CNN’s Carol Costello recently scoffed on-air about the so-called “war on Christmas,” belittling a rival network – and, by extension, any CNN viewers – for taking it seriously.
Maybe she’s right. Maybe there is no “war on Christmas.”
But maybe that’s just because it’s really a much broader fight than that, and Christmas is only one high-profile front.
Certainly, Costello is totally out to lunch if she doesn’t think Christians in this country have had to fight to keep from having the “Christ” taken out of Christmas – and Christmas being taken out of the public square. For years, Christmas displays have been removed from courthouse squares and retailers, and others have tried to phase out “Merry Christmas” in favor of “Happy Holidays.” Goodness knows, it’s better to offend the country’s Christians than anyone else!
The Fort Worth (Tex.) Star-Telegram reported that the attorney for that city’s school district “sent a memo to staff explaining that students should not be allowed to exchange gifts or ‘distribute personal holiday messages’ during class.” Oh, and Santa Claus can’t visit classrooms. And you can’t have little classroom Christmas parties – unless they “serve an appropriate instructional purpose.” Huh?
They’ve also tried to rename Christmas trees – such as in Rhode Island, where Gov. Lincoln Chafee is defiantly calling the Statehouse adornment a “holiday tree.” As if the sprites of the forest had started the tradition.
At the same time, the Obama administration – which hasn’t missed a Muslim holy day, but issued an Earth Day statement on Good Friday and pretty much ignored Easter – was more than happy to lust after a Christmas tree tax this year until a public backlash prevented it. Notice, when it’s about taxes, it’s “Christmas.”
So, yes, it’s been a struggle to keep Christmas in public.
Maybe it’s not a “war on Christmas” because the other side is losing. Hmmm ...
Yet, anti-Christian bias isn’t limited to Christmas. There are many examples to be found – the media’s treatment of Christian candidates, and the education establishment’s unbridled (and unconstitutional) horror that a valedictorian might let the word “God” slip out at gradation, for instance.
One recent phenomenon is the derision of National Football League quarterback Tim Tebow for his prayerful one-knee stance after big plays and games. There’s even a word for it: “Tebowing.” Rival players have openly mocked it after their own big plays without consequence. At the same time, an NFL player was recently fined for mocking another player for having shot himself in the leg. So, a fine for ridiculing a shooting incident, but not for mocking someone bent in Christian prayer.
As sportswriter Jen Floyd Engel noted last month, what if Tebow were a Muslim – and was bowing to Mecca after a touchdown, and another player made fun of it on camera?
“I know what would happen. All hell would break loose,” Engel wrote. “And there would be apologies. Oh, Lord, would there be apologies – by players, by coaches, possibly by ownership with a tiny chance of a statement from NFL commish Roger Goodell.
“You cannot mock Muslim faith, not in this country, not anywhere really.”
She’s right. There is a double standard.
War? Maybe, maybe not. But when they keep coming at you from every angle, you start to wonder.