Published December 4, 2011 in the Tulsa World.


As reported in the Tulsa World on Thanksgiving Day, indeed I have agreed to serve as this year's Christmas Parade grand marshal. Here's why: 
The Christmas Parade advocates are not intolerant people who want to start a culture "war." In fact it is the exact opposite. With their own money and their own time, these local citizens simply wish to celebrate the millennia-old tradition of "Peace on Earth and good will toward men!" 
If the powers that be feel a "parade of lights" represents the people and culture of Tulsa better than a "Christmas parade," it is certainly their right and I begrudge them nothing. I sincerely wish them the best. But, I do admit scratching my head a bit to hear cries for "tolerance" from the same individuals who apparently cannot tolerate those like me who just want to celebrate Christmas without being maligned or caricatured. 
Dare I say it? If after nearly three-quarters of a century of freely celebrating Christ's Mass in our town square, we are now prepared to summarily dismiss the very world view that gives us hope, joy and peace, is it possible that we may be sawing off the very branch of liberty upon which our culture sits? 
For all who find hope in the proclamation of the heavenly host, "Emmanuel – God is with us," I encourage you to join with me on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at Tulsa Hills to celebrate Christmas! 
Editor's note: Everett Piper, Ph.D., is President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. 
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