Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

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Legislating American Intolerance

Dear Rep. Hinchey,

I'm generally pretty slow to take offense, especially where none is meant. As an American Jew, I'm used to responding to "Merry Christmas" wishes in the same spirit in which they're offered, assuming innocence and genuine good tidings.

But I find myself stunned and offended to read that you and so many of your colleagues in the House of Representatives voted last week in favor of legislation that "recognizes" Christmas and Christianity to the stark exclusion of other religions, other religious observances, and the Constitutionally guaranteed freedom to abstain from religious observation.

Perhaps it is in this spirit of recognizing the pre-eminent importance of Christmas that, the very day after your vote, Kimberly Babajko and Joseph Jirovec and their friends felt comfortable lashing out with malice and hatred at the Jewish fellow passengers who had the gall to respond to their "Merry Christmas" greetings with a heartfelt "Happy Hanukkah."

This legislation is hateful, divisive, and repugnant, and must not be allowed to stand as a symbol for American intolerance.

Yours in disgust,

Mark H. Anbinder
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