Video: Christmas lights-o-rama, and the Okie Napoleon attacks Update: No he didn’t

posted at 1:55 pm on December 20, 2007 by Bryan

Whatever the opposite of a war on Christmas is, this must be it. But I’m glad I’m not this guy’s neighbor. Living next to this must be a little like living next to a Kenny Rogers Roasters.

The Washington Times’ Christmas Holiday Blog has another video plus the story. It’s impressive. From a safe distance.

But speaking of marking out Christmas, Oklahoma attorney general Drew Edmondson is attempting to scrub the holiday that shall not have its name spoken from the state of Oklahoma.

“Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), has issued a disturbing policy which requires all employees to refrain from using the word ‘Christmas’ in oral or written form. This directive was given by the university upon legal advice of the Oklahoma Attorney General, W.A. Drew Edmondson. Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to SWOSU following a complaint from a university affiliate.

“John Misak, the Director of Human Resources, recently visited various university departments and employee groups and informed everyone that any decorations featuring the word ‘Christmas’ in any work or public areas of the university must be immediately removed. He also instructed everyone to discontinue the use of the term ‘Christmas’ in their speech while on the job. This censorship specifically includes exchanging greetings of ‘Merry Christmas’ among employees or with non-employees, whether initiated by a non-university employee or not. Christmas remains a legal holiday for state employees, including those at SWOSU. The directive does not include any other legal holidays such as Thanksgiving or New Year’s.

Unbelievable. Also, probably illegal. Certainly a sign that the war on Christmas rages on in some quarters. Stop the ACLU is also on the story.

Update: The Okie Napoleon is innocent.

I’m putting this at the top because early callers to the AG’s office claims this isn’t true, and they are wishing people a Merry Christmas when greeting callers. So I called there myself, and spoke with Emily Lang, spokesperson for the AG. Ms Lang confirms that they are greeting callers with “Merry Christmas” as a means of refuting this story. AG Edmundson did not issue this order, she insists; they are checking with assistant AGs to see if the advisory ever existed at all. At any rate, the AG does not believe state workers should refrain from Christmas greetings.

Ms. Lang wants people to know that they have a Christmas tree in the office, and hopes everyone has a Merry Christmas.

And yes, I consider this sloppy work on my part. My apologies to readers and the Oklahoma AG’s office.

Same here. My mistake for posting the story.


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Isn’t that a violation of the 1st amendement? The one about the government not interfering with speech and religion. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

elBarto on December 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Clark Griswold Lives!!

thirteen28 on December 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM

I live on a wild, country road and have three houses in a row that resemble that. Each time I drive by it’s like traveling through a scene in 2001 Space Odyssey. I have to force myself not to look and go off the road. All the houses after have nada, so my eyes have to adjust really fast.

Hening on December 20, 2007 at 2:03 PM

and the christmas holiday lights are cool too.

elBarto on December 20, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Had this debate at work with a co worler. he was lecturing us on how we shouldnt say “Merry Christmas” as not to offend anyone but rather say “Happy Holidays”

I simply said I reply to people using the same phrase they use. If they say “Merry Christmas” to me I reply “Merry Christmas” Same if its “Happy Holidays”.

He then lectured me that someone will get offended. Then I realized it was him that was the someone that wsa offended and ignored the whole lecture.

William Amos on December 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM

William Amos on December 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Yeah. You know the funny thing? I grew up around Jews (and a few Muslims). They would wish me a Merry Christmas, and I’d with them a Happy Hanukkah. Same thing with my Muslim friends. I’ve not one had a Jewish or Muslims neighbor be insulted by a holiday greeting.

amerpundit on December 20, 2007 at 2:09 PM

one=once

amerpundit on December 20, 2007 at 2:10 PM

The OK AG’s website does not have an email contact listed, but it does have a phone number and address.

Numenorean on December 20, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Im pretty sure the guy I work with is an atheist. And hes into Zombie movies and heavy metal that must be a pre requist to be an atheist.

William Amos on December 20, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Let’s pass the law that anyone who doesn’t want “Christmas” spoken cannot take it off as a paid holiday.

Mazztek on December 20, 2007 at 2:17 PM

More of the fake War on Christmas that O’Reilly just made up?

/sarcasm

Hawkins1701 on December 20, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Hening on December 20, 2007 at 2:03 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Mazztek on December 20, 2007 at 2:19 PM

William Amos on December 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM

I always wonder, who the heck is getting offended by the Merry Christmas wish, and maybe we should be taking a closer look at these lone kooks instead of knee-jerking and taking them so seriously.

