Every year it seems like the war on Christmas is achieving new levels of anti-Christian propaganda, political correctness, family value obliteration and sheer ridiculousness. Christmas 2015 is no exception. There are plenty of grinches out there snickering at our faith and stealing the balls off of our Christmas trees while labeling our holy season and traditions as discriminatory behavior.
Let’s start with the “Atheist Santa Billboard” located in Kernersville North Carolina on the Business 40 Eastbound highway where thousands of drivers can see it. The billboard, which is the handiwork of the New Jersey based group American Atheists, includes a photo of Santa Claus with the caption “Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness’ sake. Happy Holidays!” The billboard is the follow up response to the organization’s 2014 iteration which included a little girl asking to skip church.
Nick Fish, the National Program Director for American Atheists, defends the billboard by saying that its intent is to reassure atheists and others questioning their faith that they are not alone this time of the year. The residents of Kernersville didn’t quite see it that way. Most of them perceived the billboard as offensive to their faith and demanded that it be taken down. I can’t say I blame them. A person’s relationship with God and with church is very personal. No one has the right to dictate what that relationship should be. People worship God in their own manner. Some attend church on a regular basis and fully integrate into the church community. Others only attend on Christmas and Easter. There are also individuals who believe in God and Jesus Christ but do not embrace the concept of organized religion. Different strokes for different folks.
However, the problem here is that an atheist organization is telling Christians that it is okay to skip church. Where does an atheist organization get that authority? Furthermore, the billboard was also targeting children. Again, where does an atheist organization get the authority to tell a child that it is okay to skip church? The billboard’s message may very well be in complete defiance of the direction which the child is receiving from his/her parents. In addition, the billboard’s including the image of Santa Claus with the “It’s okay to skip church” message is essentially telling a child that he will get presents any way as long as he/she is “good”. Again, a parent may view a “good” child as one who attends church.
The University of Central Florida has also stepped into the Merry Christmas “marais” with the Professor Terri Fine’s recent recommendation that Americans replace the greetings “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Chanukah” and “Happy Holidays” with “Happy Federal Holiday”. Apparently, Dr. Fine’s rationale for the “Happy Federal Holiday” greeting is that “Christmas is one of the two holiest days for Christians, while Chanukah is a minor holiday on the calendar”. Apparently, the terms “Christmas” and “Chanukah” are exclusionary because they leave out the individuals who do not celebrate each respective holiday. Dr. Fine takes issue with “Happy Holidays” because it is too generic. It fails to recognize the religious importance of Christmas to Christians. It also inflates the importance of Chanukah to being more important than the Jewish high holy days such as Yom Kippur and Passover, etc.
There are so many holes in Dr. Fine’s argument that I don’t even know where to begin. Suffice it to say, most non-Christians are not offended by the use of the words “Merry Christmas”. While most Christians are aware that Chanukah is a minor Jewish holiday, we do not take offense at wishing “Happy Chanukah” to our Jewish friends. And for heaven’s sake, most people are okay with saying “Happy Holidays” because we interpret that as being inclusive of Christmas, Chanukah, and for that matter, New Year’s. The only time “Happy Holidays” is offensive is when Christians are forced to say “Happy Holidays” in lieu of “Merry Christmas” for fear of offending anyone. As for “Happy Federal Holiday”, does Dr. Fine not realize that this appellation celebrates the federal government for giving us a holiday when in reality, the federal government created the holiday in reaction to the religious observance of its citizens?
However, my 2015 prize for Christmas political correctness goes to George Mason University in Fairfax County Virginia where Media Research TV host Dan Joseph tested the campus climate by asking students to sign a petition banning the Christmas classic song “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby from radio stations. Not only did many students demonstrate their willingness to sign a petition banning the song as being “racist”, they actually bought into the “Black Lives Matter”-like narrative that the use of the word white, which is used to describe snow, is “insulting to people of color” and “perpetrates the idea that white is naturally good, and that other colors are bad.” Furthermore, there was specific reference to the line “just like the ones [White Christmas’s] I used to know”, as if Bing Crosby was expressly referring to Christmases without black people. Joseph also successfully convinced students to believe that Bing Crosby made statements years later pointing out the bias in his song. The students clearly did not realize that Bing Crosby has been dead for 38 years. While it is unfortunate that these students at George Mason had never heard the song “White Christmas”, nor had any knowledge of Bing Crosby’s amazing voice, the greater travesty is that our society is so ready to assume that a song about white snow is racially divisive. What’s next? Are people going to take umbrage with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and recommend that the song be renamed “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle People”? Or what about “Deck the Halls” famous line “Don we now our gay apparel”? Is this song now going to be perceived as homophobic?
As Christians we need to just say “Bah humbug” to this senseless war on our holiday and take another swig of eggnog. “Fa la la la la, la la la la”.
Share if you regret the “Bah, Humbug!” spirit that afflicted Christmas 2015, just like it did other recent Christmases.