Australian Mayor Denounces His Own Town’s Christmas Tree as ‘the Worst in the World’

“An absolute disgrace,” thundered new Geelong (Australia) mayor Darryn Lyons about the Christmas tree that had been purchased by his very own town. Proclaiming it “the worst Christmas tree in the world,” it didn’t help Lyons’ mood that the purchase price reportedly was $27,000 U.S. dollars.

“I think I’d rather donate it to the English cricket team,” he said. “They can cut a few bats out of it and see how they go in the Melbourne test match.”



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Catholic League, Late to the Game, Finally Gets a Billboard in Times Square

I know you’re all Times Square-d out by now, but Bill Donohue‘s Catholic League just got a billboard there. The message calls American Atheists (I assume) “Scrooges” and encourages viewers to “celebrate the prince of peace”:

To which I say… meh.

It’s not a very powerful or effective message. People won’t bother to look twice.

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Anglican Vicar Berates Christians Who Only Want to Hear Him Sermonize at Christmas and Easter

I sympathize with Reverend Steve Goodbody‘s plight. It has to be hard to offer a world view and a way of life that fewer and fewer people want.

From the Telegraph:

A vicar has criticised people who only attend Church over the festive season telling them: “God is for life — not just for Christmas”.



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If You Wrote This Anonymous Note, You’re a Jerk

Things that are okay to criticize: Nativity scenes on government property.

Things that are okay to criticize only if you’re a complete asshole: Nativity scenes on your neighbor’s lawn.

That’s what an anonymous letter-writer did to Kristen Hunter‘s family in Newton, Massachusetts:

The “neighbors” who sent the letter wanted to point out that the entire neighborhood is not Christian and may not want to look at their decor, especially given that it is “cheap, tacky and kitschy.”

The note stated that the “neighbors” have held their tongue in the past, but felt it was important to make their concerns known this year. Because “not everybody in the neighborhood is Christian” they believe that people do not want to “see such a flagrant display” of Christian beliefs.

The letter also stated that the decorations were tacky, calling them a “terrible eye-sore on the neighborhood.”

“All religious matters aside, your decorations themselves are beyond tasteless,” the letter said.

The “neighbors” conclude the letter by telling the family that they are free to worship and celebrate however they’d like and they are even “free to have bad taste” but they ask the family to do those things in the privacy of their own home.


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New Survey Shows Americans Prefer ‘Happy Holidays’ Over ‘Merry Christmas’

The War on Christmas is over!* We win!**

The Public Religion Research Institute says in a newly-released survey that more Americans than ever before prefer the term “Happy Holidays” to “Merry Christmas”:

(What’s that you say? The question is biased to make people say “Happy Holidays” so they don’t seem disrespectful? Good job, my AP Stats students…)

Nearly half (49%) of Americans agree stores and businesses should greet their customers with “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” instead of “merry Christmas” out of respect for people of different faiths. However, a substantial minority (43%) disagree. Support for saying “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” is up slightly since December 2010, when 44% preferred that businesses use less religious greetings.


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