Sen. Jim Inhofe: No "Holiday" Parade for Me

Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. James Inhofe , R-Okla., makes a statement to the panel Tuesday, May 11, 2004, during the Senate Armed Services committee hearings regarding abuses of Iraqi prisoners in the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, Iraq . (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
AP
Sen. James Inhofe.
AP

Republican Sen. Jim Infhofe of Oklahoma has vowed for the second straight year not to march in a Tulsa parade because organizers are calling it a "holiday" event as opposed to a "Christmas" one.

"Last year, the forces of political correctness removed the word 'Christmas' and replaced it with 'Holiday' instead," he said, according to the Tulsa World. "I am deeply saddened and disappointed by this change."

Inhofe, the former Tulsa mayor, is upset that the parade has been dubbed the "Holiday Parade of Lights," stating that he is "not going to ride in a Christmas parade that doesn't recognize Christmas." Conservatives have complained over the years about what they see as a "war on Christmas" that they suggest has meant the playing down of the Christian nature of the holiday season.

"I am hopeful that the good people of Tulsa and the city's leadership will demand a correction to this shameful attempt to take Christ, the true reason for our celebration, out of the parade's title," Infhofe said. "Until the parade is again named the Christmas Parade of Lights, I will not participate."

Inhofe has ridden a horse in the parade in years past.

The Tulsa World also got a quote from the city's mayor, Dewey Bartlett, who does plan to march.

"If it was up to me, I'd call it a Christmas parade, but I also understand that we have a diverse community, and I'm sensitive to the importance of the many cultures and traditions that make up our city," he said.

Organizers say the parade, which has been going for 70 years, has long required that entries be holiday - but not necessarily Christmas - themed. They also say the parade welcomes residents whether or not they celebrate Christmas.


Brian Montopoli is senior political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.