The War On The War On Christmas 2010 Heats Up

Battleground: Tulsa, Oklahoma!  The political football: a holiday parade!  The culture warrior: James Inhofe, United States Senator from the great state of Oklahoma!  It seems Senator Inhofe is upset that “Tulsa’s Christmas Parade of Lights” has been renamed “Tulsa’s Holiday Parade of Lights” and Senator Inhofe is withdrawing his participation until it goes back to its original name.

Right. Because Christmas isn’t a holiday. The Baby Jeebus will be upset if the trucks wired with LED lights and high school marching bands parade for tens of interested onlookers for not just Christmas but all the holidays going on this time of year too. Because God cares about whether there is a parade in Oklahoma to honor Him. Seriously, it’s because the city isn’t giving Christmas special, favorable treatment. To which I say:

First, read the Constitution, Senator. The government doesn’t get to treat any one religion as special, it doesn’t get to favor any one religion over any other religion. So get off your high horse, Senator (or in this case, that might mean “get back on it”) and figure out how to get your constituents some jobs without playing Santa Claus with taxpayer dollars. That’s what the voters would really like from you.

Second, it’s not an insult or a slight to Christians to wish someone “Happy Holidays.” We non-Christians get wished a Merry Christmas all the time and we take it well and in the spirit in which it was intended. Please have the good manners to reciprocate in kind, should you get a holiday greeting that may not exactly conform to your world view but is still intended as a friendly and pleasant statement. There’s nothing wrong with a “Holiday” parade instead of a “Christmas” parade.

Finally, dude, lighten up. There’s a 45% chance that Julian Assange is looking at a photograph of your bum, right now. Hopefully you were smiling when the picture got taken.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a legal holiday in 1870.(Not Dec 25th.) I wonder why we declared Christmas the holiday?

  2. I think a better question is, why didn't President Washington and the First Congress declare Christmas to be a holiday?

  3. I think it is you that should read the Constitution. i can't seem to find the clause that states the government can't treat a religion special. It says the govt cannot establish a religion. first no religion is established by having a Christmas parade. 2nd it is illegal according to the Constitution to deny anyone their free expression rights. and 3rd that is the federal Constitution there is precedent for states to have state religions see massachusetts.

  4. Len, that ship sailed more than sixty years ago. See Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947).

  5. Oh yeah! the case where the court twisted Thomas Jefferson's words to mean something he didn't mean. So judges illegally amended the Constitution to read that judges can overrule the Constitution? Because of that Activist decisions judges have used that precedent to take the country further and further from what the founders wanted. Those Judges were wrong. if judges want to make political decisions they should be accountable to the people. if not we have a judicial oligarchy which is also not in the Constitution. So if you want to throw away the Constitution based on activist decisions. but you also are throwing away the document that gives judges the authority to preside over a court.

  6. I am talking about his letter to the Danbury Baptists. That was misused to create the precedent for this decision.

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