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Taking the Christ out of Christmas

December 10, 2005

Business places have the right to use any expression that they feel is appropriate for the Christmas season. I am not offended by the term "Happy Holidays," or any other reasonable substitute for the phrase "Merry Christmas," by any business. In fact, I believe that it is reasonable for businesses to take this stance because of the fact that they cater to many non-Christians. It is unreasonable to call for a boycott of businesses that no longer use the phrase "Merry Christmas."

My church, which is Christian in nature, celebrates Christmas in every possible way. The words "Merry Christmas" are heard often at this time of year in our church and we use the phrase in our printed materials. Most of our members are careful to avoid using "Merry Christmas" greeting cards to our non-Christian friends.

We do use them with our Christian friends. What is so hard about everyone dealing with this situation in a similar way?

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I think the idea that there is a plot to end the celebration of Christmas is ridiculous.

At the same time I think the idea that Christians should be sensitive to people in other religions is absolutely correct.

I am opposed, and I think most of my congregational members would be, to the restriction of religion of any kind by local, state, and national governmental bodies.

Our country has a long time custom, and even specific laws, to keep state and church separated. Let's keep it that way.

Merry Christmas!

THE REV. THOMAS E. WITHERSPOON

Unity Church of the Valley

La Crescenta

I'm perturbed. It's not illegal to have Christmas pageants in public schools or to publicly display nativity crèches, so why are they disappearing? Most public groups aren't abandoning Christmas in deference to law, but because they haven't the resources to battle frivolous, protracted court cases initiated by secular antagonists like the American Civil Liberties Union.

But let's not just blame them. Retailers have decided that to risk insulting good people who celebrate the birth of the One who divided time between B.C. and A.D. is weatherable, whereas the whining Scrooges are intolerable and must be placated with insipid salutations such as "season's greetings." This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that such address is no longer supplementary but substitutionary, as if just celebrating winter was reason enough.

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