Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Thanksgiving notes

November 26, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 26, 2015

I wanted to throw up a quick entry here mentioning some previous blog posts that are relevant to the season:

Three years ago, I wrote a post listing six things for which I was grateful. All still apply. What are you grateful for? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Six years ago, I began tweeting tributes to the seniors on the Stanford football team toward the end of the season. (The timing is loosely tied to the senior day tradition established by the late Dean Smith, a legendary men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.) My most recent tribute appeared on Twitter shortly before the kickoff to the 118th Big Game last Saturday; subsequently, I updated the page on this blog that contains all of the tributes. Be sure to visit if you have any interest in the Cardinal football team!

In 2013, I wrote about Christmas creep, which, I assure you, is alive and well. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed no decrease in the insistence by conservatives that Christianity is imperiled here in the United States. (See: Kim Davis.)

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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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One Wondrous Sentence: Religion and slaughter

January 9, 2013

This one wondrous sentence blasts the argument by preacher, Fox News presenter and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee that lack of religion leads to mass shootings.

It suggests that somehow prayer can prevent anybody from being mentally ill, that hetero marriage cures murder, and that having a manger in the town square can stop a gunman from blasting his way into a school.

Source: Mary Elizabeth Williams, “Huckabee blames gays for the Newtown massacre,” Salon, Dec. 17, 2012.

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