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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Phony War

Ah, yes, it’s another Christmas season, and another opportunity for elements of the Cultural Right to start up their fatuous whining about the “War on Christmas.” I did a post on this last year which I won’t repeat now. But I must say that I am ashamed of those of my fellow-Christians–surely a small if noisy minority–who purport to be crushed by the burden of equality; offended by the demands of interfaith respect; victimized by the injustice of state neutrality; and oppressed by the tyranny of the naked public square.When you consider the vast march of martyrs through the centuries who have suffered and died for Christ against the real, physical, limb-rending, heretic-burning, death-dealing power of state discrimination, what weak and faithless successors we are if we pretend the Gospel is threatened by “Happy Holidays” cards or Kwanzaa songs or “winter carnivals.” It’s especially absurd to see some conservative Protestants joining this self-pitying display, given the nurturance they have long enjoyed from America’s liberal and pluralistic traditions. Indeed, those among them whose roots are in the Calvinist Reformed tradition seem to have forgotten that the celebration of Christmas itself was illegal in Calvin’s Geneva, John Knox’s Scotland, and even in Puritan New England, and frowned upon by many Presbyterians until well into the twentieth century. So please, if you truly want to “put Christ back into Christmas,” do that in your homes, your churches, and your hearts. But you are missing the “reason for the season” if you continue this uncharitable and altogether un-Christian agitation for the fool’s gold of special privileges and a martyr’s crown you have not earned.

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