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Monday, December 4th, 2023
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
DEFENDING OUR HOLIDAYS YEAR-ROUND!
This should be my favorite time of year. The special season beginning at Thanksgiving and extending through the Christmas holidays. But there are disturbing signs of change and not for the better, as a movement continues to grow disparaging our holidays as not being politically correct. This crusade started a few years back as we obliterated our monuments in America, and decimated so many early political leaders who created the world’s unique democratic way of governing. Now we are seeing an effort to eradicate our national holidays that are a significant part of our history and national identity.
Thanksgiving was always a time for family gatherings to reconnect and bless our highlights of the past year. In our family, we always take a few moments to remember the “first Thanksgiving” that was celebrated in 1621. In that gathering, 53 pilgrims from the Mayflower joined 90 native American Indians to share a meal together. Now that’s all passe. Today, we are supposed to recognize white supremacy, colonization, and the abuse of those Indians. We no longer can just observe a good family meal. Now we have to be multiculturally sensitive.
And don’t go wishing friends a “Merry Christmas.” This special time of year, when we use to look forward to decorated evergreens and carolers singing Christmas songs, has been superseded by shop till you drop in overcrowded malls and unbridled commercialism. Our schools have taken Christ out of Christmas, and relegated this special holiday to putting up nondescript decorations, and avoiding at all costs of making any reference to religion.
Did you know that Christmas has been completely canceled in Bethlehem? The small village where Christ was born is controlled by Palestinian Christians, and located in the West Bank of Israel. No festivities this year as a way of showing complete support for Palestinians living in Gaza. Politics has simply pushed religion aside.
Other holidays are on the chopping block. Easter, that celebrates the resurrection of Christ, has been all but diminished, and is now the time for spring breaks and holiday travel.
Washington’s birthday? No longer. It’s been amalgamated into Presidents’ Day, but this day is now under attack because five of the first six presidents were slaveholders. Forget the fact that these leaders created an amazing system of governing that has served as a beacon for new democracies all over the world. We are now supposed to hold our elder statesmen hostile to today’s standards, ignoring the surroundings where and when they lived several hundred years ago.
Columbus Day? What a great annual celebration for Italians all across the country. Outside of Mardi Gras, there’s no better parade in the nation than the New York Columbus Day celebration. I attended the parade at the invitation of a close Italian friend some years back. He wrangled me VIP tickets in the bleachers as the parade passed by. Pavarotti sat right in front of me, and, would you believe, Sophia Lauren set behind me. I was mesmerized as I cheered on this Italian festival. Now in many cities, Columbus Day celebrations are banned because Old Christopher was a little rough on some natives when he discovered the New World.
Independence Day? You would be hard-pressed to find someone under 40 who has the slightest idea what is being a celebrated. For that matter, the same goes for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Few Americans even know the difference between the two. (Memorial Day is to remember those who lost their lives serving our country in the military, while Veterans Day is to remember all who served.)
These holidays should not be simply an excuse to take the day off or spend money. Instead of current efforts to degrade patriotism, our country will be better served if we honor these traditional and religious holidays. Our nation grows stronger by honoring our past. That’s a great message to share during this holiday season.
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com. You can also listen to his regular podcast at www.datelinelouisiana.com.