12/12/04 — Merry ...er ...Xmas!: Why are parades held at this time of the year?

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Merry ...er ...Xmas!: Why are parades held at this time of the year?

Like most cities, Denver, Colo., has a parade at the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It’s good business to get people in a festive mood as they’re about to embark on spending sprees to buy presents.

But in Denver this year, the people who run the Parade of Lights have told a church that it can’t have an entry in the parade if the entry features Christmas music. They said that someone might be offended by direct references to a particular religion.

Never mind that the parade — and the holiday season — wouldn’t even exist except for a religious observance.

But the absurdity goes even deeper. While the parade officials say they can’t allow religious references, they do permit a float honoring American Indian holy men.

They also allow a float by the Two Spirit Society, whose Lakota spiritual leader, a person named Crow Dog, declares: “We, as a people, need to allow and accept the Gay. They are the bridge that is needed.”

He doesn’t say bridge to what. The point is, some spiritual entries are allowed while some, the very ones on which the holiday season is based, are prohibited.

Denver isn’t alone. All over the country, local governments and even schools are eschewing the word “Christmas” because it contains “Christ” even though Christ and Christmas are central to the holiday season. It’s politically correct.

Now, really, are there any reasonable non-Christians who are offended by the word “Christmas?” Not many. To most of them, “Christmas” is simply the name of a holiday, and saying it in their presence does not frighten them.

Cities like Denver that will not own up to the fact that their parades are Christmas parades should hold them at some other time of the year when the weather would be nicer for spectators. After all, nothing, to them, is sacrosanct about Christmas.

Published in Editorials on December 12, 2004 12:26 AM