The War On Christmas

Fox News is in full judgment mode with an ongoing series of "exposes" dealing with the alleged "War on Christmas".

The British have long been puzzled by the American custom of wishing a "Happy Holidays" instead of a "Merry Christmas", but once one understands the concept, it's really quite good. Many religions have some variation of the winter festival, from Hanukkah to Kwanza, and thus, all are grouped together - by most - into a generic "Holiday Season", and wishes are often exchanged based on this. Most obviously, businesses who wish to avoid offending their non-christian customers with a christian-specific greeting often instruct staff to use the all-encompassing "Happy Holidays" instead.

But Fox is pissed. And, but for one tiny nugget of information, one might be fooled into thinking that this is serious and new. It's neither. Fox, according to those I've spoken to, do this every year. And every year Fox gets caught with its pants down.

Here's an example:

On his show, ranting pundit Bill O'Reilly claimed that a Wisconsin elementary school (read: primary school) had changed the lyrics to the carol Silent Night in an attempt to secularise the song and were "forcing" the kids to sing the new version. Horrendous. Except it's not true.

He was also caught out when he made similarly spurious claims about a Michigan town banning people from wearing red and green during the holiday season.

Sean Hannity made a similar mistake when he repeatedly claimed a New Jersey school had "banned" Silent Night entirely.

The "War on Christmas" exists only in the minds of those with an incredible martyr complex. And it's laughable - as ReasonOnline points out with an excellent piece entitled "The True Spirit of Xmas: How 4/5 of the country became an oppressed minority" - in a country where christians control every branch at every level of government.

Ah, 'tis the season, indeed.

No comments: