What It Do: Dispatches From The War On Christmas

The secularists are coming for your beloved sacred holiday. The “miserable atheists”—to borrow Pat Robertson’s recent turn of phrase—are emulating the Grinch and attempting the swap your Christmas joy with pluralistic misery.

The battle rages across public schools, small town courthouse lawns, and the boardrooms of large retail corporations. Here, rumors fly of a nativity scene getting banned. There, reports come in of corporations changing their marketing materials and pre-scripted greetings to eliminate the “C” word.

There is, of course, a website for the assembled defenders of the Christmas prerogative. Waronchristmas.com offers the visitor a handful of articles which alternate between disturbing accounts of anti-Christmas tactics and full-throated declarations of the supremacy of Christmas.

And in reading these postings, it is that word—supremacy—that seems to be most appropriate to the context.

One article, in particular, makes an illuminative argument. The author claims that it’s not really a religious issue, in the sense of proselytizing souls for the Christian Kingdom. People have long been known to behave in a distinctly un-Christian manner at office “Christmas” parties, and the fact that people donned the trappings of Christian imagery for a few weeks every winter never really generated too many new converts.

But, rather, the battle for Christmas preeminence is fundamentally tied into the overall battle to preserve “traditional” American culture. It is at this point that one notices the frequent appearance of the word “majority” throughout the postings, along with the use of “multiculturalism” and its synonyms as pejoratives.

And then there is the ‘50s style illustration gracing the top of every page. In it, a Christmas tree is either in the act of falling or being stolen by an invisible villain, and a besuited hand—that just so happens to be clearly Caucasian—grabs the power cord as a lifeline, holding the tree up. Or perhaps I have it backwards, and the disembodied hand is the villain, preventing the tree from escaping his evil clutches with his hold on power.

Either way, the whole thing dovetails with a certain type of propaganda one would normally find gracing a white nationalist website. Instead of explicitly favoring white dominance, the modern day white power factions cloak themselves in religion. It is our Judeo-Christian heritage they claim to be defending. Our “traditional culture,” as it were.

It is similar to the rhetoric used by the old decrepit defenders of segregation, lynching, and the whole rotten Jim Crow shitpile. It’s not that they seek to dominate American culture and society (except for the fact that that is exactly their goal—and perceived birthright). It’s simply that they are a beleaguered people defending themselves against the godless hordes that threaten to overwhelm their cherished way of life.

However, once one starts digging into the claims made by both white nationalists and self-proclaimed defenders of Christmas, the supposed threats more often than not turn out to be a mountain made out of a molehill, if not a complete fabrication.

The truth is, just as it is a ridiculous notion that white people in America are under siege and threatened with annihilation, so is it equally ridiculous to imagine that there is some sort of concerted effort to rid the country of Christmas celebrations.

What is happening is a slow recognition on the part of businesses that customers who worship at various altars still spend the same money, and it is prudent to be respectful of the diversity of beliefs and customs among your customer base. In addition, there is currently a real debate about the appropriate line between the right of free and open religious expression and the limits on taxpayer-funded institutions to support said expression.

A hypothetical example of this would be a devout teacher in a public school who wished to organize an after school prayer group. If the teacher is forbidden from participating, is that infringing on the rights of the teacher and the students? Or conversely, if permission is granted, is that allowing the teacher inappropriate use of their position of authority to proselytize?

It’s a worthwhile question to examine. Personally, as long as participation was not mandatory, and school money wasn’t being directly used to facilitate it, I would not generally have a problem with the hypothetical prayer group. But I certainly understand there are cogent arguments to be made against it.

At any rate, even where there are legitimate areas of contention when it comes to religious expression in the public square, at no point is anyone trying to impede an individual’s right to practice their religion, or to celebrate any particular holiday any particular way they saw fit. At most, people who do not share in those beliefs are asserting their right not to have their tax dollars support the continued dominance of said beliefs.

You can agree or disagree with where they want to draw that line. But don’t let the lessening of dominance be confused with repression, when it comes to Christmas. And don’t fall victim to the falsehood that there is an evil cabal of secularists that want to destroy the fabric of society, starting with Santa Claus and Baby Jesus.