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Student protests university's 'Holiday tree'

A leader at Auburn University is calling on her student government to rename the campus “Holiday tree” a Christmas tree.

The Alabama school’s Student Government Association has lit a tree at the beginning of December for the past several years, but a Thursday press release referring to the evergreen as a “Holiday tree” has many students up in arms.

Laura Steele, a student senator-at-large and chairwoman of the campus College Republicans, will propose a resolution tonight to the SGA to restore the traditional name for the tree.

The junior political science major drafted the resolution with the help of student Jackie Smith and attorney Michael Fellows.

Steele is represented by the Florida-based public interest legal group Liberty Counsel.

A majority of students support Steele, according to Liberty Counsel, but the resolution faces opposition in the student government.

SGA Vice President B.J. Agnew said calling the tree a Christmas tree “creates a problem of exclusion rather than acceptance.”

Liberty Counsel says it’s rumored that some SGA members may try to kill the resolution by invoking a rarely used procedural maneuver.

Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, sees a double standard, asserting the name of the tree should not be changed “merely because some mumble the mantra of inclusiveness.”

“A menorah is associated with Hanukkah. It’s name should not be changed, even though a bigot might object,” he said. “Santa and his sleigh appear during December bearing Christmas gifts. His name and those of his reindeer entourage should not be changed because some believe he is too secular.” Everyone knows that a green, pointed tree we decorate in December is a Christmas tree.”

Staver added, “For these inclusiveness advocates, Hanukkah is in, Kwanzaa is in, Santa Claus is in, but Christmas is out. Renaming a Christmas tree to a ‘Holiday tree’ is hypocritical political correctness run amok.”

As WorldNetDaily reported last week, the home-improvement retailer Lowe’s dropped references to “Holiday trees” in favor of “Christmas trees,” just one day after a WND story.

A series of reports by WND, also led up to a decision by Wal-Mart officials to satisfy demands by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which had called for a national boycott after accusing the retail giant of discriminating against Christmas while promoting other seasonal holidays by name, such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.

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