The ‘War on Christmas’

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What is the reason for the season? For some it’s to squabble over when and where people celebrate the birth of the Christian messiah Jesus Christ, and it’s part of the holiday tradition known as the “War on Christmas.” This year the war features a child-molesting Santa Claus, Nazis, gay marriage, Frank Costanza’s Festivus pole and a look back at the most anti-Christian Christmas-bashers in American history: the Puritans.


Washington state is ground zero for this year’s war after the government allowed a nativity scene on the Capitol grounds. The overtly Christian display led some atheists to request that their own sign be permitted, and the government relented. Then a Festivus fan wanted the traditional pole placed at the Capitol. But when Fred Phelps wanted to install a sign saying that Santa is a child molester who sends people to hell, Gov. Chris Gregoire said enough is enough and declared a moratorium on new religious (and areligious) displays until the matter could be reviewed.


When Chuck Norris heard of the flap, the actor planted his roundhouse kick firmly on the atheists he blames for starting the mess in the first place.

“Atheists from England to the West Coast of America are stepping up their efforts this year to make a bigger antagonistic splash on the Christmas scene,” said Chuck. “I am a patriot, and I believe that atheists are free to believe, speak and post whatever they want. This is America, and that’s their First Amendment right. But to do so with harassment and hatred under the guise of free speech is despicable. An anti-religious poster filled with spite is in no way equal to a religious symbol, such as a Nativity scene. Where are the political correctness police when religious followers are the victims?”


And while Chuck might believe in free speech, Gretchen Carlson, former Minnesota beauty queen and current Fox News “War on Christmas” correspondent, says not so much: “I’m all for free speech and free rights, just not on December 25th.”


Perpetually outraged William Donahue of the Catholic League weighed in: It’s the gay marriage supporters who are to blame.

“The root cause of the war on Christmas, which is conducted almost exclusively by well-educated white people in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia — the very same people who like gay marriage — has almost nothing to do with fidelity to law (the First Amendment in the U.S.): it has to do with ideology. The ideology is plainly an expression of left-wing secularism, and it is nothing if not anti-Western and anti-Christian. At its worst, it is driven by hatred; at its best, it is driven by a defensive posture, a deep sense of embarrassment over the legacy of Western civilization. There is no historical or moral justification for either. Moreover, those who are pushing this agenda generally lie about their work.”


Despite fingering white, educated seculars, Donahue in his next breath plays the Muslim card. “[T]his hatred of Christmas is not exclusive to the U.S. In England, Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary called Christmas ‘evil’ in a recent sermon.”


Choudary did warn Muslims not to celebrate Christmas. “Every Muslim has a responsibility to protect his family from the misguidance of Christmas, because its observance will lead to hellfire. Protect your Paradise from being taken away – protect yourself and your family from Christmas,” he said.


While Donahue and Norris impart the wisdom of the founding fathers on Christmas, they missed an important part of history. The religious folk who began the American dream said roughly the same thing as the Muslim professor: Celebrating Christmas is the road to hell.


“The generality of Christmas-keepers observe that festival after such a manner as is highly dishonourable to the name of Christ,” said the Rev. Increase Mather in 1687. “How few are there comparatively that spend those holidays (as they are called) after an holy manner. But they are consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in mad Mirth…”


In fact, conservative Christians banned Christmas in Massachusetts — the state that gave us gay marriage — until 1855.


Who will win the “War on Christmas”? If playing the Nazi card is an indication of having lost the debate, then the Minnesota Family Council may have put it out of play for the religious right.


“Some insist that singing a Christmas carol in a public school is a state endorsement of religion,” writes Family Council Communications Director Chuck Darrell. “Would the same people insist that reading Mien Kampf in social studies is a state endorsement of National Socialism (Nazis) as well? So tell me, what’s the difference?”