Scoot: Is the “War on Christmas” real or an agenda-inspired myth?

December 11, 2017 - 10:58 am

Any continued promotion of the so-called “War on Christmas” is nothing more than fear mongering.  The “War on Christmas” was a mythical controversy invented to instill fear in Christians in America that they are losing their religious beliefs.  The purpose was to use the alleged attack on Christian values to rally the right against the left.  It was a political stunt that sadly many American Christians foolishly accepted as real.

Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly is credited with reigniting the idea that there was a “War on Christmas” in 2004, when he went so far as to declare a national emergency.  However, the alleged “War on Christmas” dates back to the early 1920s.

In 1921, automaker Henry Ford began spreading the idea that Christmas cards were difficult to find; and he accused Jews in America for working together to abolish Christmas in public places.  It was true that a few Jewish leaders challenged the practice of reading the Bible in the classrooms of public schools; but that was a debate about the First Amendment, rather than a Jewish conspiracy to end Christmas.

The specific concept of the “War on Christmas” came from author Peter Brimelow’s work: “Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster” published in 1995.  Brimelow’s writings are considered a modern restart to the white supremacy movement of today.  The fear of immigrants changing America was the foundation for instilling fear that pandering to immigrants would include ending the celebration of Christmas, as we know it.

In 2005, Fox News contributor John Gibson followed Bill O’Reilly’s lead with his book:  “The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse than You Think.”

By 2006, O’Reilly declared that Fox News and conservatives had won the “War on Christmas,” but that didn’t stop O’Reilly from using the idea that there was a “War on Christmas” as recently as 2016.  I suggest that is proof that Bill O’Reilly’s installation of fear over losing Christian beliefs was simply a publicity stunt designed to rally the base of the Fox News Channel’s audience.

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump used the phrase “we’re saying Merry Christmas again” as a campaign promise to restore the right to say, “Merry Christmas,” which had never been taken away.  Trump has repeated the phrase since becoming President.

There was a trend of some retail outlets instructing employees to use “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas;” and that fed into the campaign that there was a “War on Christmas.”  But from a business standpoint, using “Happy Holidays” was an attempt to include everyone during the holiday season.  It seemed more of a business/economic decision than an attempt to wipe out the recognition of Christmas. 

The only time Christmas was actually banned in America was by Christians in 1659.  Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed Christmas because the gluttony and gift giving were seen as ungodly.  Years later, the ban on Christmas was lifted and Christmas has never been banned since then.

As Americans, we have the responsibility of sifting through the overabundance of information we are exposed to minute-by-minute; and that responsibility includes not falling for attempts to disguise real concerns in rhetoric to benefit an agenda.  And that’s what the “War on Christmas” was and still is today – rhetoric to rally support for an agenda.

I do understand the idea that religious symbols have no place on property owned by the government as implied by the First Amendment; however, as a Christian, I don’t understand why we all can’t be more tolerate of each other’s religious beliefs and allow Christmas symbols and other religious symbols during holiday seasons.

To support the idea that there is a “War on Christmas” in America is to say that individuals and families have lost their right to put Nativity scenes, or any Christian symbols, on their property and that Americans have been forced to curtail their Christian recognition of Christmas in their homes and private lives.

And even when there was a brief retail trend of saying “Happy Holidays” in place of “Merry Christmas,” people were still saying “Merry Christmas” wherever and whenever they chose, including numerous times I said, “Merry Christmas” on the air with no consequences.

So – “Merry Christmas” - there is no “War on Christmas!”

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