THE CRECHE CRUSH

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Once and for all, did the Na­tiv­ity creche get left out of the White House “hol­i­day” dec­o­ra­tions? The en­tire twin­kling ar­ray took 92 vol­un­teers a to­tal of 3,400 hours to set out, and the mix in­cludes a Bo Obama replica and a 400-pound ginger­bread house.

When The New York Times in­di­rectly re­vealed on Dec. 6 that Pres­i­dent Obama and his fam­ily were plan­ning a “non-re­li­gious Christ­mas” sans Na­tiv­ity scene, crit­i­cal re­ac­tion was swift.

“The Oba­mas would like to neuter Christ­mas,” says Catholic League Pres­i­dent William Don­ahue. “If the Oba­mas want to de­prive their chil­dren of cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas, that is their busi­ness. It is the busi­ness of the pub­lic to hold them ac­count­able for the way they cel­e­brate Christ­mas in the White House.”

Mess­ing with the creche is not wise, says Tim Gra­ham of the Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter: “This goes in the same file folder of hol­i­day bum­bles as the plans to cut the White House Hanukkah party guest list in half.”

But let us now cut to the chase. The Na­tiv­ity scene is in its tra­di­tional spot in the East Room, and the White House is em­pha­siz­ing the “uni­ver­sal­ity” of the Christ­mas mes­sage. The United Na­tions cli­mate sum­mit, how­ever, is an of­fi­cial Christ­mas-free zone. No Tan­nen­baums, no Kris Kringle, no nothin’ — though the global warm­ing ex­trav­a­ganza will in­clude mo­tocross racing, a fash­ion show, an of­fi­cial “Copen­hagen” cock­tail and gen­der stud­ies.

As for the num­bers, A Zogby poll re­leased Dec. 8 re­vealed that 81 per­cent of Amer­i­cans plans to put up a Christ­mas tree.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush has “a clear legacy,” the head of his foun­da­tion says, and it is “free­dom, op­por tu­nity, re­spon­si­bil­ity and com­pas­sion.”

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