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The War on Christmas, 2005

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“I’ll say something else: Abe Foxman should be replaced.” (—my comment, 11/13, 1:36pm)

In partial explanation of Abe Foxman’s seeming “less-than-full stock of wisdom” I’ll call it, David Klinghoffer (who is Jewish) offers (excerpt just below) the former’s perpetual need to fund-raise. For any group, of course, fundraising may and often does entail attempting to whip up the emotions and fears of potential contributors.

Klinghoffer writes:

“For the needlessly heightened state of Jewish concern about evangelicals, we can’t blame the ADL entirely. Yet the group has done much to exacerbate Jewish worries. What drives the ADL to stoke our fears? Let’s be realistic. Naturally, a crusading non-profit organization needs a bad guy to give a sense of urgency to its fund-raising campaigns. The ADL has more than $52 million in yearly expenses, including Foxman’s $412,000 in salary and other compensation (according to publicly available 2003 tax information). […] The anti-defamation professionals of the Jewish community are no dummies. Nor, I believe, are they paranoid. Or cynical. True, if these well-meaning folks are directing so much attention to the wildly exaggerated menace of Christian evangelicals, I don’t see an alternative explanation to a financial one. […H]yperventilating about Christians makes Jews open their wallets.”

Foxman responds:

“[I]t’s sad that Klinghoffer has to resort to the charge that my speech was all about raising money. Disagree with me, make your arguments — but don’t resort to inappropriate accusations.”

He goes on:

“We also said all along […] we would not abandon our principles of keeping America the kind of society in which there is tolerance and in which Jews don’t feel excluded in any way. […] What my speech did deal with, and what I believe is a new development in American life, is a desire by some groups to coerce Americans to subscribe to a narrow religious perspective that will result in exclusion, both practically and psychologically, for Jews, other religious minorities, non-believers and even many Christians. […W]hen the U.S. Air Force Academy — a federally funded institution — is a place where Jews and other non-evangelicals feel religious coercion, then something is amiss.”

His repeated points about the importance of Jews’ not “feeling excluded” or “feeling religious coercion” (I strongly doubt the Air Force Academy subjects Jews to “religious coercion”—here Foxman is certainly talking once again about feelings of exclusion) are the sort of thing I was referring to in my comment where I said even though minorityhood may be hard and involve feelings of exclusion at certain times of year, that still wasn’t a reason to forbid the majority to publicly just be itself. The only way to ensure Jews never feel excluded is to impose restrictions on the majority that are unjust and tyrannical. If the majority can’t unselfconsciously and publicly be itself, something which, yes, does entail public recognition and celebration of Christmas in my view, it, the majority will be unhappy.

Must one or the other, then, be unhappy, either Jews or Christians?

Well, look at it this way: being of the Jewish religion won’t make a person feel excluded in Israel. Does that tell us something? Maybe it tells us minorities have to put up with the drawbacks of minorityhood in places where they occupy that niche and don’t in places where they don’t occupy it. Has Mr. Foxman ever thought of it in those terms?
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Long live free Flanders!

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I am sorry I did not acknowledge the fear of oppression of Christians. It is a wholly justfiable fear in America. Perhaps it would be helpful to realize there are many Christian converts of Jewish heritage (e.g., St. Paul). So we really cannot blame Jewish people but anti-Christians.

Some Jewish people don’t want to hear or see anything about Christmas. Some Jewish people ignore it as we do May Day. Some Jewish people celebrate it, as a close friend of mine does.
When I first learned Jewish people, in general, did not celebrate Christas, I was sad. The bottom line: Jewish people are just like the rest of us.

[…T]he loss in the quality of life for average Frenchmen is not shown so much in the daily Car-B-Q stats (down to a mere 215 on Monday) as in the decreasing freedom in activities previously considered normal. […] ‘We wanted to decorate our store with big, gift-wrapped boxes for the Christmas season, but we don’t dare. They might set fire to them,’ said Nathalie Normand, a clerk at an eastern Paris toy store. ‘After 5 or 6 at night, most women won’t go out on the streets,’ she added. ‘I won’t drive my car to work now because I’m afraid they’ll burn it when I drive home.’ “

(Gee, thank goodness someone thought multi-culti up! Whatever in the world would we do without it? I don’t think I could survive, I really don’t!)
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Long live free Flanders!

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Reading articles like this, opening your eyes and looking around you, using ordinary common sense, and putting two and two together, makes you see if you haven’t already that the war on public Christmas—and of course there is a war on public Christmas—is coming mainly from Jews. Since public Christmas is important to Christians and its absence important to Jews, and since there are other issues involving Christians and Jews each wanting what the other finds unacceptable, the next question is should the two groups live in the same country? Maybe it’s time they went their separate ways. If not, why not? Why should they stay together in the same society and make each other miserable in this and other ways?

