The Truth: War on Christmas: As reported in USA Today in December of 2005: Last December, a group called Public Advocate for the United States (which claims to defend America's traditional family values) sent some Christmas carolers over to sing in front of the ACLU offices in Washington.
Carrying signs reading "Merry Christmas" and "Please Don't Sue Us!" – they also seem to have carried with them some rather strange imaginings about an assault on Christmas.
To tell the truth, the ACLU is not often serenaded by Christmas carolers. So it was with some excitement that the staff went outside and joined in the singing. They brought with them cookies and warm drinks to share. One staff member, who is an ordained Baptist minister, did a little witnessing about his faith to some astonished proponents of family values.
Fox News did broadcast the event (as a part of its "war against Christmas" campaign). Although the visiting singers were shown, the cameras failed to include any footage showing that everyone had participated in the caroling. Rather than reporting the facts, the anchor preferred the propaganda: "We believe the ACLU heard the message loud and clear, but they don't care." 5.
What about all of the reported claims where the Secular Left is attacking Christmas?
The majority of incidents I have been able to find thus far that are reported to be evidence of this alleged "War on Christmas" by the Secular Left have, in fact, been proven to be hoaxes. I prefer to call them what they are, lies.
- In Saginaw, Michigan it was alleged that Township schools opposed red and green clothes and prohibit singing Christmas songs. The fact is that the official school color is green and that no such policy ever existed. 26
- In Watchung, NJ it was alleged that the city council passed a policy to start calling the Christmas tree a "Mitten Tree" replace all references to Christmas with the word "Holiday." In response Mayor Albert Ellis said the "Tree of Lights" is sponsored by the local rescue squad as a fundraiser. The town has been doing so for 15 years. The town has a holiday display policy negotiated with the two local churches. The policy allows private citizens to erect holiday displays. 26
- In Plano, Texas, the school allegedly told the students they could not wear red and green because they were Christmas colors. The district has responded by saying this is not true and never has been true. The Superintendent has expressed frustration that this story continues to circulate and instructed its attorney to write to Bill O'Reilly, requesting a correction. 26 & 27
- At Glendale-River Hills School District in Wisconsin it was alleged that they prohibited any song close to the Christmas holiday from having any religious "motive or theme," yet they would still allow secular and Hanukkah holiday songs. The district responded by saying this is not true. In fact they do recognize the Christian religious tradition with songs being sung that include "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "I Saw Three Ships." 26
Lying, by omission, is still lying. To intentionally report only half the truth in order to promote false claims is unconscionable, especially from someone who is expected to report the truth as a member of the forth estate. The members of the press have an obligation to report the whole truth. With these blatant attempts at misdirection the agenda becomes clear. This is another attempt at creating a wedge issue designed to separate the Christians from the "liberal left" and manipulate the medium independent voter. Isn't it ironic that these self proclaimed Christians have to bear false witness in order to manipulate the public? After all doesn't their own God order "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
Where is all of this legislation that is being pushed through that allegedly strips Christianity from America as many have claimed? Where are all of the "activist decisions" by the courts that have left religion lying in a pool of its own blood about to expire?
It doesn't exist, these false claims and misdirection are designed to keep America from seeing what is really going on.
[S] ince 1989 … more than 200 special arrangements, protections or exemptions for religious groups or their adherents were tucked into Congressional legislation, covering topics ranging from pensions to immigration to land use. New breaks have also been provided by a host of pivotal court decisions at the state and federal level, and by numerous rule changes in almost every department and agency of the executive branch.
One result is that religious institutions participating in essentially secular business ventures now enjoy financial and other advantages over their secular competitors. And, a greater tax burden falls on ordinary citizens.12
The distinction that the press fails to make over and over is that the ACLU and other groups are trying to hold the government accountable to the First Amendment which prohibits the government from making a law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
There are numerous examples of the ACLU defending Christian Americans and their right to express their faith in the public square.
