The War on Christmas: It's Real
By Ed Garrison

Ask anyone if the "mob" exists, and they'll tell you: of course it does. Anybody, that is, except a member, who will staunchly declare that there's no such thing as the Mafia or Cosa Nostra.

It's much the same with the War on Christmas. Liberal secularists (who are in the vast majority of positions of power in the media in the United States) never tire denying that the War on Christmas is a figment of right wingers' imaginations.

Gawker Media, for example, writes that "atheists and liberals have been trying to destroy Christmas and Jesus for many years, according to the profitable misinformation-exploitation industry." Americans United for Separation of Church and State mocks the "Christmas cranks" at the American Family Association for their "annual whine-fest over seasonal greetings." And so on. What they're trying to do, of course, is invert the truth: make it seem as though anyone who complains about the War on Christmas is the real villain for trying to take away non-Christians' right not to celebrate Christmas.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the last 40 years cannot help but see that the War on Christmas is an ongoing phenomenon. Company Christmas parties have all but disappeared and have been replaced by "holiday" parties. While private individuals still sometimes send Christmas cards and give Christmas gifts, just about everything Christmas in the public sphere has been replaced by something "holiday" or perhaps "winter." If you're under 35, you've probably learned to take this for granted. If so, just ask your parents or grandparents. They'll tell you that before 1970 or so, it was rare for anyone to throw a "holiday party" or give a "holiday gift."

When you think about it, "holiday" celebrations are absurd. After all, Independence Day, Columbus Day, and "Sweetest Day" can also be considered "holidays" and have a very different meaning than Christmas-if any. If a day is to be anything more than an opportunity to get off work, it has to have its own special meaning. A generic "holiday" is no holiday at all.

Clearly, then, there is no value to celebrating "the holidays" other than suppressing Christmas. Some claim that doing so somehow honors those who aren't Christian, or for other reasons don't wish to celebrate Christmas. But one rarely finds Muslims, Jews, Baha'is, or others attacking Christmas. Instead, it's corporations, government entities, and the media who seem most intent on ferreting out, and getting rid of, anything that smacks of Christmas. When one considers this, one might conclude that the War on Christmas isn't a religious war, but a cultural one; and that it's being waged not by non-Christians who want to suppress religion, but by powerful elites who want to transform our culture. And in this conclusion, one might be right.

Ed Garrison is Executive Director of the American Association of Future Retirees. He also contributes to the War on Christmas site.

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