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I guess they feel entitled to have their cake and eat it, too - to have secularist, pluralist countries in what used to be Christendom in which to feel at home, and to also still have a “motherland” across the ocean, a land all their own (never mind the other inhabitants who’ve been there since the seventh century - not that I myself have any great love for the Muslims there per se, but hey, there are Christians amongst them, and yet we always side against them - curious, eh?).

The only wonder of it all is, why the heck we put up with it. The Michelle Goldbergs and Adam Cohens - and Abraham Foxmans - amongst us certainly won’t look out for any interests other than their own, and neither should we.

I think though that it’s a mistake to treat the situation as basically a Christian/Jew thing. There aren’t that many Jews, let alone activist Jews, and they don’t have magical powers. In England they have very few Jews and the same war on Christmas as here.

The basic issue to my mind is not who’s complaining but what complaints get taken seriously, and that depends on understandings of what the world is like and how it ought to be. Madelyn Murray O’Hair didn’t win her case against school prayer because Celtic women with weird names exert secret behind-the-scenes control over everything. She won it because educated, articulate and well-connected men, like Supreme Court justices and the people they respect, had come to agree that religion is at bottom a private fantasy.

The same point applies to feminism, affirmative action, multiculti etc. We don’t have those things because there were suddenly a bunch of disputes between men, white people etc. and others, and for some reason the other side won. We have them because complaints that might have been made at any time suddenly seemed dispositive to the people who decide such things.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

I certainly wouldn’t argue that it’s only a Jewish/Christian conflict - Christians’ spiritual enemies consist of all who are not of Christ, incl. baptized-but-unfaithful “Christians” and liberal “Christians” (both being Christians in name only), atheists, agnostics, Muslims, sodomites, etc.

But I’ve tended to notice that people who are, if you will, “ethnically” Christian (i.e. their parents or grandparents may have been, but they aren’t, yet were baptized or Christened, and identify vaguely with the Faith but don’t actually have faith), don’t usually have much of an axe to grind against the Faith; they tend to largely ignore it, except perhaps at this time of the year.

Those who are decidely atheist, or decidedly agnostic, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, or practising homosexuals, etc. tend to be much more antagonistic towards the Faith than “lapsed” or “non-observant”, supposed Christians. They complain, and their complaints are heard and listened to, because it suits the elites, who are of the same mind, regardless of which flavour of anti-Christianity is theirs - but it does seem that in North America at least, the cause is disproportionately identified with left/liberal, non-religious Jews.

As always, W’s in the http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/06/AR200512 thick of the action

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

So, it’s okay for the White House to hold Chanukah parties, but the White House can’t bring itself to say “Merry Christmas” in their greeting cards, anymore…

And yet, most evangelicals, and a goodly number of Roman Catholics, and most of my Reformed brethren, still think Bush is a great “Christian president”…

It makes me wretch.

BTW, did anybody see this ceremony? I don’t watch TV (I haven’t for a couple years now), so I missed it, but whether or not it was intentional - for those who saw it, thoughts? - it’s certainly disturbing…

“the war on public Christmas […] is coming mainly from Jews.” (—me, 12/7 above)

“it’s a mistake to treat the situation as basically a Christian/Jew thing. There aren’t that many Jews, let alone activist Jews, and they don’t have magical powers. […] The basic issue […] is not who’s complaining but what complaints get taken seriously, and that depends on understandings of what the world is like and how it ought to be.” (—Jim Kalb, 12/7)

“Jewish people cannot mainly do anything in Christian dominated society without plenty of Christian help. […] The power of a ‘subset’ of Jews is an insufficient reason to believe Jewish people are leading the anti-Christmas effort. Jewish people are not superhuman or magical beings capable of imposing their will on hapless peoples of Christian heritage.” (—Paul Henri, 11/16)

The following is comedian Jackie Mason’s take: It’s Christians who are doing it, not the Jewish Community:
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This is a partial transcript of ‘The Big Story With John Gibson,’ December 1, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: A newly formed group is battling against the war on Christmas. Its founder and members, they are not gentiles. They are Jews. The group is called Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, and they held a press conference Thursday in Washington.

Joining us via phone call is comedian Jackie Mason, who is a member of the group. He joins us now on the phone.

Jackie, what’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing with a group like this?

JACKIE MASON, JEWS AGAINST ANTI-CHRISTIAN DEFAMATION: Well, not only am I a member, I’m a founding father of this organization, because I have never seen anything so offensive to me. I can’t believe this. All my life, I was always worried about Christians persecuting Jews. And who knew that Christians would start persecuting Christians? And who knew it would take the Jews to defend the Christians from each other?

