Santa Claus joins President and Laura Bush in singing carols at the White House
WASHINGTON – What’s virtually missing from the White House commemoration of Christmas this year?
The little baby in the manger.
The reason for the season.
While President Bush was re-elected last month in an election victory many attributed to an outpouring of support by evangelical Christians impressed with his candid outspokenness about his faith, some Americans notice the White House website lacks even a single mention of Jesus, whose birth is celebrated by hundreds of millions worldwide Dec. 25.
The official White House site proclaims this as the “Season of Merriment and Melody” – not the birth of the Savior of the world.
“Throughout the world, the holiday season is greeted by joyful music that brightens hearts and evokes wonderful memories,” reads the message. “This year’s theme brings to the White House the magic of holiday songs that have been favorites for generations of Americans.”
Among the website’s many photographs of secular decorations is a shot of a creche, or Nativity, displayed in the East Room, but the baby Jesus is virtually invisible.
The White House has not responded to WND’s request for comment.
The White House residence, the site proclaims is decorated with “delightful vignettes illustrating many of the best-loved songs of the season.”
White House decorated like a winter wonderland
Not one of those songs is a traditional spiritual carol or hymn. Instead, the songs listed include “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” “Upon the Housetop,” “Blue Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” White Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Marshmallow World.”
In fact, even the word Christmas is only used in song titles and as an adjective – such as before the word tree.
At the lighting of the National Christmas Tree Dec. 2, Bush remarked: “Tonight we begin a joyous season, and the city of Washington is never more beautiful than during the holidays. At Christmas time we celebrate good tidings first announced two thousand years ago, and still a source of great joy in our world. Laura and I are always happy to join in the Pageant of Peace, and we thank you all for coming this evening.
“The season of Advent is always the season of hope,” Bush continued. “We think of the patient hope of men and women across the centuries who listened to the words of the prophets and lived in joyful expectation. We think of the hope of Mary, who welcomed God’s plan with great faith. We think of the hope of the Wise Men who set out on a long journey guided only by a slender promise traced in the stars. We are reminded of the hope that the grandest purposes of the Almighty can be found in the humblest places. And we embrace the hope that all the love and gifts that come to us in this life are the signs and symbols of even a greater love and gift that came on a holy night. The old carol speaks of a ‘thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.’ And every year at this time we feel the thrill of hope as we wait on Christmas Day.”
Bush went on to remember troops serving in foreign wars this Christmas season.
It has been noted that the Bushes’ holiday card this year includes a Scripture verse. But, again, it does not mention Jesus.
This card has a line from Psalms, 95:2: “Let us come before him with Thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
First lady Laura Bush supervises the card selection. She also picked cards with Bible verses when her husband was Texas governor.
The Republican National Committee paid for production and distribution.
On Dec. 9, Bush participated in a special menorah lighting ceremony at the White House.
“Hanukkah is a festive holiday that celebrates a great victory for freedom,” he said. “We remember the liberation of Jerusalem and a miracle witnessed in the holy Temple 2,000 years ago. For eight days the oil burned, and the light of freedom still burns in Jewish homes and synagogues everywhere. We are honored to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah in the White House this evening.”
Likewise, Bush issued a Hanukkah proclamation Dec. 7.
“I send greetings to all those celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights,” he said. “On the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, Jews around the world commemorate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago. During this time of darkness, the Temple had been seized, and Judaism had been outlawed. Judah Maccabee and his followers fought for three years for their freedom and successfully recaptured Jerusalem and the Temple. Jewish tradition teaches that the Maccabees found only one small bottle of oil to be used for temple rituals, but that oil lasted eight days and nights. The miracle of this enduring light, remembered through the lighting of the Menorah, continues to symbolize the triumph of faith over tyranny.”
He continued: “The bravery of the Maccabees has provided inspiration through the ages. We must remain steadfast and courageous as we seek to spread peace and freedom throughout the world. This holiday season, we give thanks to God, and we remember the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and their families. We also pray that all who live under oppression will see their day of freedom and that the light of faith will always shine through the darkness. Laura joins me in wishing you a blessed and Happy Hanukkah.”
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