“In Australia you can find a parent to complain when the preschool nativity play is ditched in a favour of a musical extolling peace on earth. The tabloid media can always foment mock outrage over a card that says ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’. Someone can be found to whinge when the Christmas carols at the end-of-year concert are of the Jingle Bells genre rather than the Away In A Manger ilk.“And a bigot somewhere will use Christmas to try to ignite resentment against immigrants for their failure to appreciate that ‘Australia is a Christian country’.“From the other side, some zealous atheist, Muslim, Jew or civil libertarian may be goaded into denouncing the encroachment of Christmas into a child-care centre or school.”(Any War Against Christmas veteran will immediately see that although adjective-strewn, the facts are conceded.) But Horin eventually discloses her motive:
“As a Jew in a state school, I dreaded the first First Noel and the first Away In A Manger, for they heralded, not for me the angels singing, but a season of confusion and alienation. Australia then was a less multicultural and more Christian nation, less tolerant of difference. It was an era of veiled anti-Semitism when Christians blamed Jews for the death of Christ, and Jews, at least where I grew up, barely acknowledged that Christ had existed.“Teachers showed no glimmer of sensitivity to the sensibilities of those not in the club. The class nativity play was compulsory, we sang the holy songs, and festooned the room with drawings of the manger, and a baby Jesus I was not supposed to believe in.“Well into adulthood, Christmas re-awakened in me feelings of discomfort, of being an outsider in my own land. But the more diverse and secular Australia became, the more I have learnt to like Christmas…“More and more ‘outsiders’ seem happy to turn Christmas to their own pleasurable purposes so that the day has become a national holiday – and unlike Australia Day or Anzac Day—it’s a day for the extended family.”Of course, Christmas has always been a day for the “extended family”. But historic Australia had to be destroyed before Adele Horin could bring herself to tolerate the festival. (email Horin)On a pleasanter note, the American media is finding some room for measured and intelligent discussions of the issue. For instance YOUR VIEW: A battle in the war against religion, by Kevin Cardin SouthCoastToday, December 19 2008 is a good statement of anti War Against Christmas case. I miss "Merry Christmas," but not for the reasons you think by Kathleen O’Brien NJ.com w:st="on">December 21 2008, albeit preceded with some weasel words distancing her from the War Against Christmas foot soldiers, is a charming celebration of the phrase “Merry Christmas”.And from England. Oliver Cromwell and the original PC brigade, by Ted Wallace, (The First Post, December 21 2008), although again preceded by some weaseling, is a useful refutation of the claim that Puritan disdain for Christmas was a large or enduring part of the tradition brought to the New World.Subjectively, The War Against Christmas offensive has clearly been blunted. This is probably the biggest (perhaps only?) conservative achievement in the Culture War for many years.The price: eternal vigilance. And support for those willing to defy the PC Commissars and their fashion-fearing fellow-travelers.