Posted by Charity on December 18th, 2008

“To me, the candy cane has only one context — and that is Christmas and because of this it is truly a religious sign.”

So says Charlotte resident William Gerson in a letter to the school board in which he was opposing the red and white striped pillars at the entrance to the Charlottle Central School, in Vermont.

Actually, Christmas is a secular holiday, in addition to being a religious one, and the candy cane is a pretty innocuous secular symbol.

I grew up in a very non-religious home.  In fact, my mother was very anti-established religion and her own beliefs, which are a sort of a la carte spirituality, I was wholly unaware of until I was an adult.

But my mom loved Christmas.  Christmas was an amazing time with decorations and lights and family time and giving to those in need and those we loved.  There was no nativity scene, no savior, no virgin birth, and definitely no church.

My guess is that the majority of Americans who celebrate Christmas do so in a very non-religious way.  But that is just a guess on my part.  I have no data to back that up.

Claiming that the candy cane is a religious symbol, though, reduces Mr. Gerson to a parody of the separation of school and Christmas crowd.  Not that they are not ridiculous in their own right.

I say, get over it and enjoy a nice mug egg nog.

T’is the season to be jolly, after all.