Cautiously consider effects of Patriot Act

It is my opinion that the Patriot Act would result in Americans losing some civil liberties and a right to privacy. It would expand the power of law enforcement to a level that would exceed any benefit to fighting terrorism.

Ben Franklin said something to the effect that, “If we allow fear to cause us to give up any civil liberties or freedoms, then we deserve neither.”

I recommend caution in accepting the Patriot Act on face value.

Dennis Mounce

Kokomo

War on Christmas does not exist

I’ve been hearing the phrase “War On Christmas” for a while now. It’s a big subject for Fox News and a lot of neo-conservatives trying to scare people to their side. But the tricky thing is this: There is no war on Christmas. No such thing exists. I know. If there were, I’d enlist.

John Gibson, the guy from Fox News, has a book out called, “The War On Christmas,” which likely explains the reason you can’t say “Merry Christmas” to anyone. You have to say “Happy Holidays” instead, or you can be fired. You can’t have nativity scenes on government property. Yada yada yada.

Let’s look at these three common statements individually. I’ll bet you I can get to the bottom of them in a few seconds flat.

1. You can’t say “Merry Christmas” to anyone.

Yes. You can. I was just wished a “Merry Christmas” at a store

yesterday. End of story.

2. You have to say “Happy Holidays” instead, or you can be fired.

Well, if anyone is being fired over this, I’d be very surprised. Maybe they are getting fired for insubordination in refusing to adhere to the “Happy Holidays” initiative. (Or HHI, from here on out.) From a practical standpoint, HHI makes perfect sense. As an owner of a business that deals with the public, isn’t it much smarter not to potentially alienate a percentage of your customer base, no matter how small, through something as inoffensive as offering an inclusive “Happy Holidays” vs. the exclusive “Merry Christmas?”

For those who are still offended, let me translate for you directly. If you are a Christian, “Happy Holidays” means, literally, “Merry Christmas.” It’s just that simple. Don’t get your panties in such a huge bunch over a word game.

Granted, Christians aren’t being acknowledged as the true masters of the United States by allowing people of other religions to be respected equally, but you know, that darned Constitution just keeps getting in the way.

3. You can’t have nativity scenes on government property.

Well ... good. I would prefer that our government buildings be used to, say ... govern? Why should our government buildings become shrines to a religion — any religion? If you allow one religion, you are obligated to allow them all.

Suddenly, our government buildings aren’t places for the machinations of government to operate any longer. They are show places for religious people with agendas. There is a large faction of Christians who would love to have a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, but would protest the presence of a Menorah. Why give those people the ammo they need to start a holy war?

Personally, I can’t wait until the Satanists feel the need to put up a display. If the Christians can post the Ten Commandments, then by all rights the Satanists should be allowed to post the Nine Satanic Statements and be regarded as equal in stature. That fight could be epic! Get the popcorn and fire up the VCR!

If there is a “War On Christmas,” is it a war that can even be won? Do you really think that Christmas is going to disappear? I know a lot of people complain about the commercialization of Christmas, but that is the single biggest thing that will guarantee that Christmas will continue until the end of time. Money talks. Even if every religious thought was stricken from the minds of all Americans, the Almighty Dollar will still keep the spirit of Christmas alive and well.

Scott Carpenter

Kokomo

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