Trump bringing back the nativity scene is disrespectful

Trump bringing back the nativity scene is disrespectful

During the Obama administration, the use of a nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus was banned from the White House grounds. However, our current president believes that bringing back the tradition of using this holiday decoration is an exceptional idea. 

I could not disagree with this more. 

Yes, America was founded on Christian principles, which can still be remembered through our National Anthem. However, that was over 200 years ago. The same values individuals held back then are not revered today due to our constantly changing society. 

America has morphed into a more egalitarian society in which women have equal rights, African Americans are no longer slaves, and children are no longer work in factories. What else has changed? America is not defined by a single religion. 

Bringing back the nativity scene is a slap in the face to the remaining religions thriving within America. Placing the nativity scene on the grounds of the most important house in the United States is sending the message that their president forgets those who do not practice Christianity. 

Religion in America is something that should be practiced within the confines of an individual’s home and place of worship, not the White House. Keeping the White House a place of neutrality during the holidays is imperative, which is why our former President banned it. 

Other countries bring together religion and government, however those countries are not the United States. The United States is a country of immigrants, and as a country of immigrants, our President should not force the Christian religion down everyone’s throat by placing it on the lawn of the White House. 

By bringing back the nativity scene, the President is advertising the United States as a nation of Christianity. If the President is a practicing Christian, which it appears that he is, he should practice this within the confines of his home, not on a national stage. 

Being a nation of religious freedom is not only beneficial for it’s inhabitants, but also for international relations. By our President disregarding the other religions of America such as Judaism and Islam, it sends the message to other nations that an inconsiderate official governs the United States. Although the constitution states that every American has the right to religious freedom, as the President of a nation of religious freedom, Trump should not be allowed to promote the United States as a Christian nation. 

During Obama’s administration, he refused to use the term “Merry Christmas” and instead used “Happy Holidays.” However, our president is determined to reverse everything set into motion by the Obamas, and has refuses to use the term “Happy Holidays.” 

As a national figure, this is completely disrespectful. If our President would like to use the phrase “Merry Christmas” he should do so in the confines of his home, not on a national platform. Using the phrase “Happy Holidays” is inclusive for the many other religions within the United States and doesn’t exclude anyone. 

As someone who is not a Christian, Trump’s decision to bring back the nativity scene is not a smart one. As the President of the United States, he should remain a neutral figure during the holiday season, rather than putting the Christian religion on a national pedestal. Rather than trying to keep the peace, it seems as though the President is determined to cause one uproar after another. 

Emily Barron is a senior majoring in anthropology. Her column runs biweekly.

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