A Short History of the War on Christmas

In Politico is an article titled “A Short History of the War on Christmas“, written by Daniel Denvir. It is but one of many recent memetic assaults from the Left (usually launched by Jewish writers and TV personalities, which is just a coincidence) that the notion of a ‘War on Christmas’ is a complete fabrication, just like that whole Knockout Game thing is a fabrication.

Ain’t nobody trying to take the “Christ” out of “Christmas”!

Denvir’s article begins:

Henry Ford was an avid proponent of the idea that someone—or more precisely, some group—was waging a war on Christmas.

“Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone’s Birth,” according to The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, a widely distributed set of anti-Semitic articles published in the automobile magnate’s newsweekly during the 1920s. “People sometimes ask why 3,000,000 Jews can control the affairs of 100,000,000 Americans. In the same way that ten Jewish students can abolish the mention of Christmas and Easter out of schools containing 3,000 Christian pupils.”

Well, was Ford’s assertion — that it was difficult to find religious-oriented Christmas cards in a certain year — true or not? What is fascinating is that Denvirs has absolutely no interest in determining whether this assertion, an empirical issue, was a fact or not.

This is because Denvirs accepts his whole premise (that the ‘War on Christmas’ does not exist and believing it exists is tantamount to anti-semitism) as true. Historical record is of no importance.

That’s odd.

And telling.WarOnChristmas

I was pleased to see the good folks at VDARE get a shout-out in the Politico piece (hey, any press is good press), which tells me liberals read VDARE. Furthermore, the pejorative depiction of VDARE tells me said liberals are also worried about the growth of VDARE and it’s blogospheric brethren of the Dark Enlightenment.

Blogger Peter Brimelow called a 2012 Stewart segment “mostly an irrelevant but uninhibited expression of Jewish alienation and Christophobia.”

Brimelow—the founder of a popular conservative and frequently white nationalist blog called VDARE—is an expert in such matters. He is credited, and credits himself, for inventing the War on Christmas in the late 1990s, well before O’Reilly. “I just got real interested in the issue,” Brimelow told the Daily Beast in 2008, “because I noticed over the years there was this social shift taking place where people no longer said ‘Merry Christmas.’”

Brimelow is a close student of social shifts, particularly when they are related to skin color or national origin. “The root cause in all cases is the same: an American elite which is increasingly divergent, culturally and even ethnically, from the rest of the country,” Brimelow wrote, referring to what he calls the “Minority Occupied Government.”

The Daily Beast article on Brimelow, written by Max Blumenthal, is highly instructive, not just in its concerns, tones, and authorship, but in its accurate depiction of the relatively recent expulsion of race realists from Conservative, Inc.  “‘The War on Christmas’ started in a white nationalist cabal and spread to conservative media,” is the article’s byline. Blumenthal writes:

The Christmas kulturkampf is a growth industry in a shrinking economy, providing an effective boost for conservative fundraising and a ratings bonanza for right-wing media. So who was the genius that created it? To find the answer, a visit with the ghost of conservatism’s past is in order.

Back during the culture wars of the 1990s, Peter Brimelow, then a Fortune magazine editor, grew incensed with the increasing use of the phrase “Happy Holidays” by retailers like Amazon.com. “I just got real interested in the issue,” Brimelow told The Daily Beast, “because I noticed over the years there was this social shift taking place where people no longer said ‘Merry Christmas.’”

In his 1995 book, Alien Nation, Brimelow argued that the influx of “weird aliens with dubious habits” from developing nations was eroding America’s white Christian “ethnic core,” and in turn, sullying its cultural underpinnings. The War on Christmas was, in his view, a particularly pernicious iteration of the multicultural “struggle to abolish America.”

Brimelow went to his fellow Briton and Tory, John O’Sullivan, then editor of the conservative movement’s flagship publication, National Review, with a big idea. National Review should host “an annual competition for the most egregious attempt to suppress Christmas.” Though O’Sullivan liked Brimelow’s idea, he was replaced as editor on Christmas Eve 1997 by Rich Lowry.

