The Water Cooler – Christmas Tree, Tree of Spirit, Community Tree or Tree?

December 2, 2013 12:00 pm · 102 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Martinez is calling their Christmas Tree the “Tree of Spirit”, Walnut Creek’s is the “Community Tree”, and Clayton, Concord & Pleasant Hill simply refer to it as the “Tree”.

Do you think the cities should call it what it is, or do you think they should keep the word “Christmas” out of it so they don’t offend anybody?

Talk about it….

{ 102 comments }

1 no2no1 December 2, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Its got nothing to do with being offended. It is about not having the state endorse a particular or any religion. Not surprising it keeps coming up – Politicians hate the Constitution when it gets in the way of pandering for votes.

2 The Closer December 2, 2013 at 12:05 PM

What if I’m offended if “Christmas” is omitted ?

3 Dee December 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

It is a Christmas Tree! They need to call it what it is sorry but this erosion of what it really is this time of year is really starting to irritate me. They don’t do with with any other religions and any of their holidays

4 Concord Grape December 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Politically correct, BULLS^&T It;s a CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!!!!. If it offends anyone, too bad. Suck it up cupcakes.

5 @ The Closer December 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Than you need to grow thicker skin,,, same goes for the other side

6 MDUSD Grad December 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

it’s a damn Christmas tree. Call it a Christmas tree. If they were really concerned about being politically correct and not offending anyone they’d put up a Christmas tree, a menorah, and a Kwanzaa flag.

7 Suzanne Watts December 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Christmas is an American tradition–I am offended that a Christmas Tree is not called a Christmas Tree.

8 William December 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

@The Closer
If you are offended by “Christmas” being omitted, you are a twit.

9 Reality says... December 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM

“Lighting of the Noble Fir” does have a nice ring to it.

10 Anon777 December 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

CHRISTMAS! And don’t get offended when I say MERRY CHRISTMAS, because that’s what it means to me and when I say it to others, I also mean MERRY/HAPPY WHATEVER IT IS YOU CALL YOUR HOLIDAY. I can’t really tell by looking at you if you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, something else or nothing. Just take my words as my good wishes to you.

11 James Dean December 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I’m not religious but it’s a Christmas Tree…Not a Holiday tree, tree of spirit etc…….. Christmas Tree, Christmas lights, Christmas music, Christmas decorations, Christmas Christmas Christmas!

12 Santa December 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Call it whatever. But it’s always a Christmas tree!

13 Santa December 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Can we call a Dradle a Cudgel instead?

14 Anonymous December 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM

It doesn’t matter what the politicians call it. We all know it’s a Christmas tree!

15 no2no1 December 2, 2013 at 12:25 PM

If it is actually a Christmas Tree then the city can’t put it up. Simple as that. All this crazy renaming is so the City can spend tax money on it. I’m looking forward to the “eight pronged pitchfork of lights” next.

16 Not Religious December 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I’m not religious at all, but it’s a Christmas tree. That’s just what it is and it doesn’t offend me at all. It seems like there’s a lot of effort these days, in all different areas, to deny facts and realities that don’t fit certain agendas.

17 What_Else_Is_NEWS December 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM

IT’S A DAMN CHRISTMAS TREE!!! & it’s #MerryChristmas! #NOThappyHolidays. STOP being sissies & STOP GETTING ALL “offended” over people being proud of what they celebrate. GET OVER IT YOU BABYS!!!

18 Jim December 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Why have we gotten so PC…it’s a chrstmas tree it’s always been a christmas tree…so what should we start calling the Menorah?…the season’s lights?…the Jewish community would crush us

19 Remember the Constitution December 2, 2013 at 12:34 PM

there is a separation of Church and State in this country for a reason. If you want to live in a theocracy I suggest you visit Iran or 1950s Ireland and report back to us.

You can call a dead tree in your house whatever you want, but when the government buys it and erects it on public land they CANNOT call it a Christmas tree. That would be endorsing or favoring one religion over another and our founding fathers expressly FORBADE such activity, and with good reason, when they drafted the constitution.

And just so you are all aware, the practice bringing of evergreen plants, holly, ivy. mistletoes and trees, into the home in midwinter predates Christianity by thousands of years. It is a pagan practice to celebrate the winter solstice and the defeat of the dark underworld by the sun king.

