Christmas is still safe

Salon has a great piece on how there is no left-wing war on Christmas. This “OMG the blue staters want to ban Christmas” tripe was idiotic last year, and it’s back with a vengeance this year.

Honestly, all this fuss over things like “Happy Holidays,” an expression designed to avoid offending people? Remember, in most cases a store clerk has no way of knowing your religion ahead of time. If you happen to be buying a wreath, a stand-up Santa, a pair of decorated red-and-green stockings and a nativity set, then it’s probably a fair guess that you’re celebrating Christmas, but if you’re buying an Xbox, how are they supposed to know?

(I’m also rather partial to the descriptions of the ACLU defending Christians’ religious freedoms! That ought to make some people question their assumptions.)

Get a grip, people! Christmas is not in any danger, and hysterical whining and knee-jerk boycotts aren’t going to accomplish anything except making you look like a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorist.

17 thoughts on “Christmas is still safe

  1. Daniel

    Of course, the crazy crazies will say that the ACLU is only defending a few token Christians so that people will believe they aren’t out to get Christians.

    No, really, I’ve engaged in this debate in the past and pointed to cases where the ACLU defended Christians, and that was their actual reply.

  2. Chris Arndt

    The fact that they have defended Christians and attacked Christians only indicates that there is very little in the way of a consistent sociopolitical philosophy in and of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    But the ACLU has also defended NAMBLA. Even the ACLU’s role in the Civil Rights era work around MLK’s time does not redeem that, and frankly the ACLU taking any case defending a cause I believe in or an individual that I like doesn’t change my ideas and notions surrounding the NAMBLA-defenders.

    So why is it not a credible notion that the ACLU would defend a token case to mask an actual goal?

  3. Daniel

    The fact that the ACLU has defended and attacked Christians indicates that it has no sociopolitical philosophy regarding Christians per se.

    The ACLU’s consistent philosophy centers on supporting civil rights outlined in the Bill of Rights and further Constitutional Amendments, given the separation-of-church-and-state interpretation of the 1st Amendment. [edit: typo corrected]

    This necessarily makes the ACLU an advocate for Christians when legal action impinges on the civil rights of Christians, and an opponent when legal action impinges on the civil rights of non-Christians by favoring Christians.

    The notion that the ACLU would defend a token case to mask its true intentions smacks of paranoia, given the transparency of the agency’s political alignment. The ACLU’s agenda is to advance socially liberal causes, and they’ve made no effort to hide it, nor could they hope to gain by attempting to do so.

  4. Chris Arndt

    I’d sooner claim that the ACLU chooses its cases based on reasons known only to them. I do not hold anytihng past them, but if NAMBLA (for example) is a cause logically and normally associated with mainstream social liberalism, I want no part in it.

    The thing is, if something is impinging on the civil rights of anyone, be they Christian or not, there is no guaruntee that the ACLU will defend your civil rights. I’ve done my own limited research about it, although I admit to disproportionately loving a book by F. LaGard Smith on the subject.

  5. Kelson Post author

    Ah, guilt by association. Such an enlightened point of view. If you want to know the ACLU’s motives, why not read their own statements about NAMBLA?

    In representing NAMBLA, the ACLU does not advocate sexual relationships between adults and children. What we do advocate is robust freedom of speech. This lawsuit strikes at the heart of freedom of speech. The defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people find repulsive. (emphasis added)

    Pleasant, noncontroversial speech doesn’t need protection. And even scum deserves a fair trial. The last thing you want is to have laws or legal precedent in place that are intended to prevent something horrific, but turn out to be broad enough that they infringe on something important.

    A rather bland example would be simple-minded profanity filters. A month or two ago, there was a thread on the Comic Bloc Forums about a multiverse treatment written for DC by Michael Moorcock. People couldn’t use the author’s name, because it would get blocked by the filters.

    Back to the ACLU and NAMBLA, you can follow through to their press release on the case in question:

    The case is based on a shocking murder. But the lawsuit says the crime is the responsibility not of those who committed the murder, but of someone who posted vile material on the Internet. The principle is as simple as it is central to true freedom of speech: those who do wrong are responsible for what they do; those who speak about it are not. (emphasis added)

    Hmm, their defense is based on free speech and personal responsibility. Personal responsibility…where have I heard that one before?

    Think of it this way: the ACLU defending NAMBLA’s right to publish is like the NRA opposing restrictions on assault weapons—apalling on the surface, but in keeping with basic principles that people are entitled to express themselves or to possess weapons.

