This week, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., wrote a letter to the architect of the U.S. Capitol urging that the so-called “Capitol Holiday Tree” be renamed the “Capitol Christmas Tree,” as it was known for many years.

The term for the annual spruce tree apparently changed some time in the 1990s.

In recent years, our nation has been plagued by a series of politically correct decrees that are designed to create a sanitized public square, creating what are essentially religion-free zones. In such a Scrooge-infested environment, even the word Christmas is deemed to be far too distasteful at our nation’s Capitol.

Thankfully, Speaker Hastert has drawn attention to this ludicrous effort to totally secularize the American public square.

“I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree,” Rep. Hastert wrote to Architect Alan Hantman.

National ‘Friend or Foe’ campaign

In the most recent issue of the National Liberty Journal, a publication I publish, we highlighted a series of stories on the national “Friend or Foe” movement that has been initiated by attorney Mat Staver and his Liberty Counsel, a 700-attorney religious-freedom firm that is affiliated with Jerry Falwell Ministries.

We featured a story on churches that have purchased ads in their local newspapers announcing that Christmas is still legal in our schools and in the public square, providing a legal memo supporting this fact and offering to provide free attorney representation for any whose religious freedom is challenged. Many churches, including Thomas Road Baptist Church, the church I founded in 1956, and Dr. Jerry Prevo’s Anchorage Baptist Temple, have joined in this important effort.

Since publication, my newspaper staff and I have heard from many pastors across the country who have determined to join in this effort by purchasing pro-Christmas ads in their own local papers.

I’m hoping that many other pastors (and others) will still get involved with this effort this year. See the ad many pastors are running [a .pdf file].

Mat Staver and I are planning to help finance an all-out assault in newspapers across the country next year, but we hope to establish a firm foundation with many pastors coming aboard this year.

There really is much work to be done to safeguard Christmas.

Retailers banning ‘Christmas’

Thankfully, there is some good news on the horizon.

While many retailers – including Kmart, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreens – have abolished use of the term “Christmas” at many of their stores, The American Family Association reports that Lowe’s has adopted a pro-Christmas ruling. Lowe’s stores will begin advertising “Christmas trees” instead of the previous “holiday trees.”

It may sound like an insignificant victory, but I see it as important.

There’s simply no need to ban Christmas in America. And if retailers determine that Christmas isn’t for them, then they can expect to lose the support of many Americans.

AFA noted that after “thousands of AFA supporters contacted Lowe’s to express their displeasure,” Lowe’s announced its change in policy.

I believe many Americans are fed up with the endeavors of a small minority of our fellow citizens who are seeking to obliterate Christmas – and other historic religious symbols that have defined our nation for most of our history – from the public square.

Here’s a certainty: If retailers comprehend that multitudes of shoppers are shunning them because they have disallowed the word “Christmas,” that strategy will quickly fade.

It’s time we join together and protect Christmas from the secular Grinches who want to stifle its celebration in public venues throughout our nation. We can easily win this battle if we all join together.

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