H. Thomas-Billings: Shame on those who took from others

I’d like to respond to a letter written by the Rev. Douglas Taylor, printed Dec. 30.

The spirit of Christmas is beautiful. It’s amazing that people who have very little will give what they can to help their fellow neighbor. It is absolutely unselfish for so many who donate time to soup kitchens and shelters, and spend time wrapping gifts for toys donated to so many children who otherwise would have no Christmas.

There are so many right now who want to give their children all they want but are struggling just to barely give basic food and shelter. A toy under the tree is indeed a miracle for the child who wrote a letter to Santa asking for just one toy. For the mother who cried because she thought there would be nothing to set under the tree.

Which now leads me to Rev. Taylor’s observation of Somalis coming out of the Salvation Army building with “their arms full of presents and they don’t even celebrate Christmas. You’ve got to love it."

Well, I don’t love it and I’ll explain why.

While there are so many families in dire need of help this year for food, shelter and gifts for their children, the Somali community is seen taking from those who do celebrate Christmas.

Shame on them, and shame on Rev. Taylor for "loving it" so much.

Heather Thomas-Billings, Lewiston

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David  Cote's picture

Strip it down to bare metal

Take the politics, the insinuations, the snappy little returned insults and all the hate out of this story and bring it up to a level of clarity and undeniable truth and ask this question... What does race, religion or nationality matter when it comes to putting a smile on a child's face while making his or her day great. Maybe you can answer that question by simply volunteering your time to help pass out toys to ALL the kids next Christmas and see them smiling yourself. If you ask me, that gesture would be a Christian thing to do that the One you worship would whole-heartedly approve of.


I did not mean any harm by

I did not mean any harm by saying you've got to love it! I love Jesus, I love Christmas, I love giving to people all year around! I simply love it thats all there is to it. Don't read to much into it and keep thins simple. The Salvation Army was showing everyone love and helping everyone who needed help. Thats what we do as Christians. Alot of people who are not christians get help through the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army shows love to everyone. I take a strong stand on things at times but I love people more then anything.


How do you know for sure...

...the Somalis seen weren't Christians?

But regardless, all I could think of when I read this screed was, "what a great example of Christian charity. Jesus must be thrilled with how those who claim to follow him have perverted his philosophy."

Absolutely, friggin' amazing.


You've got to love it!

I meant no harm by what I said.



I am 1000% in agreement. This has been going on long enough !
It is not only at Christmas time but on a daily basis and for the past 5/6 years. Enough is enough perhaps some of our citizens who have lived and worked in this community for 30/40 years and now find themselves in need only to be told that they do not qualify or that they are placed on waiting lists for some 6 months or longer, should also get some of these freebies, while others are given thousands of dollars when they move here. Free rent free food etc., etc.

Let's see if we can treat EVERYONE in need on a fair basis.

Gerry Grenier

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Is it possible, Heather, that

Is it possible, Heather, that Rev. Taylor's "You've got to love it" was intended in the figuratively sarcastic sense?

Pat Malcolm's picture

In the spirit of the season

Can't have it both ways, Heather. The Somali community is criticized when it doesn't adapt, or "blend in," to the dominant culture, but when it does it is faulted for taking away from others. While there are many people who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, it is also true that the occasion has become a secular, cultural celebration. All kinds of folks get together with family and give gifts, and I can't imagine a parent alive who wants their child to go without. None of the charitable programs that provide gifts for those in need check people at the door to make sure they are Christians or otherwise "qualify" for gifts, nor should they. As people share in cultural traditions it brings them together, even as each group preserves its own beliefs and practices at holiday time. Let's celebrate the season with open hearts and minds.

AL PELLETIER's picture

How true

Pat,I know it sounds like I'm flip flopping but your point is well too.

AL PELLETIER's picture


That's "well taken".

AL PELLETIER's picture

interesting spin

I also read Rev. Taylor's letter but failed to notice your observation. It's a real interesting spin and something to think about the next time I feel generous. Thanks


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