In the latest instance of decrying the purported “war” on Christmas, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly claimed that “it’s all part of the secular progressive agenda … to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square.” He then added: “[B]ecause if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious-based, usually.” O’Reilly’s comments came during a November 18 discussion on his television show, The O’Reilly Factor, with guest and fellow Fox News host John Gibson about “which American stores are using ‘Christmas’ in advertising this Christmas season and which are not.” Gibson is the author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought (Sentinel, October 2005).
Of course nobody is trying to ban Christmas. Anywhere. Ever. What’s making the Religious Right say they feel attacked is the idea of inclusivity. Theirs is the only religion. Therefore if they are lumped in with other religions–as in “Happy Holidays”–they are being attacked. Since they are the only real religion, to include those other nonreligious holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanza is just atheism wrapped in liberal tissue paper.
The “defense” of Christmas has its roots in the John Birch Society in the late 1950s. It is a perfect cause for the Religious Right who love to mix their brand of pseudoChristianity with liberal doses of hate. Concerned Women for America (CWFA) spokesperson Robert Knight appeared on CNN and said, “You know, when the Nazis moved into Austria in 1936 they immediately removed Christmas from the schools… I think that ought to disturb people that we’re moving towards that kind of attitude in this country.” If you say “Happy Holidays” you are a Nazi! Really!
Someone commenting on the blog Talk2Action posted this photo:
which I find to be dripping with hate. Merry Christmas indeed.
Interestingly, when Bush was ordering his over 1 million Christmas cards he had a rare flash of insight that he presides over not just rich Republican Right Wing Christians, but everyone else also. So he had the sentiment “Happy Hollidays” put on his card. This caused a firestorm of protest from the Religious Right. Inclusiveness is not an option even for the president.
Fundamentalist bullying can get so trivial and petty sometimes I wonder what they will not bully someone over.