Senator David Sater – Merry Christmas

Sater - Capitol Report Banner - 010913 copy


Merry Christmas

With the Christmas season upon us, we have an opportunity to remember what this time of year is really about, or “the reason for the season.” It’s a fun and joyous time and the traditions many of us look forward to are part of what stir our emotions and fill our memories. These traditions tell us what Christmas is really about. Whether it is gifts under the tree, which represents the gift mankind has received; or candles or lights, which represent Christ as the Light of the World; or the name of the holiday itself – Christmas — you can’t separate it from its true meaning.

However, there’s another tradition that seems to be making its way into our lives at Christmas these days. Every year, some small group of politically correct miscreants and their lawyers renew their attack on the traditional view of Christmas, and this year is no exception. Just a few weeks ago, a federal judge ruled a Nativity scene displayed every year on the courthouse lawn in Mountain Home, Arkansas, was unconstitutional. The American Humanist Association, an organization that pushes secularism, filed a lawsuit against Baxter County in Arkansas, saying the display was promoting Christianity. This, despite the fact that the display was paid for by private citizens, had been in continual use for many years and even had a disclaimer that read, “During the Holiday Season, the County of Baxter salutes liberty. Let these festive lights and times remind us that we are keepers of the flame of liberty and our legacy of freedom. Whatever your religion or beliefs, enjoy the holidays.”

Just before Thanksgiving, a shopping mall in New York replaced their traditional Christmas display with pictures of Santa in a politically correct winter-themed display that resembled an all-white plastic glacier or futuristic look, “in order not to offend anyone.” Management, threatened with a boycott, reverted back to a more traditional Christmas display. I applaud those individuals who fought the shopping mall to preserve their beliefs and their First Amendment right to freely express their religion and speak their own minds.

The ones opposing Nativity scenes and traditional Christmas displays are the same ones who think you should say, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” to avoid offending anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. They want to call it a “holiday” tree, instead of a “Christmas” tree. Our schools can’t put on Christmas plays or Christmas concerts anymore. Instead, they have to be called “winter programs” and have to avoid traditional Christmas carols that mention the true meaning of Christmas. Political correctness is out of control to the point that we have to tip-toe around everyone’s feelings and suppress our own First Amendment right to freely express our religious beliefs or speak our minds. If we want to say “Merry Christmas,” we have a First Amendment right to do so. If they want to say “Happy Holidays,” they have that right. I think we can all agree on that but where we disagree is when the politically correct want to deny the true meaning of Christmas and expect all the rest of us to park our beliefs at the front door when we leave our homes every day. My beliefs inform my decisions and that extends to the way I vote on legislation and even the legislation I introduce every year. As an individual with Constitutional rights, I am free to express my beliefs. It should be no different with Christmas.

No matter how hard they try, the politically correct crowd cannot tell the Christmas story without telling the Greatest Story of All. It is the time of year to celebrate the birth of mankind’s redeemer, the concepts of redemption and salvation, and the promise of things to come. You can’t take one without the other. So, from me and my family to you and yours, Merry Christmas!

As always, I welcome your ideas, questions and concerns about Missouri government. You may contact me at the State Capitol as follows: (573) 751-1480, or by writing to Sen. David Sater, Missouri State Capitol, Room 419, Jefferson City, MO 65101.