Merry War on Christmas! This conflict has been dragging on for years, which is not entirely a bad thing, as it has produced a thriving War on Christmas industry, which our economy desperately needs.
The opportunities for outrage this year are slim, but where there’s a rightblogger, there’s a way, whether via imaginary banning of the colors red and green or via Planned Parenthood gift certificates. Cover the children’s ears and continue!
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania recently decided to move its traditional creche from civic to private property because someone complained. The creche was relocated four doors away. This seems only a small inconvenience; “Pa. residents to celebrate despite creche removal,” reported the Lebanon Daily News.
Well, Pa. residents may be celebrating, but William Teach was not. “Can’t have the little liberal darling being offended,” they said. “Have to ruin it for everyone else…” Radio host Dennis Miller got in on it after a caller told him the creche had been “taken down”: “We can have one loser whining about the Magi visiting the kid… I say you hold a candlelight vigil outside that one person who’s whined’s house… make his life look as silly as he’s made this one. All you losers out there…” etc.
A local radio station identified the complainant as one Megan Hartley, and Chicks on the Right reacted in Christian fashion: “Sorry about that whole not-getting-asked-to-the-prom-in-high-school thing. But it seems as though you’re channeling your bitterness well.” A commenter helpfully published Hartley’s address and linked back to Free Republic, where posters offered their assessments of “little miss nuts” (“Getting bad vibes just reading about this freak and they got way worse upon seeing her evil face.” “I bet this one is a cutter… I am wondering if she has an eating disorder too,” etc). Jesus would be proud!
But they don’t even need an actual outrage to be outraged.
Last month there was a rumor — or, as Fox Nation would have it, news — that Heathrow Elementary School in Florida has banned the Christmas colors red and green from its classrooms.
County officials shot that story down, but who cares? Fox updated, but as we wrote this, Gateway Pundit (“Florida School Bans Christmas… And Christmas Colors”) hadn’t. Neither had Blue Collar Philosophy (“since Liberalism is a religion and those who believe in it cannot tolerate the one religion that exposes it, namely, Christianity”), nor Weasel Zippers (“it’s come to this”), etc.
Full Metal Patriot did update: “After receiving a predictable backlash from angry parents, the Seminole County Public Schools district has issued the following
retraction correction… This may have been a case of the school and district doing an abrupt about-face or it may have been an individual teacher taking her authority a bit too far.” Or it may have been bullshit, a possibility Full Metal Patriot did not consider.
For wider distribution, there was outrage at a show at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery with lots of gay art, including a David Wojnarowicz video that included an image of ants crawling on Jesus. It wasn’t a Christmas show, exactly, but it will still be running at Christmas, so Republican legislators John Boehner and Eric Cantor demanded (and got) the Wojnarowicz video pulled.
Pat Buchanan sputtered about “the kind of pictures that used to be on French postcards,” though regrettably he did not link to any antique postcards of ants on Jesus. “… if there are no common standards of decency, there is no moral community, and where there is no moral community, there is no country.” Others wondered why the smarty-pants Wojnarowicz (who died in 1992) didn’t make fun of Mohammed instead, which would be a better way to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.
This sort of thing got some folks in a bitter mood: Jimmy Z posted a song on YouTube called “Santa is a Republican” (“His suit and hat are Red/He listens to Rush Limbaugh in his sled”). The lyrics promise that Democrats won’t get any presents this year because they made Santa “drink green tea and eat granola bread” and Obama taxed him, despite lack of jurisdiction. Santa in this reading runs “a small business,” and is an avid follower of U.S. politics who has Tim Kaine on his dartboard. He also “loves to feast on game he kills hunting with his gun.”
“I don’t give a rat’s butt if you are not a Christian and don’t celebrate or support Christmas,” said radio host Steve Bussey. “The fact is that the overwhelming majority of Americans are and do.” His headline: “It’s CHRISTmas – now sit down & shut the hell up!”
Even when their enemies engaged in Christmas traditions, rightbloggers weren’t happy. Tom Quiner asked, “Is an abortion a proper Christmas present?” He was talking about gift certificates offered by Planned Parenthood of Indiana. The organization actually mentions breast exams and Pap tests, not abortions, but “you CAN use them for abortions,” Quiner explained. “Now Planned Parenthood proudly desecrates Christmas by promoting their services as a Christmas present.”
