Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

War on Christmas: Real or imagined?

 

By JAMES PEELE

Special to The SWT

 

If one watches Fox News or listens to talk radio, they will hear news stories and opinions about the “War on Christmas.” Fox will illustrate that with current examples of schools, municipalities, towns, counties, cities, and even states removing Christmas displays of one sort or another. Sometimes it involves Nativity scenes, other times just removing the word Christmas from their pronouncements or prohibiting any reference to Christianity or Jesus Christ. Schools referring to winter break rather than Christmas break, holiday tree rather than Christmas tree are classic examples. Several years ago major department stores (Macy’s, Walmart, Kmart, Target, and others) issued instructions to their employees to not use the greeting of “Merry Christmas” to shoppers. Once “The O’Reilly Factor,” a popular Fox News show, exposed this policy, it was reversed but not before it cost Macy’s over $ 1 Billion in lost sales through boycotts by Christmas shoppers.

 

On the other hand, liberals completely dismiss the premise of a war on Christmas. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” mocks Fox and their reporting on the subject. So do many others on the mainstream news programs and over the air broadcasters. Even when instances of this type are demonstrated repeatedly, the mainstream media ignore it or dismiss it as an isolated incident.

 

The latest incidence is at an Air Force Base in South Carolina. The base has removed a Nativity display after a single complaint warned the base that it was in violation of the Constitution. The base responded by citing its own Air Force Regulations (AFR 1-1, 7 August 2012, Chapter 2.11 and 2.12) and then removing the “offending” display. Ignorant, biased, and unfounded responses are not what I would expect from the United States Air Force, but that is how they responded. The Supreme Court decision in the 1983 Lynch v. Donnelly supports the public display of religious themes, specifically Nativity scenes nor does the cited AFR restrict the display of religious themes as the USAF claimed. Most people who have even a rudimentary education can understand the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is neither ambiguous nor difficult to understand, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

 

Our Republic was founded to protect the rights of both the majority and minority, to ensure that majority rule would not result in mob rule and the subsequent trampling of minority rights. When one group or a single complaint can result in an action that discriminates against the majority of Americans who profess a belief in Christianity, then the Republic has failed that majority. Protecting minority voices does not grant that minority essential veto over the rights of the majority or even another minority. The First Amendment grants that right to all citizens, not just to the minority or contrary voice. These singular voices claim discrimination because a Nativity scene is displayed, some government official is a Christian, or a school choir sings a Christmas Carol. Nonsense!

 

Discrimination is not necessarily a bad thing, as Henry Ford once said about his Model T automobiles, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.” Discrimination in a personal sense is what differentiates us from one another and other nations. If a nation expresses a desire to tolerate minorities and respect their cultural differences, customs, and traditions, then it is mandatory that these same cultures respect the majority’s cultural customs and traditions as well.

 

I do not know about you, but this writer celebrates Christmas and enjoys the excesses of this wonderful holiday season. I do not object to someone saying Happy Holidays, but I do object when one is prohibited from expressing a Merry Christmas in public. The Christmas Holiday was signed into law as a Federal holiday in 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant and celebrated officially as a nation since that time. Christianity celebrates Dec. 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ and this is the reason for the holiday in the first place. Expressing one’s beliefs and honoring one’s traditions is not an infringement on anyone else’s rights, even if the government does it or it is on public property. There is no protection in the Constitution or The Bill of Rights to prevent someone from being offended, majority or minority.

 

There is no government requirement to celebrate Christmas and there is no government requirement to believe that Jesus Christ was born on this day. If one does not believe in this holiday and does not want to celebrate with family and friends, then get up early Christmas morning, pack your lunch, and head to work. You most likely will be the only one there but so be it, you are not offending me in the slightest by working. Just a word of caution, if you see eight tiny reindeer pulling a sleigh with a red-faced jolly fat man wearing a red suit, try to avoid slowing them down, they are rushing to make millions of dreams worldwide a reality.

 

 

 

Comments

comments

15 Responses to War on Christmas: Real or imagined?

  1. bigbird

    December 27, 2013 at 10:44 am

    outstanding

  2. The Man

    December 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Very well put…

  3. casper

    December 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    This I assume is in the editorial department. It is certainly filled with a biased slant.

    Using a sentence like “Ignorant, biased, and unfounded responses are not what I would expect from the United States Air Force, but that is how they responded.” certainly isn’t news and displays the authors own ignorance and biased response.

    My question is why does the author insist on putting Christmas decorations on government property? Why not just keep the decorations on private property? Would you want other religious items not related to Christmas displayed in your schools?

    This part of the country doesn’t have a lot of varying religions so this issue isn’t as significant here as major cities.

    Why not just decorate non government property if you reopen the door soon there will be numerous religious symbols on government property and ones you won’t like.

    • Jmadison

      January 2, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      “Because if Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body.” -James Madison. Christians and people of all faiths also need to remember that one of the reasons for seperation of church and state is to protect their rights and the rights of people of differing beliefs to believe and worship in a way they want to. There is no war on christmas or war on christians in a country that is made up of predominently christians. People tend to forget that this country was founded to be inclusive to all peoples and to reform past religious persecution found in other places. I am proud to be an American because of the freedoms we experience here and people can choose to say Merry Christmas, or happy Hanukkah, or Blessed ramadan or even a simple Happy holidays. I still say Merry Christmas. Oh and Im an atheist. Hear hear Casper.

