Announcing VDARE.COM's War Against Christmas 2007 Competition!

WAR AGAINST CHRISTMAS 2007 COMPETITION
[
blog] [ II ] [ III ] [ IV ] [ V ] [ VI ] [ VII ] See also: War Against Christmas 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

[Merry Christmas! Actually, we're not quite ready to post our formal announcement of VDARE.COM's eighth Annual War Against Christmas Competition, which offers prizes for reporting the most outrageous attempt to abolish Christmas, BECAUSE PETER BRIMELOW HASN'T FINISHED WRITING IT UP YET. But here's what he wrote last year—follow the links for the history of this important new American institution and email entries to us at christmas@vdare.com. Don't forget to go in through a VDARE.COM Amazon link (like this) when you buy Christmas gifts—we get a commission at no cost to you. And don't forget to buy gifts at our new VDARE.COM store. Ho Ho!]

The War Against Christmas Is A War On The West

The now-standard liberal response to discussion of the war against Christmas is to deny that any such war exists.

But that denial became harder after Britain's Daily Mail reported on November 1, 2007 that the Institute for Public Policy Research, a leading Labour think tank, was advocating that Christmas be "downgraded." Such a downgrading would be part of an "urgent and upfront campaign" to promote a "multicultural understanding of Britishness." [Christmas should be 'downgraded' to help race relations says Labour think tank, By James Chapman] This downgrading would be accomplished by promoting other holidays at the expense of Christmas: "If we are going to continue as a nation to mark Christmas—and it would be very hard to expunge it from our national life even if we wanted to—then public organizations should mark other religious festivals too," the report said.

Of course, the type of campaign explicitly advocated by the Institute for Public Policy Research has been underway on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now.

  • The Spokane schools recently came under fire for sending out a list of "important dates" that included "Hanukkah, Human Rights Day, winter break, the Islamic holy day Eid al-Adha, first day of winter and Kwanzaa"—but made no mention of Christmas.

According to the district spokesman Terren Roloff, [Email]"it was absolutely an error of omission. In our efforts to be inclusive, we missed the obvious." [School Newsletter Omits Christmas from December 'Important Dates', AP, November 30, 2007]

Funny how that keeps happening.

But, of course, that is the real point of what is mendaciously termed "inclusion"—the displacement of traditional holidays and cultural symbols.

  • This year, Oak Lawn, Illinois schools temporarily replaced school observances of Halloween and Christmas with "Fall Festival" and "Winter Festival" after a Moslem parent demanded inclusion of Moslem observances.

  • And a task force created in Fort Collins, Colorado, after a request was made for a public menorah display recommended that "secular symbols of winter, like snowflakes, penguins and white lights" be displayed instead of Christmas trees and red and green lights.

The Fort Collins task force also recommended that if religious or cultural symbols are displayed, such "symbols must show at least two religious or cultural celebrations." [The Holiday Display Task Force wants the city to move toward non-religious, non-cultural displays Rebecca Boyle, Greeley Tribune News October 29, 2007]

  • And, of course, the Seattle Airport, after temporarily removing Christmas trees last year, decided this year to display a group of trees to "reflect the Pacific Northwest environment and our diverse community, and convey universal values, such as peace and harmony." But there are no Christmas trees.

According to Aviation Director Mark Reis,  [email him] "the very traditional, single, iconic Christmas tree is not one of the areas we will be exploring."[Airport will celebrate winter, but not Christmas | After last year's holiday hubbub, port strips all religious symbols from decor By Kristen Millares Young, October 19, 2007]

Increased public awareness of the war against Christmas means that the multicultural bureaucrats no longer automatically get their way. The Oak Lawn schools decided, after public outcry, to retain Halloween and Christmas celebrations. The Fort Collins City Council bowed to popular pressure and voted 6-1 to keep public displays of Christmas trees and lights. This grass-roots public resistance is certainly encouraging.

However, the Oak Lawn schools also felt obliged to add a Ramadan celebration and the Fort Collins council similarly felt the need to create a multicultural display focused on nine separate winter holidays at a local museum.

They may even have been right to do so: local government should respond to local conditions, and the Oak Lawn school board and the Fort Collins City Council are more familiar with conditions in those communities than any outsider.

But it makes no sense to couple every observance of the holiday observed by 96% of Americans with observances of all the holidays that will now be commemorated in the Fort Collins museum. In fact, as the Institute for Public Policy Research understands, such an approach would effectively downgrade Christmas and draw us closer to the day when traditional notions of American patriotism are replaced by multiculturalist shibboleths.

