reportedly said the tree showed a “a lack of sensitivity” to people of other religions.

By Thursday the Christmas tree was back up. Two big Springfield News-Leader stories later, the Christmas controversy is now happily resolved.

Before you jump to the conclusion that this was another politically-correct attack on Christmas, let me say I think it was more a case of someone eager to get the decorations up without fully involving the university community in the process. Universities are like that where consensus building is big. In the beginning, the original tree was secularized with non-religious decorations and displays from other faiths had been planned.

Missouri’s “Santa,” Gov. Matt Blunt issued a directive to state agencies that no state employee be chastised for saying “Merry Christmas.” Woo Hoo! Christmas is safe in the Show Me State.

13 comments:

Natalie said...

It seems to me that Christmas trees can be about Christ's birthday, but also are now secular enough that they shouldn't offend. I like the idea of putting a lot of different symbols on the tree to represent many faiths. It should be a spiritual time of year where everyone tries to focus on the best that we can be -- and you don't have to have an organized faith to be a good citizen of the world.
Show Me the spirit of the season!

Sheila said...

Natalie,
Nicely put! I agree completely with you. I think Christmas is big enough for secular and religious traditions. And including other faiths is good too.

Sarge Charlie said...

It looks to me like your Gov Matt Blunt is very blunt in the way he demonstrates SHOW ME........

Marion said...

Isn't it great the problem was resolved so nicely. And I'm so glad I will be correct when I wish you Merry Christmas, when the time comes.

Lorelei said...

I think you can have a beautiful Christmas tree without having to have any particular faith represented. It's just a holiday tree -- lights, garland, glass balls, etc. Leave the nativity scenes for the churches.

By the way, nice job putting the "hat" on him. ;-)

Kilroy_60 said...

You're off to a great collection of Christmas posts!

It is still acceptable to include Christ in Christmas, isn't it?

8-)

Thought I'd start out your month with a Blog Village out click. Look forward to see what you have to share at Villagers go...Gonzo!

Sheila said...

Sarge,
Gov. Blunt is running for re-election against a man named Nixon. When I first moved here, I saw the Nixon bumper stickers and thought, "Boy these folks are behind a bit."

Marion,
I was glad they got it straightened out too. The paper had an opinion piece today. I guess Christmas "controversy" sells.

Lorelei,
I agree. The tree in question started out with bows and ribbons and lights and avoided the religious. I think some of us are just too sensitive.

kilroy,
I'm sure I'll come up with something for the Carnival. Thanks for handling them. You do a great job.

Marsha said...

It really bothers me for some reason when I hear people say you cannot have Christmas without Christ. I am glad to see so many people feel that this lovely holiday can be shared with all people regardless of their personal relationship with their creator.

Sheila said...

I think some people overreact instead of showing patience and understanding. Christmas can be enjoyed on several levels as you point out.

Miss Trashahassee said...

Great post!

I'm glad it was resolved.

BFF,
Miss T

Sheila said...

Think it was but one of the paper's right-side bloggers wrote about it and I guess it may be around a while longer.

Jackie said...

Christmas trees are a leftover from the Pagan Yuletide festival, so why all the fuss? I know St Boniface was said to have adopted it as a Christian tradition but I have always looked on them as Pagan as I don't believe man or Church has the right to make their own Christian traditions.

I still think they are pretty though and enjoy putting one up every year....so does my cat as he spends hours slowly destroying everything attached to it :)

Sheila said...

I once had a cat who loved to climb into the Christmas tree. I no longer have cats but we still put up the Christmas tree. Pagan, Christian or secular--they are lovely still.