So go ahead call it what you want, but its really a pagan symbol of worship for the pagan sun god.

Just sayin.

20 Reality Slap December 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Funny how nobody seems to have a problem handling that politically incorrect currency that has “In God We Trust” on it. Wondering if those offended by the “Christmas” anything would turn down a load of cash because of the religious sentiment on the bills. Bunch of hypocrites.

And it’s a Christmas Tree & Merry Christmas.

21 Nature Lover December 2, 2013 at 12:45 PM

IT IS A CHRISTMAS TREE! As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.

22 Charlie Brown December 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Where is my tree?

23 Incognito December 2, 2013 at 12:50 PM

It’s a Christmas Tree, period.
We’re celebrating – Christmas, period.

If our society is so worried about offending someone with regard to this, why don’t we just skip the holiday from here on out altogether.

I’m not offending by others who do not celebrate Christmas and may celebrate another holiday, so let me celebrate Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

24 Peachy December 2, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree, of all the trees most lovely
Oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree, of all the trees most lovely
Each year you bring to me delight, meaning in the christmas night
Oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree, of all the trees most lovely

Merry Christmas!

25 Anonymous December 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Call it a Christmas Tree because that’s what it is. Why do we have to be concerned about offending people of other cultures or religions? They or their ancestors chose to live here.

26 BCuzItzClaycord December 2, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The community I am from is about 35% Jewish………….So saying Happy Holidays is not big deal but…………. but the community had the Christmas Tree and Menorah by each other in the same park……..The 2 faiths have gotten along just fine during this season for hundreds of years and by what I see still do.
The only reason this thing got squirrely is due to the Muslims not liking it. We are all “infidels” according to them and our religious practices be it Christian or one of the Jewish sects are wrong according to them. Case in point the last office I was at for the State of Washington said we couldn’t have any holiday decor, be it Santa, Rudolf, Frosty etc as it offended the Muslim engineers (there were 2 of them)……….Of course they were first in line to get free food at the “seasonal” pot-luck, but didn’t contribute and would not sit in the room and eat with everyone because there were “Jews” in the room………………So you can thank the Muslims for all of the “tree” chatter.

27 Mr. John December 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

While I appreciate that people may object to the religious tones of calling it a Christmas Tree, the tree itself is so divorced from religion that it is a joke to get upset about it. That would be like getting upset about Wednesdays and Thursdays because of the religious origin of the words. Putting lights on pine trees (and coloring chicken eggs) are not forms of worship, and the faded relationship to religion just needs to be ignored.

28 Tom December 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

I’m a Christian minister, and I’ve never understood the furor behind the Christmas Tree, as if it represents Christianity. It comes from Pagan & Druidic roots, where people brought in evergreens to welcome the winter solstice which represented the beginning of winter’s decline.

Further, “There are many other theories about the origin of the Christmas tree. Researchers have failed to accurately pinpoint a single origin, but it is correct to state that it evolved from pagan traditions. Understanding how the tree was used in the past will shed light on its meaning in the Christmas celebration. Many Christians unwittingly partake in tree decorating without knowing the cryptic meanings behind the adoration/decorating of a tree.”
-http://www.prevailmagazine.org/the-origins-of-the…/

I’m all for equal rights, especially on public property (and with public funds). I think we should be encouraging expression of freedom of religion for all, rather than restricting it down to the lowest common denominator of what might offend someone.

Why do Christians fight over keeping a tree? Why do Christians insist the tree remains next to a Menorah as a representative of their beliefs?

For my money, if we’re looking at religious freedom and equal representation of religious symbols at this time of the year, I think we should be encouraging a manger scene, not a Christmas tree!

29 Mr. Pink December 2, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Agree with William. If the word “Christmas” offends you, you’re an ass.

My God, the world has become such a stupid place. Do we really have nothing better to worry about?

30 Elwood December 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

It’s a Hanukkah Bush!

And a Kwazy Kwanzaa to you all too!

