Jewish World Review Dec. 24, 2001 / 9 Teves, 5762
Santa is appalled
'Tis the season to be dopey. I was hoping the annual assault on Christmas would be shelved this year because the national mood was more sober after 9-11, but no such luck. Grinches are running wild, and it's my job to chase them down and put snow down their backs.
- In Seattle, a King County executive named Ron Sims sent out a memo to county employees asking them not to say "Merry Christmas" and to be "religion neutral." Sims was mocked and scorned, even in that permissive city. The memo was filed under "stunningly foolish."
- The Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association ordered religious ornaments banned for the state "holiday" tree.
- A Frederick County, Md., school employee was prohibited from handing out Christmas cards on a public-school campus.
- Santa Claus was banned by the Kensington, Md., town council because of two complaints that ol' Saint Nick would offend some citizens at a tree-lighting ceremony. Santa showed up anyway, presumably with his lawyer -- an elf named "Swifty."
- Red poinsettias were banned from the Ramsey Court House in St. Paul, Minn., because they offended one person who believes the flowers to be a symbol of Christianity.
- Elementary school principal Sandy Niemiera announced to startled Plainfield, Ill., students that all holiday celebrations would be banned because of "diversity" concerns.
- And in Maine, one school district has banned Christmas trees because some cultures don't believe in them.
Of course, all of these things are completely insane, but they are definitely symptomatic of what America is facing: A well-organized campaign to destroy tradition and replace it with the bland philosophy that nothing is any good unless it includes everybody.
Let's walk through this: Christmas is a federal holiday. That means that the word Christmas is legal in every way and can be used as a greeting or a description, or whatever you want. Christmas exists because of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a man who changed the course of Western civilization. A man who's philosophy became the cornerstone of democratic thinking. All men were created equal in the eyes of Jesus and in the eyes of America's founding fathers.
You don't have to be a Christian to understand the importance of the central theme of Jesus' philosophy -- that a person love G-d, and love his or her neighbor as himself. Now, this might offend some atheists out there, but so what? The arrogance of a person who dismisses the thought of a higher power offends me. But in our free society, thought is protected.
And so is Christmas. The secularists who would destroy this joyous tradition are destructive fascists who seek to control the free flow of expression. Hey, if I work for King County, Wash., you're telling me I can't say Merry Christmas? What is this, Berlin in the '30s? Beijing in 1949? A Stalin fan club convention?
What amazes me is that many Americans ignore this intrusion on our civil rights. The thought police are allowed to issue their memos and orders, and they are getting away with it. Where's the ACLU in all this? They are busy telling school boards they can't post God Bless America signs, but the ACLU is Missing In Action when it comes to some pinhead bureaucrat ordering someone not to distribute Christmas cards. Excuse me, but I believe it is in my right to give any greeting I want, as long as it isn't obscene.
And that's what this anti-Christmas campaign is -- obscene. It is a blight upon our country. It is un-American, and offensive to those of us who cherish liberty. It also mightily tees off Santa Claus. Right now, Kris Kringle really is making his list and checking it twice. And he's gonna find out who's naughty and nice.
Don't mess with Santa, people. He may be a jovial fellow with the "ho, ho, ho" and all. But underneath the white beard and red suit, he's getting real impatient with Americans who would deny him the right to bring happiness to the children of the world. There is a point where political correctness becomes an acid that erodes freedom. We have reached that point with these assaults on
JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author
of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.
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© 2001 Creators Syndicate