Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Trees Hazardous to Non-christians' Health

A newly released study found that Christmas tree displays can “harm the emotional well-being” of those who do not celebrate the holiday.

-- From "Christmas trees 'make non-Christians feel excluded'" by Andy Bloxham, The Telegraph (U.K.) 12/20/10

Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada, found non-Christians feel less self-assured and have fewer positive feelings if a Christmas tree was in the room.

Michael Schmitt, a social psychologist behind the research, decided to carry out the study after controversy over whether Christmas should be celebrated in public in case it offends non-Christians.

He said: "Simply having this 12-inch Christmas tree in the room with them made them feel less included in the university as a whole, which to me is a pretty powerful effect from one 12-inch Christmas tree in one psychology lab.

The researchers published their results in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Study: Christmas Trees Make Those Who Don’t Celebrate Holiday Feel Excluded" by NewsCore, posted at WNYW TV-5 New York 12/20/10

Researchers at Canada’s Simon Fraser University (SFU) studied the psychological effect that Christmas displays have by asking test participants to work in a room that either contained a Christmas tree or did not.

Participants with non-Christian religious backgrounds – Sikhs and Buddhists, for instance – reported less self-assurance and feeling less included at the university when they were in the presence of a Christmas tree.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "JPMorgan Chase Bank has a change of heart regarding Christmas Tree in Southlake" by Rene Girard, Fort Worth Examiner 12/5/10

JP Morgan Chase quickly became known as the scrooge of the banking industry when it ordered a Christmas tree removed from the lobby of the Chase bank in Southlake, TX but it appears that someone in corporate has had a change of heart regarding the removal of this holiday icon.

The Christmas tree was a gift from local businessman Antonio Morales because, as he told CBS 11 news: "I want the bank that I bank at to always have a beautiful tree."

After corporate caught wind of the structure, and claimed people found the Christmas tree to be offensive, instructions were to take it down - and Mr. Morales complied.

[But two days later] Mr. Greg Hassell, spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase [said] . . . "We have a policy of not accepting gifts from customers, but we are applying common sense here and putting the tree back up at our own expense. We are thankful for Mr. Morales' nice gesture."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Bank Forced to Take Down Religious Signs, Symbols On Display" by Nicole Burgin, KRMG radio Tulsa, OK 12/17/10

. . . an Oklahoma bank says it had to take down religious signs and symbols. The crosses on the teller's counter, the button that said 'Merry Christmas, God With Us' and the Bible verse of the day apparently violated bank regulations. A Federal Reserve examiner was at the bank in Perkins, Oklahoma, north of Oklahoma City, last week and visits every four years to make sure the bank complies with federal regulations.

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From "Christmas Trees Must Be Surrounded by Other Symbols at Oregon School District" posted posted at FoxNews.com 12/15/10

In an effort to remain neutral, students at a public school district in Oregon reportedly won't see a Christmas tree by itself, but may spot the holiday symbol alongside other religious decorations.

Ashland School District Superintendent Juli Di Chiro told the district's school board on Monday that a committee studied the rulings of about a dozen court cases regarding school holiday displays before crafting the new guidelines, the Ashland Daily Tidings reports.

District officials implemented the new guidelines this year following a controversy at Bellview Elementary School last December, when Principal Michelle Zundel removed a tree because a family complained that it was a religious symbol. After dozens of parents and students protested the decision, Zundel replaced the tree and allowed students to decorate it with symbols from their own religions, the newspaper reports.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.