2005-12-17 16:12:24 UTC
December 16, 2005
Bill O'Reilly's War Against Christmas
by Jack Clark
I dont know how many of you are familiar with John Gibson. Hes one
of the on-air personalities at Fox News.
Hes the one that looks like Beavis or Butthead.
Im actually not sure which one is which so I cant tell you which one
I think he looks like.
He actually may look like a cross between the two.
In any case, did you know that hes written a book worthy of that
lovely cartoon duo?
Gibsons book is entitled The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot
to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.
No, Im not kidding you.
John Gibson and Bill OReilly have become the head cheerleaders in
this latest right-wing propaganda-of-distraction effort.
Im going to analyze some excerpts from a Bill OReilly talking points
Thats the little spiel he opens his program with.
If you are anyplace where laughter would be inappropriate, get ready
to stifle your laughter, because you will laugh.
OReilly starts off by boasting, "Some big wins for Christmas."
Did peace on Earth break out?
Was world hunger ended?
Did any of Jesus other teachings achieve full fruition?
Then a little later he says, "The anti-Christmas forces are
I ask you, who are the anti-Christmas forces, the anti-Christian
Aren't they the greedy people?
Thats Bill OReilly and the rest of his right-wing cohorts, but they
dont realize it.
To them, however, anti-Christian forces are those who say "Happy
Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
OReilly then goes on to talk about the "pro-Christmas" movement.
The pro-Christmas movement?
You may be part of a self-fashioned pro-Christmas movement, Bill, but
in reality, youre one of the head cheerleaders for the anti-teachings
of Jesus assault on the world.
Bill ends his little talk by reminding his audience that "eternal
vigilance is the price of liberty."
How over the top can OReilly get?
Apparently, into the stratosphere.
OReilly, Gibson, and the rest of them are supposedly all upset
because some people are calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree, some
stores arent mentioning the word Christmas in their advertising, and
some people are saying, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
So apparently, the essence of Christmas is, one, making sure a
Christmas tree is called a Christmas tree instead of a holiday tree;
two, saying Merry Christmas to people as opposed to Happy Holidays;
and three, ensuring that advertisements use the word "Christmas."
These are the things worth fighting for in connection with the
Christmas holiday, according to Bill OReilly, John Gibson, and these
Isnt it interesting that if people protest about, for example, racial
prejudice or economic injustice, theyre labeled by the right as
whiners and complainers, but a store not mentioning Christmas in its
advertising, now thats worthy of a protest!
Wouldnt it be fair to say that never on behalf of so large and
all-powerful a majority has such a frivolous complaint been raised?
I think it would definitely be fair to say that.
Now, just for the record, as with virtually everything right-wingers
do, even the surface level of this propaganda campaign is composed of
a pack of lies.
In a recent editorial in The New York Times, Adam Cohen pointed out
two salient facts:
First, the present way Christmas is celebrated isnt the traditional
way, stretching back to the founding of the country.
No, the current commercialized way Christmas is celebrated only
started around the 1920s.
Second, the entire movement to use more inclusive nomenclature
stretches back decades.
Its not a new phenomenon, a new "liberal plot," as Gibson calls it.
When I was in high school over thirty years ago, they changed the name
from "Christmas break" to "winter break."
The facts, of course, are irrelevant to Gibson, OReilly, and their
They dont really care about this issue.
This is just part of their campaign of distraction--another of their
Obviously, every second that they spend screaming about it, that I
spend replying to them, and that you spend talking about it, its a
second we're not going to talk about --because the second is gone --
important issues like social justice, like economic justice, like the
war in Iraq, like a million other things that desperately need our
Doesnt Christmas celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ?
Are OReilly and Gibson really telling us that Jesus would be more
concerned about some superficial acknowledgment of a holiday
celebrating his birth, than he would be with our implementing his
Did Jesus come to Earth to have his birthday celebrated or to teach
mankind something and expect mankind to follow what he said?
If Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and Jesus came here to
teach us and to lead us into better behavior towards our fellow men
and women, then wouldnt the way to acknowledge his birthday and to
celebrate it, be to implement his teachings?
If a right-winger brings up this issue, I would just ask him or her,
--If youre so concerned about celebrating Christmas and acknowledging
it, why dont we acknowledge it and celebrate it in a meaningful
How about we all agree, those of us who already have more than enough,
Well give all our gifts to those who have nothing.
"How about well celebrate Christmas by pressuring our representatives
in Congress to increase the minimum wage?
To fully fund the AIDS program that Bush is so severely underfunding?
To fully fund the No Child Left Behind program?"
This whole "attack on Christmas" propaganda campaign would be funny if
it weren't so tragic.
Every year under George W. Bush, poverty has gone up.
Under his tenure, the number of Americans without health care
insurance has gone up.
Hunger has gone up.
All this is from the governments own statistics.
Now what is Jesus prime teaching to us about how were supposed to
interact with our fellow human beings?
Its that we have to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, minister to
the sick, be kind to the stranger.
Thats what Jesus wants us to do.
So how better to celebrate the birth of Jesus than to do these things?
After all, Jesus said how you treat the least of these is how you
On his birthday, shouldnt we strive to treat Him -- in the guise of
the poor, the "least of these" -- especially kindly?
How much more so is this appropriate to right-wing Christians who
spend all year doing the opposite, trying to make sure that our
society does not use its collective resources -- the power of
government -- to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, minister to the
sick, greet the stranger?
And now, at the very time of the year when they should most be doing
these things, right-wingers raise another one of their phony wedge
Oh, we have to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree, not a holiday
tree. Stores must put Christmas in their advertising.
Dont tell anyone "Happy Holidays," tell them "Merry Christmas."
Thats what right-wingers would have you believe that Christmas is all
about -- that Jesus is all about.
What a perversion of the holiday, what a perversion of the teachings
of Jesus, what a dishonoring of Jesus Christ!
The anti-Christmas forces that Bill OReilly, John Gibson, and the
others are ranting and raving about are no one other than themselves.
Theyre waging the war on Christmas.
Theyre waging the war on Jesus.