The Christmas Wars
of 2016: Part 4 of 5
The Obama family's holiday season card:
The Obama family's last card of his presidency featured the message:
As our family reflects on our many happy years spent in the White House, we are grateful for the friends we’ve made, the joy we’ve shared, and the gifts of kindness we’ve received. We wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a wonderful new year."
Sarah Palin was not impressed. On DEC-10, she tweeted:
"Merry Christ... er... scratch that. 'We Are the Obamas and It's Some Random Holiday'!" 1
Liam Stack, writing for the New York Times:
He discussed a rally by President-elect Donald Trump in Wisconsin. He said:
"When I started 18 months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we are going to come back here some day and we are going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again. “Merry Christmas. So, Merry Christmas everyone. Happy New Year, but Merry Christmas."
Stack also quoted
"Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, ... who said that the annual uproar is based on:
"Stories that only sometimes even contain a grain of truth and often are completely false. ... This politicizing of the whole issue is mind-boggling to me and it has been for well over a decade. ... They see this as some kind of a politically correct effort, but I see it as reasonable to not use Christmas references as just an accommodation of the reality of America."
He also discussed:
- The American Civil Liberties Union who launched a lawsuit on behalf of a person in Knightstown IN who asked that a cross be removed from the top of the town's official Christmas tree. They were successful.
- The American Family Association that publishes an annual "Naughty and Nice"” list to criticize those who are "censoring ‘Christmas." This year, they criticized Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and Victoria’s Secret. 2
Greg Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship:
He wrote his daily devotion for 2016-DEC-9, saying in part:
"Hostility toward Christmas seems to escalate a little more every year. More nativity scenes are being removed from public places, Christmas carols have been prohibited in many places, and atheists have put up billboards attacking the Christian faith. What’s more, many today don’t even want the word Christmas used. These are all symptomatic of the conflict of Christmas." 3
Preston Smith's satanic pentagram:
Smith's 300 pound, 10 foot pentagram, located in in a free-expression zone in Boca Raton's Sanborn Square in Florida, was toppled by an unknown person. Some religious leaders have called it "offensive and harmfull." Police had responded to eight reports of damage to the statue during December. 4
Gerry Bowler, "Christmas in the Crosshairs: Two Thousand Years of Denouncing and Defending the World's Most Celebrated Holiday," Oxford University Press; 1st edition (2016-OCT-13) Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
- Review by author Philip Zaleski: "Yes, Virginia, there is a war against Christmas, and it has been waged for hundreds of years, as Gerry Bowler demonstrates in this eye-opening, lively, meticulously researched history. Christmas haters include Hitler, Puritans and the Westboro Baptist Church, pushing draconian laws or composing vulgar anti-holiday ditties. Against them stand Charles Dickens, Clement Moore, and large dollops of good will and common sense. Bowler details the clashes down the centuries with verve and intelligence; this is a masterful achievement."
- Review by: Professor Leigh Eric Schmidt, Washington University in St. Louis: "Of all the culture wars afflicting America, the so-called war on Christmas can seem like a lightweight addition -- a fluffy media concoction more than a substantial religious protest. Christmas in the Crosshairs gives historical heft and global perspective to the millennia-long battles over the holiday. At every turn Bowler's vivid account delivers needed depth and nuance to the current frays over the festival."
- Library Journal: "This scholarly, informative, and entertaining work is a wonderful antidote for anyone sick of all of the fuss who wants to enjoy Christmas, or at least tolerate it with good humor." Library Journal
This topic continues in Part 5 with more information on the War on Christmas.
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- "LOOK: Obamas' Holiday Card Doesn't Mention Christmas for 8th Year," Fox News, 2016-DEC-14, at: http://insider.foxnews.com/
- "How the ‘War on Christmas’ Controversy Was Created," The New York Times, 2016-DEC-19, at: https://www.nytimes.com/
- Greg Laurie, "The Conflict of Christmas - Greg Laurie Daily Devotion, 2016-DEC-09, at: https://www.oneplace.com/
- Terry Mattingly, "Perfectly valid (even if rather bizarre) Christmas wars stories in Texas and South Florida," Get Religion, 2016-DEC-21, at: https://www.getreligion.org/
Copyright © 2015 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2015-NOV-12
Latest update: 2018-DEC-25, Christmas morning
Author: B.A. Robinson