Christmas On The Radio

Donna Halper
Fri Dec 24 13:13:54 EST 2004

At 08:11 AM 12/24/2004 -0500, rogerkirk wrote:
>Corey Deitz (radio guide for About.Com) asks an interesting
>question:  Why hasn't the ACLU demanded that radio stations
>broadcasting on frequency spectrum that alledgedly belongs
>to all citizens remove all Christmas Broadcasting?

Bah humbug, said Donna.  That column is the most bizarre column of his I've 
ever read--- and I hope he was joking.  Christmas is hardly "under 
attack"-- although various right-wing extremists want to insist that if 
there isn't more public religious observance (namely theirs), then we are 
all in deep trouble. I disagree.  I see plenty of public expression of Xmas 
all around me, and while I still think many people have forgotten the true 
meaning of the holiday (helping the poor) in favour of the the 
consumer-oriented meaning (buy lotsa stuff), who am I to tell them how to 
live their lives?  But similarly, let them not tell me that we need to 
break down the wall of separation between church and state, because one 
reason why America hasn't had pogroms and violent attacks on other 
religious groups is that the rights of the majority are protected and the 
rights of the minority are protected too.  Let's keep it that way.

As a radio consultant, I'm about respecting my audience, so I have no 
problem with stations that wanna play Xmas music if they think that is what 
their listeners want (when I consulted full-time, in some markets, the 
research showed people got tired of those songs really quickly!).  But 
radio stations need to remember that not every listener is religious and 
not every listener is of the same religious faith, so unless your format is 
aimed at a particular denomination, it seems to me we should program a wide 
range of holiday music and make listeners happy. Now, as for Nativity 
scenes on public property-- that is another "Red State/Blue State" issue 
and we've had way too many of them this year.  Let those who celebrate Xmas 
do so in peace, and let those of us who don't not be subjected to insults 
and feeling like we are bad people.  And by the way, the ACLU have defended 
tolerance for nearly 100 years and I find it offensive that some critics 
regard them as the anti-Christ.  While I respect my Christian neighbours, I 
don't think public space should be used to promote any one religion (my own 
included)-- either have a display that honours tolerance for all faiths 
(the way the Founding Fathers wanted us to) or fugeddaboudit!

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