Seeking not to offend, Bush's holiday season doesn't leave anyone out
"There's something for just about every faith at the White House this holiday season," reports the Associated Press. "Over the course of 24 hours last week, President Bush helped light a menorah for Hanukkah and the national Christmas tree and visited a mosque at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan."
But it's not just a campaign of inclusion, says AP writer Jennifer Loven. It's also one of exclusion. This year's Bush holiday cards don't even mention Christmas (one recipient thought it was a Thanksgiving card), and this year's White House holiday theme is a history of presidential pets.
"It is a real visible manifestation of the President teaching the importance of tolerance and openness and celebrating faith," said Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer. "The purpose is not to preach a particular faith. The purpose is to celebrate faith itself."
But before you start your angry missive about the removal of Christianity from the public square, note that cards do include a Bible verse: "For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generations." (Last year's verse was Psalm 27:8, 13.) And at the lighting of the tree, Bush said, "For over two millenia, Christmas has carried the message that God is with us. And because he's with us, we can always live in hope."
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