By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
White House insiders say the Obama’s were planning an ”inclusive” Christmas which would not have included Christian symbols such as the crèche, and only bowed to tradition at the last moment.
An article appearing in the New York Times on Sunday noted that White House social secretary Desiree Rogers told participants in a luncheon for former social secretaries held earlier this year that the Obama’s were planning a “non-religious” Christmas and “did not intend to put the manger scene on display.” The announcement was met with an “audible gasp” from the secretaries, a luncheon attendee said.
According to the Times, “there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.”
However, the Obama’s eventually caved to tradition and are displaying a creche at the White House. During the President’s remarks at the lighting of the Christmas Tree, he emphasized that Christmas has a lesson for all, not merely Christians, and that it represents, “a tradition that we celebrate as a country – a tradition that has come to represent more than any one holiday or religion.”
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights addressed this issue, saying the Obama’s are trying to “neuter” Christmas.
“Unlike almost all Americans—including atheists—the Obamas do not give their children Christmas gifts. We know this because Barack bragged about this last year to People magazine. So it should come as no big surprise that he and his wife would like to neuter Christmas in the White House. That’s their natural step—to ban the public display of Christian symbols.”
Donohue referred to the incident at Georgetown University last April when the president ordered that the name of Jesus being covered over with a drape before he would agree to speak there.
“If the Obamas want to deprive their children of celebrating Christmas, that is their business,” Donohue said. “It is the business of the public to hold them accountable for the way they celebrate Christmas in the White House. We know one thing for sure: no other administration ever entertained internal discussions on whether to display a nativity scene in the White House.“
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