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By: R. Seth Liston Newsweek.

Thumbing through the


pages, I stumbled across the ar-
“You’ll shoot your eye out, ticle, “Two White Guys Walk into
kid!” Every Christmas my family a Bar…” by Lisa Miller. In this
and I gather around the television article, she discusses the recently
to watch “The Christmas Story” yet released documentary, “Collision”,
again. As repetitive as the film may which tackles the age-old debate
get, a part of me can’t wait to hear between Faith and Reason. The film
those words come through the ste- raises the question: “Is Christianity
reo and greet my mother and me on good for the world?”
the longer, more comfortable couch In March of 2009, CNN
in our living room. Another, more covered a survey by Trinity College
cynical side of me looks forward to in Hartford, Connecticut which re-
seeing my father and brother as im- ported that 75% of Americans con-
patience settles in halfway through sider themselves Christian. While
the movie because they have seen this number seems high, the report
the conclusion too many times. But, mentions that that number has fall-
as the Christmas music takes to the en from 86% in 1990. Miller states
airwaves, and stores and homes 12% of Americans say they do not
hang their decorations, families all believe in a God. Is faith evaporat-
across the nation ready their own ing in America? The United States
traditions. is the heart of Western individual-
With Christmas and its ism, but is faith something we want
familiar customs right around the falling to the wayside as our culture
corner, I’ve been putting a lot of continues to progress? Is faith no
thought into “the meaning of Christ- longer considered good for our so-
mas.” What is Christmas today? ciety?
Has it changed? It is an expression When I think of Christmas,
of faith by the faithful, but have its I think of the intangible and almost
core values been lost in an increas- unexplainable holiday spirit: the
ingly secular society? The idea of bright lights, the tantalizing smells,
faith and its position in modern the embrace of family, and the con-
times has posed a lot of questions tagious holiday cheer. Everyone
for me. seems to be in high spirits and act-
Recently, I was settled on ing a little more gracious toward
my own couch with an issue of one another. The holiday shopping
war aside, the Christmas season removed from its meaning. The
allows us to take a break from the decreasing percentage of Chris-
challenge of our busy lives and re- tians adds evidence to this argu-
minds us of the human element that ment. While Christmas for many
unites us all. is slowly but surely becoming a
The founding fathers of secular tradition, I take confidence
this nation made it clear that they in that simple phrase that pops up
had faith in a Supreme Being— each holiday season: “the meaning
God. Plaques in public buildings, of Christmas.” Every year we are
our currency, and even our Nation’s reminded—in movies, cards, and
official motto all read, “In God We songs—that we must not forget
Trust.” This country was founded why we are celebrating this holi-
on faith, or rather the belief in a su- day. Instead, we remind ourselves
preme being, so that men could live that although life is hard, it is a col-
a morally and ethically just life. No lective effort within our society to
man was believed to be more im- retain the faith in something better.
portant or valuable than another. I hope during this holiday
A higher power had created their season, you feel what I feel when
lives, and this faith allowed them I am with my friends and fam-
all to work together for the “pursuit ily—joy, peace, and a warm belief
of happiness.” in your own personal faith. I hope
Regardless of your per- you realize how easy it is to become
sonal religion, the faith that perme- troubled by the trials of our hectic
ates this season is in believing that lives, but remember that although
something bigger than you exists. life is hard, unfair and seemingly
Family, friends, even strangers are targeted at the individual, this is a
all more connected—more humble. group effort and there is something
It allows our society to remember larger at play.
each other and to reassure each
other that we are all in this pursuit Happy holidays.
of happiness together. Faith is a
uniting factor, and as far as I am
concerned, it is beneficial for any
society.
On the other hand, as the
tradition of Christmas has aged
with this great country, one could
make the argument that it has been
absorbed by the machine of capi-
talism, and faith has been all but
By: Tyler Cralle people are not offended by the
Online Editor-In-Chief phrase “Merry Christmas,” ac-
cording to a Zogby poll done in
Contrary to what Barack 2006. Therefore, when a store
Obama, Joe Biden, the main- chooses to extend a generic
stream media, or anyone else in- holiday greeting, they are try-
volved in the current administra- ing to appease the other 5%.
