From the staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation comes this explanation of the phony war, but I’ve got to tell you that I’ve been having big-time fun fun with the above illustration. Thanks, B.
War on Christmas: dispatch from the front lines, by Andrew Seidel (Patheos)
I’m a soldier on the front lines of that perpetual seasonal battle: the non-existent “War on Christmas.” Bill O’Reilly has called our organization, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, “the most aggressive” group fighting this war. Thanks for the street cred, Bill.
The modern WoC dates to John Gibson’s 2005 book: The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought. Gibson was a Fox News host and drafted soon-to-be War on Christmas grand poobah and fellow Fox-Newser Bill O’Reilly into the war.
O’Reilly enjoys wielding his influence so he went after businesses for being inclusive, rather than Christian. Gibson didn’t focus on businesses saying “Happy Holidays.” He focused on something that never happens. Ever. Officials banning nonreligious symbols, like Santa. Here’s Gibson’s summary:
You might think that the war on Christmas is being fought on the grounds that overtly religious symbols in public-such as nativity scenes and crosses-violate the separation of church and state that many judges have read into the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
But again, you‘d be underestimating the war on Christmas. It’s worse than you think. Liberals’ attacks now focus on symbols regarded by most Americans-and even by the Supreme Court of the United States (in its Lynch v. Donnelly ruling) to be secular symbols of the federal holiday that is Christmas. Wannabe constitutional lawyers in local government offices all over the country are declaring unconstitutional normal and traditional Christmas representations such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus, treetop scars, wreaths, the singing of and listening co Christmas carols or Christmas instrumental music, attending a performance of Dickens‘s A Christmas Carol the publication of the word “Christmas” itself, and even the colors red and green!
This doesn’t really happen. But that didn’t matter, Gibson and O’Reilly were Fox News acolytes. So they sacrificed facts on the altar of ratings. It’s the Fox News way.
Every year since, O’Reilly has feasted on the mythical war. Some of his most embarrassing moments stem from the fight. Two of O’Reilly’s greatest gaffes, “Tide goes in, tide goes out . . . You can’t explain that” and “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a philosophy” are from War on Christmas segments.
Perhaps fed up with putting his foot in his mouth, last week O’Reilly declared victory in his fabricated war. But he spent the segment praising businesses that recognize only his particular set of myths, and attacking those that do not. How dare businesses seek to be inclusive and welcoming at a time of year when people buy gifts?! What are they trying to do: sell stuff?
Let’s end with a number … but not one of those repetitious Christmas potboilers.