Thursday, December 08, 2005

A few years later, panic sets in

Auburn University has had a "holiday tree lighting ceremony" since 2000, but apparently the event's name only became a crisis for social conservatives across the country this year. The school's SGA, probably bewildered by the sudden deluge of angry phone calls and e-mails, responded Monday by rejecting a resolution to rename the event a "Christmas tree lighting."

Across the state, the University of Alabama has decided on a basic artificial tree decorated with white lights. So what's its name? It doesn't have one, a university spokeswoman says: "If people want to refer to it as a 'Christmas tree' or as a 'holiday tree,' it's up to them." The school's international center contains exhibits honoring not only Christmas but Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Hindu, Muslim, and Shinto holidays as well.


Blogger Matt Collins said...

It should be noted, the uproar over the "Holiday Tree" at Auburn started because someone began spreading false information that the tree would be refered to as a "holiday tree".

Since the ceremony began in 2000, the tree has been called a Christmas tree, as it is a symbol of the Christian holiday of Christmas. And since the beginning, the lighting of the Christmas tree has been called a holiday tree lighting because other religious groups are open to bring religous symbols to be displayed with the Christmas tree.

The resolution in the SGA Senate failed because it was pointless, as it was asking to rename something to a name it already carried. Someone who was not paying attention over reacted and caused a pointless stir through the spread of misinformation, which is about on par for the SGA Senate.

7:15 AM  
Blogger porchwise said...

We already have enough tyranny of the majority without dragging in such mundane nonsense.

10:40 AM  
Blogger AU1978 said...

Matt's comments are patently untrue. The FACT is that AU changed its Christmas Tree lighting to a Holiday Tree in 2000. That is a fact--even SGA VP said it was done because they thought Christmas was too exclusive.

After the flood of calls and e-mails the SGA and the university relented--it will now be a Christmas Tree. But Auburn was heading down the slippery political correctness slope--and thanks to the college republicans, there has been a victory over the liberal secularists...

3:59 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

According to one of the Auburn SGA officers quoted in The Birmingham News' story, the event was a "Holiday Tree Lighting" but the tree itself was a Christmas tree. The News also said the event has carried that name since the SGA began sponsoring it in 2000.

The distinction between the tree name and the event name may or may not seem meaningful; that's for everyone to decide individually. It just seems odd that people suddenly would get all worked up about the name this year after it's been in place for several years without incident.

5:25 PM  

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