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Last Updated: Friday, December 10, 2004 03:49:38 AM 

Celebrating Christmas - A Dying Tradition?
- by Harry MacAdam

So, is this really the most OFFENSIVE image in Britain?

Cherished ... Classic Nativity Scene

This is the Nativity scene cherished by millions of Britons at Christmas.

Yet politically correct jobsworths call it "offensive" and are banning it in their drive to obliterate festive traditions.

The Sun is today launching a campaign to save Christmas - by turning back the tide of "politically correct" meddling that threatens to destroy it.

Festive traditions are facing gradual extinction thanks to barmy bureaucrats who WRONGLY believe they are offensive to followers of religions other than Christianity.

The list of endangered customs is growing by the day. In many offices, factories, schools and tourist attractions across Britain:

a.. NATIVITY scenes and the words Merry Christmas are being erased from greetings cards.

b.. DECORATIONS such as tinsel and baubles can no longer be put up.

c.. STAFF are banned from enjoying Christmas lunch or parties, and

d.. CAROL services cannot be ad- vertised. Stores are closing Santa's grottos. And even Tony Blair has jumped on the bandwagon.

One of the cards being sent out this year by the PM - a committed Christian - omits the C-word and just says: "Best wishes for the New Year."

Last night The Sun's crusade was backed by a string of high-profile politicians and community leaders led by Tory chief Michael Howard.

He spoke for millions when he said:

It doesn't matter what colour your skin is or what religion you are.

We're all British. And Christmas is a British tradition.

* * *

Backing ... Michael Howard
Picture: REUTERS
No one has to celebrate Christmas if they don't want to. But please don't
stop the rest of us enjoying the celebrations.

I'm proud to be British and proud to celebrate Christmas."

Other religious groups happily celebrate festivals such as the Hindu and Sikh Diwali, the Jewish Hanukkah and the Muslim Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.

And ironically the threat to Christmas is NOT coming from them, but from ignorant jobsworths working for government departments, councils and charities.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Council for Racial Equality, said:

It's not offensive to minority communities to celebrate the festival of Christmas. Nor is it racially exclusive.

A ban on Christmas isn't just silly to those who profess to be Christians. Most people of other faiths are bemused that we should even question it.

Some of the people who want to ban Christmas like to pose as caring liberals, anxious about the feelings of, say, Muslims.

But they usually forget to ask minority communities what they want. This is truly repressive.

A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: "There is nothing offensive to our religion about Christmas or celebrations such as carols or the Nativity scene."

But meanwhile the assault thunders on. The taxpayer-funded Eden Project in Cornwall will not allow any mention of Christmas. The eco-friendly tourist attraction has renamed it "A Time Of Gifts".

This week London's Madame Tussauds waxworks came under fire for a Nativity scene featuring a celebrity line-up led by Posh and Becks.

It is supposed to be fun. But for some people, fun is a dirty word.


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