  6. Daniel

    According to the ACLU’s own FAQ, the cause they were advocating in that case was not child molestation but free speech. I will believe that the ACLU’s intention was to establish precedent for protecting the principle of free speech, and not to serve the pedophile community’s paraphiliac interests, until the ACLU enters courtrooms to defend pedophiles against charges of child molestation and/or statutory rape on the grounds that they are entitled to engage in such activities.

    As to the guarantee that the ACLU will defend your civil rights? The likelihood they’ll defend you depends on whether or not they agree your civil rights are being infringed, and that, again, is a matter of political bias.

    For example, Christianity states that the Christian God is the only true God. Some Christians actually believe that if the government treats all religions as equal, it is directly contradicting this belief and therefore attacking Christianity (nevermind that almost every religion states that its own deities and doctrines are the only valid ones, so an egalitarian approach to all religions by the government does no more harm to Christians than to anyone else). Those Christians would say that any government action that fails to advance Christian interests is an attack on their 1st Amendment rights. [edit: typo corrected]

    The ACLU would disagree, citing the 1st Amendment as the basis for the government actions in question.

    Some Christians believe that the establishment clause is intended to prevent any one sect of Christianity from dominating other sects. The ACLU would argue that the establishment clause is intended to prevent the government from granting any small degree of primacy to any broad category of religion as well as to any particular sect.

    Based on that difference of opinion alone, there will be countless trials in which certain Christians who feel their rights are under attack will receive no help from the ACLU.

    On the other hand, in 2002, the ACLU filed a suit against the Massachussetts Bay Transportation Authority for refusing to sell advertising space to a church because it disagreed with the church’s beliefs. If a government agency allows private entities to purchase advertising space, then it can’t reject Christian advertisements while maintaining separation of church and state.

    It’s difficult to believe a case like this is a token, because it not only benefits the particular Boston church in question, but also sets a legal precedent, which would set back any secret anti-Christian agenda indefinitely.

  7. Kelson Post author

    Why do you keep referring to the 1st amendment as the 2nd? The first time I figured it was a typo.

    1st Amendment: freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly.
    2nd Amendment: right to bear arms.

  8. Chris Arndt

    Back to the issue at hand, I honestly don’t believe that there’s a conspiracy-like “War on Christmas” and never had. The thing is… a refutation that the Left is attacking Christmas from Salon dot com is an article by Michael Jackson saying that NAMBLA is okay. It’s not like something from the Weekly Standard or National Review defending the left, but, whatever. It’s got more weight if it’s a righty defending the left than Salon saying “no! no! the Left is doing nothing wrong!”

    It’d be a coincidence that Salon is being straightforward and the writer’s bias is not what I would normally suspect it to be. It could be perfectly innocous and it likely is. It’s just like my buddy Josh Elder defending the Catholic church! He’s a Catholic! Writer John Derbyshire defends the Episcopal church but he is an emigrated Anglican himself. It’s Ted Nugent defending the NRA and Jonah Goldberg defending the Conservative Movement and Dick Cheney defending Neo-Cons! So yeah, even when they’re right (or wrong) they’ve chosen a side.

    Now, I do believe that over the pasty fifty or sixty or perhaps 80 years (in case I have miscounted) that there has been a movement, somewhat not totally malicious in nature, to genericize Christianity and Christmas, and not neccessarily in that order. Who’s at fault for that? I don’t know. Serious research is for guys without tests on December 9th.

  9. Kelson Post author

    No problem: It’s <sup>2</sup>. You can also do subscript with <sub>2</sub>. So the “K-Squared” part can be written as:

    K<sup>2</sup>R

    Which shows up as “K2” [Edit: Well, it would if the comment form didn’t strip it out. Grrr.]

    P.S. Thanks for the blogroll nod!

  10. Chris Arndt

    It seems right.

    Of course, I told myself I’d roll Polite Dissent, Suspension of Disbelief, and about three or even four other blogs that have yet to go on the list, thanks to my procrastination…. grrrr. ah well.

  11. Pingback: DC’s Missed Opportunity | K-Squared Ramblings

  12. Chris Arndt

    Sorry I haven’t blog rolled you yet after this whole one year.

    It’s been a procrastinatory year.

    I maintain my views on the ACLU and the Christmas war thing.

    I also believe in the left-wing media bias (re politics and culture) and the ultra-capitalist there-has-to-be-an-individual-icon media bias (re sports) and that none of this a conspiracy…. so much as a massive(ly annoying) coincidence.

    I’m just glad I only had to recall the ACLU discussion for search purposes to find the html question I asked (which is far more relevant).

Comments are closed.