I#039;m sorry that you#039;re offended by this

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

My sister sent me a really cool article by a woman named Debbie Davis who took on the idea that people are offended by the words "Merry Christmas."

"I’m on a &uot;Merry Christmas&uot; mission and I’m in full throttle. My little yellow VW Beetle has turned into a Christmas billboard with Merry Christmas written across the back window. Yes, I’ve decided to trek off to work everyday on the public highways with a message that seems to offend people. At stop lights, I even turn my music up a little louder, and to top it off, I sing along with it. Don’t I know that stopping at a red light to roll my

windows down only to share the joy of Christmas carols on public streets is a No-No? Don’t I fear the Christmas Gestapo and those who would have me remove the written message from my car?"

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I’m sorry folks, but the only person I’m concerned about &uot;offending&uot; during this Christmas season is the Lord himself.

So what could offend Him I wonder?

Let's try Sacramento County, Calif., where a first-grade teacher says she’s been ordered by her principal not to utter the word &uot;Christmas&uot; at school.

The 24-year education veteran, who wishes to keep her name and the school anonymous at this time, claims she and two fellow instructors were told that use of the word &uot;Christmas&uot; in the classroom or in written materials was now prohibited.

That not enough to insult Him? Let's try

Pasco County, Fla. There officials banned Christmas trees from public buildings after their county attorney decided they are religious symbols.

Oh wait, they rescinded that.

Don't praise them for that action at all.

They should still be hammered for the original action.

Still not enough?

Well let's swing up to New Jersey where the It’s okay for the students to sing secular holiday songs like &uot;Jingle Bell Rock,&uot; but hymns like &uot;Hark, the Herald Angels Sing&uot; are out. Popular instrumental versions of &uot;Silent Night&uot; and &uot;Santa Claus is Coming to Town,&uot; which the local high school brass ensemble had performed for years, are also now off limits at school functions.

OK, here's my idea.

For every person who has filed suit to change Christmas; to every government leader who has lay down the law to ban Christmas items in any form; to every person who does not wish to participate in any Christmas related event, I invite you to work this coming Saturday.

Do not take the day off.

Go on with life.

But let's also take away Valentine's Day!

Let's skip Mother's Day! Father's Day! Memorial Day! Martin Luther King's Birthday (he was a reverend after all.)

When I read things like this, I'm reminded of something I take out of a box and read ever so often.

It is as follows:

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niem\u00F6ller

I received a very interesting Christmas card on Monday. It was a picture of Santa Claus landing his sleigh in front of this barn.

When I opened it, the picture was Santa Claus from the back kneeling before the newborn Jesus.

This week, after reading all this about the bans on Christmas I cannot help but think that somewhere, Jesus is sobbing.

Jay Thomas is group managing editor for The Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at jay.thomas@greenvilleadvocate.com.