Our 13th annual War On Christmas competition is actually already underway—readers send entries all year—but here’s the formal announcement:
We will give an inscribed copy of Steve Sailer's historic book AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE" and a 2011 VDARE.COM anthology (more details coming!) to whoever reports the most outrageous attempt to abolish Christmas in 2010. Email entries to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I got my start at VDARE.com by winning our Christmas competition, as I described when I announced the 2009 Christmas competition in an article headed War On Christmas Competition Commences—We Didn't Start The Fire (but We'll Put It Out). (It’s a VDARE.com tradition and we think we have the best archive of War On Christmas atrocities—see the links at the top of the page.)
I’d like to focus on something a little different this year: War On Christmas Denial.
That is the states of affairs where you’re not only not allowed to say Merry Christmas, you’re not allowed to complain either. Complaining would be what people infuriatingly call the “Conservative War On Christmas” (7,430 citations on Google as I write this).
Of course, it’s not our War On Christmas, it’s their war. We’re just fighting back.
Among people who deny the existence of the War On Christmas, there’s not always agreement about what to call it. Wikipedia, trying for neutrality, calls it the “Christmas Controversy.” (As of December 13, 2011, this entry cites VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow as one of the originators of the War on Christmas concept; another entry gives him precedence. But you never know with Wikipedia!)
The Anti-Defamation League [Email them] refers to it delicately as the “December Dilemma.” RationalWiki, a group of more-than-usually-obnoxious atheists, calls it the “War On Christmas” right enough—but it goes on to quote horror writer H. P. Lovecraft’s story The Festival to the effect that “It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind”. It concludes:
“The so-called ‘War on Xmas’ is a right wing demagogic neologism referring to secular progressives' attempts to keep the December solstice holiday shopping season culturally inclusive.”
Under the heading of “So what's a war without war profiteers”, the RationalWiki guys accuse the American Family Association of profiteering off the War On Christmas because of its Naughty or Nice Christmas List of retailers that “avoid, ban, or use the term ‘Christmas’ in their advertising.” [War on Christmas: Conservative group gives its 2011 list of naughty and nice retailers (poll), By Shandra Martinez, The Grand Rapids Press, December 12, 2011]
But in spite of the Denialist propaganda, public acknowledgement of and resistance to the War On Christmas has entered the mainstream. Fox’s John Gibson got a book out of it, with the title The War On Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.
For example, when Pope Benedict spoke out against the suppression of Nativity Scenes in a speech at Westminster Hall in 2010, Fox News blogger Greg Burke pointed out that he was hardly likely to be getting the idea from Bill O’Reilly.
In spite of this, a Google news search for "war on christmas" OR "war against christmas" comes up with mostly Denialism, combined, as in the Lovecraftian rationalist wiki, with attempts to justify the war on Christmas.
Jon Stewart Lobs A ‘War On Christmas’ Bomb Back At Bill O’Reilly | TPMMuckraker, December 9, 2011?
Bill O'Reilly, Jon Stewart Feud Over War On Christmas, Neon Tommy, December10, 2011?
An honorable exception to this Denialist trend: War on Christmas | Fanatics trying to take a peace out of this celebration, by Michael Coren, Toronto Sun, December 9, 2011. (See his December 12 Sun TV interview on immigration with Peter Brimelow here.)
I have friends who are conscientious objectors in the war on Christmas. They don’t celebrate the birth of Christ, but they’re not so neurotic that they will actively fight against it.
Then there are people like me, who joined the resistance years ago, and carry out combat actions behind enemy lines.
But I’ve hardly ever met any members of the occupation forces, those people who hate the season and want to expunge it from our calendar.
Yet while I’ve not seen the soldiers, I’ve seen their destructive work.
So have we at VDARE.com. And I would like to see, not only egregious examples of the War On Christmas, but also any egregious examples of the War On Christmas denial.
There’s been considerable writing about the modern origins of War on Christmas resistance. As noted above, Peter Brimelow deserves some of the credit for starting a War Against Christmas contest at National Review in the 90’s—before he and John O’Sullivan were purged and NR’s management backed off. (I say some of the credit, but Max Blumenthal of the Daily Beast thinks of it as some of the blame.)
The RationalWiki guys, following the work of Michelle Goldberg in Salon, trace it back to a John Birch Society pamphlet from 1959. And William F. Buckley (!!!) editorialized against the New York City School Board's banning of religious symbols at Christmas [Krismas, PDF] on November 26, 1955. (Now, of course, the Board permits Jewish and Muslim symbols while banning Christian ones).
Every year, some journalist who hasn’t been paying attention is surprised to find that the Nazis were major fighters against Christmas. This year it’s Mollie Ziegler at GetReligion.org whose post Hitler and the War on Christmas tells the story for those who haven’t read it here on VDARE.com, starting in 2001, when Tom Piatak quoted Father Gereon Goldmann’s story of his experiences with the Nazis’ non-Christian Julfest.
However, the war against Christmas goes back farther than that. In G. K. Chesterton’s story The Shop Of Ghosts, (Published 1909) Chesterton dreams of entering a small toy store and seeing Santa Claus (“Father Christmas”) extremely old and apparently dying.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) comes in and wonders why the old man hasn’t died yet—“you were dying in my time," he says. In comes Sir Richard Steele, (1672-1729) who says “the man was dying when I wrote about Sir Roger de Coverley and his Christmas Day."
Ben Jonson, 1572-1637 feels the same way, and then, Chesterton writes:
“And I also thought I heard a green-clad man, like Robin Hood, say in some mixed Norman French, ‘But I saw the man dying.’
‘I have felt like this a long time,’ said Father Christmas, in his feeble way again.
Mr. Charles Dickens suddenly leant across to him.
‘Since when?’ he asked. ‘Since you were born?’
‘Yes,’ said the old man, and sank shaking into a chair. ‘I have been always dying.’
Mr. Dickens took off his hat with a flourish like a man calling a mob to rise.
‘I understand it now,’ he cried, ‘you will never die.’ ”
But we need to continue the fight.
Please send your entries in VDARE.com’s War Against Christmas competition to Witan@vdare.com