With this talk of the “War on Christmas” I just have to share this letter I wrote to the editor of our local paper last year:
“There is no war on Christmas. People have been wishing others “Happy Holidays” for hundreds of years.
(Name Withheld) seems to be poorly or partially informed, based on his letter to the editor on December 25. The statements in his letter are based on mistruths and exaggerations. The Alliance Defense Fund’s (ADF’s) war on Christmas is a huge fundraiser. In 2006 ADF sold “Christmas Packs” for $29, consisting of a memo and two lapel pins. This fundraising money was supposed to support their “900 lawyers standing by to defend Christmas”. But if you search comprehensive news database Nexis for ADF-sponsored Christmas lawsuits in 2006 zero results are returned. So where did all the fundraising money for the war on Christmas go? Where are all the lawsuits by people who have not been allowed to say “Merry Christmas?”
Many of the religious rights’ examples of “War on Christmas” that they have used in fundraising efforts have turned out to be rumors. For example, In 2005 the Religious Right claimed Saginaw, Mich. schools prohibited singing Christmas songs. The School’s superintendent responded that no such policy existed.
In another ludicrous claim, Glendale-River Hills School District in Wisconsin was said to have prohibited Christmas songs but allowed Hanukkah songs. The school district posted a response saying they had no idea where this rumor started and stated they do sing Christmas songs in their holiday program.
In the last of the dozens of examples I could possibly give, the Raleigh, NC, town council was supposedly under siege from the ACLU stating that they could not erect a Christmas display on public property (which included a Nativity scene, snowmen, reindeer and a menorah). In actuality, the display was created by a private group, not the city council. The North Carolina ACLU Executive Director said her group never threatened to sue and does not oppose this type of balanced display on public property.
And what of all the “traditional” Christmas songs from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s? I seem to hear a lot of “Happy Holidays”, “Holiday Season” and “Holiday Time” as well as generic references to snowfall and sleigh rides in the music. Where was the uproar? Where was the claim that the liberals were trying to get rid of Christmas?
And it seems even our President, the darling of the conservatives, sends out the White House “Holiday Card” with no “Merry Christmas”. Where is the uproar that he is part of this anti-Christmas conspiracy?
I’ve lived and worked in Connecticut for 32 years. I attended Connecticut public schools. I have never, ever, been told I could not wish someone a Merry Christmas. I see Christmas displays at the mall and in offices. I see lights all over town. I see and hear people wishing each other Merry Christmas AND Happy Holidays. Even Happy New Year.
So relax, and be careful what organizations you are sending your hard earned money to. They may have other agendas in mind.
Merry Christmas AND Happy Holidays to you.”