Those assailing Christmas are, generally speaking, the same people who cheer on the mass immigration that is transforming the West and approve of other aspects of what has been termed "cultural Marxism"—the systematic attempt to demonize the West and discredit Western traditions. But, because of its religious origin, Christmas has an additional enemy, an enemy motivated by a hatred of God as well as a general hatred of the West: the embittered atheist.

Thus, Harper's Magazine in its December issue chose to prominently feature a piece, by David K. Lewis and Philip Kitcher, [Email] arguing that belief in God is inherently evil, and likening a Christian who lives a good life to a neo-Nazi who admires Hitler but does not himself engage in genocide. [And Lead Us Not, (subscriber content)]

But the leading confluence of the war against Christmas and embittered atheism this year is unquestionably Hollywood's decision to observe Christmas by releasing The Golden Compass, a movie based on the first volume of British atheist Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy for children.

Lest there be any doubt what Pullman's objective is, he told the Washington Post in 2001 that "I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief" and the Sydney Morning Herald in 2003 that "My books are about killing God." [The shed where God died By Steve Meacham, December 13, 2003]

Pullman, in fact, is the perfect representative of today's multicultural, post-Christian Britain: contemptuous of the literary tradition in which he writes, filled with hatred for the basis of his civilization, and advocating the displacement of traditional morality by unbridled sexual license and an assortment of PC platitudes.

Pullman has dismissed The Lord of the Rings, the greatest of all fantasy novels and one of the monumental creations of the 20th century, as "fundamentally an infantile work" and a "trivial book." He has described C. S. Lewis' much-loved Chronicles of Narnia as "morally loathsome," and even lobbied against making the Narnia books into a movie, telling the BBC in October 2005 that Lewis' tales were "a peevish blend of racist, misogynistic and reactionary prejudice."

And Pullman, like so many of the angry new atheists, has a deep hatred for the institution that did more to create the West than any other: the Catholic Church. He named the villainous organization against which his heroes battle "The Magisterium"—the name used for the teaching authority of the Catholic Church—and dismisses Tolkien precisely because he was a Catholic. Pullman told MTV on November 1, 2007 that The Lord of the Rings is "trivial" because "For Tolkien, the Catholic, the Church had the answers, the Church was the source of all truth, so 'Lord of the Rings' does not touch those big deep questions." ['His Dark Materials' Writer Starts Fantasy-Book Beef, By Jennifer Vineyard, November 1, 2007]

There was a time Hollywood observed Christmas by giving us "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street". Now instead we get atheist propaganda disguised as children's literature.

Despite his own efforts to prevent Lewis' stories from being filmed, Pullman is quite upset at the Christian critics of his film, describing them as "nitwits." In fact, the "nitwits" are those who embrace the world view of Pullman and the British think tank that wants to "downgrade" Christmas, those who dismiss our past as "reactionary" and "racist" and "misogynistic," and who seek to tear down Christmas and all other traditions rooted in Christianity.

There is, unfortunately, no doubt that such values are now ascendant in Britain, and that such values are gaining currency here.

But nations which embrace such values die, even as Britain is dying today. In 2006, 207,000 Britons emigrated, the highest number since before World War I, when Britons had a vast empire to emigrate to. And a BBC poll in 2006 showed that over half of Britons have considered emigrating in their lifetimes.

A variety of factors have most likely prompted this enormous number to consider leaving Shakespeare's "scepter'd isle." But there can be no doubt that the War Against Christmas, and the broader war against the West of which it is a part, plays a role.

The reader comments to the Daily Mail piece on "downgrading" Christmas contained many comments from those who had left Britain, or were planning to do so.

  • One reader wrote from Birmingham, "I just can't wait to get out of this appalling country…. This sounds like the sort of drivel we had foisted on us 10 years ago in Birmingham when the council tried to replace Christmas with Winterval."

  • A reader residing in China wrote, "A sinking nation with no sense of national pride—glad I left."

Multicultural drivel and a loss of national pride—that is what we have to look forward to if the War Against Christmas, and the concomitant war against the West, succeeds.

Christmas is a beloved and popular festival, with tremendous cultural, historical, and theological significance. It has brought joy to millions and harm to no one.

As we are learning from Britain, a country that cannot summon the will to defend Christmas is unlikely to summon the will to defend much of anything else of value.

That is why the war against Christmas is so important—and why those waging it do not want even to admit it exists.

Tom Piatak (email him) writes from Cleveland, Ohio.