I’m having trouble getting into the spirit of the things this year. Too many people hurtin’ for money and they all want mine. I’m not talking about the bell ringers for the Salvation Army, they’ll take pennies if that’s all you can afford to give them, I’m talking about the “for just $19.95 a month you can help…..” (fill in the blank).
Back when I was a tax paying wage earner and I had more discretionary income i used to send $10 or whatever to the Rescue Mission to provide however many turkey dinners that would buy for those in need. I figured paying it forward in case I find myself at one of their tables some day might be a good thing. Or donating the same amount to the Toy for Joy so some poor kid has something to open on Christmas Day. But these days of fixed limited income makes even these charitable donations a thing of the past. But the need just doesn’t go away. And because of that, people are being warned about scams going around, especially at this time of the year. So, please protect personal information….credit cards, social security numbers, keep your doors locked and your family safe. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Okay, onto Christmas or “The Holiday”.
The powers that be in the town of Marshfield, Massachusetts have decided to rename Christmas Vacation by calling it Holiday Break instead. Now I don’t know much about Marshfield except that it sounds like a town Disney would have used in the making of the movie “Flubber” that starred Fred MacMurray, but if they have a large population of non-Christians then I guess the renaming makes sense to some. However, some people find it offensive to have decorated Christmas trees on town property…specifically in front of Town or City Hall. One such town is Holyoke, MA.
Some residents of Holyoke called City Councilor Daniel B. Bresnahan after seeing references on the city website about “City of Holyoke tree lighting” and “the tree at City Hall will be lit”. As Bresnahan states, “It seems pretty simple to me, pretty straight forward. It’s the Christmas season–Christmas presents, Christmas carols–I don’t see it as a threat to anyone. I don’t see this as supporting any particular religion.” So….Bresnahan has filed an order that states “The City of Holyoke adopt an ordinance in recognizing the term Christmas Tree and not Holiday Tree for our annual lighting of a tree at City Hall used during the Christmas season, and placed in front of the Holyoke City Hall.”
As Council President Kevin Jourdain said, “If you’re going to have a menorah, you’re not going to call it a holiday candle holder.” The ordinance was expected to pass unanimously but residents in attendance at the meeting were shocked when the ordinance was defeated. From now on the decorated tree in front of City Hall will be known as the Holiday Tree. As one resident put it, “I’d better see the Holiday Tree decorated for 4th of July….that’s a holiday, too.
And just an aside to the whole Christmas tree being exclusively tied to Christ and Christianity…..”in many countries it was believed evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits and illness.”
But for myself, if you have the creche (Nativity Scene) on government property along with a Menorah you should remember just what the separation of church and state is all about.
There are always more than two sides to every story.
The American Atheists have billboards in Memphis, Nashville, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Arkansas which read “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I’m too old for fairy tales.”It seems some closet atheists feel pressured to observe religious traditions during the holidays. I suppose Dana Carvey’s SNL character the Church Lady was based on a real person, but hey, different strokes for different folks. The fact is this is America with freedom of speech for all and no religious or non religious persecution.
Just make sure when you ‘practice your religion with marijuana as your holy communion’, you do it in a State where weed is legal. Here in Massachusetts back in the 60s a couple tried convincing a judge that smoking marijuana was part of their religion. When the judge asked how many people were in the congregation and the couple answered two, he bound them over for trial for possession.
It’s rare to find someone who shares your birthday, the day not the year, although the same day and year would be awesome, but fellow blogger Earl J. Brewster author of the Blog About Nothing and I were both born on December 20th. It seems we share just about everything Sagittarian right down to the results of the many for-fun-only quizzes on Facebook. And since the next Musings From the Bench after this one will post after the 20th, I’m taking the opportunity to wish my birthday buddy a very happy birthday!
Thanks for reading Musings From the Bench 12/15 Edition. Until next time.
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