We have only 1.5 percent of America’s population and the Christians have to run to us for help to protect them from other Christians.

ASMAN: Now, there are Jews with the Anti-Defamation League and everything who say there is too much emphasis on Christmas and we should take the word Christ out of Christmas and so forth. What do you tell them?

MASON: First of all, the amount of Jews who are saying this kind of a thing can’t even be found. You would have to hire the CIA to find a Jew who is disturbed or offended by anything representing the word Christmas. Jews are thrilled and delighted to celebrate Christmas because, you know, we don’t see it as a threat. There is no normal Jew in America, I can’t find one, bang on every door of every Jewish house in America: if you find more—if you would find more than six Jews with this complex, that they are disturbed by Christianity or by the word “Merry Christmas.” Jews love the idea of “Merry Christmas” because not only is it celebrating brotherhood and friendship and love and the extension of happiness to everybody in the world — how could you be offended by that?

Pornography is allowed in this country because freedom of speech protects it. Rappers are singing songs about killing everybody in the streets, and it’s protected. But if, God forbid, you say “Merry Christmas,” “Ho, ho, ho,” a whole fight breaks out. Love is the only thing that they hate. Hate is protected. Love is obnoxious to them. How nuts could you get? If a store is selling rap music, it’s protected. But if that same store hung up a sign that said “Merry Christmas,” they would be in all kinds of trouble.

ASMAN: Oh, well, wait a minute. We’ve got to interrupt Jackie Mason for President Bush, who is about to do the lighting. He is going to say a few words before he lights up the Christmas tree. Let’s listen to the president, and then we’ll get to Jackie.

And the president and the first lady are now leaving. Jackie Mason, were you able to see? There is the tree. What do you think of it? Are you ready to call it a Christmas tree or a holiday tree?

MASON: I think anybody who sees it and decides you must call it a holiday tree should be put in a sanitarium. Because what are they going to do? Are they going to do this to all the religions now? Are you going to say a Jew is not allowed to say “Happy Passover,” you have to say happy, hello, I can’t remember what I am now? What if it’s Purim and what — we have any kind of a holiday? What if you fast on Yom Kippur, should we have to say we’re fasting on a day we don’t know about?

ASMAN: Jackie Mason, we’ve got to leave it there. We thank you very much, Jackie.
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Of course there’s something to this: when Boston’s huge traditional municipal Christmas tree arrived from Nova Scotia the other day and began to be set up on city property the anti-“Christmas” stink immediately arose, with demands for it to be called the “Holiday Tree” instead of what it is, Boston’s Christmas tree. (I have no doubt but that the stink came directly or indirectly from Boston’s Jewish Community—whom else would it be coming from?[ * ])

Boston Mayor Menino (whom I’ve always taken for an Italian Catholic, if that has any bearing—I could be wrong) told aides who (mentioning the protests) had asked him what they should call it, “It’ll be the ‘Christmas Tree’ as long as I’m here” and that was that: simple; quiet; exactly those ten words; settled; no fanfare; no agony; no arguments; case closed; no inter-group recriminations; no frustration; no resentment; no bewilderment; no “What in the hell is going on here???”; no sense that the world is going to hell in some extremely bizarre handbasket—it’s to be the “Christmas Tree” as long as Menino’s in charge.

If Christian officials, in other words, could manage a minimum of uprightness, honesty, integrity, and common sense and stop caving in to unreasonable groups who, though they may threaten and bluster, are in the wrong, this anti-Christmas absurdity wouldn’t have arisen. Whom do we blame—the Christian officials who could so easily do what Menino did, or the unreasonable groups pressuring them?

If U.S. Greek pressure groups try to get a certain U.S. Cyprus policy adopted and U.S. Turkish pressure groups the opposite, do we praise/blame the pressure group for the policy finally adopted, or do we praise/blame the government officials who adopt it? The latter, obviously.

When Canadian Prime Minister Martin publicly got on his knees and performed the kowtow before a Sikh altar we didn’t blame the Sikh Community for his absolutely astonishing lack of sense, we blamed him—though the Sikhs were the ones who’d asked him to do it and were doubtless delighted when he agreed.

