Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus II

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus II

When eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897 wrote to the editor of the New York Sun asking if there was a Santa Claus because her friends told her there wasn’t one, the editor’s response to her question became the most often quoted editorial in history. He told her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”

The editor’s response to the young girl is as relevant today as it was more than a hundred years ago. Our nation, state and community are filled with the kind of love and generosity that our religious and secular holidays and traditions celebrate. There is much to be done to make love and generosity more abundant and more universal, but there is reason to believe that we are moving in the right direction. Whether we celebrate Hanukkah, Navaratri, Vijayadashami, Diwali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or the many other religious holidays that exist throughout the year, we can engage in the kind of love and generosity that Santa Claus has come to symbolize to some people.

Yes, Virginia, (the Commonwealth, not the inquiring young girl), there is an opportunity for us to adopt policies and laws that will deliver the “love and generosity” that can “give to your life its highest beauty and joy.” Separation of church and state is an important foundation of the government we enjoy in this country, and efforts on the part of some to incorporate their own religious beliefs into a government that all must follow must be defeated. Our system of government does not require religious beliefs in order to have the highest sense of moral obligations and ethics that would include our caring for the rights and responsibility to all for a good quality of life.

Virginia is a wealthy state financially as well as in history, traditions and culture. We have a solid basis on which we can lead the nation as the best place to work, play and raise a family. We must resist efforts to lead us in a direction that would have the government define our own healthcare decisions, who we can love and marry, what we are to learn about our own history, and who would be included in or excluded from society. 

Yes, Virginia, just as love and generosity may exist in our communities for some, it can and should be available for all throughout the year and not only at holiday time! Whatever holiday you celebrate, if any, have a glorious and happy time during this special season of the year.