Surrender, Christmas!

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Last Thursday, we had our monthly editorial meeting, and after,
our monthly
happy hour. We all crammed into George’s by the Washington Monument
for
their two-for-one drink special, and as your editors drifted in
and out of
conversations, something on the news caught our eye. It was too
loud to
hear anything, but the caption read: "The War on Christmas."

Hmmm…we’d heard about the War on Terror, the War on Poverty,
the War on Drugs — but the War on Christmas? This was news
to us.

But apparently, this wasn’t new to anyone who watches FOX News.
The
channel has been covering what they are calling "Christmas
Under Siege"
since before Christmas of 2004.

You may be wondering why people are up in arms. Well, as it turns
out,
this conflict has many layers, and many strategies. Some retailers,
particularly Target and Wal-Mart, are telling their employees that
instead
of wishing their customers a Merry Christmas, they must use the
non-denominational, non-offensive phrase, "Happy Holidays."
According to
Christian conservatives, President Bush is also involved in this
crusade
against the merriment; he recently sent out cards with a generic
end-of-the-year message, wishing 1.4 million of his close friends
and
supporters a happy "holiday season."

And on the other side of the battle, at least 1,500 lawyers have
volunteered to sue any town that tries to keep nativity scenes out
of its
holiday displays. And about 8,000 public school teachers stand ready
to
report any principal who removes Silent Night from the choir program,
reports the BBC.

FOX News host John Gibson has even authored a book on the subject,
The War
on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday
is
Worse Than You Thought. FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly recently interviewed
Gibson, and during O’Reilly claimed that the ‘war’ is "all
a part of the
secular progressive agenda to get Christianity and spirituality
and
Judaism out of the public square. Because if you look at what happened
in
Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you
can pass
secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia,
abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things
is
religious-based, usually."

We are not bringing up this so-called holiday battle to choose
sides, or
even dignify it with a response. As far as we’re concerned, if you
want to
say ‘Merry Christmas,’ go for it. If you feel more comfortable,
dear
reader, wishing friends and co-workers a ‘Happy Holiday,’ who are
we to
judge?

What we hope to point out by bringing up this controversy is what
lies at its core — something that is a major theme in all
empires: keeping the nation involved in wars on the periphery and
bread and circuses at home.

"Between 1917 and 1971, the country was transformed from a
simple republic that mostly minded its own business to a grandiose empire with imagined interests and real troops everywhere," write
Bill and Addison in their NY Times bestseller, Empire of Debt.

"In normal places at normal times, people go about their normal
lives earning a living the best they can. But an empire changes
the way people think. The common householder turns away from his
humble house and his spouse and begins to think about the fair world
beyond his kith, kin, and ken. He looks outward and sees how much
better the world could be if he and his fellow citizen could run
it their way. He sees that he must play a greater role in global
affairs…that he must walk on the world stage, not as a bit player,
but as the main character — the hero."

Our
stance on the "War on Christmas" is irrelevant. We just
urge you to not get so distracted by the buzz that the imperial
world-improvers create that you lose sight of what’s really going
on in our world.

 

December
19, 2005

Kate
Incontrera [send
her email
] is managing editor of The Daily Reckoning.

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