"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Secularization of America's Favorite Holiday

"A problem that will continue to grow unless and until a substantial majority of Americans appreciate both America's religious heritage and the judicial coup achieved soon after World War II by secular extremists twisting the religious clauses of the First Amendment to stop the overwhelming majority of Americans, through their federal and state governments, from supporting religion generally and established a separation of church and state far beyond the institutional separation that America's Founders and the Framers of America's Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) intended."

John Gibson Is Right About The War on Christmas

On the first Sunday after Thanksgiving 2005 I visited Manhattan to go to Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and to see the displays in the front windows of two famous Fifth Avenue department stores, Lord & Taylor and Sax Fifth Avenue.
The windows were artistically decorated, but certainly not for Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, not children's fairy tales or general concepts.

The Lord & Taylor windows were dedicated to fairy tales, like Rumpelstiltskin, The Princess and the Pea, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Snow White was there, but not the Virgin Mary. There were a few decorated trees in some of the windows, but no Jesus, not even the word Christmas. It was the same at Sax, where the windows focused on concepts like unity, harmony and beauty. Nothing about Christmas.

The decorations for sale on the ninth floor of Sax did not include religious decorations, but if you want a Wizard of Oz ornament, Sax has one. The decorations on the eighth floor of Lord & Taylor actually included one nativity set (imagine that!) and a box of religious cards was on sale too, but the secular progress since last year was substantial.

Manhattan is where Michael Bloomberg, New York City's recently reelected Mayor resides. He bans creches, but not menorrahs (or holiday trees) from New York City's public schools. (He's Jewish, not Christian.)

Please read John Gibson's latest book, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought. It makes a great Christmas or Hannakuh present. Mr. Gibson deserves great credit for calling attention to a growing problem. A problem that will continue to grow unless and until a substantial majority of Americans appreciate both America's religious heritage and the judicial coup achieved soon after World War II by secular extremists twisting the religious clauses of
the First Amendment to stop the overwhelming majority of Americans, through their federal and state governments, from supporting religion generally and established a separation of church and state far beyond the institutional separation that America's Founders and the Framers of America's Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) intended.

America's Founders were genuinely religious people, and smart. They rejected the idea of a monarchy based on divine right, theocratic government, and secular extremist government. They established a moderate secular government that publicly and gratefully acknowledged God and the dependence of America's government and America's people upon God. They supported religion generally, without establishing an official national religion and with respect for the private right of conscience. The believed that human rights came from God. Thus, America's Declaration of Independence proclaimed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ? That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...." They believed in freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

They were overwhelmingly Christian. John Adams wrote in 1813 that ?[t]he general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were . . . the general principles of Christianity . . . .? America?s greatest chief justice, John Marshall, proclaimed in 1833: ?The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations to it.? According to Justice Joseph Story, ?Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it . . . , the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship,? and that ?an attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.?

Mr. Gibson's book description:

"Yes, Virginia, there is a war on Christmas. It?s the secularization of America?s favorite holiday and the ever-stronger push toward a neutered 'holiday' season so that non-Christians won?t be even the slightest bit offended.

"Traditionalists get upset when they?re told?more and more these days?that celebrating Christmas in any public way is a violation of church and state separation. That is certainly not what the founders intended when they wrote, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'

"John Gibson, a popular anchor for the Fox News Channel, has been digging up evidence about the liberal activists, lawyers, politicians, educators, and media people who are leading the war on Christmas. And he reveals that the situation is worse than you can imagine. For instance:

? In Illinois, state government workers were forbidden from saying the words 'Merry Christmas' while at work

? In Rhode Island, local officials banned Christians from participating in a public project to decorate the lawn of City Hall

? A New Jersey school banned even instrumental versions of traditional Christmas carols

? Arizona school officials ruled it unconstitutional for a student to make any reference to the religious history of Christmas in a class project

"Millions of Americans are starting to fight back against the secularist forces and against local officials who would rather surrender than be seen as politically incorrect. Gibson shows readers how they can help save Christmas from being twisted beyond recognition, with even the slightest reference to Jesus completely disappearing.

"The annual debate will be hotter than ever in 2005, and this book will be perfect for everyone who?s pro-Christmas."

A succinct review at Amazon.com rightly focuses on the book's message:

"The point is... to see that in America, there is a great falling away from what our wonderful country was founded upon - belief in the God who made us. Although this falling away was predicted in the Bible millions of years ago, it is comforting to know that there are those of us, like Mr. Gibson, who are not afraid to stand up for the tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ. I commend Mr. Gibson for taking a stand, and I pray that others will follow his lead."

One snide review at Amazon.com typifies the secular extremist twisting that created the problem Mr. Gibson addressed urgently

"Gibson has managed to accomplish what many have tried but few have accomplished; namely, to redefine a commonly used word. In this case, Gibson has somehow managed to define 'oppression' as 'lack of monopoly.' According to Gibson, the continued existence of non-Christians during the winter holidays constitutes oppression of Christianity. Never mind, of course, that the Christian religion probably holds the all-time world record for being oppressed less than any other major religion; it had a remarkably easy road to hegemony. With this book, Gibson hopes to make any non-Christian terrified to express any religious sentiment other than that of the power base."

This is utter nonsense. Oppression is "unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power." The noxious notion that religious holidays like Christmas and Hannukah should be merged into a secular holiday celebrating winter is a secular extremist dream that perverts the word holiday, which means holy day, into something decidedly unholy. Holy means "exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness." We are talking about God, not winter, or spring, or summer, or fall. George Washington, who knew what he was talking about, in his first Thanksgiving proclamation, proclaimed without qualification that "it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor...." Secular extremists deny it.