Actually Planned Parenthood outlets have been selling gift certificates for years (“Planned Parenthood Gift Certificates Could Be Used for Deadly Purposes,” roared Fox News in 2008), but this outrage is, as they say in the biz, an evergreen.
This year at a holiday bazaar Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest offered certificates good for preventative services. The Catholic Anchor of Anchorage, Alaska portrayed them as “gift certificates which can be used toward paying for abortions.” Disabused, the Anchor later retracted, but by then the story had spread to many less fastidious outlets (“Abortion Gift Certificates? Yes, they exist”).
Other Planned Parenthood Christmas items pissed them off, too. “Planned Parenthood promotes holiday abortion spirit with ‘Choice on Earth’ cards and gifts,” lamented Jill Stanek. “PP of North FL is once again selling its holiday cookies, pictured, right, which look more like condoms to me.” Politicaljunkie Mom criticized the PP card design: “You might want to consider having a broken baby bird trampled on the ground and the happy parents celebrating their freedom and choice above their dead child, which would reflect your mission and purpose.” And a Happy New Year!
Rightbloggers did have some good news: Philadelphia changed the name of its annual “Holiday Village” back to “Christmas Village.” John Bennett celebrated this capitulation by the Satanic forces of what he called “Toxic Tolerance”: “If the liberal mayor of Philadelphia can be pressured to change course, just about anyone can,” he said, “The first battle in the War on Christmas has been won by Judeo-Christian culture.”
Also, a Rasmussen poll found that “92% of all [U.S.] Adults celebrate Christmas in their family” and “nearly two-thirds (65%) regard it as a religious holiday.” And “very few Americans are offended when someone wishes them a ‘Merry Christmas,’ but most are more likely to say ‘Happy Holidays’ to someone else rather than risk offending them.”
That sounds sensible enough. Rightbloggers celebrated, as you might expect, by complaining. “How does one celebrate the birth of Christ as a secular holiday, exactly?” scoffed theblogprof. Chicks on the Right wondered why we still have to “placate a few people who are OBVIOUS A$$HOLES.”
Tom Blumer of NewsBusters took the occasion to grouse that despite the clear preference of his fellow countrymen, businesses continued to announce holiday sales rather than Christmas sales — and that the press referred to holiday layoffs instead of the more festive and religiously-appropriate Christmas layoffs.
“Compared to past years,” Blumer judged, “the press doesn’t seem as receptive to using the word ‘Christmas’ in stories about layoffs, but has seemingly moved its Christmas emphasis to the perils of not extending unemployment benefits ad infinitum. He explained: “a Google News search done at about 2:30 p.m. on [Christmas “unemployment benefits”] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets) comes back with 1,570 items, which strikes me as quite a few, especially in comparison to the layoff numbers just noted.” That lamestream media — they hate Christmas, but aren’t above using it to make people feel sorry for the jobless! No wonder Jesus is mad at them.
George Scaggs suggested boycotting Christmas-unfriendly businesses in the holiday spirit. Not sure who to shun? We’ve got you covered!
The American Family Association offers a color-coded “Naughty or Nice” list. “Let Radio Shack, Office Depot and Staples know you are offended by their decision to purposely eliminate ‘Christmas’ from their advertising,” they advise.
You can find more outrages at Defend Christmas, which claims to believe “the media is woefully irresponsible in fanning the flames of controversy,” yet devotes most of its space to stories designed to do just that (“Santa Booted in Favor of Frosty in YMCA Political Correctness Transition”).
There’s also Grinch Alert, which asks you to help them track down “businesses and organizations that shut-out expressions of Christmas in their interactions with the public.” Among those ratted out so far: Sears and K-Mart (“Say Happy holidays while selling Christmas trees”), and Mi Cocina in Southlake, Texas (“Even though the restaurant has put up Christmas decorations,” says the informant, “if you’re an employee and answer the phone, we have been told to say ‘Happy Holidays'”). Others get kudos: “I flew Alaska Airlines on my way back to Dallas after Thanksgiving. When they served me my meal, I was really impressed to see a small card on my meal tray that had a Bible Verse on it.”
But however you and your family choose to celebrate the War on Christmas — whether by complaining, or complaining about complaining, or complaining about complaining about complaining — in the spirit of toxic tolerance, we honor your choice. In the immortal words of Harvey Kurtzman, God help us, every one.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 13, 2010