The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has taken out an ad in the NY times calling anyone who doesn’t explicitly acknowledge Christmas a cultural fascist:
There is something sick about Friendship Trees, Winter Solstice Concerts, Holiday Parades and Holly Day Festivals. The neutering of Christmas extends to the banishment of Nativity Scenes from the public square, the expulsion of baby Jesus from crÃƒÂ¨ches not otherwise forbidden, the banning of red and green at school functions, the censoring of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Silent NightÃ¢â‚¬Â at municipal concerts, etc.
This is addition to making a list of people, groups and organizations they consider “grinches“. Listees include the usual suspects such as Best Buy for standing by their decision to use “Happy Holidays” as well as the ACLU for interfering with the right of all Christians to use the government and public schools to promote their religious beliefs and specific people who have criticized Walmart’s capitulation to the demands of Christian groups that they explicitly recognize Christmas as special:
ACLU Executive Director Jack Van Valkenburgh, for criticizing Wal-Mart for wishing shoppers a Merry Christmas. Valkenburgh had this to say of the retailer: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a little insensitive personally and I think it would be better if they had a more inclusive message.Ã¢â‚¬Â
However, this is one strange ad. As you can see from the Grinch list, the most common reason for getting on the list is “failure to explicitly endorse Christmas to the exclusion of other celebrations”. One is a “grinch” if they say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. One is a “grinch” if they think “Happy Holidays” is an appropriately inclusive and respectful greeting. One is “grinch” if they think “Merry Christmas” is an decidedly exclusive and disrespectful greeting.
But, the ad is about celebrating diversity. Unless there’s a definition of diversity I’m unaware of, one cannot celebrate diversity while simultaneously throwing a tantrum about not being singled out for special attention. And that’s what groups like the Catholic League are demanding. They want Christmas to not only be excluded from being treated like the other holidays and celebrations that are going on this time of the year, but to be promoted as uniquely special to the point that all public displays of holiday mirth have their religious celebrations name stamped on it.
Don’t think so?
The decorating of trees has nothing to do with the birth of the Christian god’s son. The three wise men did not come from the east dragging a pine tree behind them as they followed the blinking nose of a flying reindeer. They did not present the newborn god-man with a log, a vine and a bottle of wine. There were no elves present and no fat white man named Nicholas either.
Not a single thing most Americans connect with Christmas has it roots in Christian beliefs about the birth of their god. Not a one.
So why should it all be stamped with Christmas? For no other reason than Christmas, thus Christianity, being special and worthy of acknowledge by all Americans to the exclusion of all others. Much in the same manner that we, as Americans, have promoted white history as American history to the exclusion of all other groups.