With the exception of a 2001 column in which O’Sullivan blamed “religious minorities” for the War on Christmas, the issue disappeared from the pages of National Review. At the same time, the magazine jettisoned O’Sullivan’s anti-immigration politics in favor of the Big Tent conservatism preferred by younger writers like Jonah Goldberg and Ramesh Ponurru.

The shift at National Review forced Brimelow even further into the political wilderness. Shunned by conservatives there rankled by his unabashed racial resentment—Goldberg belittled him in a 2002 column as a “once respected conservative voice”—Brimelow founded what would become the internet’s leading anti-immigration web journal, VDare.com, named for the first British child born in the Americas. Brimelow’s new venture provided a forum to allies like Jared Taylor, a white supremacist publisher, and Kevin MacDonald, an evolutionary psychology professor who has argued that Jews are genetically equipped to out-compete Gentiles for resources and power. In 2003, four years after VDare’s founding, the Southern Poverty Law Center classified the journal as a “hate group.”

VDare became the staging ground for the War on the War on Christmas. Unlike their more respectable counterparts, Brimelow’s writers dared to name the true anti-Christian Grinch: Jews. The winner of Brimelow’s 2001 War on Christmas competition, a “paleoconservative” writer named Tom Piatak, insisted that those behind the assault on Christmas “evidently prefer” Hanukkah, which he called the “Jewish Kwanzaa,” a “faux-Christmas.” “Teaching children about Hanukkah, rather than the beliefs that actually sustained Jews on their sometimes tragic and tumultuous historical journey,” Piatak fumed, “inculcates negative lessons about Christianity, not positive ones about Judaism.”

VDare’s 2005 War on Christmas winner, Steve Sailer, a Eugenics enthusiast and author of the new biography of Barack Obama, America’s Half-Blood Prince, picked up where Piatak left off. “American Jews,” Sailer wrote, “those exemplars of successful assimilation now seem to be de-assimilating emotionally, becoming increasingly resentful, at this late date, of their fellow Americans for celebrating Christmas.” Sailer went on to quote at length from a column by the purportedly Jewish writer, Bert Prelutsky, called “ The Jewish Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

But, back to Denvirs. As is the case in several other areas of culture, the elephant in the room is “that which shall not be named”:

And for O’Reilly, who once wondered whether criticism surrounding Mel Gibson’s 2004 anti-Semitic blockbuster The Passion of Christ might be a result of the fact that “the major media in Hollywood and a lot of the secular press is controlled by Jewish people,” it is sometimes hard to believe that “secular progressives” isn’t some kind of code word, too.

“Remember,” he said in 2004, “more than 90 percent of American homes celebrate Christmas. But the small minority that is trying to impose its will on the majority is so vicious, so dishonest—and has to be dealt with.”

Denvirs references a 2005 Salon piece written by Michelle Goldberg (“How the Secular Humanist Grinch Didn’t Steal Christmas“.) In this piece, Goldberg quotes from Richard Hofstadter’s unfalsifiable “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” thesis, it never dawning on her the irony that she’s also the author of “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism”, a book that sounds the alarm about the coming, right-wing Christian, theocratic state. In the Salon article, Goldberg asserts:

In fact, there is no war on Christmas. What there is, rather, is a burgeoning myth of a war on Christmas, assembled out of old reactionary tropes, urban legends, exaggerated anecdotes and increasingly organized hostility to the American Civil Liberties Union. It’s a myth that can be self-fulfilling, as school board members and local politicians believe the false conservative claim that they can’t celebrate Christmas without getting sued by the ACLU and thus jettison beloved traditions, enraging citizens and perpetuating a potent culture-war meme. This in turn furthers the myth of an anti-Christmas conspiracy.

“You have a dynamic here, where you have the Christian right hysterically overrepresenting the problem, and then anecdotally you have some towns where lawyers restrict any kind of display or representation of religion, which is equally absurd,” says Chip Berlet, a senior analyst at Political Research Associates and one of the foremost experts on the religious right. “It’s a closed loop. In that dynamic, neither the secular humanists or the ACLU are playing a role.”

