Once again, Christmas is under attack. There was the annual battle with the politically correct seeking to remove any mention of Christ from the public square. Add in acts of vandalism, offensive art and even a terror plot and you have the Top 10 Assaults on Christmas in 2010.
(1) Bank forced to remove religious references: Federal Reserve examiners forced a small-bank in Perkins, Okla., to remove various religious symbols from its lobby. The feds deemed that a Bible verse of the day, buttons that said “Merry Christmas, God With Us,” and crosses on the teller’s counter were inappropriate and violated national banking regulations.
(2) Christmas decorations banned to avoid offending Muslims: The British Red Cross banned any sign of Christmas from its offices. The staff was ordered to take down its Christmas decorations to avoid offending Muslims.
(3) Ant-covered Christ: The National Portrait Gallery opened an exhibition on homoerotic art that runs through the Christmas season that included a work of video art depicting Christ with ants crawling over him. Part of the federally funded Smithsonian Institution, the gallery pulled the video after complaints by Catholic groups and conservative members of Congress.
(4) Christmas bomb plot: Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a Somali-born Muslim, chose a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., for his plot to blow up a car bomb. He wanted “to maim thousands” but was arrested by the FBI before he could carry it out. The event was attended by more than 25,000 people.
(5) Holy tree vandalized: Vandals cut down and reduced to a stump the Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree in England, which was descended from a tree planted by Joseph of Arimathea, the New Testament merchant who offered his tomb for the crucified Jesus. According to the legend, the original tree sprouted from his staff when Joseph came to England 2,000 years ago. Until the vandalism, locals kept the lineage intact by grafting clippings to plant new trees, which bloom twice a year during the Christmas and Easter seasons.
(6) Nativity Scene removed: The New York City Department of Transportation removed a Nativity scene from the Staten Island ferry terminal. However, the city allowed a menorah, marking the celebration of Hanukkah, and a Christmas tree to remain on the scene.
(7) Christmas Village renamed: German Christmas Village, a collection of booths and vendors at the Philadelphia City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza, was renamed German Holiday Village after city officials said they received complaints.
(8) Christmas parade renamed: For decades Sen. James Inhofe rode a horse in the Tulsa, Okla., Christmas Parade of Lights. But after the city decided to change the name to the Holiday Parade of Lights, Inhofe decided to back out, saying, “I’m not going to ride in a Christmas parade that doesn’t recognize Christmas.”
(9) Christmas charity van torched: A van used by the Chicago charity Kidz Korna to pick up donated toys was torched by vandals. The group gives away thousands of presents each year at Christmas to children exposed to violence and child abuse.
(10) Decorations ruled illegal: The Village of Lindenhurst, Ill., issued a summons to a homeowner, saying her Christmas decorations were in violation of the village code. The decorations included 32,000 lights along with angels, Santa, reindeer and a Christmas merry-go-round. Mary Growth Richter, who collects charitable donations from admirers of the festive display, faced jail time if she didn’t respond to the summons.