Sunday, December 5, 2010

No Christmas Tree for Ames High

A big story in Iowa this weekend involves Ames High School. Ames is the home of Iowa State University. (Iowa State is home of the Cyclones and the University of Iowa in Iowa City is home of the Hawkeyes.)

A year ago the BIG news out of Ames High School was where Harrison Barnes would go play college basketball. He was the #1 high school basketball player in the country (yes, that is true) and picked North Carolina.

This year Ames High is back in the news. Just as I was disappointed Harrison Barnes did not pick Iowa State, Drake, the University of Northern Iowa or even some school in eastern Iowa called the University of Iowa to attend, the news from Ames is again disheartening.

Last week a person donated a nice Christmas tree to the school. It was decorated with some lights and Iowa State University decorations and placed in the cafeteria.

I am not sure if the above image is the actual tree but you get the idea. It was called a "winter tree" (God forbid you would say Christmas tree) and was primarily intended for the school's winter dance.

However, apparently someone complained that the tree was too religious and so the school officials - exhibiting the backbone of a jelly fish - removed the tree.

The school officials should have told the overly sensitive people to (1) get a life and/or (2) deal with it and/or (3) go to hell. The school should have told those people they were over reacting and that the generic Christmas tree was not going to go anywhere. Thank you very much.

I am all for diversity and being sensitive to other people's beliefs. But our United States Supreme Court has ruled that Christmas is a secular holiday as well as a religious one. If a courthouse or government office wishes to put up Santa Claus with his reindeer or a lighted tree or candy canes that is okay. Really, it is.

Even a nativity scene is legally permitted if it is part of an overall Christmas display.

(Yes, I know. That is beyond gaudy but it illustrates the point.)

So Ames High School, which is regarded as being a very excellent school, is not doing a good job of teaching diversity when its solution is to just take the tree down and cave in to the complaints of a few overly sensitive people.

We need to embrace each other - not exclude each other.

Instead of defending its already overly politically correct "winter tree" it just allowed the Grinch to take even that away. Why not encourage people to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Kwanzaa" or just "Have a nice day" instead of pretending to live in a vacuum? There is nothing wrong with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just appreciating a nice day. They are all good.

Oh well. What can you say? It is sad the kids at Ames High School have to deal with such nonsense. By doing what they have done, the officials at the school have created a huge controversy when their objective was to avoid one. There are times when common sense is a good thing and should be followed.

Speaking of Christmas trees (and Christmas tree farms are actually a fairly big business!) here's my ideal Christmas tree.

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas to you!


Small City Scenes said...

So with all that bru-ha-ha and your previous post---did you decide upon a Christmas tree?
It is crazy and I always thought majority ruled. but one voice spoils it for everyone else.
We have relagated Christmas to the generic 'Holiday' and guess what---the 'holiday' is Christmas. Let 'them' explain that. LOL

Small City Scenes said...

Oh I forgot---Come visit on Tuesday because it is Old Barns meme and you can view barns from everywhere. Kinda neat too. MB

Snappy Di said...

So now public schools can't even have a tree? Good grief.


Charlene said...

In the small township school I attended, as well as the town school for 8th grade, there wasn't a Christmas tree. We did put on the Christmas play at the Baptist church and there were two Catholics in the school who did not attend or participate because of it.

I think the putting of Christmas trees is being pushed by someone. Why would a public school need a tree? Our country is much more diverse than it was or did the people who were not Christian just sit it out and keep their mouths shut at one time?

The idea that when the majority wants to put up a tree at a public school and the minority should just sit on their hands and shut up!? Consider if you were the minority?

Russell said...

I was raised Catholic and was the only Catholic in my small school.

We had a Christmas tree in our classrooms and I still remember in the fourth grade our teacher read the Christmas Carol to us. It was all very nice.

A Christmas tree and the various decorations that go along with the hoilday are very nice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them.

The people at Ames High School should have suggested the people who felt offended by the presence of the tree bring in something to share with the others rather than demanding something be taken away.

A policy of inclusion is better than one of exclusion.

Jo said...

The high school in Iowa is practicing cultural genocide, which is described as: "cultural genocide implies the process of undermining, suppressing, and ultimately eliminating cultures."

Someone needs to point that out to them, and to anyone else who chooses to expunge Christmas. But more than that, we need to stop allowing it to happen.

Merry Christmas! :-)

DJan said...

I don't do Christmas trees, but once for my kid's sake we put some green yarn on the wall in the shape of a tree and decorated it with sticky things we liked. My favorite were the corn pads. it looked a lot like your favorite tree...

Whitney Lee said...

Ridiculous. But then, it's obvious you see that. You're right, they are creating far more controversy with the decision they've made.

I, too, love the Charlie Brown tree. You are not alone. Target even sells one, titled the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Seems everyone loves an underdog.

L. D. Burgus said...

It seems to me that the majority is required now to be tolerant of intolerance and then be blamed for being intolerant because we believe in something.

Cloudia said...

Let's lighten up and forgive each other this season!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



Russell said...

Thanks for everyone's comments. I think everyone has some good points.

Yes, Christmas is, to be honest, a religious holiday, isn't it? I have certainly seen enough "Christ is the Reason for the Season" signs (and I am not overly religious - just for the record)!

Still, there is a very secular side to the holiday, too. As for me, I just like seeing the lights and decorations and eating all the extra food!

But, yes, I do like the Peanuts Charlie Brown's Christmas show a lot. It is still my favorite for a variety of reasons.

RoseRed said...

It seems people are so afraid of controversy that they will cow to the loudest shout - which is rarely the most intelligent and caring route. Disappointing.

Pauline said...

I thought bringing greens into the house was a pagan tradition. What a silly world we live in - I think some people fuss about things that don't matter (political correctness) so they can avoid doing something about those that do (embracing diversity).

A Lady's Life said...

Well no one seems to care when it is Deepavali or Channuka,or Mecca. In fact, if a minority complains it's called racism.
Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ and Santa Claus is the equivalent to the three wisemen who brought gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh. Old St. Nick was called a Saint because he continued what the three wise men did.He gave gifts to the poor. So he was also called a Saint for this.
So now Ol St Nick is known as Santa Claus and he still gives gifts to the poor except now families also give gifts to each other.
We've been sidetracked here.
I have a tree up all year round in my house and I celebrate everyones holidays inclusive of Easter.
It makes my house a house of celebration (and saves putting the tree away lol)All I do is change the decorations.
I think all the complainers should do the same and get with the program.:)