Jewish World Review Dec. 23, 2002 / 18 Teves, 5763
MERRY C-------S TO ALL!
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
They looked pretty grim and they threatened to sue,
"This is secular airspace, we can't have a saint
Litigation on Christmas is something we dread,
The reindeer were shackled as a further incitement,
One lawyer objected to Santa's red clothing.
Santa's climb up each chimney (one lawyer made mention)
These lawyers had labored at neighborhood schools,
Our children, G-d bless them, don't get or recall
In Canada, home of post-everything living,
Christmas trees aren't part of their season at all,
At a hospital (Catholic) the staff is ashamed (4)
Australians are told they should have no compunctions
Notes on the poem
(1) "Somewhere Santa Claus is weeping. But if he's on public property, I hope the ACLU doesn't get him for trespassing." -- Bill O'Reilly's column of Dec. 9, 2002.
(2) Not this year, though. In St. Paul, red poinsettias were banned last Christmas at Ramsey County Courthouse-City Hall to placate sensitive people who believe they are Christian symbols. White poinsettias were allowed, but unknown and insensitive people smuggled in a few red ones. This year, red poinsettias were restored in the display.
(3) The Royal Canadian Mint made this change in its annual Christmas ad campaign. The Rev. Nancy Murphy, an Anglican priest in Ottawa, said: "You know that campaign for women to take back the night? Well, Christians, take back Christmas." Gerry Bowler, a history professor at the University of Manitoba, says "the umbrage industry" and militant secularism are eliminating Christmas from public institutions.
(4) In Winnipeg, Misericordia (Catholic) Hospital erected a "care tree" and sponsored a Christmas fund-raising campaign that did not use the word "Christmas."
(5) In Montreal last December, a "tree of life" was stationed at City Hall. This year many Christmas trees are placed there. "If you're going to do it, call it what it is -- a Christmas tree," said a spokesman for Mayor Gerald Tremblay. A similar change occurred in Toronto: City Hall switched from a "holiday tree" to a Christmas tree.
(6) Stuart Kollmorgen, workplace relations partner at Deacons law firm in Melbourne, said many firms are calling Christmas parties "end-of-year functions" to avoid litigation and because "a more accepting and inclusive society will result."
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