For example, in 2006 alone:
- The ACLU has helped a New Jersey student's right to sing "Awesome God" in a voluntary after school program. 6
- In Louisiana the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Christian man who was protesting Wal-Mart based on his religious beliefs. Wal-Mart had the man chased away for carrying a sign that read "Christians: Wal-Mart supports Gay Marriage and Gay Lifestyles. Don't Shop there." 6
- The ACLU of Rhode Island filed an appeal in federal court on behalf of an inmate who was barred from preaching during Christian religious services, as he had done for the past seven years under the supervision and support of prison clergy. The prisoner, Wesley Spratt, believes his preaching is a calling from God. Prison officials cited vague and unsubstantiated security reasons for imposing the preaching ban on Mr. Spratt. The ACLU argued that the ban violates the religious freedom guaranteed to Mr. Spratt under federal law. 6
- The list goes on, and on, and on …..
The ACLU lists approximately 80 such cases defending religion in places like the public square and public schools over the last 5 years. The alleged war on Christmas is what generates ratings – the truth, apparently, does not. The media continuously fails to point out the vast number of cases where these groups that are "determined to exterminate religion in the public square" and kill Christmas have expended vast resources to protect the very thing they are being accused of trying to destroy. Traditional Values?
Individuals are free to preach on the street corner, that is their right under the Constitution. They just aren't allowed to use tax payer dollars to fund their preaching. The government is prohibited from endorsing that person, or stopping that person. It is so very simple yet there is a huge percentage of Americans that chose to believe the exact opposite and demand that their government do the same. How patriotic is it to ignore the Constitution and force un-American values on Americans?
The attacks on the courts and several attempts to pass legislation that strip the courts of their Constitutionally defined duties are as un-American as Stalin.
Using the law to deny rights or to silence dissenting political opinion is the warning bell that danger lies ahead. To silence political free speech and dissent is more in line with policies of the Red Coats.
If these anti-democratic actions are allowed to get a foothold, it will be the beginning of the death of America and the birth of another giant theocratic government or dogmatic dictatorship.
The same people that are screaming "Beware of Burning Flags and Marrying Fags." are the exact people that are attempting to yank the Constitution and the Bill of Rights right out from under us all.
The Religious Right has been very affective in their campaign of terror. They are constantly running around and bellowing at the tops of their lungs about the DANGER AMERICANS FACE , the DANGERS AMERICAN CHILDREN FACE , the DANGER MARRIAGE FACES, and on and on. They distract the average person from real issues through fear and erode their rights while they look the other way. Didn't anyone learn from the story of Chicken Little or the Little Boy that Cried Wolf?
There is further irony in the fact that the Religious Right has the highest divorce rate in America.9 How can it be that the righteous, who are waging the war against homosexuals in God's name, have the highest divorce rates? I thought the Gays were destroying marriage?
If the Religious Right are the saviors of Marriage in America, then how is it "90% of divorces among born-again couples occur after they have been 'saved?' 9
Look at how the Religious Right entertains their children with the new computer game "LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces". 29 This game is a perfect example of the hypocrisy that these Religious Right groups preach. They protest and demand new laws to protect their children from games that depict street violence or emulate warfare unless that game promotes their world view to "Conduct physical & spiritual warfare: using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world. " 29 The game takes place in New York City after the rapture. The objectives of the game include creating Christian militias in order to roam the streets of New York City. Simulate Christian conversion of non-believers while killing those who will not convert. After large scale and violent battles players must use prayer to recharge their "soul points" which are drained by all the killing. Doesn't this just sound more like "Grand Theft Auto: The Rapture?"
Then we can mention the sexual misconduct by the conservative religious leaders, both liberal and conservative, but all Christians.
Wake up people. This is like having Michael Jackson telling you how to protect your children from sexual predators!
What's the Point here?
There most certainly is not a war on Christmas, much less religion. There is no great conspiracy by the Secular Left nor is there some hidden "Gay Agenda." These are fabricated lies designed to divide Americans with fear.
Inversely, there is definitely a great and vast conspiracy by the Religious Right to gain control of the United States and its government, to pass laws that reflect their values, and to revoke rights that our Constitution currently protects. I don't have to make this stuff up, they have said so in they own words and in writing making making their thoughts and intentions perfectly clear.
