An official with Winchester, England, is complaining because its sister city in Virginia has an image of the Confederate flag on its state seal, reports the Winchester Star.

The councilman in Winchester says the image on the seal of Winchester, Va., "celebrates slavery" and he wants it changed.

"I’ve always been disturbed by the Stars and Bars up there," said City Councilor Ray Love, a Liberal Democrat on the English board, adding that the seal from Winchester, Va., hangs on a wall where his council meets.

"We trade with the town of Giessen, in Germany. I find it as offensive to have the Stars and Bars as if they had a swastika on their coat of arms," Love said.

Although Love has not proposed severing his city’s relationship with its American counterpart, the issue threatens to open a rift between the two cities.

Winchester signed a "twinning" agreement with its English counterpart two years ago.

Love told the paper that he finds American culture "frustrating." He complains that we have little international news in our media, saying Americans are "a bit insular" and that the South is still "way behind."

Racial Harassment 101

The Glendale Star reports that Glendale Community College professor Walter Kehowski is still under fire for expressing his opposition to immigration and beliefs about the superiority of Western civilization.

Six Latino members of the faculty there have filed a class-action suit about the college claiming that Kehowski’s opinions, expressed in e-mails, are creating a hostile work environment and amount to "repeated, unwanted racial harassment."

In an Oct. 13 e-mail sent to Maricopa County Community College District employees, Kehowski wrote: "YES! Today's Columbus Day! It's time to acknowledge and celebrate the superiority of Western Civilization."

Market Madness

A city councilman in Lancaster County, Pa., wants a local merchant to remove a photo of George W. Bush from a stall in a local market because the image is offensive to local Democrats, reports the Lancaster New Era.

David Stoltzfus has had the president’s image hanging in his Central Market baked-goods stand for a couple years now. He says it is there to honor the office of president.

But City Councilman Nelson Polite wants the picture down. He says political paraphernalia has no business on public property. Besides, says the Democrat: "Bush didn’t win here [in Lancaster City]. It is like rubbing salt on a wound."

Because Stoltzfus has so far refused to take down the image, Polite says he will ask the city council to change the law so that all political items would be banned in public places.

At Least They Have a Pageant

The parent of a Texas third-grader has yanked her child from the annual Christmas pageant because a satirical carol the kids plan to sing mentions the Confederate flag, reports KTRK in Houston.

Jennifer Scott says the song, "Leroy, the Redneck Reindeer," is racist and needs to be removed from the program at the Onalaska Elementary School altogether.

"Rebel flag to me means Confederate flag," she said. "Confederate flag is the flag the KKK recognizes as being their flag."

Scott has convinced her 8-year-old son, Andrew, of the righteousness of her cause, too. The school clearly included the song, he says, "'Cause they just don't like blacks."

A portion of the lyrics say, "Santa wrapped his bag with a Dixie flag, he was having the time of his life."

Those Dastardly Scouts Again

Under pressure from gay and atheist parents, school officials in Portland, Ore., are considering a policy that would bar the Boy Scouts of America from recruiting students during school hours, reports The Associated Press.

Under the proposal, nonschool groups would be allowed to send literature home with children, but the flier or pamphlet would need to be accompanied with a disclaimer, warning parents that the groups' values may be offensive.

At a public hearing, gay and atheist parents called the policy a step in the right direction but said it falls short of protecting their children from discrimination. They complained that the pamphlets still would be handed out by teachers, lending credibility to the group's message.

Those complaining say the Boy Scout oath requires members to "affirm a duty to God" and calls for scouts to keep themselves "morally straight" — values that gay parents and atheists say are discriminatory.

And They Wonder Why People Are Furious?

KOCO-TV in Oklahoma reports that officials with a school district in that state removed the Christian bits from an elementary school play about December holidays because they were worried someone might complain.

Superintendent Karl Springer removed the nativity scene and a rendition of "Silent Night" from the fifth-grade program at Lakehoma Elementary School in Mustang, Okla. He left in portions of the program that featured traditions such as Kwanzaa and Chanukah.

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.

Mailbag:

Paul K. writes:

I am so sick of the complaining I see on this site and on this channel by people who claim they are being repressed as Christians or that secular people are taking over this country.

You have a Republican President. You have a Republican-majority House and Senate. The Supreme Court still leans to the conservative side and will likely become more conservative during Bush's second term. There are more red states than blue states.

Lastly, a vast, vast majority of the country is Christian, whether they are Catholic or Protestant.

Get over it! You are in the majority! You are running everything. You have no need to fear that your Christian right-wing beliefs are in jeopardy. There is no balance of power — every branch of federal government is now conservative!

Douglas H. writes:

I am an atheist! I love the festive Christmas season. References to Jesus and God do not offend me. Most folks can use a little ole' time religion to stay on the straight and narrow. I am far less offended by a little godliness than I am with the anti-religious, hate filled speech and paranoia of the separation and atheistic crowds than I am with a few honest souls celebrating the reason for the season!

Ed T. writes:

To all the whining fundamentalists who complain about discrimination against Christians, give us all a break. The constitution guarantees your right to worship as you please, which you can, in any one of millions and millions of churches all over the country. The constitution does not give you the right to force religion down other people's throats, on publicly owned property or in public classrooms.

The day the police enter your church and tell you to stop worshipping, then you can complain. So until then, send your kids to parochial schools and set up your nativities and "Christmas" declarations on your church front lawn where we all still can see it and leave the rest of us alone. Please end your histrionics; it is a losing battle.

Bill K. in Little Rock, Ark., writes:

Saw this bumper sticker mounted on the rear window of a Volkswagen in Little Rock, Ark.: The ACLU, we don't hate religion, We just hate Christianity.

Nathaniel writes:

I find it ironic that by declaring Christian symbols and ideas off limits but allowing other religious displays under the pretense of their being merely symbols of cultural diversity, not religious speech, they have in effect declared Chrisitianity as the only true religion! Who would have guessed that the folks at the ACLU were believers after all.

Robert S. writes:

The "Why I Am Not A Muslim" sign is ambiguous in its meaning and I can see where some might be offended by the sign, as written. It does not have to be taken that way. Nonetheless, it presents a negative tone to the message intended. A far better and more positive message, and one which would better fit that intended by the speaker, would have been "Why I Chose to Become a Christian."

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