As to the lights, there’s a guy here in N. VA who did an amazing job with his synchronized lights, I was not expecting it to be anything but gaudy, but it’s actually very well done… my husband did note that his neighbors had zero decorations, but oh well.!

4shoes on December 20, 2007 at 2:21 PM

Sounds like the University and their lawyer need a Mo-ham-med bear to cheer them up.

Limerick on December 20, 2007 at 2:22 PM

Ah well will add he is a nice guy and I get well along with him on everything else but for some reason he believes that he is 100% correct on this issue and that everyone should handle it like he does. But also will add he hasnt pushed anyone into having to do it his way. He only argues that it should be that way.

William Amos on December 20, 2007 at 2:23 PM

Hey, sounds like Southwestern Oklahoma State University really, really admires the Canadian way of doing things. Too bad Steyn can’t go down for a lecture and put it to the test.

a capella on December 20, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Clark Griswold Lives!!

thirteen28 on December 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM

I’m pretty sure this has Uncle Buck written all over it.

Editor on December 20, 2007 at 2:31 PM

He then lectured me that someone will get offended. Then I realized it was him that was the someone that wsa offended and ignored the whole lecture.

William Amos on December 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Sometimes, a compromise is in order. When encountering the militant athiest in question, agree to respond with “F- You” instead of “Merry Christmas”. That way you avoid offending his delicate athiest sensibilities.

Hollowpoint on December 20, 2007 at 2:43 PM

Clark Griswold Lives!!

yeah…but that poor cat…

A few years ago I lived in a small apartment, but a big bedroom window. When I moved in, they were just finishing up a “sweet shop” across the street, that sold old time candy, and ice cream. They soon opened, but left on…all night…a HUGE Neon ice cream cone…which blared into my bedroom a la the Kenny’s Roasters in Kramers room n Seinfeld.

JetBoy on December 20, 2007 at 2:43 PM

That. Was. Awesome.

freakagriep on December 20, 2007 at 2:57 PM

Same here. My mistake for posting the story.

Hey, but at least you didn’t try to sweep it under the digital rug, like some sites might do. I like the intellectual honesty.

Frozen Tex on December 20, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Oh now your sorry. Too good to check are you? Ok Bryan how much did Soro’s send you for a Christmas Xmas bonus? /s

sonnyspats1 on December 20, 2007 at 3:37 PM

That was well done,expected to hear Mannhiem Steamroller
though.

canopfor on December 20, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Enjoy the Holy Nativity, friends.

HerrMorgenholz on December 20, 2007 at 7:01 PM

I have Light-O-Rama as well. Ya, I have dreaming of a white christmas from Home Alone too. I’m not that rich though. I only have 16 channels.

boomer on December 20, 2007 at 11:47 PM

There’s some question about the Attorney General’s involvement, but Southwestern Oklahoma State University did indeed ban employees from using the word Christmas. Liberty Counsel’s second press release said, “After Weatherford City Commissioner Warren Goldmann heard from a constituent that the word ‘Christmas’ was banned by the university, Goldmann contacted the Provost of the university, Dr. Blake Sonove. Dr. Sonove confirmed the ‘Christmas’ ban policy and indicated that the university was relying on an opinion from Attorney General Drew Edmonson. Commissioner Goldmann then reported the information to Liberty Counsel.”

The president of the university posted a non-denial denial on the college website:

An attempt to be respectful of the diverse religious population at Southwestern Oklahoma State University has been misinterpreted as an attempt to ban Christmas on the Weatherford campus.

The rumor of this ban is not true.

The university attempted to prevent the appearance as a state agency of endorsing any particular religion.

The president’s statement is consistent with employees being banned from using the word “Christmas,” which is not the same as “banning Christmas.”

Also, Tapscott has an update with confirmation from a long-time university employee, Connie Phillips, SWOSU’s admissions coordinator.

The only question remaining is about the basis for the university’s action, whether what Commissioner Goldmann heard from Provost Sonove about the opinion from Edmondson’s office was accurate.

Michael Bates on December 21, 2007 at 12:05 AM

Whatever the opposite of a war on Christmas is, this must be it. But I’m glad I’m not this guy’s neighbor.

Years ago (1994) when I was still in Oklahoma, Chickasha, OK had a HUGE display in their city at a park that makes this display look like a couple of dim bulbs.

They had a pole with lights sloping to the top to make it look like a tree that could be seen for about 20 miles. There were hundreds of displays, moving displays and a tunnel of lights that must have had over 30,000 lights on it alone.

91Veteran on December 21, 2007 at 12:20 AM