Also see: War Against Christmas 2001
OK, OK, I know I promised the winner of our 2002 War Against Christmas Competition by Twelfth Night. I`m so late that I can`t even tender my fall-back excuse: Orthodox Christians using the Julian Calendar celebrate Christmas on January 7, as Joseph Rapp pointed out to us:
The world largely ignores us and the media has not launched the same war against us as has been brought against non-Orthodox Christians. I guess that multiculturalists and diversitycrats ignore us or deem us as irrelevant because we do not fit into or serve their ideological views.
Still, being late means I can include this important social document, which Jim Russell submitted as an early entry in our War Against Christmas 2003
"First `Jewsploitation` film to debut at Sundance festival," by Naomi Pfefferman, LA Jewish Journal, January 17, 2003
…in Jonathan Kesselman`s `Jewish exploitation` comedy, `The Hebrew Hammer`…the Hammer (Adam Goldberg), the Orthodox Jewish hero, must battle the evil son of Santa (Andy Dick) to save Chanukah…[Kesselman says] `I asked myself, "What as a Jew really pisses me off?" It hit me when I was walking around a mall in December: I hate Christmastime. There are always all these Christmas decorations and a pathetic little menorah tucked away in a corner.`
Me? I thought about naming myself because of my heroic struggle with Amazon.com`s Associates Program, of which VDARE.COM is an enthusiastic member. (Remember, if you begin buying through any VDARE.COM link to Amazon, we get a commission on anything you buy – at no cost to you!)
All I wanted was a Christmas logo to display on VDARE.COM. All that were available were "Happy Holiday" logos. I asked why no Christmas logo was offered. (Just one! Just as an option!) After a series of exchanges with what appeared to be a computer, I got this:
Thanks for writing to the Associates Program.
We do not have an official statement as to why we do not offer Christmas graphics in Associates Central.
As stated in our previous messages, you may find Holiday graphics to choose from in the Logo & Graphics section of Associates Central.
We are unable to provide any more information than we have already given you, and we have passed your feedback on to the appropriate department. Please be aware that we will not respond to any more inquiries regarding this matter.
As always, please feel free to contact us should you have future questions or comments, and thanks for your continued interest in the Associates Program.
Amazon.com Associates Program
I have a lot of respect for this remarkable company`s marketing. Which makes it even more surprising that it offers no Christmas logo option. (Are there no churches in the Amazon Associates Program? Although churches cringe on Christmas too, as Kerri Jones has noted earlier.)
There`s obviously growing opposition to the anti-Christmas kulturkampf. But no American establishment type seems to have voiced it, in contrast to Canada, where it was even denounced by a Sikh Member of Parliament, Gurmant Grewal, and to Britain, where even the Muslim peer Lord Ahmed described it as "stupid." (However, Izzy Lyman of Homeschooling Revolution did report an Amherst MA Hispanic school board member saying the suspension of high school children for handing out candy canes was an "overreaction.")
Nevertheless, the Establishment feels under pressure. One sign reported by a reader: my friend the Bush hagiographer David Frum, an adroit reader of trends, preemptively praised his hero in National Review Online for having the courage to mention Christmas at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree (while being careful to note his participation in Ramadan and Hanukkah ceremonies). Wow!
Unfortunately for this line of argument, another reader reported, the Bush Christmas card - well, wasn`t:
The official cards from the president and first lady do not mention Christmas. Little about its cover painting of a Franklin Roosevelt-era Steinway piano in the White House`s Grand Foyer, save red draperies and flowers, calls the holiday to mind. One recipient even mistook it, especially given the card`s early arrival, for a Thanksgiving greeting.
("Bush Puts Holy Days Blitz On Schedule," by Jennifer Loven, Associated Press, December 9, 2002.)
We have noted before that National Review is the bellwether (i.e. castrated sheep leading the herd) of the Establishment Right on these matters. This was how a reader saw its performance this year:
National Review Online - which is filled with blurbs for "holiday gifts" and the like today has up Michael Potemra`s glowing review of Norman Podhoretz`s foray into biblical criticism. Much of the review is given over to Podheretz` view that Isaiah did not predict the coming of Christ, a belief of great antiquity in Christianity. In other words, National Review is celebrating Christmas by endorsing Podhoretz`s attack on Christianity. Charming.