Another anti-Christian reviewer predictably tantrums and name calls while posing as a defender of non-Christians:

"When I was a kid, my best friend in my public elementary school was a Jew. Yet he was required to participate in the Christmas pagent with everybody else. I cannot now imagine how painful that must have been for him - to be treated like an outsider and an outcast during Christmas, and be forced to do things contrary to his religion. It was unfair. It was wrong.

"Nowadays, our society is even more diverse. We have Buddists, Hindus, Muslims, and so on throughout our society and our schools. Christmas is celebrated solely by Christians, who may one day be a minority in this country. Are we to force non-Christians to celebrate Christmas?

"Mr. Gibson is free to celebrate Christmas however he wants. But he should not spend it trashing the Constitution, nor should he spend it waging war against non-Christians.

"So what if Coca-cola doesn't put Santa on their sugar-water any more, having replaced him with lovable polar bears? Big deal. So what if you can't put a nativity scene in front of the Court House or City Hall? They are everywhere else...it might be nice to get away from them for a while!

"Christmas is the most overwhelming cultural event we have. For one solid month every year we are inundated with Christmas this and Christmas that. Stop with bells, enough with the bells, I hate them bells. Oh little town of Bethlehem, what a shopping mall! Materialism we have heard on high! ENOUGH!

"Somebody should wage war on Christmas! It is just too much every year to endure. Well, at least let's tone it down a little, and remember there are those among us who are not interested.

"Mr. Gibson: you're an idiot."

Mr. Gibson is not an idiot, but the reviewer is an ignoramus in need of instruction on America' history, or worse.

Another reviewer at Amazon.com is much closer to the truth:

"I know that the anti-religious left, as well as people from other supposed noble religions, are filled with hatred for anything Christian, but some of the reviews for this book shocked me even to the point of fear. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to know that anything Christian is mocked and censored by the main stream media. The only time you will see a cross on a character in a television show or in the movies is when that person portrays an evil character. The only mention of Jesus on television or in the movies is when it is said in vain. Mel Gibson was persecuted by Jews for making 'The Passion of the Christ.' My only request is that non-Christians show a little open mindedness to Christians with respect to our Christmas holiday, and allow us Christians to worship our God without the fear of being censored and demeaned."

This review is even closer to the truth:

"First, I want to say that I am surprised at the number of clearly political anti-Christian and anti-conservative short posts allowed to [be] placed here - written by people who give no indication of ever reading this book.

"I have bought this book and have read parts of it. It clearly shows real cases of anti-Christian bigotry and shows readers where they can go to get help if the 'outrage' of handing out candy canes or whatever is attacked in their school or job.

"I also want to address the person in an earlier review who claimed to speak for their Jewish friend who was 'forced' to learn Christmas songs in school. I am a Jew and the son of Holocaust survivors who came to America on a US Army Liberty Ship and went to secular schools, learning such songs as 'Jingle Bells' and 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.' I got to learn about diversity and other people's real, heartfelt faith in God. It didn't stop me from learning Hebrew or knowing who I am. As for that reveiwer who 'knew the pain' of the Jew they claimed to speak for, I say that we all have to learn about cultures we are not familiar with in this world, be that culture from China, Iran, Mexico, England or the Hawaiian Islands.

"I also would rather live in a country that honors the majority of people's religious traditions in its schools than one that only discusses and honors secular/material things. The Jewish person mentioned in the earlier review could have avoided the 'unpleasantness' of learning Christmas carols by attending a Jewish religious school and learning to read the Bible in Hebrew, observing the sabbath, etc. Most people 'offended' couldn't even tell you the common Hebrew term for the Bible, 'Ha Tanach.' Stop pretending that this country wasn't founded on religious faith and Christianity isn't a major part of what formed America culture and still inspires it."

That's exactly what the secular extremists do. And have gotten America's courts to do.

This reviewer said it all very well:

"The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse Than You Thought' by John Gibson is an interesting book in which he argues that the separation of church and state with respect to Christianity has grown far too uncompromising. In this book, he provides examples in which liberal activists have been devising ways to prevent, and/or conceal, the exercise of Christmas in public, while other protecting the exercise of other faiths such as Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam, thus misinterpreting the agenda of the Founding Fathers in their statute that Congress would never create a law respecting an establishment of religion. He also shows that such efforts to prohibit the exercise of Christianity have, for the most part, resulted in failure, as hordes of Americans have begun to fight back against liberal local officials and secularist forces, while also providing ways for readers to prevent the obliteration of Christmas in America.

"In an effort to prove his premise involving a war against Christmas, Gibson shows readers how the ACLU, ADL, and Americans for the Separation of Church and State have all gone to great lengths to effectuate their anti-Christmas campaign. He provides many instances in which these organizations have made desperate attempts to remove all vestiges of Christianity from public life. For instance, we learn that no laws were being passed to forbid Hanukkah and Kwanza decorations in American public schools, whereas we are also taught that officials of the same schools, particularly those located in rural Georgia, had declared it unconstitutional for the word 'Christmas' to be inscribed on school calendars. There was also an incident in which Texas officials forbade a student from distributing goodie bags featuring the inscription: 'Jesus is the reason for the season.'

"In conclusion, `The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse Than You Thought' is a terrific book which will more than likely affect (or anger) a broad range of pro-Christmas readers, as it exposes the outlandish measures being taken by the American government to restrict the expression of their religion while in public. It is also sure to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the many ways by which the legislative assembly can pass laws that deviate from the purpose of the statutes provided by the Founding Fathers. Moreover, it also provides readers ideas on how they can seek victory in said war. As such, `The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday' by John Gibson is well worth reading and well considering."

Read, consider and act upon it!

Michael J. Gaynor
November 27, 2005 11:58 PM EST


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