31 Polarbearmarket December 2, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Christmas tree.

32 Gov't Holidays December 2, 2013 at 1:48 PM

For all you separation of church and state and those offended, both the Federal Gov’t and the State of California list “Christmas Day” as official holidays on their respective calendars.
No Christmas Tree, no day off with pay.

33 Dorothy December 2, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Bah, humbug! Tree of Lights, Tree of Spirit, Community Tree, Holiday Tree, or just Tree, whatever else they want to call it, they should keep it light all year round because with those names, they are not the tree of Christmas.

A Christmas tree is call that and nothing else. I have a Christmas tree.

34 Antler December 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

“The Christmas Tree” is in my dining room! I refer to the one in Todos Santos Plaza as “The Town Tree”……..and I don’t care what any of you call it or what you have to say, I think it’s PURDY and I’m glad they put it up for all of us to enjoy…..or not. Cheers!!!

35 RK December 2, 2013 at 2:01 PM

This is so ridiculous at many levels, a tree associated with celebration of Christmas should be called a Christmas tree. How can the wonderful word “Christmas” be offensive? This is some political bull#cra#p stunt ! Very disappointing!

36 @ Mr. Pink December 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM

William didn’t say if “Christmas” offends you, you are a twit. He stated The Closer was a twit if he/she was offended by the word “Christmas” being omitted.

It appears William is of the religion of Dumba$$ism.

37 Victor mature December 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

It’s the pussification of america!

38 Remember the Constitution December 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Silly Christians and your symbolism! so your tree is really a pagan tradition of sun worship…whatever next? could the easter bunny and his eggs be pagan symbols of fertility celebrated at the vernal equinox in spring?? is the easter bunny hopping around the yard really a f word bunny? you betcha!

I wish more Christians were focused on and passionate about Christian ideals rather than Christian symbols.

39 Anonymous December 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Let’s ask George Miller and watch him dance around answering.

40 Antonio December 2, 2013 at 2:13 PM

It’s a CHRISTMAS TREE-PERIOD!

I don’t know why people of other religions would be offended. As a Christian, I’m not offended by a Menorah!

This PC crap is BS!!!

41 Sacto Rob December 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Every single one of those municipal government offices will be closed on Christmas Day. Do yo think that’s a coincidence? No, it’s because government offices close on Christmas Day by tradition. And doing so does NOT constitute an endorsement or establishment of religion, any more than calling a Christmas Tree a Christmas Tree.
You simply got a bunch of weasly, politically corrrect local politicians afraid to call a spade a spade. The tree on the White House lawn is called a Christmas Tree, as is the tree on the state Capitol lawn in Sacramento.

42 @no2no1 (#15) December 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM

“Eight pronged pitchfork of lights” – HAHAHAhaha! I wanna be your friend.

43 Emily December 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM

I suspect Jesus would be far more offended by the consumerism, paganism and ill-will that Christmas has embraced than by anything you could possibly choose to call a decorated tree.

44 Trevbo December 2, 2013 at 2:26 PM

The federal govt isn’t permitted to endorse any religion, but that doesn’t prevent any other city, county, state, municipality, etc. from it. Christmas is recognized as a federal holiday anyway. Take it up with Grant. The city can, and should call it what it is, a Christmas tree. I don’t even see a Christmas tree as a religious icon, it’s pretty secular and about as offensive as a wreath. I’m with John though, I would much rather see a Nativity Scene, or a cross, despite the fact I’m not religious. It’s just pretty and makes me feel more connected to humanity than the almighty dollar.

45 What it is... December 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Call it a Pagan Tree? What a bunch of crap. Leave it at Christmas Tree and have the politicians get a picture in front of a road they just had fixed, not in front of the tree.

Season’s Greetings and Merry Christmas!

46 It's official December 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Stop by the Post Office and ask for Christmas stamps.

47 The Mamba December 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM

It’s a Christmas bush.

48 Miss Ranchogirl December 2, 2013 at 2:44 PM

isn’t Christmas a legal Holiday?
isn’t Christmas a paid Holiday?

if it is – why can’t it be called a Christmas tree?

49 Atticus Thraxx December 2, 2013 at 2:45 PM

A silly thing to get worked up about. So it’s perfect for Claycord. Let’s call mistletoe ” herpes vector fauna”!