Restricting “any kind of religious display” in a country that is 90% Christian is a pretty good way to…. well… squelch the public display of Christianity. Just like ensuring U.S. immigration policy no longer favors (post-1965) white European Christians serves to marginalize the Christian character of America’s demographics and minimize the ‘threat’ of anglo-based nationalism.

Goldberg then immediately follows up with this:

The myth of the war on Christmas has two parts. The first, echoing the John Birch Society, charges that department stores are trying to replace the celebration of Jesus’ birthday with some secularized, universal winter holiday season, a switch encompassed by the godless greeting “Happy Holidays.” The second asserts that the ACLU and other groups like the Anti-Defamation League and People for the American Way are trying to ban public Christmas displays. Like all conspiracy theories, there are a few grains of truth at the center of it — some schools, in an overzealous attempt to promote inclusiveness, have taken silly steps like renaming their Christmas trees “friendship trees.” Some have indeed infringed on religious students’ First Amendment rights. Weaving these stories together, the myth of the war on Christmas claims that the ACLU has forced Christmas into hiding, and that Christians must therefore battle to reclaim their rightful place in the culture.

And this is precisely the point.

The inertia of political correctness oftentimes works its magic through ‘precautionary’, lawsuit-worried, HR-initiated self-censorship. While no one is forcing Dept Store X’s signs to be changd from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays”, the motivation to make such a change is motivated by… what, exactly?

Political correctness often operates in a ‘bottom-up’ dynamic, despite the historical ‘top-down’ authoritarianism favored by the Left.

What Goldberg, like Denvirs, Jon Stewart (aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz), and many other seem totally uninterested in establishing, and making sound inferences from, are certain indisputable facts.

For example, there’s this fascinating section of Goldberg’s piece:

“The wagers of this war on Christmas are a cabal of secularists, so-called humanists, trial lawyers, cultural relativists, and liberal, guilt-wracked Christians — not just Jewish people,” [FNC’s John] Gibson writes. Also involved are mainline churches whose congregants “vote for John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Barney Frank. They are liberal by definition, and they proclaim their liberal values; I began to connect the dots and discerned the outlines of the conspiracy.”

Gibson, of course, is not the first to connect the dots. The John Birch Society wasn’t, either. As the Web site News Hounds pointed out last year, Henry Ford was sounding the alarm about the war on Christmas in his notorious 1921 tract “The International Jew.” “The whole record of the Jewish opposition to Christmas, Easter and other Christian festivals, and their opposition to certain patriotic songs, shows the venom and directness of [their] attack,” Ford wrote. He listed local outrages: “Christmas celebrations or carols in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Paul and New York met with strong Jewish opposition … Local Council of Jewish Women of Baltimore petitions school board to prohibit Christmas exercises … The Council of the University Settlement, at the request of the New York Kehillah [Jewish leadership], adopts this resolution: ‘That in the holiday celebrations held annually by the Kindergarten Association at the University Settlement every feature of any sectarian character, including Christmas trees, Christmas programs and Christmas songs, shall be eliminated.’”

To compare today’s “war on Christmas” demagogues to Henry Ford is not to call them anti-Semites. Rather, they are purveyors of a conspiracy theory that repeatedly crops up in America. The malefactors change — Jews, the U.N., the ACLU — but the outlines stay the same. The scheme is always massive, reaching up to the highest levels of power.

Like Denvirs in the Politico story, Goldberg doesn’t bother to investigate whether any of the above anti-Christian activities in fact took place.

These are empirical issues.

Was there, in fact, Jewish opposition to Christmas, Easter and other Christian festivals? Was there Jewish opposition to certain patriotic songs? Did Christmas celebrations in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Paul and New York meet with strong Jewish opposition? Did the Local Council of Jewish Women of Baltimore petition school boards to prohibit Christmas exercises?

Goldberg isn’t interested.

Because she’s already made her mind up: any concern with the pattern of such activities, and any reasoned consideration that such activities have an anti-Christian character, reflects the ‘paranoid style’ of ugly ‘anti-semitism.’

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