There’s really no war on Christmas is there?


By: Robert E. Meyer

During this Christmas season, the Madison, Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation (hereafter referred to as “FFRF“) made another installment in their annual ritual of discovering new ways to appear both boorish and foolish. This year it’s a blasphemous version (by their own reckoning) of the nativity scene at the state Capitol building, in addition to their customary repertoire of juvenile petulance.

This was sort of an “empire strikes back” response to a family values organization which had earlier been allowed to place a traditional nativity scene on Capitol property. In addition, Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker had stoked their ire by insisting that the Wisconsin “holiday tree” will once again be referred to as a Christmas tree, just like it was in the past, and just like the one in Washington D.C. is today.

It should be noted that the religious clauses of the First Amendment and Christmas displays on public property coexisted with little conflict for many years, until a few disgruntled secularists discovered they could get the masses to bow to their selfish whims, if only they complained enough. Tolerance is no longer about tolerating what you don’t like about the other guy, but about forcing them to embrace what they don’t like about you.

If contemporary militant atheists tend to define their position as an “absence of belief in any deity,” why acknowledge the winter solstice, when the solstice itself is linked to pagan supernatural beliefs? Does the FFRF actually have their own message, or is their “message” merely a mission to mock Christianity? Do they have a thoughtful objective, or are they a disgruntled mob trying to legitimize their host of angry voices?

There are many who argue that this whole controversy is so much fuzz over nothing. Some people are so obtuse, apathetic or blind as to deny there is really any assault on the traditional meaning of Christmas. Such folks would probably argue that there is no genuine infringement on religious liberty as long as people are permitted to pray secretly in their bedroom closets, without the knowledge of the state authorities.

I frequently hear their explanations. They think they are providing us a history lesson by telling us that Christ wasn’t really born on December 25th, and that the time of the year surrounding the winter solstice is festooned with pagan superstition and imagery. It’s always good to learn something new and significant isn’t it?

One wonders then, why the FFRF is such an advocate for celebrating the winter solstice? And why is the FFRF so worried about people celebrating public Christmas trees, if they are really just deceived Christians who have appropriated and customized pagan holidays for their own convenience? All the better if they are confused and self-defeating. People are always worried about “hand-wringing” by Christians over the controversy surrounding the Christmas. Yet nobody seems to criticize religion suppression organizations, such as the FFRF for their petty protests and counter demonstrations. How do we account for the imbalance of concern? You tell me and we’ll both know.

If the central theme of Christianity is to turn the other cheek, the parallel theme for the FFRF is never to resist the opportunity for ridicule and mockery. In this fashion, the FFRF has clearly established itself as the anti-theistic counterpart of the gang from Westboro, Kansas. Does the FFRF really work to promote freedom of any kind, or is their objective merely one of suppressing the public remnants of popular religious beliefs? They believe in accentuating the tyranny of the vocal minority.

By even the most optimistic reckoning, atheists represent scarcely more than 15% of the population. Theists of varying faith commitments are an overwhelming majority of the population, and a large part of that group are at least nominal Christians. Yet even in a predominantly Christianized milieu, atheist activism in the public square not only flourishes, but their media stunts draw considerable attention, and even some support and sympathy from the general population.

In considering the assertions above, one can only imagine the intolerance and discrimination that would take place routinely, if the statistical situation were reversed. In true Orwellian tradition, we often discover that people who anoint themselves “enlightened,” are frequently the most arrogant and intolerant segment of society.

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