Why do we have a Christmas tree at the White House?

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Lately, the rightwing noisemakers have been doing what they do best: making a fuss about a "Chairman Mao" ornament on the White House Christmas tree. Memo to the wingnuts: it's called artistic expression and irony. Don't expect those mouth-breathers to understand that.

More importantly, lost in all the noise is the answer to a much deeper question:

Why is there a White House Christmas tree in the first place?

This is America, not some country with a state religion. This country was founded on freedom of religion, which also means freedom from religion. Why is the Obama administration making Christianity in effect a state religion? What are people who have another religion supposed to think? What are the truly rational among us who don't believe in fairy tales supposed to think? The Obama administration was supposed to be on our side; why are they pandering to mouth-breathing, bible-thumping bigots, especially since none of them voted for them in the first place?

This isn't Northern Europe

Yes, we have trees in Brentwood (hence its name), but we don't have Christmas trees growing there: we've got palm trees. Show of hands: how many of you have ever seen a spruce or a pine? My research shows that those trees are only growing in a small region of the country, and the vast majority of Americans don't live in Minnesota or (gulp) Alaska. The Christmas tree is a foreign concept; in fact, it's a foreign concept from Northern Europe. What connection do almost all Americans have to the forests of Northern Europe? If we're going to have a tree for our winter festival, why not a native or indigenous plant, such as the saguaro cactus?

Have yourself a Merry Deforestation

The world is struggling with Climate Change, and trees are our best natural defenses against scorching summers and melting ice caps. So, why do we celebrate cutting down trees simply as decoration? We need to celebrate the trees themselves and in their natural, unharmed environment.

Instead of having a White House Christmas Tree, we should be on our knees in front of a list of George Bush's sins, begging the world for forgiveness for all the pain we've inflicted on them, whether through massive pollution or through trying to "bomb them back to the Stone Age".