Australia: Smacking around people who want to downplay Christmas.
|Prime Minister John Howard has said he wants to put Christ back into Christmas.
Mr Howard says he has contempt for those who downplay Christianity during the festive season, in case it offends those who are non-religious or are of other faiths.
He said blanding out religious symbols of Christmas showed intolerance.
"You don't demonstrate tolerance towards minorities by apologising for your own heritage," Mr Howards told The Sunday Herald Sun.
"I hope some department stores would have the courage to bring back nativity scenes and not just Christmas trees.
"When I was a kid you'd go in and see the Christmas tree and Santa Claus, but there'd also be some nativity scenes in department stores. "They seem to have disappeared in recent years and you have this sort of - oh we don't want to offend anybody."
Mr Howard said he did not believe the majority of Muslim and Jewish community resented the emphasis on Christmas.|
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|"....He did not believe most Muslims and Jews resented the emphasis on Christmas.
"They respect the fact that it's a Christian day. You don't win tolerant brownie points by pretending to be something you're not," he said before Sydney's recent race riots.
"I just think it's silly and it's patronising towards minorities and it's offensive to our cultural history."
Melbourne's Christmas decorations were boosted after criticism of last year's low-key approach last year. "|