I love the holidays. The rituals associated with Christmastime: getting up hungover at 5 AM the day after Thanksgiving to go save $20 on a bunch of crap I don't need; singing the old songs that everyone knows the words to, but no one knows what they mean (10 points to anyone who can tell me what "trolling the ancient yuletide carol" would involve); and my favorite, listening to conservative whine about how Christmas is under attack.
Media Matters has been following Bill O'Reilly this year; Bill, sand firmly in vagina, is really mad about how Christmas is under seige:
All over the country, Christmas is taking flak. In Denver this past weekend, no religious floats were permitted in the holiday parade there. In New York City, Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg unveiled the "holiday tree," and no Christian Christmas symbols are allowed in the public schools. Federated Department Stores -- that's Macy's -- have done away with the Christmas greeting "Merry Christmas."
Poor Christmas. Sounds like it's really taking a beating this year. But I did some research, and in 2003 it was being beat up on too!! According to Joe Scarborough and Jerry Falwell, on Nov. 28, 2003:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Do you believe that Christmas is under attack in America?
JERRY FALWELL, CHANCELLOR, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: Oh, yes, and it has been for a generation.
I heard earlier tonight Peggy Noonan talking about how Hollywood hates Ronald Reagan. And, of course, you would add George W. Bush. But the fact is that the hatred for Christ that exists with groups like the ACLU, Americans United For Separation of Church and State, the Atheist Society, and sometimes the ADL, unfortunately, the hatred for Christ so pales in the hatred for Ronald Reagan.
To think that commercial America, retail America, New York or Montgomery, Alabama, it's financial success for the year depends on how well that they do during the celebration of the birth of Christ, and they don't even want to invite him to the party, to me, it is unthinkable.
SCARBOROUGH: Jerry Falwell, what do you say those on the left and to judges out there who would way it's unconstitutional to have a nativity scene in a town square?
FALWELL: I would say they are a bunch of idiots.
Back on Christmas Day, 2002, Robert Novak felt compelled to tell us about how he wasn't allowed to say Merry Christmas:
ROBERT NOVAK: Welcome to CROSSFIRE, and a Merry Christmas to everybody. In a minute, we'll ask a couple of guests why that's such a radical thing to say, Merry Christmas, on television today. Well, later, make history on CROSSFIRE. President Bush's one and Bush II; President Clinton, and, yes, President Ronald Reagan will join us, all of them courtesy of political impressionist Jim Morris. So stick around.
But first, we'll say it again. Not happy holidays, not seasoning greetings, but Merry Christmas. Why has the land of the free gotten so uptight that freedom of expression, especially religious expression, is the subject of lawsuits, political fights and shouting matches?
This year alone we've seen the Pledge of Allegiance declared unconstitutional because it contains the phrase "under God." A federal court ordered Alabama's chief justice to remove a monument containing the Ten Commandments from the state's judicial building. The order is being appealed.
And various cities had fights over nativity scenes, menorahs, and other expressions of religion freedom. Is "thou shalt not offend" America's new amendment? In the CROSSFIRE tonight are the Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. And in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University founder, chancellor, the Reverend Jerry Fallwell.
Also, in 2002, Bill O'Reilly was annoyed enough to write a column on the attack of Christmas. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the column, but he did talk about it on his Dec. 19, 2002 program:
Now my brand-new column is on the ACLU's attack on Christmas, and you can get it if you go -- if you're a premium member of billoreilly.com, which you can access off our Web site there. It's a little complicated but not a lot.
I was really upset about not being able to find the 2002 column. But then I realized it was OK. Because O'Reilly also wrote one in 2001, "Santa is appalled":
You don't have to be a Christian to understand the importance of the central theme of Jesus' philosophy – that a person love God and love his or her neighbor as himself. Now, this might offend some atheists out there, but so what? The arrogance of a person who dismisses the thought of a higher power offends me. But in our free society, thought is protected.
And so is Christmas. The secularists who would destroy this joyous tradition are destructive fascists who seek to control the free flow of expression. Hey, if I work for King County, Wash., you're telling me I can't say Merry Christmas? What is this, Berlin in the '30s? Beijing in 1949? A Stalin fan club convention?
If Christmas is really under attack by us secularists, we sure aren't doing a very good job are we? I would go on about how it's in the conservative media's interest to make people continue to think that religion is under attack in this country, but I won't. This is stupid. Christmas is not under attack. Please shut up and worry about something real.