As the shopping days dwindle and the ole’ familiar carols continue to play, I’m struck by a continuous topic in some circles this time of year: is there a war on Christmas?
As posted previously amidst these pages, the Intramuralist isn’t into identifying something as war that actually is not. In the past year we’ve seen the rhetorical rants regarding wars on women, teachers, unions, and coal, for example. Truthfully, friends, the war terminology seems most employed when the goal is to drum up passion for like perspective. War is war, and in my semi-humble opinion, it should never be treated as something it is not.
There do exist movements, no less, in which people work to diminish impact and influence. Again, these cannot logically be equated with combat. Therefore, the question this season is not whether there exists military combat on Christmas; the question is whether there exists an intentional movement to diminish the impact and influence of the Christian holiday.
We’ve discussed, past, eye-opening examples…
… such as in 2002, when New York City schools banned nativity scenes from their December decor but allowed for Hanukkah menorahs and Muslim stars and crescents…
… or how each year retailers, such as Sears, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, or The Gap have either avoided or been accused of avoiding the use of the word “Christmas,” opting instead for “holiday” and/or the watered-down “winter.”
The examples continue this current season…
… in Newhall, California, where residents of a senior apartment complex were originally told by building staff that they had to take down their Christmas tree because of the presence of Christ’s name in the phrase, “Christmas tree”…
… in Santa Monica, where a large-scale nativity scene has been publicly erected for the last 60 years, but atheists have long worked to halt any public, religious sentiment. After a year long battle via courts and complaints, the Santa Monica City Council finally voted to prevent any and all religious displays on public property. (Notice the diminished impact.)
… or even overseas… where in Brussels, Belgium, they omitted their popular city Christmas tree exhibit this year. Why? There were concerns that the local Muslim population would find it “offensive.”
Yes, in this sensitive, seemingly uncanny age of correctness, many institutions still choose to address the Christmas controversy (not combat) by paying equal attention to other seasonal holidays. Typically, this means ample consideration of Hanukkah for those who are Jewish and Kwanzaa for those who are African-American. What I find unique about these celebrations is the comparison of the holidays…
Factually speaking, Hanukkah refers to 165 B.C. when Jewish rituals — which had been previously outlawed — where reinstated as the Jewish people managed to drive the Syrian army out of Jerusalem and reclaim their temple. Hanukkah is the celebration of this victory; previous to the late 1800’s, Hanukkah was considered a minor holiday.
Kwanzaa, on the other hand, is factually more of an ethnic as opposed to religious holiday. It was developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way to celebrate and promote the African-American culture.
Christmas, no less, is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, in whom hundreds of prophecies were consequently fulfilled.
In other words, in this uncanny age of correctness — with of course all due respect — when we attempt to pay equal attention to all holidays, we are comparing reclaiming a temple with honor for an ethnic heritage with the birth of the savior of the world.
As said at the onset of this post, I don’t believe there is any so-called ongoing war. I don’t. But it certainly does seem that the excluding of acknowledgement and the equating of holidays is an attempt to diminish the impact that if true, the savior of the world would undoubtedly hold.