It is if you follow the City of Philadelphia's logic.
For three years in a row, the German Christmas Village has successfully set up booths and tree vendors at City Hall. Each year a festive archway with the words, "Christmas Village," is mounted, announcing its name to the public. Until this year, that is. Due to complaints, the German Christmas Village will now bare the words, "Holiday Village." The city's managing director, Richard Negrin, requested the change. In defense of the name change, Philadelphia's city spokesman Mark McDonald said, "As a city of great diversity, one shouldn't be surprised that there's a difference of views when it comes to symbols and words." To that I say, "As a city of great diversity, one shouldn't be surprised to see religious holidays mentioned on public property." As a free society we have to see different views and opinions all the time. Some we'll share, some we won't. The sensitivity over simply seeing reference to a holiday you might not celebrate is a little more than outrageous.
About a week ago I posted an article on separation of church and state, pointing out the fact that the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of religion while protecting the expression of religion. In other words, freedom OF religion and not freedom FROM religion. This Philadelphia story is a perfect example of confusing the two. Where does the Constitution state that religious imagery - or in this case, the name of a specific holiday (even more ridiculous) - shouldn't or can't be on public property?
I'd like to know when the word "Christmas" became such a vulgarity, and how in the world is it an offensive word? I suppose it doesn't matter in this case because ultimately Thomas Bauer, manager of the Christmas Village, says he was happy to change the name. "People have to go to public buildings," Baur states, "They shouldn't feel offended." It's convenient for the city that he feels this way but I think its pretty idiotic to be "offended" by a holiday most people celebrate, including many who aren't Christian. I hope those on my "Christmas Card" list will let me know in advance of any offense they may take to my use of the word Christmas. I can save myself the stamp because in this rough economy, every penny counts.