Dear Mr. President,
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Festivus. I was sorry to read this morning that the holiday/christmas/hanukkah/festivus card you sent out this year has not been received joyously by one and all.
Many people are thrilled to get a White House Christmas card, no matter what the greeting inside. But some conservative Christians are reacting as if Bush stuck coal in their stockings.
William A. Donohue, of the Catholic League, had this to say:
"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..."
And then this:
At the Catholic League, Donohue had just announced a boycott of the Lands' End catalogue when he received his White House holiday card. True, he said, the Bushes included a verse from Psalm 28, but Psalms are in the Old Testament and do not mention Jesus' birth.
"They'd better address this, because they're no better than the retailers who have lost the will to say 'Merry Christmas,' " he said.
Donohue said that Wal-Mart, facing a threatened boycott, added a Christmas page to its Web site and fired a customer relations employee who wrote a letter linking Christmas to "Siberian shamanism." He was not mollified by a letter from Lands' End saying it "adopted the 'holiday' terminology as a way to comply with one of the basic freedoms granted to all Americans: freedom of religion."
"Ninety-six percent of Americans celebrate Christmas," Donohue said. "Spare me the diversity lecture."
Mr. Donohue's not a happy fellow. And he's not the only one.
"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."
First, who the blog is Joseph Farah? WorldNutDaily? Anyway, at least Jerry Falwell was partially appeased by the Psalms quotation:
"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."
Hopefully he and Pat won't call upon God to thrash you like they want to do to those poor folks in Dover, PA.
But good grief. What's a president to do? I have a few suggestions.
1. You could try dividing your true Christian supporters, those like Mr. Donohue, from the rest of the rabble, particularly the ones that just send cash and are good enough to shup up the rest of the time, and send each group a different greeting card. Mr. Donohue, Mr. Wilmon, and Mr. Farah could get Merry Christmas cards (that is, if they've donated to your campaigns--if not, screw 'em). Big Money supporters could get the generic Happy Holidays.
2. You could create four separate greeting cards, one for Merry Christmas, one for Happy Holidays, one for Happy Hanukkah, and one for happy festivus, and send them out randomly. I'd be funny if Mr. Donohue got the Happy Hanukkah one.
3. You could make sure to cut anybody who complains off your greetings card list all-together. If Farah wants to throw your card in the trash, you shouldn't have to send him a card.
3a. You could have Vice drop by the homes of anyone who complains about your greetings cards and let them know that there are some delightful accommodations that can be prepared for them and their families by the CIA in other countries (and make sure Vice repeatedly states the fact that neither of you condones or encourages torture).
4. Maybe you could contract out the greeting card development to one of those outfits that produces all those Charlie Brown/Dilbert/Calvin and Hobbes/Boondocks cartoon strips. This way the cards would contain the cartoon characters, which everyone loves regardless of religion, and maybe the cartoon characters would be saying something about how great it is to have some time off and get lots of presents and how you and Laura and Jenna and NotJenna hope they just have a smashing time.
5. Just stop sending the greetings cards completely. Don't you have more important things to do?
Anyway, best wishes for this happy holiday/christmas/hanukkah/festivus season to you and yours.
Senator Jay B. Bulworth
P.S. The wife and I have not received our card yet. I'm sure this is a temporary oversight. But can you look into it?