Tennessee GOP Demands University Admin Be Fired For Holiday Parties That Don’t Focus On Christmas

When not boycotting Starbucks for using red cups, Republicans seem to spend the holidays consumed by outrage over how the rest of the country chooses to celebrate. This apparently includes calling for the chancellor of a major university to be fired for the crime of… not calling his school’s holiday parties “Christmas parties.”

According to the state’s lieutenant governor and several of its lawmakers, the University of Tennessee- Knoxville was way out of line when Chancellor Jimmy Cheek asked department heads to ensure that their holiday parties were inclusive to all faiths. Cheek had unwittingly outraged the conservative politicians when he made a few helpful suggestions on the school’s website. Things like:

  • Holiday parties and celebrations should celebrate and build upon workplace relationships and team morale with no emphasis on religion or culture. Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.
  • Consider having a New Year’s party and include décor and food from multiple religions and cultures. Use it as an opportunity to reinvigorate individuals for the new year’s goals and priorities.
  • If an individual chooses not to participate in a holiday party or celebration, do not pressure the person to participate. Participation should be voluntary.

Straight forward enough though they were, those suggestions represented the “War on Christmas” to Republicans. The group dashed off a letter insisting Cheek resign for the “crime” of asking his staff to be respectful of everyone.

Now, we have news that the University is telling students and staff that they should not have Christmas parties because they will offend non-Christians. Unfortunately, Cheek did not put a stop to this. Therefore, I join Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Sen. Mike Bell and Sen. Delores Gresham in calling for the immediate resignation of Chancellor Cheek.

If you’re wondering whether these politicians might have literally anything better to do than harass a university for not celebrating Christmas hard enough, they absolutely do. Tennessee currently ranks 37th in unemployment, 46th in school funding, and 17th in teen pregnancy. Rather than address those, or any other, real issue that might affect Tennesseans, Republican politicians busy themselves with chasing imaginary anti-Christian discrimination.

As Hemant Mehta at Patheos noted, the Republican harassment of Cheek for his tolerance didn’t stop there. In an insane – yet predictable – twist, the group of politicians are now calling that UT’s funding for diversity programs be cut as punishment.

… Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, and state Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, both took to Facebook to express their outrage.

Butt said voters should urge lawmakers to cut UT’s diversity funding during the upcoming legislative session, which starts in January. Ramsey pledged to put UT under “increased scrutiny” during the session.

It’s not surprising to find Tennessee’s conservative Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s fingerprints all of this, however. He’s made his own Christian persecution complex into a taxpayer-funded full-time job. In recent months, he’s been publicly urging Christians in his state to buy firearms because “secularism” and “Jihadists” have joined together to target Christians.

“The recent spike in mass shootings across the nation is truly troubling. Whether the perpetrators are motivated by aggressive secularism, jihadist extremism or racial supremacy, their targets remain the same: Christians and defenders of the West.

While this is not the time for widespread panic, it is a time to prepare. I would encourage my fellow Christians who are serious about their faith to think about getting a handgun carry permit. I have always believed that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.”

There may not be a war on conservative Christians, but many of them are certainly preparing for it just the same.

Feature image via Fox News screen capture