War Against Christmas 2004 Competition [XX]: The Winner!
got John O`Sullivan to start the
War Against Christmas Competition, aimed at finding
the most outrageous attempt to abolish Christmas, in the
mid-1990s, when he was Editor of National Review.
The last Competition ran in 1997, at which time William
F. Buckley for his own
discreditable reasons had already fired O`Sullivan,
but not yet leaked the cover story that he was
“resigning to write a book.” The War Against
Christmas Competition was promptly dropped,
along with the cause of immigration reform. In
2000, NR itself actually published a “Holiday
That was the year we
re-started the War Against Christmas competition at
the just-launched VDARE.COM.
By an amazing coincidence, 2000 now seems to have been
NR`s Nativity nadir. In 2001, Christmas
reappeared at NR—if only, a VDARE.COM reader
suggested, because Christians were now needed to
fight a war.
Last year, NR`s
Jay Nordlinger actually re-started a War Against
Competition in his column. This year, however, he
“I`m not going to go on
any, or many, can`t-say-`Christmas` tirades this year.
That is my gift to you! But I will simply remind you of
my tirading last year, which culminated in a [rather
weak] piece for NR, `December`s
Those of us who use NR as a Zeitgeist-meter
immediately concluded that the adaptable courtiers who
now run it were tacking again, sensing some powerful
source of disapproval. But in fact, in the end, NR
did run some Christmas stuff, albeit late.
The probable reason: in 2004, the War Against Christmas
went mainstream. (David
Orland tells us from Paris that this was even
The most noticeable
aspect of the War this year was the large number of
mainstream commentators who noticed that there is a War
on, and who are decrying it.
Bill O`Reilly made a big deal about it, and even
Charles Krauthammer wrote about it…I think those of
us who have been writing about this for a while can take
counterarguments have been mixed. Some, like Frank Rich
in a December 19 New York Times
column (attacking both Mel Gibson and those defending
Christmas) argued that this is much ado about nothing,
since Christmas is the same as ever….
Others, such as
Cathy Young of Reason and
Jonah Goldberg of National Review, urged
everyone to “lighten up,” which although seeming at
first glance to be a “plague on both your houses”
argument, actually trivializes Christmas as something no
one should be concerned about. They don`t write many
columns urging people to “lighten up” about things they
actually care about.
Finally some, such
Julian Sanchez at Reason, take a different
tack at trivializing Christmas, by saying our concerns
represent an absurd attempt by a still-overwhelming
majority to claim “persecution.”
just because no one is being fed to the lions doesn`t
meant that what`s going on isn`t worthy of noticing.
And, unless people
push back, Christmas will disappear from the public
sphere—without anyone needing to be fed to any lions.
My attitude began to change
a few years ago when I was working at Liberty
magazine. I was inspecting the letter we were sending
out with our Christmas gift offer. It had an image of a
Thomas Nast Santa but no use of the word
“Christmas.” I unsuccessfully argued that our
subscribers, though overwhelmingly secular would be more
likely offended by the PC phrase “holiday gift” than by
the mention of Christmas. I began to notice the extent
to which some people and organizations go to avoid
saying Christmas. Now, I am mildly offended by the banal
phrase happy holidays.”
Organizational Christophobia was the reason I was
once again tempted, as in 2002, to give the prize to
VDARE.COM is an enthusiastic member of Amazon.com`s
Associates Program. (Remember, if you begin buying
through any VDARE.COM
link to Amazon, we get a commission on anything you
buy – at no cost to you!)
When I saw that Amazon was offering “holiday
graphics” to its participating websites, I wrote
asking for a Christmas one. Unlike in 2002, Amazon was
prepared. It answered instantly:
Thanks for writing to the Amazon.com Associates Program.
As we previously explained to you in December 2002, we
do not have an official statement as to why we do not
offer Christmas graphics in Associates Central. For
your convenience, I have included our e- mail response
from December 2002 below my signature.
Our policy regarding holiday graphics has not changed.
We appreciate your feedback, and please know that it has
been passed on to the appropriate department.
Please note that we will no longer respond to inquiries
regarding this matter.
Thanks for choosing Amazon.com Associates.
Amazon.com Associates Program
So Amazon not only refuses to provide a Christmas
graphic on request, but it also won`t say why not.
Much as I admire this remarkable company, it is hard to
see this arrogant attitude as anything other than
The Christmas Controversy does have a remarkable
similarity to the immigration debate. At the beginning,
we find Americans being stampeded like sheep. For the
ignominious results of this in the case of the
Khristmaskampf, we need only study the President Bush`s
White House website`s page headed
“A Season Of Music and Melody” (what season
could that be?) with the word “Christmas”
almost completely expunged.
Eventually, some sensible sheep realize what`s going on
and try to stop. This is a critical moment. It would
only take a few to turn the whole flock around.
In the immigration debate, it materialized that in among
the sheep were some dogs, consciously herding them
along. The dogs fell on the sensible sheep and tried to
tear them in pieces, before they could have an
This is the situation that we`re in with the War Against
Christmas. There is finally a widespread awareness that
it exists. But as with the immigration debate, I
believe, it will next emerge that the War Against
Christmas is not merely an accident. Its backers really
Next year, they will get nasty.
The winner of the VDARE.COM War Against Christmas 2004
has already experienced this nastiness. He is the
anonymous Midwestern Seventh grader mentioned in Tom
article who was threatened with punishment if he
called his class tree a “Christmas Tree” or
wished anyone “Merry Christmas.”
Subsequently, this boy wrote to us:
been accused of being `way against Jews` and of being a
Nazi by some of my classmates, even some of my friends,
while my sponsor (homeroom teacher) stood by, allowing
it to happen, all because she supposedly wanted to avoid
cannot turn to the administration because I am sure that
I will get this line almost verbatim – `Our school is a
diverse community where we accept and acknowledge all
religion.` Excuse Me? If our school is a diverse
community where we accept all religions, how come I
can`t say anything about Christmas?”
We are withholding this boy`s name for obvious reasons.
But he (or his parents) will get champagne and an
autographed copy of Alien Nation.
In the end, the War Against Christmas will be defeated
by myriads of individual Americans who are prepared on a
personal level to face what his cowardly teacher calls
Peter Brimelow, editor of
VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced
Alien Nation: Common Sense About America`s Immigration
Disaster (Random House –
The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins – 2003)