Over the past several decades, the culture war animosities that arise in response to the condemnation of Christmas and the vocal response rushing to the defense of the celebration have become so predictable that these have about taken on the status of traditions in themselves akin to decked out halls, trimmed trees and marathon broadcasts of “It's A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story”. Those realizing that it will probably be futile to expect to eliminate this beloved festival and, more importantly, the worldview that this holiday represents through a direct frontal assault are now starting to insist that the war against Christmas doesn't exist at all.
In one essay titled “Time For Truce On 'War Against Christmas'”, Leslie Handler goes as far as to call this annual Yuletide dispute “fabricated”. She proceeds to equate those outraged to the point of articulated disagreement against this annual campaign to undermine American culture with the perpetrators of “shootings on ball fields with lawmakers or places of worship filled with people praying or bars filled with our youth who perhaps have not yet learned to hate.”
The sort of naiveté thinking that youth in their early twenties likely to be found in a bar have not already figured out how to hate is proof enough why a number rushing to the defense of the Christmas cause think that these attacks against the holiday serve as proof that Western civilization may be closer to the point of collapse than many realize or are willing to admit. The reasoning is little better elsewhere in the column.
Leslie Handler insists that the movement to expunge the most explicitly sectarian examples of Christmas commemoration from government sponsored venues is based upon the separation of church and state which Handler insists the country is built upon. But from this errant soil springs equally errant fruit.
Though it might be part of the jurisprudence imposed under threat of Waco-style law enforcement for failure to comply, the sort of separation of church and state as advocated by Leslie Handler is found nowhere in the First Amendment as enumerated by the Founding Fathers nor imposed upon the states through the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. What the First Amendment says is that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”
What that means is that a non-Christian student cannot be compelled to accept or affirm Christian doctrine against their will under threat of punishment. Nowhere does the Constitution say that the vast majority should be forbidden from articulating their most sincerely held beliefs or that entire aspects of the nation's heritage should be ignored to the point of suppression because a minuscule but highly-organized activist few demand such at the hands of radical secularists or combustible pyrotechnics at the hands of the militant adherents of certain heathen creeds.
In the name of faddish ideologies such as multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion, it is argued that those holding to any number of bizarre notions no matter how far outside the mainstream or even inimical to public order, mental stability and bodily integrity should not only be allowed to have their say publicly. Those within earshot had better not respond with anything but gleeful enthusiastic acceptance if they do not want to face catastrophic consequences such as the loss of employment or the opportunity to advance academically.
Leslie Handler writes in response to a caller of a talk show suggesting that if a parent does not want their children singing “Oh Holy Night” perhaps the child shouldn't be in the school chorus, “Would this woman really want her child singing a religious song honoring a faith other than hers? Would she believe it was OK for her Christian child to sing a Muslim song praising Allah?”
Christian have been forced to do the equivalent of this for quite awhile now. This has been going on for years if not decades.
For example, in Virginia in 2015 and in West Virgina in 2018, students were forced to copy in Arabic the shahada, the ritual proclamation indicating that those that recite the creed have been initiated into the Islamic faith. At least if an atheist whelp reneges on what he sang during a Christmas carol, even among the most die hard of contemporary Christians, the urchin is not viewed as fair game for execution unlike in the eyes of certain Muhammadean sectarians.
Some time ago in Prince George's County, Maryland, pupils studying a unit on ancient Egypt did not simply review the beliefs from the realm of the Pharaohs from the standpoint of “This is what the ancient Egyptians believed, class.” Rather the students composed letters to pagan deities beseeching advice (one might argue that is the essence of prayer) and crafted amulets for the purposes of warding off evil spirits. One must ask would the ACLU let it quietly slide if on a segment on the Middle Ages students would have nonchalantly been allowed to bead their own rosary or paint their own icon?
With so much allowed to take place in the public schools sounding more like something out of the Defense Against The Dark Arts course at Hogwarts rather than the technologically sophisticated curriculum of the twenty-first century public school, it is only natural that Christian parents and students are going to be a little agitated when all manner of heathens, deviants, and subversive foreigners whose primary loyalties lie with the homelands they fled rather than the one lavishing them with an assortment of handouts often denied to those forced to provide these luxuries to newcomers and others refusing to lift a finger are glossed over when the time comes to speak allowed their own truth.
Often the beneficiaries of this public largess are even applauded as superior to those retaining loyalty to the values that made America great in the first place. This sting is made even worse in the cavalcade of diversity when traditionalist, instead of being given their turn in the spotlight that insists no viewpoint is more important than any other, are told to sit down and shut up over alleged atrocities that those alive today had no role in perpetrating.
In the Brave New World in which we find ourselves, Heather has two mommies. Entire classes are often expected to miss recess for an entire month to symbolize solidarity with the Akmed's and Omars of the world during Ramadan. White kids are compelled to feel bad all through the month of February over injustices and that long since been overcome. Female students are now the ones punished over biological males taking leaks trousers down in from of them standing in the little girls' room. These parents ought to be incredulous over claims insisting that somehow the child of the village atheist is irrevocably harmed by lyrics hoping for peace on earth and goodwill to all men.
Leslie Handler in her column admonishes, “Take a moment to listen to someone else. Learning new perspectives can be a good thing.”
Both objective surveys and man on the street comedy interview routines alike prove the disturbing widespread ignorance regarding American customs, institutions, and cultural practices. As such, the education system would doing all children a favor by at least pointing out that there is more to the holiday season than a week off at the end of the year.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. He holds a BS in Political Science/History. Frederick earned a MA in Apologetics & Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary. Frederick holds a Doctor of Practical Theology through the Master's Graduate School Of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. Dr. Meekins earned a Ph.D. in Apologetics through Newburgh Theological Seminary. His books are available in print and electronic formats through Amazon.com. His ministry site, Issachar Bible Church & Apologetics Research Institute, can be found at http://issacharbiblechurch.blogspot.com/. The Twitter page of Dr. Meekins can be found at