Christmas 2003: A Twelfth Night Roundup

WAR
AGAINST CHRISTMAS 2003 COMPETITION
[I] [II]
[III] [IV]
[V] [VI]
[VII] [VIII]
[IX] – See
also: War Against Christmas

2002,
2001,
2000.

[VDARE.COM note:
January 6th, Twelfth Night, the



Feast of the Epiphany
, is
traditionally the day when Christmas decorations are
taken down and when VDARE.COM likes to announce the
winner of our


competition
to find the
most disgusting attempt to abolish Christmas. But Peter
Brimelow is late


again
, so we post Tom
Piatak, who

opened
our
competition this year.
]

War against Christmas 2003: At the
Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, a 12
foot Christmas tree was

replaced
with two smaller, undecorated
trees—intended to represent "Indiana woods during
winter
"—after Professor

Florence Roisman
complained. In

Glenview, Illinois
, Christmas decorations inside a

fire station
were taken down after one malcontent
spotted them through the window, even though 1000
residents asked the city to let the firemen keep their
Christmas display. The ACLU chased Santa out of the
schools in

Baldwin City, Kansas
, and a teacher in Bethel,
Washington censored the word

"Christmas"
from songs her students were
singing, even though she also had them sing about the
"mighty miracle"
of Hanukkah. Professor Butler
Shaffer

reported
at LewRockwell.Com that a "Holiday Party
at his law school featured a sign reading

"Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah."
When Professor
Shaffer asked about the omission of Christmas from the
sign, he received "an empty stare that might just as
well have come from advocating child abuse or cruelty to
animals."

The good news, though, is that more
people are writing and talking about the War Against
Christmas. As James Fulford has

noted,
the Christmas Counterrevolution is

picking up steam.

This year saw a number of unlikely
defenders emerge on behalf of Christmas, from the
Marxist

Alexander Cockburn
, to

the politically correct "conservatives"
at The
Wall Street Journal
and National Review
(which, sadly, still has a "Holiday Books"
issue). All of these efforts are welcome, because each
shows that more people are becoming aware of the War
against Christmas and each will, in turn, make more
people aware.

My favorite of these defenses came
from the Canadian multiculturalist, Paula Simons,
writing in the Edmonton Journal. Ms. Simons is
not Christian, but she misses religious Christmas
carols, which are being displaced by secular Christmas
songs as well as "ersatz `Xmas` songs, fake Kwanza
songs, as well as

fake Mexican fiesta
numbers"
in Canadian
schools. Simons

rightly scoffs
at the claims made by the
multiculturalists for suppressing Christmas music:
"I`m as big a fan of multiculturalism as you could ever
hope to meet. But trashing great music in favour of
vapid pop tunes isn`t multiculturalism. It`s
anticulturalism."

Of course, anticulturalism is

at the heart
of the War against Christmas, which
merely uses other cultures as an excuse for attacking
Western culture and the Christian faith that has been
its central component. [Cultural
Censorship is Ruining Christmas Carols
, by Paula
Simons, Edmonton Journal, 12/17/2003]

Simons also noted something that
should be obvious to our own teachers—the great
educational value of Christmas music:


"Traditional Christmas carols are beautiful songs. They
combine rich, lyric poetry with melodies of timeless
power. A child who grows up hearing and singing the
likes of God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen or
Silent Night
. . . or the other great world classics
gets a profound musical education. The intricate
harmonies and modalities of real carols don`t just move
our hearts. They train our ears to appreciate more
sophisticated musical forms and our voices to sing in
concert with others."

One of the favorite arguments of
those assailing Christmas is that the Church chose
December 25th as the date for Christmas to supplant
pagan solstice observances, so Christmas is "really"
just a celebration of the winter solstice.

This is
silly, of course, because the celebration
certainly became a celebration of the Birth of Christ, as shown by all those
carols that Ms. Simons loves, not to mention the crèches
that used to appear all over the West from the time

Francis of Assisi erected the first one
up until the
advent of the

ACLU.

But it turns out this argument is
factually flawed, too. In the December issue of
Touchstone
magazine, historian William Tighe

makes a compelling argument
that the Church chose
December 25 as the date of Christmas because of the
ancient Jewish belief that prophets of Israel were
conceived on the same date as they died, and Christians
in Rome had, by the time of Tertullian, calculated the
date of Christ`s death as March 25. Hence Christmas on
December 25. As Tighe writes:


"December 25th as the date of Christ`s birth appears to
owe nothing whatsoever to pagan influences . . . . And
the pagan feast which the Emperor Aurelian instituted on
that date in the year 274 was not only an effort to use
the winter solstice to make a political statement, but
also almost certainly an attempt to give a pagan
significance to a date already of importance to Roman
Christians."

This year, I was asked to write two

Christmas essays, both by

VDARE.COM
and the

American Conservative
.
They were picked up by a
number of internet sites, were mentioned in both the

Washington Times
and the on-line edition of the


Charlotte Observer
, and caused me to be invited
to join a discussion about Christmas on

NPR`s On Point
program.  [Listen
in RealAudio
.]

Predictably, my arguments prompted
some leftists to respond by revealing their own hatred
of Christmas. After I appeared on NPR, one

wrote in station WBUR`s forum
:

Listen
to Bach, it might teach you to feel good without
engaging in genocide. Kill a little pine tree if that
makes you feel better. But don`t put your Technicolor
Santa-dreck on my tax bill, ok?”

(This person apparently had also
never heard of St. Patrick, and blamed Christians for
nearly "annihilating" Celts for "not being
Christian enough."
)

Another wrote at something called
the "Wienerboard" [here
or

here
] that "in no way can any sane person claim
that there is a `seemingly inexhaustible treasury of
beautiful Christmas music.` That is just a sick, sick
thing to say."

Anyone doubting that hate drives
the War Against Christmas need look no further than
statements like these—equating Christmas with genocide
and an appreciation of Christmas music with insanity.

It doesn`t take large numbers of
people holding beliefs like these to have a dramatic
impact on our culture—if no-one pushes back.

But the mere fact that I was asked
to talk about Christmas on NPR shows that we are indeed
making progress. All of the e-mail I received in
response to my essays was positive. And the responses my
appearance generated from NPR listeners—hardly
stereotypical conservatives—confirm this progress. One
wrote in the
WBUR forum,
describing as "strange" the
"self-censorship"
that causes people to eschew "Merry
Christmas"
and noting "Christmas does feel like a
dirty word now . . . I don`t know if it is a good thing
or a bad thing, but some thing does get lost in the push
for multiculturalism."

One of the callers to the show
relayed that, after saying "Happy Holidays" for
several years, he has gone back to saying

"Merry Christmas"
and that the reaction has been
positive. And as more and more Americans come to realize
the true nature of the War against Christmas, I expect
"Merry Christmas" will return.