tion might tell you, we are still This would make good busi-
in a recession. This means that ness sense, if not for the fact that
all those store owners out there same study found 51% of people
are going to have an even harder were bothered by hearing, “Hap-
time convincing customers to py Holidays.” To make matters
shop in their stores. However, worse, 36% of people said they
it seems there may be one way would either cut a visit short or
to either keep current customers not shop at a store that used a
or attract new ones. It may be generic holiday greeting.
as easy as saying Merry Christ- Now the question you
mas. must be asking is, “What does
Recently, upon leaving a store risk by using the phrase
a retail store, I heard the words ‘Merry Christmas’?” According
“Have a happy holiday.” Now to the Zogby poll, only 10% of
if, like me, you are not offended non-Christians were offended by
by the phrase, “Merry Christ- the use of “Merry Christmas.”
mas,” congratulations. You hap- According to The American
pen to be in the biggest major- Religious Identification survey,
ity this country has seen since only 18.9% of the US population
Ronald Reagan won 97.6% of is non-Christian. So, wishing a
the electoral votes in 1984 (I use consumer a “Merry Christmas”
electoral votes since the media only risks offending 1.8% of the
has made it quite clear that is population. Compare that with
the biggest indicator of whether using a general “Happy Holi-
or not an election is landslide or days” that may offend 36% of
not). potential customers.
Ninety-five percent of It doesn’t seem like a
very tough decision. All these its for the 2006 Christmas season
numbers are great, but it doesn’t were up 350 million dollars - an
really mean much unless there almost 10% increase from the
is some real-world evidence year before. Now, this could be
to back it up. Back in 2005, a coincidence. However, due to
Walmart shifted away from us- the fact we were seeing signs of
ing Christmas in advertising and an economic slowdown by then,
advised its employees to avoid it seems there was something
the phrase “Merry Christmas.” else helping increase Walmart’s
The company decided to be more sales.
politically correct and advised The beauty of living in a
its employees to greet custom- free society is that everyone has
ers with “Happy Holidays.” This the right to do what they want.
launched protests and boycotts Therefore, if store owners want
by the American Family Associ- to risk offending 50% of their
ation and The Catholic League. potential customer base by ap-
The tactics apparent- peasing just 5% of them, they
ly worked, because in 2006 have the right to do that. How-
Walmart’s spokeswoman Linda ever, my advice is simple: When
Blankey told USA Today, “We, a customer walks in and sees
quite frankly, have learned a les- your employee standing next to
son from last year. We’re not Christmas decorations and wear-
afraid to use the term ‘Merry ing Christmas colors, advise that
Christmas.’ We’ll use it early, and employee to wish that person a
we’ll use it often.” Zogby even “Merry Christmas.” After all, in
asked its participants if this re- this economy, you don’t really
cent change of heart by Walmart have much to lose.
would affect their shopping rou-
tine. 35% of the respondents NOTE: The Conservative Hawk
said they would be more likely will begin a feature on the the-
to shop the large chain now. conservativehawk.com that will
People, however, tend to post Christmas-friendly stores
say one thing but do another. So in the Wilmington area. Anyone
the real question is, “Did more that would like to help contrib-
people shop at Walmart after the ute to this list, just send an email
whole debacle?” All numbers to christmaslist@theconservativ
point to yes. Walmart’s net prof- ehawk.com.
ITSD Update
By: Kevin King
Editor-In-Chief
Since the last issue, The Conservative Hawk has drawn a
lot of attention. The most notable example of this attention oc-
curred during our monthly appearance on “The Morning Beat”
with Curtis Wright, on The Big Talker FM. While on the air, Cindy
Lawson called in from the University to clarify the inaccurate
things we had published about the ITSD department. The full audio
can be heard at theconservativehawk.com. In short, we still have
no answers. The Freedom Of Information Act request we filed was
returned with a two-sentence response. This is less than adequate,
and extremely insulting. If the answers are simple, why can’t they
just show the full documentation as requested? We are on the case,
UNC Wilmington. Stay tuned.
41-60 of the Top Salaries at
UNC Wilmington
We are through the top 60 salaries at UNC Wilmington, and still
haven’t broken six figures. Does that bother anyone? How many private
sector businesses have their top 60 employees making over six figures? Af-
ter all, the University is just trying to be more competitive with the private
sector. I hope that all of you who read this will begin to ask the necessity of
these salaries. Furthermore, I hope you begin to ask what they are doing to
help out in these tough economic times when we are all cutting back. Un-
til then, you can find these and more online at http://starnewsonline.com.
Sincerely, Kevin King, Editor-In-Chief