The War Against Christmas 2010: Denial—And A Developing “Diversity” Rationale

[I] [2] [3]
See also:
War Against Christmas












The 2010 Christmas season brought confirmation that more
and more Americans have decided to

push back

against the attempt to transform Christmas into
and that their resolve is having an impact.


to the American Family Association, the percentage of
retailers with the decency to acknowledge the holy day
to which they owe their good fortune has gone from 20%
to 80% over the last five years. [
`The War on Christmas,` Christmas is winning |For
increasing number of retailers this year, no more `Happy
Advertising Age,
November 22, 2010]

I have also been wished
"Merry Christmas"
while shopping more often than in the recent past, and
friends tell me they`ve seen more signs of Christmas
while shopping, too. Along with the return of
"Merry Christmas"
I`ve also noticed a return of


to shopping areas, marking the revival of a lovely
tradition that had been widespread before the War on
Christmas began but that seemed in danger of
disappearing once the focus shifted from celebrating
Christmas to observing an unnamed

But despite the

optimism of Bill O`Reilly,

this doesn`t mean that the War on Christmas has been
won. It does, however, suggest that the War on Christmas
is no longer being lost—which is significant since the
forces of "


are by now used to getting what they want simply by
invoking those magic words.

Cardozo Law professor

Marci Hamilton

recently opined this that

"The `war on Christmas` rhetoric is in reality a barely
cloaked war on diversity."

Professor Hamilton has it exactly backward: this year
brought fresh confirmation that invoking
and "inclusion"
is a favorite weapon of those seeking to exclude from
all public places the formerly

splendid and multifaceted celebration

of Christmas.

Thus in Philadelphia, the word
was taken down from a sign advertising a

German Christmas Village,

so that the only word remaining was
"Village." The plan was to rename it a
a move defended by Philadelphia Managing

Richard Negrin
him on Twitter
"This is not
about taking Christmas out of the holiday; this is about
being more inclusive, in keeping with what this holiday
is all about."
(This Philadelphia story has a happy
ending: public outcry forced the city to call the
Christmas Village by its proper name).

The notion that what Americans should be celebrating at
this time of year is
is surprisingly widespread among government officials
and the like. I recently received an invitation to a

"Holiday Celebration of Cleveland`s Diversity"

hosted by the City of Cleveland. It promised
diverse dance music"
but made no mention of the

plethora of music

actually inspired by the event celebrated at this time
of year.

It is true, of course, that there are

diverse ways of celebrating Christmas,

but diversity is not what is actually being celebrated
by the overwhelming majority of Americans on December

Perhaps recognizing that invocations of


and "inclusion"

don`t work as well as they once did in suppressing
Christmas, most

liberal commentators

addressing the War on Christmas this year made two
related arguments: 1)

there is no War on Christmas
and consequently 2) any ill will is the result of
thin-skinned Christians eager to take offense at

The December 15 issue of the
Cleveland`s leftist

alternative weekly,

featured one cartoon,

"The City"
decrying "The
Imaginary War on Christmas,"
and another,

"This Modern World"
defending the replacement of
"Merry Christmas"
by "Happy
by arguing that
"generic holiday
greetings are a gesture of basic inclusiveness"

"maybe more to the point—there are two major holidays
coming up—Christmas and New Year`s! Get it?

[ note:

And check out

Cleveland Atheists A Christmas story,


By Maude L. Campbell

, December 22, 2010

Intrigued by finding two instances of

War on Christmas denial

in the same paper, I glanced through the rest of the
issue and found a full page ad inviting readers to join
the Scene "in celebrating our 5
year anniversary Holiday Party,"
an ad for a

"Handmade Holiday Shoppe"

stating that "no
matter what holiday you celebrate you can find all the
handmade goodness you can handle for everyone on your
, and an ad from a local park district
featuring a photograph of what used to be called a
Christmas tree and asking readers to

"Vote for Your Favorite Decorated Holiday Tree!"

The use of "holiday" in each of these ads had nothing to do with conflating
Christmas and New Year`s (which in turn of course was
specifically mentioned by name in the plethora of ads
for parties on December 31.)
"holiday" was
obviously used in each ad
to avoid any
mention of Christmas
War on Christmas denial would be a lot more
convincing if newspapers in the 1950s regularly referred

"Christmas trees"


"decorated holiday trees."

America`s most popular liberal commentator, Jon Stewart,
made a similar argument on
The Daily Show on December 6, in a much-discussed segment titled

"The Gretch Who Saved the War on Christmas"

Stewart mocked Gretchen Carlson of FOX News for

aggressively questioning

why Tulsa renamed its
"Christmas Parade
of Lights"
Parade of Lights."

 He said of

Carlson and her FOX News colleagues

that "the holiday
season wouldn`t feel the same without people going out
of their way to be offended by nothing,"
and the
segment cunningly spliced together animation inspired by
the popular children`s Christmas specials of the 1960s
to suggest that any problems over Christmas have been
caused solely by those


to the War on Christmas.

Actually, it is a big deal whether America celebrates

Christmas or "holiday"
Even apart from its great religious significance,
Christmas has been the principal festival of the world`s
most creative civilization for over a millennium. It has
inspired an unmatched profusion of art and music. The

overwhelming majority

Americans enjoy Christmas, and we have contributed to
the many beautiful traditions surrounding it. Replacing
the celebration of this real holiday with an

ersatz "holiday"

would mark the triumph of the

new religion of multiculturalism

over both Christianity and the authentic traditions of
the American people.

Stewart is also wrong to suggest that there was peace
and amity before people began complaining about the War
on Christmas. What there was at first was

bewildered acquiescence

in an unpopular effort to diminish a popular
celebration. Most people certainly did not want to see

crèches disappear from public squares

or Christmas carols disappear from public schools or
Christmas to become so toxic that even its very mention
was considered controversial. This acquiescence was
rooted in part in fear of offending against the


of Political Correctness.

As more and more

Americans have started to express their displeasure at
the War being waged on Christmas,

that fear has diminished and resistance has become
widespread, leading to that fourfold increase in the
number of


acknowledging Christmas over the last five years.

As heartening as these developments are, there is still
a long way to go. For example, as FOX News has reported,
the Tennessee ACLU marked this Christmas by

sending a letter to public school superintendents i
that state warning that

"We believe . . . that holiday celebrations that focus
primarily on one religious holiday can result in
indoctrination as well as a sense within students who do
not share that religion of being outsiders to the
school." [
cautions TN schools about observing "one religious
holiday",, Chattanooga, December 15, 2010]

The Tennessee ACLU [
is right about one thing: schools are crucial to
propagating a culture. Back when American schools had
Christmas plays of the type featured in

A Charlie Brown Christmas

students learned that

Christmas was an important part of our cultural
Now that schools have
"Winter Break"
and "Holiday
instead, students learn that Christmas is
somehow suspect.

Retailers wishing middle-aged shoppers
"Merry Christmas"
is far less important to the preservation of our culture
than what goes on in our schools—and our schools have
become quite




in multiculturalism over

the last few decades.

The War on Christmas will not be over until Christmas
plays of the type depicted in
A Charlie Brown Christmas are again as widespread and
non-controversial as they once were—until Americans, in
fact, have reclaimed their country.

Tom Piatak

him) writes from Cleveland, Ohio.