One Perspective: Bureaucrats at odds with Christians

By Jeff Crouere
The Daily Record Newswire

Every year, government bureaucrats find new ways to insult the vast majority of Americans. For example, in the name of tolerance, government officials apparently believe it is necessary to ban Christian symbols, prohibit religious displays and even forbid the joyous phrase of "Merry Christmas."

Last month federal regulators forced a Perkins, Okla., bank to remove religious symbols, such as bible verses and crosses, from its lobby. Even buttons with the phrase "Merry Christmas" were deemed unacceptable.

According to the Federal Reserve bureaucrats, bank officials were in violation of a federal regulation known as the "discouragement" clause that forbids "a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."

Clearly, that decision is a ludicrous interpretation of regulations and displays an anti-Christian bias. Bank employees with "Merry Christmas" buttons are not discriminating against anyone. Religious symbols do not imply any sort of exclusion.

If the bank pursued policies that discriminate against non-Christians, federal officials would be justified in taking action. However, displaying Christian faith does not constitute discrimination against non-Christians or atheists. The bank employees are reflecting the religious values of the community they serve. Our federal government should protect, not attack, such legitimate expression.

This crackdown on religious displays caught the attention of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke demanding answers. Inhofe said that action is "without precedent" and may violate "fundamental constitutional protections."

This latest outrage is part of a growing pattern of events from all across the country. In Philadelphia, city officials forced the signage for a Christmas village to be changed to "holiday" village. The switch was made to show tolerance for non-Christians. Instead, local Christians were highly insulted. After much criticism, the Christmas sign was restored.

As these events multiply, Christians need to be on guard. According to one outraged resident in Perkins, Okla., the federal government is trying to "take Christ out of Christmas and life."

The federal government, which supposedly works for the people of this country, should respect these deeply held religious beliefs.

Despite the actions of government bureaucrats, a Fox News poll shows that 75 percent of Americans prefer the phrase "Merry Christmas," while only 22 percent feel compelled to use the politically correct slogan "Happy Holidays."

Retail outlets that bend to the plague of political correctness and ban Christmas do so at their own peril. The poll also shows that 30 percent of Americans will refuse to spend money in stores that insist on using "Happy Holidays" only.

It seems political correctness now carries an economic cost as more Americans become disgusted with the anti-Christmas bias the media, corporate elite and the federal government are pushing.

While the federal government is waging war on the word Christmas, it is also recognizing a Christmas holiday. So there seems to be quite a double standard at play.

If Christmas is just like any other day and bank employees cannot display simple Merry Christmas buttons, maybe it's time for federal workers, such as postal employees, to work on Christmas Day.

Published: Thu, Jan 6, 2011

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