Written By: Anton Sawyer
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I'm not sure that had it not been for the Covid-19 outbreak of 2020, who would have received the blame for this year's annual "War On Christmas Jubilee." Thankfully, in 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped up to the plate.
With warnings of safety and trying to keep the outbreaks to a minimum before widespread distribution of the various vaccines available, Dr. Fauci has been accused of wanting to "cancel Christmas." "I don't want to do that," he said. "I want people to be more careful. I want them to limit traveling to the extent possible."
Though Fauci may have been where the fingers were pointing this year, I can promise you with every ounce of my being that someone would have been thrust into the role of the Grinch, and would have been the target for the deflection that can only come about through self-victimization.
Since man began creating their Gods, there has always been one group or another that has tried to increase the perception of being a victim to some other religious or ideological group, in order to allow some form of retaliation. Because of the breadth of information on the subject, I am going to limit the scope of this article to the industrial/modern age.
So let's turn back the hands of time almost a century ago ...
Henry Ford is the one who really kicked off the "War on Christmas" in the modern sense. During the 1920s, in the publications of his newsweekly, Ford wrote, “Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone's Birth. People sometimes ask why 3,000,000 Jews can control the affairs of 100,000,000 Americans. In the same way that ten Jewish students can abolish the mention of Christmas and Easter out of schools containing 3,000 Christian pupils.” It got repeated and spread throughout the United States. In his nation-wide spread, the one thing that seemed to not be of importance was in the fact that the section this came from was called "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem." It was one of many hate-filled pieces of diatribe that Ford included in a number of his writings.
And with that, we were off to the races!
This initial outburst is the perfect example of how self-victimization works. You first have to find a foundation that is steeped in some kind of moral correctness that is shared by a large population of any given area (in this case, it was the celebration of the birth of the Lord and Savior to mankind). You have to find some kind of flaw that exposes something that happened in the past (this same example would be the persecution of Jesus by the Jews, and how this has carried now to preset day). Then tie it to something that has happened within recent memory/history (various legal challenges that further defined the Separation of Chruch and State clause in the US Constitution). And make sure a large enough group of people hear it (as to allow the law of averages to settle in).
Voila! You have a controversy!
Looking into the past, it seemed that by the mid-1980s, much of the kerfuffle over the "War On Christmas" had died down.
Two landmark Supreme Court Cases earlier in that decade—1983 with Marsh v. Chambers (6-3), and 1984 with Lynch v. Donnelly (5-4) respectively—seemed to put things to rest. In both cases, it was decided to allow specific government entities the right to have certain religious displays during Christmas. In both of his majority opinions, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger said the Court recast the argument in this way: “The narrow question is whether there is a secular purpose for [the city's] display.” The court found the secular purpose within tradition and context, likening the display to the paid chaplaincies of the U.S. Congress. After this, the war died down for a couple of decades. But when it returned, it did so with a vengeance.
The most recent iteration of the clash began by former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
On December 7th, 2004, The O'Reilly Factor first aired a segment titled “Christmas Under Siege.” He was quoted as saying, “All over the country, Christmas is taking flak. In Denver this past weekend, no religious floats were permitted in the holiday parade there. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the ‘holiday tree,’ and no Christian Christmas symbols are allowed in the public schools. Federated Department Stores—that’s Macy’s—have done away with the Christmas greeting ‘Merry Christmas.’” From that year on, there has always been someone or something that has gotten blamed for trying to cancel or destroy, Christmas.
2006 was also considered a watershed year in the movement. Conservative author John Gibson released the book "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought" and a Chicago Tribune poll showed that 68% of respondents affirmed their belief in a War on Christmas.
Other years and events of note over the next few years were the Home Depot controversy of 2008, and the Trump campaign of 2015. The 2008 incident involved the group American Family Association heavily criticizing Home Depot for using terms such as "holiday" and "Hanukkah" on their website, but avoiding the term "Christmas."The 2015 incident occurred when on November 5th, 2015 a video on Facebook by evangelist Joshua Feuerstein accused Starbucks of "hating Jesus" by removing Christmas-themed imagery on their cups. Trump jumped onto the sentiment and publicly agreed that Starbucks should be boycotted, and said "If I become president, we're all going to be saying 'Merry Christmas' again."
A flood of videos between Thanksgiving and the New Year fill YouTube and other media outlets showing how small examples of inclusivity are used as fodder for stream-of-unconscious verbal effluvia. That a lack of Jesus portraits, or no mega-signs explicitly screaming MERRY CHRISTMAS at people within the first five feet of them stepping into a business of some kind, shows that the ownership of the company wants to kill God.
Do I think in the hyper-sensitive world we live in that the Christian ideals of Christmas are underrepresented? Personally, I do. I think that if we want to be an inclusive nation, the numbers don't lie. A majority of people who live in this country do identify as belonging to a Christ-based faith. You can't have that many people be of a particular belief system, and then keep them at bay when it comes to Holidays that identify with everyone. In all things American, it seems this is one that needs a bit more finesse than we usually attend to something with.
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