Reader Opinion: Bring back Christmas

It’s not only common sense but the right thing to do.

Stack of newspapers on a laptop computer.

Christmas became a public holiday in 1870 as President Grant tried to unite a divided country after the Civil War. Although originally intended to celebrate Christ’s birth, Christmas had become much more by then — a time for families to gather, put up a tree, exchange gifts, sing carols, etc. Minnesota made Christmas a public holiday in 1905, but before then, 1858 territorial legislation treated Christmas Day as a Sunday for banking purposes. Also, 1888 legislation said teachers couldn’t be required to teach on Christmas Day. Christmas Day remains a public holiday under both federal and state law.

Some argue “Christmas” break violates the Establishment Clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...”), but that’s not true. That assumption was squarely debunked in Ganulin v. U.S., which held that “under Sixth Circuit and Supreme Court precedent the establishment of Christmas Day as a legal public holiday does not violate the Establishment Clause because it has a valid secular purpose, it does not have the effect of endorsing religion in general or Christianity in particular, and it does not impermissibly cause excessive entanglement between church and state."

Given this history, why change “Christmas” break? There’s a movement today to redefine everything and erase even the slightest trace of religion — gender, marriage, even life itself. Any faith-based opposition to this movement must be muzzled. However, right after the Establishment Clause is the Free Exercise Clause. Congress can’t establish a religion, but it also can’t prohibit the free exercise of religion. The school board shouldn’t be worried about reinstating Christmas break, but we should all be worried about this movement being established that requires prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Bring back Christmas break. In the words of the Democrats, it’s not only common sense but the right thing to do.

Rocky Wells



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