Thursday, December 07, 2006

While Thousands Suffer in the Cold...Mattie Says Merry Christmas

It has been a while since I railed against our dumb ass boy Gov Mattie Blunt. Despite thousands being without power in the major metropolitan center of St Louis for over a week for the second time this year, Mattie had to take care of this pressing issue. Oh that's right, silly me, AmerenUE the electric calamity in St Louis is a friend of the Blunts, so the problem can't be theirs.

From the KC Star:

Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has declared that state employees can say it too.

Blunt on Monday issued a directive to department heads asking them to assure state employees they would not be disciplined for saying “merry Christmas.”

“Last year, there was a great deal of public discussion regarding the Christmas season,” Blunt wrote in the memo. “Specifically, we heard from those who believe that the Christmas break should be called by a non-religious name such as ‘Winter Holiday.’ They also argued that traditional Christmas greetings such as “Merry Christmas” should not be used.

“Missouri state government employees should not have to worry about this matter. To ensure that there is no confusion regarding our state policy I am directing that each of you inform all members of your department that they should feel at ease using traditional holiday phrases, including ‘Merry Christmas’ and they should have no fear of official reprisal.

“I also ask that you inform your staff that the objections of those who are offended by these phrases be given due consideration, but that no state employee will be reprimanded or in any way disciplined for saying ‘Merry Christmas.’”

So how many employees had been reprimanded in the past for wishing people a merry Christmas? None, said Jessica Robinson, a spokeswoman for Blunt, who was unavailable for comment.

It was never a problem. Blunt sent out the directive in the wake of reports about retailers and others elsewhere instructing their employees not to use the phrase.

Religious conservatives have said there is a secular movement that has attempted to supplant Christmas and its religious elements with nonreligious terms such as “winter holiday” in schools and public places. Conservative Christians criticized President Bush for sending cards last year that wished people a happy “holiday season” but did not mention Christmas.

Observers on the left say the issue is a phony one that has been trumped up by conservatives, and they point out that “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings” have been used for decades.

Robinson made clear that Blunt’s directive does not prevent any state employee from wishing someone a happy holiday. Or a happy Hannukah or happy Kwaanza for that matter.

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