A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

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Holiday spirit

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intolerant time

of the year

Editor, The Times:

Why is it in this culture of political correctness and “tolerance,” those people who preach these philosophies are acting exactly the opposite? They are constantly intolerant of Christians and Christian values. They are intolerant toward conservatives (not all of whom are Christian, by the way). If someone disagrees with them, they are called ignorant!

The majority of the liberal community in the greater Seattle area has proved to be among the worst in the country at this. Take Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth. Quit trying to twist it into something it isn’t! Do your research on the Christmas tree: You’ll find it completely tied to Christianity.

As a Christian, I don’t get offended by a Muslim celebrating Ramadan or a Jew celebrating Hanukkah or an atheist celebrating whatever it is they have to celebrate.

Quit being so intolerant — and, oh yeah — Merry Christmas!

— James O’Brien, Seattle

Underdog in the manger

Shame on The Times for publishing John Leo’s thinly veiled anti-Semitic call-to-arms (“The latest legal battles in the Christmas wars,” Times syndicated column, Dec. 14). His call to “believers” to push back the anti-Christmas trend was nothing more than a rant against Jews and Muslims.

The average American is bombarded with Christmas imagery for over a quarter of the year. Does Leo need to mass a Christian army to force us to swallow his figgie pudding year-round?

Christmas isn’t being threatened by anyone. This is a lie in order to stir up latent anti-Semitism. It is not too difficult to figure out who Leo wants his “believers” to fight against.

God bless us, everyone!

— Greg Debrovner, Issaquah

Tiny drawback, Tim

My heart goes out to letter writer Tim Clark and others who feel that they are part of a tyrannized majority because certain public schools are trying to avoid the appearance of endorsing a state religion (“Majority rules,” Northwest Voices, Dec. 13). Somehow a “tiny minority,” supported by “the left” and “the liberals,” is keeping him from being able to enjoy his holiday season.

I would like to remind him that among those who do not celebrate “Christmas” are Orthodox Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists — none of whom has ever made much of a splash in the Birkenstock and brie crowd.

If we concede that his “majority” of Christian taxpayers has the right to impose their religious beliefs by simple strength of numbers, why not extend same benefit to the Southern Baptists, since they are said to be the largest single Christian denomination in the U.S.? As a plurality of the majority, they would surely rid us of the current plague of Roman Catholics, Presbyterians and Lutherans, who each seem to insist on putting their own minority viewpoint spin on Christianity.

One nation under Tim Clark’s God!

P.S. As a proud polytheist, I am more than happy to see Mr. Clark continuing the ancient tradition of bringing evergreens indoors during the darkest time of the year to herald the return of the Sun.

— Emily Salisbury Keene, Seattle

On this day,

no king was born

I’ll bet the Rev. Patrick Wooden Sr. doesn’t see himself as divisive when he talks of “a revival taking place in our nation” of ” Christians and other right-minded people… ” (“Groups push for Christmas to get religion,” News, Dec. 15). Yet, he is surprised when more people aren’t persuaded by his remarks.

His and other Bible Belt groups claim to want to put Christianity back into the holiday celebrations, regardless of the effect it has on other beliefs. Perhaps he would have more success if he worked to put the celebration of the birth of Christ back to the time of year as described in the New Testament. It is true that the Bible does not state the exact time Jesus was born, however, there are strong supporting clues to show that it was not in December.

It is well known that the church established Dec. 25 as the “official” date in order to supersede a pagan holiday already being celebrated on that date.

When Wooden continues to state that “We’re not going to allow the country to continue this downward spiral to the left,” he only serves to continue to try to banish other beliefs and to further divide people. They are certainly not the words and attitude of the Bible I was taught.

— Ken McRea, Kent

No room at the school

It was heartwarming to read that “Operation Iraq: The Spirit of Christmas” exceeded its goals — 14,000 lovingly packed boxes are bound for Iraq. How humbling to think the boxes’ simple contents, items like lip balm, eye drops and outdated newspapers, will be Christmas treasures to our nation’s brave daughters and sons in harm’s way (“Christmas heads to Iraq,” Local News, Dec. 14).

In late October, Lake Washington School District abruptly canceled participation of Lake Washington High School students in this project. The project title, from the name of a sponsoring business, includes the dreaded “C” word — Christmas. Cindy Meilleur, assistant superintendent, stated on the radio Dec. 6, that the project name was in violation of LWSD policy regarding use of religious words.

Policy was wielded by LWSD administration resulting in students not being allowed to represent their school as a group and to share in “the generosity and camaraderie of everyone” involved in this project.

It is disturbing, as a parent and a taxpayer, that again, it appears there was and is no effort on the part of LWSD administrators to try to find some way to make a wonderful worthwhile activity, in conflict with policy and protocol, available to students.

— Cherie Crossland, Redmond

Present in Iraq

The good wish

Watching former CIA director George Tenet, former civilian administrator of the U.S.-led occupation authority Paul Bremer and Gen. Tommy Franks receive their Medals of Freedom from the president, my mind flashed to the Wizard handing out decorations of a heart, a brain and courage in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Well, OK, the Republicans like to hand out all kinds of awards, and rename every building and facility in their quest to rewrite history. I don’t really care, as long as President Bush will click his heels and bring our troops home.

— Eileen Morris, Kent