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Buttars still fighting in war about Christmas

Published: Thursday, Jan. 29 2009 12:10 a.m. MST

Don't think Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, is surrendering in the war on Christmas.

Sure, he's abandoned plans to introduce a resolution this legislative session urging Utah retailers to wish their customers "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays."

But Buttars said Wednesday that's because he's come up with a new way to keep Christ in Christmas, one he's keeping secret.

"Don't consider that means this issue is dead. It's not. It's just timing," Buttars told the Deseret News. "I think it needs to be approached from a different perspective. That's all I'll say."

Last December, Buttars said he asked for the resolution to be drafted for the 2009 Legislature after being contacted by retail employees who'd been told they couldn't say "Merry Christmas" to their customers.

"We have a war on Christmas," Buttars said then, a reference to the annual holiday battle fought by conservatives around the country like Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly.

The often-controversial senator said last month the majority of Americans celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday because the United States is a Christian nation.

Buttars said Wednesday nothing's changed except how he's going to get retailers to go along with his request.

"Certainly, it's needed," he said. "I just didn't feel like going ahead with the resolution, this year was the time to do it. I just felt like it wasn't."

Asked how he could still accomplish his goal, Buttars would only say that "there's another way."

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com

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