The day#039;s called Christmas

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

Christmas is tomorrow and I'm anxiously awaiting the time when I can spend the day with my family, watching my niece and nephew play with all their new gadgets, gizmos and toys; seeing my mom's eyes when she receives her gift from my dad; my dad's eyes as he sees his family together for the big day; and my sister and brother-in-law's eyes as they get the joy of watching their children play.

But, there's more to Christmas than getting and giving gifts.

There is a reason we celebrate this season and too often it goes overlooked.

Monday night, actually Tuesday morning, I was trying to wind down from covering an entire day's worth of basketball games and decided to turn on the TV to see what was on at 1:30 in the morning.

Having been in Florala the entire day, I was clueless about the big earthquake in California.

So I just sat on the sofa and watched, Fox News of all things. Usually I get a serious headache watching Fox News, but at 1:30 a.m., I took the chance -- maybe it would put me to sleep.

Following their earthquake report, they had a story on Christmas and the First Amendment. I found this quite interesting because it was talking about different cities that had forcibly removed nativity decorations and other references to the Christian meaning of Christmas.

My interest now piqued, I decided to watch for a while. I actually got a little disappointed at the distance some places would go -- all in the name of political correctness.

Santa Claus was OK, but nativity sets and religious themes in parades and on private property -- well that was a violation of the First Amendment.

That's just B.S.

The First Amendment guarantees us the ability to worship how we choose -- not prevent us from worshipping. In fact, the First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

As far as religion goes, that's it. It means that we can worship Christ if we want to at Christmas and there's not a darn thing the ACLU, SPLC, or, yes -- even our city, state or federal governments can do about it.

Those who are so adamantly against religious celebrations of Christmas are so far off base that they obviously don't know why Christmas is celebrated in the first place. Otherwise it wouldn't be called CHRISTmas!

Do those people realize that their defiant nature about our celebration of Christmas is an infringement upon our First Amendment? Maybe not. Afterall, this is not the land of "We the offended," it's "We the people," and Santa Claus was a catholic bishop -- so maybe they need to research a little more before they speak.