50 Howard K Mullins III December 2, 2013 at 2:59 PM

While the tree at Todos Santos is living, I see no reason to give it a special name. It already has a name, whatever scientific term is appropriate.

I love sitting at Starbucks watching cars drive by with dead trees strapped on top. I really should be selling all those dead trees to folks this time of year. Think I’ll give it a try next year. Has to be a money maker…

51 @HKM December 2, 2013 at 3:11 PM

That is funny. Can you imagine if you cut a tree, it dies; then you plant it back into the ground and it springs back to life. The question is, is that the same tree that was dead or if another tree came to take its place. I’m going out right now to plant a tree for christmas next year.

52 Dr. Freud December 2, 2013 at 3:23 PM

the Christians here seem very angry, angry and bitter.

53 Keith December 2, 2013 at 4:26 PM

As long as I know it’s a Christmas Tree, I don’t care what others call it. People make a fool out of themselves by calling it some other asinine name.

54 Rob December 2, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Call it anything but a Christmas Tree – I love watching people go crazy nuts over something as trivial as this.

55 @Rob December 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

It’s the principle of the thing. People cannot come in and poo on everyone’s Christmas parade.
It’a always been a Christmas tree and always will be, no one can change that,
mot even Scrooge!

56 Almondgirl December 2, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Merry Christmas everyone!

57 Always Right December 2, 2013 at 5:16 PM

@Remember the Constitution – You and your fellow atheists should take a few minutes to read the Constitution. It says nothing about “separation of church and state”. Our constitution supports the free exercise of religion in the 1st amendment along with the sacred right of freedom of speech.

So here is the deal. I will let you keep your freedom of speech, so long as you respect my right to exercise my freedom of religion. ( If I were you, I would take the deal. After all, Christians still outnumber self identified Atheists in America by about 10:1. )

58 still anon December 2, 2013 at 5:42 PM

It’s a Christmas tree for Criminy Sakes

59 Triple Canopy December 2, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Screw’em if anyone is “offended”. That is THEIR problem. This politically correct bullcrap has got to stop.

And when has been a “crime” to offend anyone. Oh, that’s right… the popular media is now calling that “bullying”.

60 Pyrrhus December 2, 2013 at 6:03 PM

You Christians that are offended with it not being called a Christmas tree should really examine your own religion and see where the Christmas tree came from. (Here’s a hint, it isn’t Christian).

61 Anon December 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Call it what you like. If I want a Christmas Tree that’s what it better be called.

62 RanchgirlCA December 2, 2013 at 6:29 PM

I call my tree a Christmas Tree. You can call your tree or whatever you choose to decorate, whatever term you want. We need to quit worrying about or criticizing what someone else says. To each their own.

63 Mitch December 2, 2013 at 6:52 PM

@ Pyrrhus—(60)

STFU! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

64 Dennis December 2, 2013 at 7:12 PM

I’m offended by those who think ‘separation of church and state’ is in the Constitution, and means that government cannot acknowledge the existence of Christianity,

And then expand that opinion to extremes.

Until the Socialist takeover of the Dems 40 years ago (remember Socialist dogma requires atheism), we didn’t have this claptrap.

Now we’ve got activists screaming we can’t have crosses on tombstones in Federal cemeteries, or anywhere a taxpayer-funded illegal mows the lawn.

enough already. atheist extremism is just as bad as religious extremism.

once you get past the ‘opinions’ on separation of state and church issue, try actually reading the 1st Amendment some time.

“”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

We all know that Henry VIII created the Church of England (Anglican outside England), specifically to eliminate Popes having political control of English subjects.

And the Amendment does not say that government will not recognize the existence of, or legitimacy of, any church. It just says CONGRESS WILL NOT PASS A LAW TO CREATE A CHURCH.

The rest of the separation BS is just interpretation by the Socialist-dominated Democratic Party, and that is only in the last 50 years. It is OPINION, not Constitutional law. And please note the Amendment also says clearly that government WILL NOT INTERFERE with free expression of religion, whatever it is.

So this issue is mostly caused by officially-atheist Socialists attempting to reword and redefine the 1st Amendment improperly.

And they do the same with the 2nd Amendment. What a coincidence!