      • S. W. Va. Man

        January 8, 2014 at 1:28 pm

        That’s okay if you’re an atheist. When you breathe your last breath, you won’t carry that view to the grave. Where did you come from and what’s your purpose for being here?

  4. casper

    December 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Also,
    “… if you see eight tiny reindeer pulling a sleigh with a red-faced jolly fat man wearing a red suit, try to avoid slowing them down, they are rushing to make millions of dreams worldwide a reality.”

    Now when did Santa become a Christian icon?

    • Bessie85

      December 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Santa is actually a derivative of a Christian Saint. He has become an icon through media and has lost his original purpose. Oh, and by the way, then since you related to non government properties, then, you should not be offended when instead of Happy Holidays at your local shopping center, you actually hear someone say Merry Christmas.

      • casper

        December 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm

        Santa may or may not be a ‘derivative’ of a Catholic Saint. Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian Catholic Saint and Greek Bishop of Myra He was a wealthy man that gave secret gifts of a dowry to a poor man that had several daughters he could not marry off because of a lack of a proper dowry.

        When a child learns you failed to tell the truth about Santa, it’s not long until they question the unsubstantiated ‘truth’ of God.

        I have no problem with someone wishing a Merry Christmas to anyone they like, even on government property. I just don’t see the point of littering government property with numerous religious idols, of any religion. How would you feel about a Satanic symbol or statue of the Hindi God Shiva?
        What if someone wished a Happy Satan day to you?

        Many people think their religion is the only correct one. Even among Christian faiths many denominations teach various beliefs. I don’t need to point out the distance of beliefs among Christian denominations.

        If you knew someone was Jewish would you wish them a Merry Christmas? Or be offended if they wished you a Happy Hanukkah?

  5. Anna

    December 29, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I love me some Jesus. We all need to stay aware and not loose anymore freedom than we already have.

    • casper

      December 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      “… not loose anymore freedom than we already have.”

      What freedoms have ‘you’ lost?

  6. Tim1969

    January 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    There isn’t a war on anything. It’s imagined just like most of the “news” on faux news.
    I pay it no mind whether someone says Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or nothing at all. Freedom of religion is in the constitution. People will do as they see fit. Why worry over what someone says to you during the holidays? Really makes no sense to me. If that is all you have to worry about, then consider yourself lucky!!!!!

  7. bigbird

    January 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I am grateful for Fox News. And this society has been waging a war on Christianity, Christmas, the family structure, freedom, and morality for years. There are only two possible reasons you cannot see that. You are an atheist, or a socialist.

    • Casper

      January 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Fox News’ Megyn Kelly declares that Santa and Jesus are white: ‘That’s a verifiable fact’

      “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” Anne Coulter

      “If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it’s clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right?” -Bill O’Reilly, on finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, March 18, 2003

      It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950 – except Goldwater in ’64 – the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted.
      Ann Coulter

  8. Billy J

    January 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    There is NO war on Christmas. How ridiculous. The majority of people in this country are Christians and we have Merry Christmas stuffed down our throats whether we like it or not. People need to remember that Freedom of Religion includes Freedom FROM Religion! And although I’m not an atheist, their right NOT to believe is just as important as the right of Billy Graham or Joel Osteen or any other religious pontificant TO believe.

  9. Former Reader

    January 8, 2014 at 10:14 am

    This must truly be the worst article the Southwest Times has published to date. While it is clearly an opinion piece, and opinion doesn’t have to be based on facts, it clearly crosses the line into the territory of being offensive to all.

    While I do agree with the author’s point of “Merry Christmas” not being offensive, it goes so much deeper than that. It calls discrimination a good thing. Since when was discrimination a good thing?

    What’s next? Articles reminiscing about the good ol’ days of Jim Crowe? Witch hunts? The previous policy of locking those whom you disagree with in institutions claiming they are “insane?”

    The author also did not get his facts straight. Christianity is barely a majority in this country. The separation of church and state is meant not to be used for only the benefit of the majority religion. It applies to all. The same laws that prohibit the display of Christian beliefs on government property also prohibit the same for all other religions. How is this unfair?

    There is also nothing that prevents one from sharing their beliefs on their own property. This makes the “war on Christmas” something that exists only in the feeble, illogical, mind of the author.

    Why do I get the impression that the author would be highly offended if someone were to say “Happy Hanukah” or similar to him?

    The author frames his hate and bigotry as fighting a war for Christmas, when it could also be said that this has been a war on all other viewpoint, not just religions.

    Possibly the worst part of this is that the hate and bigotry is done in the name of the Lord and disguised as support for Christmas. Nowhere in this great book you preach from are these ideas considered acceptable.

    The author should be ashamed of himself for writing this and the editor ashamed of publishing it. This belongs on the bathroom wall at Hardee’s, right under “call [redacted] for a good time,” not in a supposed “newspaper.” Not even Faux News would publish this.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login