Also see: War Against Christmas 2001
VDARE.COM's Annual War Against Christmas Competition just plain up and started itself this year. Examples of anti-Christmas atrocities started coming in as early as August – when a reader reported that Boeing, in its proposed contract with its machinists, was insisting on renaming Christmas holidays as "winter break." (To email Boeing, click here.)
Several readers have informed us that a new front has opened up as far away as Australia, where a Melbourne firm has banned carols at its Christmas party after non-Christian employees complained they were "in-your-face" and day-care centers have cancelled visits by Santa Claus "because they didn't want to offend any minority groups." This is an (unfortunate) example why James Bennett has argued that the English-speaking world is a cultural unity - the "Anglosphere." (For an amazing catalog of All-American atrocities, see our 2000 and 2001 competitions.)
It's funny, of course. Last year, I announced our competition by joking that Santa Claus would soon no longer be allowed to bring up the end of Thanksgiving parades. Within a few days, Claus had indeed been canned – from a tree-lighting ceremony in Maryland.
You can't make this stuff up.
Funny - but also deadly serious.
Tom Fleming, the ferocious editor of Chronicles Magazine, put it best it in his powerful article "Taking the Kwannukah Out Of Christmas" (December 22, 2000), when he denounced "the insulting and Christophobic 'Happy Holiday.'"
That's the point. "Happy Holidays" is Christophobic. It insinuates that the religion that founded America is unfit to be mentioned - even allusively, even though Christianity pervades the English language.
In fact, to (to use a contemporary cuss word) "Happy Holidays" - and the entire War Against Christmas - is offensive.
It's a calculated attack on the majority of Americans.
In addition to which – how could anyone who has seen a child's face at Christmas deprive kindergarteners of a visit from Santa?
I began our ever-popular competition to find the most egregious attempt to abolish Christmas when I was a Senior Editor at Goldberg National Review - before Buckley abandoned immigration reform and started publishing attacks on the villains i.e. John O'Sullivan and myself, who had talked him into advocating it. Subsequently, Goldberg Review happily plunged into the media mainstream with a "Holiday Edition." But last year it backtracked a bit, either because we've been ribbing it or because (as a cynical reader reminded us last year) there's now a war on. Let's see what it does this year.
It has taken some time for people to catch on that the abolition of Christmas is a form of cultural dispossession. But not that much time. Naming the beast was the first step – which is why Tom Fleming's article was so important.
Last year, for the first time, there were signs of popular resistance, for example over the Maryland Santa and in Manitoba. This year, a reader has pointed out that the U.S. Postal Service has permitted a Christmas stamp – balanced by stamps for Hanakkah, Kwanzaa and Eid ("A message of tolerance and peace delivered with just one stamp"). But still, something.
And already in Toronto (winter comes earlier there) an attempt to rename the Christmas Tree the "Holiday Tree" has been unanimously rejected by the City Council, on a motion proposed by Mayor Mel Lastman.
I'm struck, on reading accounts of these rebellions, how often the leaders use phrases like "political correctness gone mad" or "over the top political correctness."
It's a real responsibility, and role, for us political wordsmiths. "How shall they hear without a preacher?" – Romans 10:14.
Of course, this doesn't mean that everyone has gotten the word. Senator Larry Craig's website still carries, top right in in its "Spotlight" section, an unblushing blurb about an Idaho-provided "Pentagon Holiday Tree."
Somehow, it doesn't come as a surprise to find that Senator Craig is a booster of mass immigration.
I have been in the habit of quoting Solzhenitsyn on the National Question, from his great 1970 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
"In recent times it has been fashionable to talk of the leveling of nations, of the disappearance of different races in the melting-pot of contemporary civilization. I do not agree with this opinion, but its discussion remains another question. Here it is merely fitting to say that the disappearance of nations would impoverish us no less than if all men had become alike, with one personality, one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colors and bears within itself a special facet of God's design."
However, another passage from Solzhenitsyn' speech has a special relevance to the War Against Christmas, reflecting his experience of a more explicit totalitarianism and using "literature" as a synonym for our common cultural narrative:
But woe to that nation whose literature is disturbed by the intervention of power. Because that is not just a violation against "freedom of print", it is the closing down of the heart of the nation, a slashing to pieces of its memory. The nation ceases to be mindful of itself, it is deprived of its spiritual unity, and despite a supposedly common language, compatriots suddenly cease to understand one another.
And a very Merry and Blessed Christmas to all our readers.
P.S. Don't forget, if sending Christmas gifts via ... this year, to begin by going in through any book link on VDARE.COM, for example here - thus directing a commission to us, at no expense to you!
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December 03, 2002