Time to put this intentional attack on the Constitution where it belongs: in the dustbin of history, along with the glorious communist revolution blah blah blah.

65 Dorlores December 2, 2013 at 7:32 PM

It is a Christmas Tree an we will always call it a Christmas Tree.

66 Merry Christmas December 2, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Our entire legal system is built on the Judeo-Christian ethic. Do we then junk our legal system because it has a foundation rooted in religious doctrine? To say we have separation of church and state is, and always has been, a stretch. At any rate, it’s a Christmas Tree and needs to be called a Christmas Tree.

67 Pleasant Hill Resident I December 2, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Actually, I prefer “holiday foliage.” NOT. It’s a Christmas tree, c’mon! Ya know, I have close friends who observe other religious traditions and they aren’t the least bit offended when I send out my “Merry Christmas” cards each year as they understand that it’s the particular holiday that my family celebrates and I am thinking of them, sending happy thoughts and wishes. I understand a City attempting to refrain from supporting one religion over another, but this whole “PC” society we live in is getting a bit out of control.

68 Vindex December 2, 2013 at 7:59 PM

It’s a Christmas tree

69 Chupacabra December 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Anyone who doesn’t understand the difference between the separation of church and state and freedom of religion doesn’t deserve to call them self an American. State sponsored religion is UNAMERICAN.

You should be free to worship whatever spaghetti monster you choose, but you cannot ask our government to favor your monster over anyone else’s.

70 Chupacabra December 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

One more thing, there’s a huge difference between constitutionally correct and politically correct. People need to stop confusing the two.

71 Marissa December 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

It is a Christmas Tree, although holiday foliage is not bad, I call my tree by its traditional name: Christmas Tree :-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

72 Julie December 2, 2013 at 9:04 PM

There is only one day each year that warrants our celebrating by putting a pine tree in the middle of our house and decorating it. It’s Christmas, and the pine tree is a Christmas tree. If you don’t like it, leave the tree in the forest.
As usual, we are catering to a very few people who hate the thought of Christ. I’m not referring to other religions, because they don’t want theirs taken away either. People of other religions are rarely the ones who are offended. It’s people who call themselves atheist. If you’re really an atheist, you wouldn’t care. If you’re a hater, then it offends and angers you and you probably are in need of Christ and His love and healing.
Merry Christmas

73 ClayDen December 2, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Christmas is the reason for the season!

Since this country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and the 10 Commandments are carved in stone on the Supreme Court building, CALL IT A CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!!

74 Bergie December 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Good God. Really?? How about we stop letting the ridiculous lawsuit-avoiding idiots who perpetrate these ridiculous ideas to STOP RUNNING OUR CITIES??? It’s always been a Christmas Tree….no matter what the “leaders” tell us to call it.
CHRISTMAS TREE! CHRISTMAS TREE! CHRISTMAS TREE! CHRISTMAS TREE! CHRISTMAS TREE! CHRISTMAS TREE!
Oh….and by the way….it is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

75 Dr. Jellyfinger December 2, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Why don’t we call the Menorah the Holiday Candlestick?

76 Julie December 2, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Like the other Julie said, if you don’t like it, leave the CHRISTMAS TREE in the forest.

I miss the days where we could all be human, and not have to deal with all this BS!

77 Vallas December 2, 2013 at 9:58 PM

it just seems odd that we can post on the comment board without first offering our full names and photos. the internet is no place to hide behind a screen name. someone bring me up to date, do we still have a local movement to eliminate such reckless posting to this site? you first got to be photographed and officially logged in the near future right?

78 NotPC December 2, 2013 at 10:24 PM

As far as the government is concerned, it is freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. This was put into place to insure there were no laws passed that require worship in style A but not style B. It also specifies no persons or government can restrict your religious beliefs or practices. (open ended I know, but. . .)

The tree can be a christmas tree and still be “lawful” as there is no injunction to force compliance to the religion that uses it. Same with a menora or a plate of spagetti for the pastafarains.

79 Amy December 3, 2013 at 3:00 AM

It’s a Christmas tree.

80 bumper sticker December 3, 2013 at 4:35 AM

Dear Jesus please protect me from your followers.

