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Announcing VDARE.COM's War Against Christmas 2004 Competition!
WAR AGAINST CHRISTMAS 2004 COMPETITION
[II] [III] [IV] [V] [VI] [VII] [VIII] [IX] [X] [XI] [XII] [XIII] [XIV] [XV] [XVI] [XVII] [XVIII] [XIX] [XX] - See also: War Against Christmas 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000
VDARE.COM's annual War Against Christmas Competition, in which we offer a prize for the most outrageous attempt to abolish Christmas, is one of our most popular features. Entries now come in spontaneously throughout the year. They have already reached flood proportions. Our four previous competitions (see above) constitute an important record of an extraordinary Kulturkampf against the American majority, which future historians will analyze with the same incomprehension with which they now pore over Prohibition.
As usual, we make three points about the War Against Christmas:
- It is integrally related to the war against the nation-state—against any collective expression of the historic American nation's identity, or indeed the collective identity of every Western nation. The War Against Christmas rages just as fiercely in countries where there actually is an established religion, i.e. no spurious rationale in the form of a Church-state separation dogma.
- It is "insulting and Christophobic"—as Tom Fleming put it in a classic essay in Chronicles. It implies that the religion that founded America is unfit to be mentioned in polite company. In other words, get mad!
- It is unstable. The celebration of Christmas has evolved over the years. It was suppressed in Cromwell's England, but returned. This New Prohibition, too, will pass.
Two distinct, and opposed, themes were apparent in last year's competition.
- Gathering resistance to the Khristmaskampf.
At a grass roots level, enterprising readers complained to companies that had suppressed Christmas in their advertising and sent us the results. At a public level, we were sent several examples of public officials who resisted what they often called "political correctness gone mad."
In a particularly amusing development, Jay Nordlinger at National Review unveiled his own contest, albeit half-heartedly. National Review was where I started the War Against Christmas Competition in the 1990s; it was dropped after the firing of John O'Sullivan, along with the cause of immigration reform, as part of Bill Buckley's quest for establishment respectability in his old age. On the Khristmaskampf, as on immigration reform, NR is conceding that VDARE.COM was right all along…without admitting it, of course. (Ask Jay if he dares do it again.)
The second theme:
- Hysteria from the Christophobes in response to gathering resistance.
One case in point: in January of 2004, the city of Palm Beach decided to abolish all "holiday decoration" in response to a suit from two heroic ladies who wanted to place a Nativity scene alongside a Christmas tree and a menorah.
And this pales before the City of New York, which actually seriously argued, in response to a suit from the Thomas More Law Center, that it could permit menorahs and Stars and Crescents in public schools while banning Nativity scenes—because the birth of Jesus was not an historical event. (TMLC is pursuing the case and has launched a similar one against the Florida town of Bay Harbor Islands.)
This is obviously also happening at a personal level. One 2004 entrant reports:
"A friend of mine at work sends his son to an exclusive private school…His son got into trouble for referring to the decorated tree in the classroom as a 'Christmas tree' rather than a 'holiday tree' and was even accused of 'anti-Semitism' by some of his classmates as a result. (I am happy to report that this kid had read some of Tom Piatak's Christmas essays and was emboldened by them.) "
Other entries in this year's competition include this from Brenda Walker:
- "The holidays are almost upon us. As a second-grade teacher in a public school, that means I start my tightrope walk in about one week. My dilemma is how to teach the concepts of Thanksgiving without offending someone. I don't dare actually write the word 'Christmas.' I might offend someone."— Teachers walk thin tightrope during holidays, by Catherine Cranston, Pioneer Press, November 14, 2004
This is a free country?
The point of our War Against Christmas Competition, of course, is that not mentioning Christmas offends more people.
- Pastor Offered Aid if Parade Suit Pursued: Former U/S. Attorney Cites First Amendment in Float-Barring Flap, by Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News, December 2, 2004.
Also from several readers:
- Boscov's, a Pennsylvania-based department store has banned Christmas cards that mention, well, Christmas. (Contact Boscov's.)
And from Roger Chaillet, a pleasing example of the University of Texas trying to have it both ways:
Roger, one of our most able correspondents, won our 2003 War Against Christmas Competition (alas, I was too distracted to announce this on time) with a number of acerbic entries including this:
"Just thought all of you should know what the Bush White House is up to.
"When I checked the White House's website today, Friday, January 2, 2004, I found this link as well.
"The first link does not mention the birth of Jesus Christ at all. The second link mentions God and Jesus!
"Funny, but when I first looked at the White House site on Thursday, I did not see mention of his Christmas message on the main page! I saw only his radio address. I might be wrong, but I smell revision at work."
A blessed and Merry Christmas to all our readers!
P.S. Save Christmas - email this out!
P.P.S. Don't forget, if sending Christmas gifts via Amazon this year, begin by going in through any book link on VDARE.COM, for example here - thus directing a commission to us, at no expense to you! And thanks to the many readers who have been doing this.
Share Jeff Bezos' wealth!
Peter Brimelow, editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins - 2003)