Another reader refined the point:
The malice of the NR review, which is in the print edition, can be indicated by the fact that Poddy spends only a couple of pages on messianic prophecy. He briefly mentions that he does not accept Isaiah 9 and the Suffering Servant passages as referring to Jesus. He acknowledges that there is no consensus on what they do refer to and that modern critical scholars do not believe in messianic prophecy in the Old Testament. He is very clear that he is not a scholar and that he depends on critical scholarship for his views. It is not learned and he does not assert that it is…
Not mentioned in NR is Poddy`s description of First Isaiah as an "isolationist," who urged Israel to avoid "entangling alliances," i.e. as a paleo-conservative…No point in confusing NR`s readers.
Talking of entangling alliances, one of our military readers sent us this clip:
EAGLE BASE, TUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — U.S. soldiers stationed here are quick to point out that the large pine tree decorated with lights and holiday ornaments near the center of the base is not a Christmas tree.
"It`s a liberty tree," said Maj. Shawn R. Mell, explaining that an important part of living on this NATO base, which is headquarters to the American component of the international peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, is learning to appreciate the country`s mix of religions, with Muslims the plurality.
"We don`t have a Christmas tree here, because we`re honoring all of those faiths," he said. "You`ve got so many different holidays happening around this time — from Christmas to Ramadan to the Russian Orthodox New Year to our New Year — so we`re honoring that."
"U.S. Troops Get Bosnian Education," by Guy Taylor, Washington Times, December 29, 2002.
Our runner-up must be VDARE.COM friend and contributor David Walsh. He was one of a number of public-spirited readers who emailed Boeing to ask why it insisted on replacing the word "Christmas" with "Winter Break" in its contract with its machinists, as we noted in opening our 2002 contest. David got this back:
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 14:55:17 -0800
To: DavidWwalsh firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: RE: "WINTER BREAK?"
Thank you for your recent communication on Boeing`s use of the term "winter break." We respect your desire to honor your faith and your country, and we consider your concerns important as we do those of every employee in the worldwide Boeing organization.
The winter break is a time Boeing sets aside for renewal at the end of the year and to honor the myriad collection of holidays and holy days celebrated by our diverse employee workforce around the world. We respect your freedom to celebrate this time in a manner of your own personal choosing, just as we respect that freedom for all Boeing employees.
- Boeing Webmaster
The beauty, or horror, of this reply is that it makes clear the integral connection between the War Against Christmas and the Abolishing America – two favorite VDARE.COM themes. Precisely because this would-be post-American corporation wishes to be thought of as multinational - a sophisticated citizen of the world - it feels the need to attack the central religious tradition of the nation that gave it birth.
Ironically, as another friend and VDARE.COM contributor Michael Monastyrskyj points out, some foreign non-Christian countries are un-neurotically adopting Christmas anyway. ("Asia Adopts Christmas," by Robert Marquand, Christian Science Monitor, December 23, 2002.)
The winner of our 2002 War Against Christmas Competition: Jerry Cline, who wrote tersely:
Handel`s "Messiah" was cancelled by Christophobic fascists in Columbus, OH. To hell with these goose-steppers. They should have performed it anyway!!!
This was the story that had aroused his righteous wrath:
The angelic voices turned bitter and dejected after last night`s Winter Concert at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School. "I just feel raped of four years of dedication to this group,`` said Zach Glenn, a senior member of the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Singers, an elite choral group of about 20 students.
The beauty of this story is that it makes clear the integral connection between the War Against Christmas and the murderous onslaught on Western art and culture. This is indeed, as Solzhenitisyn said in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech that I cited in launching this year`s competition, "the closing down of the heart of the nation."
To endorse Jerry Cline`s words, to hell with them all.
To calm down, I recommend the great aria with which Handel opened the third and last part of his masterpiece:
January 25, 2003