81 Happy One December 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM

The tree in my house is a Christmas Tree. I’m perfectly fine with calling it a Holiday Tree or whatever non-religious name someone comes up with if it’s in a mall or a public place. Let’s be honest here. Christmas trees have nothing to do with Christianity. They are derived from pagan customs. The whole Christmas Tree/ Santa Claus/buying lots of presents for your family custom has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with the economy. Towns and shopping centers put up decorations to encourage you to spend money. Jesus would be appalled. If we really wanted to follow Jesus’s teachings we wouldn’t be doing any of this. We would use our money to care for the poor instead of blowing it on parties, silly decorations, and presents for people who already of an abundance of stuff.

82 Jen December 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM

“The constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause place restrictions on the government concerning laws they pass or interfering with religion. No restrictions are placed on religions except perhaps that a religious denomination cannot become the state religion.” – See more at: http://www.allabouthistory.org/separation-of-church-and-state.htm#sthash.6QwOv4cr.dpuf

Thomas Jefferson was later reassuring (and reminding) the churches that the GOV WOULD STAY OUT OF CHURCH BUSINESS, NOT the other way around, and he used the phrase “seperation of church and state”. “The wall had been erected to protect churches”.

Wow has that been twisted! I don’t blame the younger people though, it’s how it’s taught and represented.

So, it’s a Christmas tree and the government should be the last one to re-name it.

83 Mrs. T December 3, 2013 at 10:27 AM

It is a CHRISTMAS TREE!! If you don’t like it oh freaking well!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS

84 Dr. Freud December 3, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Dear Jen,

the Unites States Supreme Court, you know, the people in charge of interpreting and implementing the Constitution, disagrees with you.

Lemon v. Kurtzman, 91 S. Ct. 2105 (1971)

Established the three part test for determining if an action of government violates First Amendment’s separation of church and state:
1) the government action must have a secular purpose;
2) its primary purpose must not be to inhibit or to advance religion;
3) there must be no excessive entanglement between government and religion.

Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980)

Court finds posting of the Ten Commandments in schools unconstitutional.

Wallace v. Jaffree, 105 S. Ct. 2479 (1985)

State’s moment of silence at public school statute is unconstitutional where legislative record reveals that motivation for statute was the encouragement of prayer. Court majority silent on whether “pure” moment of silence scheme, with no bias in favor of prayer or any other mental process, would be constitutional.

Edwards v. Aquillard, 107 S. Ct. 2573 (1987)

Unconstitutional for state to require teaching of “creation science” in all instances in which evolution is taught. Statute had a clear religious motivation.

Allegheny County v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (1989)

Court finds that a nativity scene displayed inside a government building violates the Establishment Clause.

Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992)

Unconstitutional for a school district to provide any clergy to perform nondenominational prayer at elementary or secondary school graduation. It involves government sponsorship of worship. Court majority was particularly concerned about psychological coercion to which children, as opposed to adults, would be subjected, by having prayers that may violate their beliefs recited at their graduation ceremonies.

But hey, you have a link to a website!

85 Starman December 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM

How do you celebrate christmas and Christ birthday with out a Christmas tree. You would celebrate Hanukkah with out a menorah. Would you celebrate Veterans Day with out a flag. Would you celebrate 4th of July with out fireworks. The tree is a symbol of Christmas and will always be. In the eyes of those who believe. In the minds of those who believe this you can not change

86 thats rediculous December 3, 2013 at 11:56 AM

if we call the christmas tree a holiday tree than i want menoras to be called holiday candle holders

87 Poppie December 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Majority used to rule in this country. In that
case, it would still be a Christmas Tree.

88 Dutch December 3, 2013 at 1:04 PM

This is PC going a muck. Stop the foolishness and call the Christmas tree a Christmas tree. There’s always going to be a few that want to spoil it for the majority.

89 Dennis December 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

@Freud quack quack. Note those court decisions were all 5-4 and after the socialist power grab? Why do you think the Left is so desperate to make lifetime appointments to the bench? What a concept, that 1 judge makes so much difference. All the PC nonsense would stop by changing 1 judge.

1 judge has more power than Congress, the President, the People, and the Constitution.

scary, that.