There are those that would argue, "80% of America is Christian; the majority rules." That is also completely and utterly wrong. The United States Constitution was drafted with a specific intent of protecting the minorities from majority rule, which is clearly explained quite eloquently on the United States Senate's website:
For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers successfully separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality … 17
What to do?
We should all be more vigilant in protecting our Constitutional rights. We should all get offended when our tax dollars are used to proselytize or build houses of worship. Religion, like people, should be able to stand on its own two feet and be funded by its believers. If welfare for people or corporations is not good for America, why should we remain silent about welfare for religion? 22 & 23
The only people that can hurt Christianity are the Christian extremists. If you fear that religion is falling in numbers in America like they did in Europe then stop the Religious Right's zealous venture towards theocracy in the United States.
The reason religion has failed in Europe is solely because they have or had state-sponsored and state-funded religion. The Europeans have seen the horrors of that sponsorship and they remember them.
Europeans also greatly resent their tax dollars being used to support a religion that they themselves may not subscribe to. Therefore, they stopped going to church and stopped believing the myth.
So to close:
The preponderance of evidence shows that we need understanding and tolerance to grow, not fear and not war. There is absolutely no way our tiny little minority can harm Christianity or kill Christmas. After all …
- We still like getting presents.
- We still like the days off from work.
- We still enjoy the extra time with family and the big dinners.
- We aren't organized enough to pull it off.
- We don't have the money to pull it off.
- We don't care enough about it to even try to pull it off.
- The majority of my fellow liberals, they are Christians too.
I predict that the harder the Religious Right pushes their agenda to achieve their theocratic goals the harder individuals that are liberal and moderates in this country will push back. America is the land of the free. Remember that one person's religion is another person's mythology; to each his or her own. Sources:
1) Religions in the US – Wikipedia collection from US Census Bureau.
2) Adherents.com – ("membership / adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc")
3) The Telegraph UK – Jedi Knights
4) Media Matters – Bill O'Reilly & The War on Christmas, Religion out of the public square & Secular Progressives.
5) Fictional War on Christmas : USA Today
6) ACLU – The ACLU has numerous examples of where it defends religious liberty.
7) Theocracy Watch – A Religious Right watchdog group.
8) Americans United for the Separation of Church and State – The Religious Right in their own words.
9) Religious Tolerance – Divorce rates are slightly higher for Born Again Christians than Atheists or Agnostics.
10) Statement by the President – Activist Judges
11) Renew America – Calling Someone a liar
12) Rational Radical – Podcast # 65
13) Wedge Document (PDF file), a 1999 Discovery Institute fundraising pamphlet. Cited in Handley P. Evolution or design debate heats up. The Times of Oman , 7 March 2005.
14) Dover Trial – Full text of Judge Jones' ruling, dated December 20, 2005 (PDF File)
15) Killing Policeman was a gift – [http://judicial-inc.biz/Horsley.htm]
16) Refuse & Resist – Anthrax Threat letters sent to 250 Abortion Clinics
17) Majority Rule – US Senate Website
18) McCollum v. Board of Education
19) Eric Rudolf – Christian's raising funds for Abortion Clinic Bomber
20) NY Times – Run, Rudolph, Run June 31, 2003
21) NY Times – Sympathy for bombing suspect may cloud search for evidence – June 2, 2003
22) March, 2004, issue of Church and State – "Faith Czar" Jim Towey announced $ 40 billion dollars was now available to religious charities.
23) NY Times – Lawsuit Challenges Use of Federal Aid for Bible-Based Counseling 09/13/2006
24) Christians against Christmas – http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/Xmas_ch2.htm
25) Puritan & Reformed against Christmas
26) American United – The Religious Right's Phony 'War on Christmas': Mything in Action
27) Plano Independent School District – Public Statement
28) Find Articles – Jerry Falwell Opens Law School To Train 'Radical' Attorneys
29) Left Behind: The Game – PC Game that is based on the left behind series of books.