"Pray" tell, Bennington Banner, but what is the "holiday" musical being performed in North Bennington (Village School Students To Dazzle 12/14/13) a tribute to, exactly? And which "holiday" -- verbiage originating from on Old English word translating to "holy day," connoting special religious day(s) -- is the play "Yes Virginia, the Musical" a tribute to precisely?

For I believe that the now famed and beloved NY Sun editorial and subsequent musical both reference the holiday of Christmas specifically, despite the fact that the word is mysteriously no where to be located within the content of your article.

Well, thank "God" you dared to not inflame anyone in your readership who possess incredibly frail constitutions with the face that the Christmas holiday -- a long celebrated federal holiday -- is indeed a world-wide celebration of the birth of, dare I say, "Jesus" or as secular reporting journalists may prefer -- the "J word."

Yet Banner, I personally find such bias, through purposeful omission of this specific verbiage, to be in and of itself offensive and incendiary.

Is it necessary for this paper to completely ignore the face that approximately three-quarters of the U.S. population affiliates with Christianity? Is it further necessity to disregard the fact that this national holiday itself is precisely termed "Christmas?"

Is it responsible in terms of accurate and correct reporting to ignore the fact that the common ethical standards under which this nation is founded are based upon Judeo-Christian principals?

Is it a wise choice for public schools to remove all references of organized religion from their curriculums?

Our country is founded partly upon the premise of freedom OF religion and not freedom FROM religion.

Yet not to worry, Banner. Many possess "faith" that next year perhaps you shall have the courage to admit to the reality that Christmas itself is also "real and abiding" much as the NY Editorialist Mr. Church so described to little Virginia so many years ago.

Merry Christmas.

KATHY GAFFNEY

Pownal In praise of single-payer plans

I echo Lawrence Harrington’s praise of the national and especially local healthcare system. I would suspect that he is a Medicare recipient, which is a single payer government based health care program. I am also a Medicare recipient. If I had a high cost traditional plan with a high deductible and out of pocket copays or if my medical condition was not "recognized" and covered by my insurance company, I would have a different opinion; not of the quality of care, but of the dysfunctional system that will be mitigated by the Affordable Healthcare Program.

DICK BOWER

Bennington