This morning’s Real Clear Politics page provoked the following thought. Between Anthony Browne’s lamentation of European cultural suicide and Francis Fukuyama’s Venn diagram equating blue-state Democrats and "Euro-Atlanticists," I was driven back to Elvis Presley’s immortal "Blue Christmas." But emphatically not this one.
But seriously folks: when both Tony Blair and George W. Bush (both well-known as faithful Christians) scrub their seasonal statements out of a misplaced desire not to seem to exclude anyone, they wittingly or unwittingly send a powerful message of exclusion...to those who celebrate "the reason for the season." Let us remind our leaders that it’s possible to respect and include "the Other," and to lead diverse, pluralistic societies, without forgoing recognition of the central holiday on the calendar of most of their citizens. George W. Bush can personally wish us all a "merry Christmas" while at the same time reaching out in "good will toward men" to everyone, believer and non-believer, Christian and non-Christian, alike. Christmas is a generous, welcoming holiday. GWB should in fact encourage American Christians to reach out in generous fellowship to all their neighbors. I’ll leave it to our brothers and sisters in the U.K. to help Tony Blair figure out how to be true to himself.
Update:On GWB, I stand corrected by the first comment below. I confess to having been misled by a Newsmax report (which I cant now find on the web) on the White Houses Christmas decorations this year.