Like all but a few, I’m gonna keep calling it a Christmas tree … and voting against any politician that won’t.

90 A liberal December 3, 2013 at 2:19 PM

The only people who get offended by “Christmas Tree” are the type of people who are always getting offended on someone else’s behalf… it’s like the white guy who tells everyone else how racist they are even though he only has white friends. In this case it’s people telling us how insensitive we all are for using the phrase “Christmas Tree” even though nobody is actually offended by it. Knock off the goody two-shoes act and call it what it is, a CHRISTMAS TREE.

91 Democrat Logic December 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM

@ Dr Freud – Interesting list of Supreme Court decisions.

But you left out the decision were they said that you can’t call a Christmas Tree a Christmas tree.

Oh that’s right, because it doesn’t exist.

Case closed! THUMP!

92 Dr. Freud December 3, 2013 at 3:34 PM

there isn’t a Supreme Court decision that states that its illegal to slap idiots upside the head, but we know it is.

The Supreme Court has made it patently clear that the government cannot sponsor or participate in overtly religious behavior.

@ Dennis, when did this socialist power grab happen because the first of the decisions I cite came down in 1971. And most of the decisions were made by predominantly Republican appointed justices.

93 Democrat Logic December 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Dr Freud – The Supreme Court is very clear about upholding the illegality of assault & battery – which is what “slapping an idiot upside the head” constitutes. So you are wrong there.

You have also failed to prove that the SCOTUS considers a Christmas Tree as “overtly religious behavior”. Come back when you can.

94 @ Dr Freud December 3, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Actually, Dr Freud, the SCOTUS is very clear that a Christmas tree in a public space is permissable.

County of Allegheny vs ACLU 492 US 573 (1989)
“The Court holds that a solitary creche … placed in a courthouse is in violation of the First amendment’s Establishment Clause, however an eighteen foot menorah and a fourty-five foot Christmas tree displayed outside a government building are not”.

Do you really need to be a paste-eater to be a “progressive”?

95 Dennis December 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

@Freud quack quack. wanna talk politics go back to the political forum.

96 Roberta December 3, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Do we calla Menorah a candle stick? NO nor would I so why do they insist dropping Christmas from tree! Where have my rights gone as a Christian who celebrates Christmas!!!!

97 Claire December 3, 2013 at 7:12 PM

As long as people remember CHRIST at Christmas, I don’t really care what they call it.

Of course it’s a Christmas tree. People make fools of themselves calling the tree anything else.

But I do insist on MERRY CHRISTMAS over happy holidays. It’s CHRISTMAS TIME whether people like it or not!

98 Chupacabra December 3, 2013 at 8:53 PM

@94 recheck your facts there amigo. In the allegheny case SCOTUS determined that the nativity crèche was unconstitutional, it was not asked to nor did it consider the issue of Christmas trees.

Liar

99 Steve December 3, 2013 at 9:36 PM

I’m glad our kids are grown. I can’t imagine my wife and I trying to explain to our little kids what to call the damn thing.

Dealing with Santa Claus was enough confusion.

100 Hey Dr Freud! December 4, 2013 at 7:53 AM

You my have your panties in a wad over Christmas trees, but the Supreme Court doesn’t …

The Supreme Court doesn’t mind the Christmas Tree in the White House …

The Supreme court doesn’t mind the Christmas Tree on the National Mall …

And the Supreme Court doesn’t mind the Christmas Tree in … the Supreme Court!

That’s right doofus – the Supreme Court has a Christmas Tree!

101 @ Chupacabra 98 December 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Dear Chupa,
Clearly you have access to a computer and the internet, so why didn’t you check out my statement before flinging mud?

Check my post – I never said that the Allegheny suit was about the Christmas tree, so you are wrong there. I only said that the SCOTUS made it clear that a Christmas tree in a public space is permissable. In fact, the Court’s decision mentions the nearby Christmas tree on public property many times (I stopped counting at 12), each time charactarizing it as either a secular, or non-religious, symbol.

Don’t let your hate cloud your God given intelligence my friend.

Merry Christmas!

102 Mimi (original) December 4, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Seems there’s so much political correctness around that we can gag on it!

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