Belated Merry Christmas! Thankfully There Is No “War on Christmas!”
Sorry I wasn’t able to get this posted before Christmas guys, or at least before the new year, but even if I’m a bit late, this still needs to be said.
One of the most laughably nonsensical ideas put out by the religious right, besides creationism, and the baseless idea that the American founding fathers opposed secularism, and wanted America to be a “Chritian nation,” in spite of what the first amendment clearly states, is the notion that there is a “war on Christmas.”
Conservative “news” outlets such as Fox News, have been insisting for a long time now that the “war on Christmas” is real. In a piece entitled, “Three reasons why the New York Times’ War on Christmas denial is all wrong,” Jordan Lorence states the following,
1. The “War On Christmas” is real, and started well before Fox News even existed
Here’s just one example. When I worked at Concerned Women for America, we litigated a case against the Seminole County, Florida School District in 1985 in which officials at the Tuscawilla Middle School removed the songs, “Silent Night” and “Hanukkah Dance” from the middle school choir concert on the objection of one parent.
Officials at another school in the same district at a different school stopped a second grader, Olivia Myers, from passing out homemade Christmas cards to her classmates because they had a sticker of Jesus on them.
Regardless of how the people at “Fox News” may feel about it, including Lorence, America is supposed to be a secular country, and public schools are not allowed to promote any religion. Assuming this story is true, does she not understand the conflict Olivia Myers might have caused with the non Christian students?
At another middle school in the district, the PTA sponsored a contest to decorate classroom doors. The two students selected to create the art for one classroom door chose a nativity scene of Jesus’ birth, and the teacher ordered it removed because of perceived Establishment Clause concerns.
Just before trial, we settled the case out of court with the school district changing its policy to allow school music programs to “contain music that is religious in nature.” It also allowed the school to “use themes traditionally associated with a particular holiday season” and to allow classroom displays of religious themes if they were not prompted by the teacher and contained nonreligious symbols. And the school paid some monetary damages to the students involved.
I litigated this case. It was not made up by Fox News (which did not exist until 1996) or by anyone else. And this is not an isolated incident. The ACLU and its allies provoked many more examples of Christmas censorship with its lawsuits.
Again, does Lorence not understand the problems that something like this could cause, or does she simply not care?
How exactly does this constitute a “War on Christmas,” anyway? The ACLU isn’t fighting against anyone’s right to celebrate Christmas. The concern of groups like the ACLU is not people celebrating Christmas, but schools promoting religion, and how exactly could anyone argue that this wasn’t promoting Christianity? Public Schools are not allowed to promote religion, any religion and for good reason. One of the biggest reasons why its not okay for public schools to sponsor prayers for example is because it puts pressure on students who don’t want to pray, who don’t believe in the god who is being prayed to, to join in. Even if the prayer is to some type of nebulous non sectarian god, that somehow wouldn’t offend any religious person regardless of their faith, it would still ostracize students who are atheists.
Its not just the virtually non existent persecution or discrimination against Christians that has some people worried, but even stores saying “Happy Holidays” is considered to be waging war on Christmas by some. Including some idiot over at the ever so “reasonable” and “rational,” not to mention “scientific,” Breitbart, who goes by the name of Raheem Kassam. In a laughable post entitled “War On Christmas: Starbucks Red Cups Are Emblematic Of The Christian Culture Cleansing Of The West,” he says that,
2014’s cups looked like a child scrawled on them with a marker pen. And not in a cute way. It was a distinct shift away from looking “Christmassy” (see right) before the monstrosity they’ve released this year (below).
And behold, Starbucks did conceive and bear a red cup, and called his name blasphemy:
I asked Starbucks why, but they just sent me a “factsheet” with their latest flavours and a link to their website where they’ve talked about wanting “to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”
“We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s [a] more open way to usher in the holiday,” said their CEO.
You can see what’s going on here. More open? You mean, you’re trying not to “offend” anyone.
Frankly, the only thing that can redeem them from this whitewashing of Christmas is to print Bible verses on their cups next year.
And then…., there was this guy!
Never mind that by going to Starbucks and buying their coffee, he encourages them to keep doing this. If its so bad that they stopped with the Christmas themed cup designs, why not boycott the store entirely? If what Starbucks has done is so horrible, he shouldn’t eat there or buy anything there, especially their coffee. Instead of encouraging people to go to Starbucks and buy their coffee, but insist they write “Merry Christmas” on their cups, he should encourage them not to drink their coffee until they bring back the Christmas themed cups that he loved so much. If enough people did that, that’s what would really encourage them to change. Buying their products will only have the opposite effect. Its like Feuerstein doesn’t understand how free market capitalism works.
There’s also no evidence that Obama was “pretending to be a Christian.” Why would he think that anyway? Its not like all Christians view the world the way he does. Does he not understand that liberal Christians exist? Josh Feuerstein is a joke, and its doubtful he even comes close to realizing how ridiculous he looks.
Truth be told there are people out there who are more concerned with the non existant “war on Christmas,” than the real possibility that Trump could start a war with China. I’m not just talking a trade war, but an actual war. Unlike the “war on Christmas,” a war with China could cost millions of lives on both sides, civilian and military. No one is going to die because someone wished you a “Happy Holidays” instead of a “Merry Christmas.” Hopefully both Trump and the Chinese Communist Party will realized that it is not in their interest to start a war. If not, we could have a real war on our hands, far worse than the fictional “war on Christmas,” that the American religious right keeps whining about.
Thankfully as the title of this page says, there is no “war on Christmas.” At least not in the present day United States. You want a real “war on Christmas,” look at what the puritans did. They did everything they could to stop the holiday from being celebrated, and they didn’t do so out of “political correctness,” or hatred of Christians. The Puritans were hardcore Christian fundamentalists, far more extreme than most conservative Christians today.
We have no good reason to think that there is a concerted effort to stop Americans or anyone who happens to be in the country from celebrating Christmas. Public schools not being allowed to set up religious displays does not equal persecution. People saying “Happy Holidays,” is not an insult, and if you really want people to say “Merry Christmas” to you in December, you can always let them know. You can also have as religious or as secular a Christmas as you want, and no one will stop you. You want to have a nativity scene on you front lawn? Go for it. No one will stop you, and no one has the right to stop you. What we call the “war on Christmas” is myth.