Town's Christmas Lights Serve As Beacons Of Goodwill


November 17, 1991|By James W. Main Guest columnist

We have elected officials into public office who are supposed to make decisions that reflect the will of the constituents they represent.

The people we have placed into these local offices are there to make decisions that need to be made, no matter what the time or reasonmay be.

I sincerely believe that on occasion we should question the reasoning behind the decisions our local government makes. It is our responsibility and our right as citizens to be involved in government.

However, we also have the responsibility to attempt to influence the decisions that government makes with responsible and appropriate action. We should attempt to evaluate our priorities and place some degree of importance on the matters that we might object to or support.

The communities many of our local leaders represent have Christian-believing majorities. The representatives are simply reflecting the views and assumed wishes of these communities.

If an elected official's views and attitudes reflect those of a majority of an area's population, then the elected official will comply with constituents' will. If the elected official did not, it would be safe to assume he or she would not be in office more than one term.

If the majority of the population were Chinese, then I am certain we would be celebratingthe Chinese New Year with a great deal of economic support. The samewould apply to any culture or ethnic background comprising a majority of the population.

Often, this still applies even when the ethnic influence in the community does not reflect the majority of the population, but has a strong voice in the community.

I think it wouldbe safe to assume that if our community were Jewish, Moslem, Hindu or Buddhist, the community would place as much emphasis on observing the traditional holidays of any belief that had a majority of its population.

San Francisco, Washington and New York City all have Chinatowns, but none of the cities have majority Chinese populations. However, all three spend a great deal of money observing the Chinese New Year. This is done because it shows respect toward the Chinese population that is dominant in a specific district within each of the cities.

A majority of Westminster's citizens are from Christian backgrounds.

The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that we shouldnot spend tax dollars on religious holidays.

I say to the distinguished members of the American Civil Liberties Union: You may expressyour opinion and you may even influence people in mind and with temporal action, but Christmas is not only a matter of economic influenceand temporal emotions. It is part of this country's continual effortto display love and charity to all those who may not be blessed witha home or may have difficulty finding their next meal.

Even though Christmas has a deep spiritual meaning for me and my family, I willnot attempt to influence others with my spiritual thoughts on the matter. However, I am an American and I am a citizen of Westminster, and in that context I will say to the American Civil Liberties Union: Iam part of a majority that has adopted Christmas as a national holiday.

For more than 200 years, our country has adopted Christmas as a holiday to spread goodwill and love to those who see very little ofeither. Christmas is a time of the year many of us relate to peace and love for all people. It is also a time that we turn our thoughts inward and seek the best in ourselves as we give to others.

It is atime of sharing with family and friends and a time to share with those who have not been as fortunate in life as others like myself. No matter if it is a child giving 10 cents to the Salvation Army or the committed members of the Marine Corps who sponsor Toys for Tots, we reach inside ourselves and share our love and compassion for all in need.

With each penny given or each toy donated, we give to those having a difficult time finding any hope left in this world for them.

It is a very noble cause that when the citizens of this country havetheir civil rights violated, they can find help within the American Civil Liberties Union.

However, I sincerely believe that it is farmore noble to reach into our hearts and spread the love that we may have on to others. That is what Christmas is about.

The way we celebrate this time of year might appear to be materialistic, but the stores, the shopping malls, the companies that seem to profit from the material aspect all have employees who will have food to eat and presents to give when Christmas morning comes around.

I see that the spiritual aspect has been placed second to the holiday jubilation, butwhat do we expect from one another? We are not perfect. Christmas isa time to celebrate the greatest gift of all, God's perfect Son.

The Christmas decorations each community displays during the holiday are simply a reflection of that community's feelings and attitudes toward the Christmas season.

The brightness of the lights reflects the flame of love we have within ourselves for all who pass through the downtown area. The lights say to travelers and residents alike thatwe know what we believe and we share that with you. What we share islove and wish goodwill to all. That is what Christmas is all about.

If the citizens of this community have any problems with either the Christmas decorations in town or the money they might cost, we willdeal with that issue when it comes time to vote again.

James W. Main is a resident of Westminster.

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