The White House Christmas card, according to WaPo, fails the “Christmas Friend or Foe” litmus test.
President Bush sent out cards with a generic end-of-the-year message, wishing 1.4 million of his close friends and supporters a happy “holiday season…”
“This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture,” said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Bush “claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn’t act like one,” said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. “I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it.”
Religious conservatives are miffed because they have been pressuring stores to advertise Christmas sales rather than “holiday specials” and urging schools to let students out for Christmas vacation rather than for “winter break.” They celebrated when House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) insisted that the sparkling spectacle on the Capitol lawn should be called the Capitol Christmas Tree, not a holiday spruce.
Then along comes a generic season’s greeting from the White House, paid for by the Republican National Committee. The cover art is also secular, if not humanist: It shows the presidential pets — two dogs and a cat — frolicking on a snowy White House lawn.
“Certainly President and Mrs. Bush, because of their faith, celebrate Christmas,” said Susan Whitson, Laura Bush’s press secretary. “Their cards in recent years have included best wishes for a holiday season, rather than Christmas wishes, because they are sent to people of all faiths.”
Well said, Susan. Not surprisingly, Falwell, who spearheaded the campaign, proves to be a flip-flopper when it comes to his beloved presidential puppet:
The current Bush has straddled the divide, offering generic greetings along with an Old Testament verse. To some religious conservatives, that makes all the difference.
“There’s a verse from Scripture in it. I don’t mind that at all, as long as we don’t try to pretend we’re not a nation under God,” said the Rev. Jerry Falwell.