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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2005
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SCOTT MORRIS

Jerry Falwell should look closer to home

Judging by his blessed girth, the Rev. Jerry Falwell and I have something in common.

We should both look in the mirror before pointing any fingers.

Falwell is known for preaching against the sins of America, and there are plenty from which to choose.

Overall, though, he sounds like a fun guy.

I'd like to hang out with him in the dessert line at a Wednesday night church supper. Scooting up to a plastic plate brimming with German chocolate cake, banana pudding, strawberry cheesecake and pecan pie, we could complain about what's wrong with America:

Falwell: "Scott, do you know what's wrong with America?"

Me: "Brother Falwell, you've got some whipping cream on your chin."

Falwell: "Did I get it?"

Me: "No sir. It's on the other chin."

Falwell: "Bless you, Brother. Anyway, as I was saying, evil advertising executives are conspiring to remove any mention of Christmas from their December sales promotions. It's up to us to save the commercialization of Christmas before these godless grinches completely erase the whole reason for the shopping season."

I grew up hearing sermons against the commercialization of Christmas. Now preachers want businesses to cash in on Jesus?

Falwell, founder of Liberty University and the defunct Moral Majority, e-mailed 500,000 followers to urge support for the "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign." It is aimed at letting public officials, schools and retailers know Christmas is legal.

Falwell has a point.

It does appear that governments, schools and some retailers are turning the season into a generic mush.

"Merry Christmas" is becoming "Happy Holidays."

Much of what we consider Christmas has more to do with cultural tradition than with Christianity, but it still seems ridiculous to ignore that heritage.

Oh well, the star of Bethlehem will shine just as brightly without official recognition by the mart-type stores.

By the way, The Associated Press reports that many churches across the country canceled worship services today because it's a holiday.

Falwell should put Christmas back into church before he tackles the superstores.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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