Not all Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas

Re: "Elena Kagan supremely happy on the Court," Yeas and Nays, Dec. 16

I'm told that my "command of the obvious" is simply amazing, so I thought I'd apply it to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan's attempt to put Sen. Lindsey Graham in his place by saying that she'd be spending Christmas at a Chinese restaurant.

Apparently no one else noticed that Justice Kagan was herself committing the same "offense" she blamed Graham for by assuming there are no Christian Chinese restaurant owners.

In fact, there are millions of Chinese Christians worldwide, and some even own restaurants.

Justice Kagan needs to check her own baggage before she tries to tell others where to put theirs.

Doreen Turczyn-Toles


Aversion to celebrating Christmas not widespread

Re: "Multifaith nation celebrates holidays many ways," From Readers, Dec. 9

Edd Doerr has mastered the art of spreading error by adding a dollop of truth to rubbish and omitting inconvenient facts.He is right that the Bible ignores the month of Jesus' birth. His omission: Early Christians deemed celebrating birthdays a pagan custom. Easter was -- and is -- the major Christian holy day.

Doerr also says Puritans forbade the celebration of Christmas. His omission: Pilgrims opposed Christmas before the Puritans arrived because they saw it as "popish frivolity" and wanted nothing to do with a holiday, sanctioned by Roman Catholicism, celebrating the birth of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Such a feast day probably bothers Doerr, a Unitarian who rejects the Trinity, for the same reason.

He also raises the cliche of Christians replacing the Roman holiday for Mithra with the birth of Our Savior, but offers no proof. His omission: According to Dr. J. Patout Burns, a professor of Christian thought at Washington University, early Christians believed Jesus died on the same day as His birth. So they began with the accepted date of His death and worked backward nine months to the winter solstice.

Doerr is correct that children in Massachusetts attended school on Christmas. His omission: The practice ended in 1856, five years before the Civil War. The aversion to Christmas was unique to Massachusetts and Connecticut. Colonial Virginians and the Dutch in New York enjoyed the holiday's religious and social dimensions.

Michael Shumaker


Obama administration is arming Israel's enemy

Why is the Obama administration sendingmore F-16 fighters to Egypt, which already has 200 warplanes, when circumstances have changed that nation into an anti-democratic tyranny?

Egypt isnow an unstable regime, but we are sending it the fighters once promised to former President Hosni Mubarak before the Muslim Brotherhood seized control. Despite Egypt's instability and its aggressive stance against Israel, the United States is going ahead with the delivery of the fighter jets anyway.

If Egypt engages in war with Israel, this delivery would place our government In the position of arming our ally's enemy. The Muslim Brotherhood has not proved to be a partner for democracy as initially promised.

As Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs theHouseCommittee on Foreign Affairs, recently said: "The Obama administration wants to simply throwmoneyat an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States."

Carol Fineblum

Needham, Mass.