Archive for November 15th, 2013

When is a war on Christmas not a war on Christmas? When Christmas ads start popping up on TV at the beginning of November

November 15, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 15, 2013

Former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is out with a new book. It’s called Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, and by all accounts it inveighs against the liberals, atheists, seculars and humanists who are endangering the celebration of the birth of Christ.

There are a few conservative tropes that make me roll my eyes in disbelief. The “war on Christmas” bromide seems to me the flimsiest of them all.

Now, the United States is a big nation with lots of foolishness. Christopher Moraff of Philadelphia magazine includes in his largely dismissive piece about Palin’s book this acknowledgment that “determined secularists are not completely innocent of some pretty outrageous attempts to scrub even the most innocuous faith-based displays from the public square”:

Just last year administrators at a middle school in California canceled a production of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol — a play that has very little to do with the Christian holiday — because they thought it might offend Jewish students celebrating Hanukkah. A backlash forced the school’s hand, but not before an unsuccessful attempt to lobby the play’s publisher for a change of title. The year before, at another school in California, teachers were prohibited from displaying poinsettias in their classrooms; and Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas banned students from exchanging Christmas gifts or cards.

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