I thought if you simply changed it to a “holiday tree,” it was all good?  Apparently, in the new “fundamentally changed” America, the symbol itself is a threat, regardless of what it’s called. In the opinion of some, people now need “safe zones” from pine trees with tinsel.

Recently, it was reported that a Veterans Administration hospital in Salem decided that Christmas/Holiday “trees have been deemed to promote the Christian religion and will not be permitted in any public areas this year.”  (A decision since reversed, sort of.)

“Trees that have been deemed to promote the Christian religion….”  Now that’s a fascinating statement with all kinds of innuendo and irony.  Of course, the whole concept that a “Christmas tree” is anything Christian in origin is, well, debatable to say the least.  Talk to any disenfranchised Christmas expert and they’ll tell you.  Just go to history.com and their history of the tree begins with, “Long before the advent of Christianity…,” then going on to explain that plants were pretty popular articles of worship for all sorts of ancient civilizations.

But, then they tell us that the “Christmas tree” tradition was started by 16th century Christians in Germany, with Martin Luther being the first to decorate with candles.  The frivolity of it all was later banned by early American Puritans because it diverted from the sacredness of celebrating Christ’s birth.

So which is it?  A Christian tradition or pagan symbol?  A frivolous diversion from the real meaning of the Christian Christmas tradition or a tree that has the power to “promote the Christian religion”?

To some administrators at the VA hospital in Salem, that's an easy one.

Which is actually an incredibly revealing conclusion.  You see, the entire point of “Christmas,” or the birth of Christ, is redemption; the redemption of fallen man through the life, death and resurrection of the Christ.  Redemption of anyone who chooses to believe that they need redemption in the first place, and that Christ is the only way to true redemption.

Redemption so powerful, it can even redeem a pagan symbol - like say a decorated tree.  Redemption so powerful, it was and is an incredible threat to many in power.

And, a redemption that exists with our without a decorated pine tree in a public place.