WAR AGAINST CHRISTMAS 2003 COMPETITION [I] [II] [III] [IV] [V] [VI] [VIII] [IX] [X] - See also: War Against Christmas 2002, 2001, 2000.
Most countries, although they may have a tradition of religious liberty, don't have the "Separation of Church and State" that has become almost a secular religion (or anti-religion) in the United States.
Frank O'Donnell reports in today's Scotsman that, when an Edinburgh hospital has returned a gift of 150 Christmas CDs intended to cheer up sick children in the hospital, one man spoke up to denounce it "as the latest attempt to de-Christianise [U.K. orthography] Christmas." (Christmas CD banned for mentioning Jesus, December 22, 2003):
"'If somebody doesn't want to listen to this, they don't have to. This is political correctness gone mad,' he said. 'It is going too far and it is going to be counterproductive.
"'This is Christmas time and the overwhelming majority of the people in this country are Christians. If people want to celebrate then they should have the right, as should minority groups. But if the freedom is only one-sided, then the majority will be offended.'"Would you like to know who said this?
Bashir Maan, a prominent Muslim leader.
Few Scots Presbyterian ministers would be likely to speak up and be quoted like this, for fear of Britain's Race Relations commissars.
(We noted last year that it was the British Muslim peer, Lord Ahmed, who called the British Red Cross's ban on Christmas displays in charity shops "stupid.")
It's important to note that Scotland does not have a First Amendment, the excuse always used for suppression of public expressions of Christian faith in the U.S. In fact, Scotland actually does have (aargh!) an established, national Church of Scotland. But of course, Scots can belong to any religion they like. The most notable effect of having an established church is that taxpayer support can go to any denominational school, i.e., it makes public policy more flexible.
As we said a few days ago, the War Against Christmas is not motivated by secularism. It's motivated by Christophobia – and, ultimately, by hatred of the national culture.
Refreshingly, Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell, the head of Scotland's quasi-independent legislature, has reacted to the CD by saying publicly that publicly-funded organizations should not be so silly:
"'There have been a number of examples over the last month where public bodies have tried to separate the link between Christianity and Christmas.
"'Trying to ignore the core message of the Christmas celebrations is political correctness gone mad.
"'In Scotland we should respect all faiths and cultures. But this is the main Christian celebration and we should be able to talk about Christianity and its meaning at this time of year.'"Part of the reason McConnell is saying this is that he's been "inundated" with letters protesting this and other incidents of multiculturalism-inspired Christophobia in modern Scotland.
It turns out that protests against this kind of thing work.
That's why it's important to keep protesting.