Thursday, October 27, 2005

The War on Christmas

By Mitchell

It's always nice to see someone pick up on a theme that you've written about and run with it. As you know, I've complained frequently (as recently as yesterday, matter of fact) on the war on Christmas, which happens to be the title of the provocative new book by Fox News anchor John Gibson. I saw this book in the store last week and had a chance to leaf through it, and it looks to me as if Gibson has hit the nail on the head. Here's an interview Kathryn Lopez had with Gibson at NRO today. In the interview, Gibson summarizes the problem:

I think there is a general war on Christians underway in our country. You hear it in political discussions all the time when a Democrat or a liberal will decry the power of those "right wing evangelical Christians," and you hear it in the arguments about Intelligent Design, abortion, prayer in school, the Ten Commandments on courthouse walls, and frankly, a bunch of other ordinary discussions.

So in The War on Christmas I expose how that casual, accepted anti-Christian bias shows up once a year around Christmas when people in positions of petty power, such as school administrators, or municipal-hall managers, will suddenly pop up saying things like "We can't have that Christmas tree in here because it's too Christian." I had a long discussion with a city human-resources manager who said precisely that. What I find shocking is that people like that man do not hear the sound of their voices. Substitute any other religion for the word "Christian" and these very people would be up in arms with the cry of prejudice and bias, but if the bias is directed at Christians, it is perfectly acceptable.

In what's a fairly depressing recounting of the efforts of the the unholy alliance (public schools, Corporate America, local governments, and the ACLU), Gibson does note one ray of light:

I do believe the atmosphere is improving in some places, because people have recognized the downside of institutionalized hostility to religion in general and Christianity in particular. Tolerance is the tradition in this country, and tolerance should be extended to Christians during their important holiday period.

If Gibson's right that the atmosphere is improving, I think a major reason is because Christians (and non-Christians with common sense) have become more outspoken in fighting against these "petty" managers and their ridiculous policies. (On a parallel note, I think it was another Gibson - Mel - and his The Passion of the Christ that signaled the beginning of the Christian "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore" movement, but that's another essay for another day.)

Anyhow, I'm hoping for great success for Gibson and his book. When I first started talking about this a few years ago, a lot of people thought I was exaggerating the situation. Now, maybe they'll take it seriously - before it's too late.

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