Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Open Thread

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and family at Christmas (Dec 24, 1943.) photo White House archives.

Merry Christmas.

I've been browsing the White House holiday message for this year, along with previous years (bottom right corner of the page.)

It's a microcosm of how the Bush Administration sees the world.

For example, there is no Christmas photograph of any Democrats except President Roosevelt -- to whom President Bush frequently compares himself, in the sense of going up against a hostile Congress and ultimately being historically vindicated after his own death. All the other Christmas photos are of Republicans. The permanent Republican rule lives!

Prior to 2006, Muslims didn't exist during the Holiday Season. But in both 2006 & 2007, President Bush's speechwriters' have written a nice, polite message to celebrate Eid al-Adha: 2006, 2007.

In contrast, for the Christians, here is the Christmas 2007 message, which demonstrates greater familiarity with the tradition, but is roughly the same length, is published in the same news feed, cites scripture while the Muslim message does not (it truly will be a cold day in hell before a message signed by GWB quotes from the Qur'an. Heh.) But all in all, they are roughly the same, given the limits of familiarity of the speechwriters whom I do think did a nice job.

Better late than never, and it's nice to see anything nice about Muslim's coming from this White House.

I am appreciative this holiday season, that the worst presidential administration in history has at least moved up -- perhaps for political reasons, as it seems not to even break wind without there being a political reason, but whatever -- to acknowledging the legitimate hopes and dreams of over a sixth of the world's population, from the White House's bully pulpit. Not in a condescending way, or even in a way which suffers in comparison. A few years late... but they came through.

Now if the third of the world which is Hindu or Buddhist could receive similar acknowledgment, well, we'd truly have come a long way. Perhaps that will be a step for another President.

On this Christmas Day, we here at Group News Blog wish everyone best wishes as each of you celebrate the holidays in your own way -- with family and friends, alone, working or taking time off, with or without gifts, happy, sad, or just getting through the day. The holidays bring to each of us our own special moments and opportunities to reach out to others, and to find in ourselves the strength to be ourselves, not just for others, but for us.

And isn't being who we truly are, the message of Christmas?

Merry Christmas everyone.

Please use this open thread to share your holiday with us.