Florida Senator Gary Siplin introduced a Senate Resolution (SR 320) on Dec. 22, 2010, that would recognize "Merry Christmas" as the State of Florida's "official greeting" for December 25.
The resolution in part states:
WHEREAS, Christmas, a holiday of great significance to most Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world, and
WHEREAS, on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and
WHEREAS, popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, the exchange of greeting cards, a special meal, church celebrations, and the display of Christmas trees, lights, and nativity scenes, and
WHEREAS, many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world celebrate Christmas as a time to cherish and serve others . . .
According to the St. Petersburg Times, Siplin said: "When I go through the stores people say, 'Happy Holidays,' but we all know why people exchange gifts. We all know it's going to be Christmas, Jesus' birth, on Saturday. Why not say 'Merry Christmas' for that day and not camouflage it?"
The "Merry Christmas" resolution is a waste of the legislature's time and taxpayer funds. This resolution is clearly government promotion of religion, specifically Christianity. Elected officials should not use their government position as a place for promoting their personal religious views.
While many Americans celebrate holidays throughout December, these celebrations are not all for Christmas and not all celebrants are Christian. This resolution is deliberately exclusionary of nonbelievers, who comprise 15% of society (ARIS 2008), and those of minority faiths.
Senator Gary Siplin
1436 North Pine Hills Road
Orlando FL 32808
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