So in this sense the war against Christmas is the fault of Christians, as Jackie Mason says. He’s right. But not wholly: organizations waging war on Christmas do use coercive legal tactics mainly through the threat of costly law-suits and other means: here again you have that tremendous leveraging power afforded individuals and small groups by the U.S. civil legal system.
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( * The dilemma which the trappings of a public Christmastide—the music, the carols, the decorations on private and public property, the TV shows, the office and school parties, the cards, the “Merry Christmas” greeting, the overall spirit of the season—poses for U.S. Jews is understandable, especially where we’re talking about young couples with children whom they’re trying to raise in the Jewish faith. There’s a problem here which everyone can sympathize with. Its solution, however, isn’t and cannot lie in the suppression of Christmas including a public Christmas. I’d love to find an alternative but what would one be, given the stark realities of the minorityhood-majorityhood duality? No one wants to force their religion on anyone or be forbidden to celebrate it. It’s a difficult dilemma.)

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I think you’ve nailed it, Fred; this wouldn’t happen if Christians would care enough about the matter to prevent it. Most don’t, and so it happens, thanks to a relatively few number of complainants. The vast majority may complain at the pub or coffeeshop, but don’t do anything, nor do most public officials, who are gutless - precisely because there’s no pressure on them not to be… So they go with what’s easiest for them…

But it is clear to me that in Canada and the U.S., at least, most of the complainants come from the usual suspects… I’ve noticed, BTW, that the new Narnia movie is getting some of the same hostility from the same people who hated the Passion; esp. if one reads the New York Times or New Yorker movie reviewers; some people just hate it, and C.S. Lewis, with a passion, and can’t be objective about the movie… (Read the “Mere Comments” blog, or Getreligion.org, or the latest Sobran’s essay, to see who - from their last names, one can tell that it is mostly, as ever, the usual suspects…)

“some people just hate [the new Narnia movie] and C.S. Lewis with a passion […] (Read the […] latest Sobran’s essay […].)” (—Will S., 10:37pm)

Following Will’s suggestion I’ve just read Sobran’s essay and although I haven’t seen the Narnia film and don’t know much about C.S. Lewis (along with Malcolm Muggeridge, Albert Schweitzer, Hillaire Belloc, and G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis is on my list of “20th-century Christian writers I need to get to know better”), the following bit caught my attention: it touches on the theme of faith being partly an act of will, something I alluded to briefly elsewhere in this thread (in connection with the Thomas Hardy poem, “The Oxen”):

”[…Adam] Gopnik assures us that ‘believing cut [C.S.] Lewis off from writing well about belief,’ for ‘a belief that needs this much work to believe in isn’t really a belief but a very strong desire to believe.’ At bottom, [Gopnik asserts,] Lewis had a ‘bad conscience’ and an ‘uncertain personal faith.’ The Narnia stories, ‘in many ways,’ are actually ‘anti-Christian’; Lewis didn’t realize this, but Gopnik does. I’m afraid Gopnik […] has missed Lewis’s point — not a very difficult one, really — about the virtue of faith. Belief is something you have or don’t have; but faith is an act of will and fortitude, which is why we speak of ‘keeping’ or ‘breaking’ faith. A child may know perfectly well that the water is safe and that anyone can learn to swim, but still allow himself to succumb to fear of the water when he actually gets into it. The problem isn’t the child’s ‘beliefs’ about the water; it’s his irrational panic. In the same way, Lewis explains in Christian Reflections, we may believe intellectually, but allow our moods and passions to weaken our faith when we are tempted. When our faith fails, it isn’t usually because of any rational doubt. Reason isn’t opposed to faith; it’s opposed to the passions (the word is cognate with passive; we’re truly active only when we act rationally). In spite of all the clichés equating intelligence with doubt, the loss of faith doesn’t occur in the intellect, but in the will.”
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(I did see your note last time, Will, about disagreeing with the claim that faith is partly the result of the will, and I respect that view though I feel within myself the “mechanism” Sobran describes.)
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Long live free Flanders!

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I think this by Taki is entirely fair:
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“It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it? Since George Washington’s executive proclamation in 1789 establishing November 26 as the day that we should give thanks to our Lord for all the favors, kind care and protection he had offered our country, and the Long Island supervisor who objected to a local Catholic priest’s religious blessing of a Christmas tree. Jon Kaiman, who is Jewish, made his displeasure known in front of a large crowd which had gathered for the annual lighting of the Manhasset township Christmas tree. Kaiman is the town’s supervisor and after the Rev. Nick Zientarski blessed the tree, he grabbed the microphone from the priest’s hand and hollered, ‘This is nonsense. We’re not doing this again next year. I can’t believe this. I want to make it clear that this is no way a religious ceremony…’

“The priest, for his part, had this to say: ‘I thought about what blessing to give, and it seemed to me that because this was a Christmas tree, it would be OK to use the blessing from my Catholic tradition.’ To be fair, Kaiman later apologized for his harsh and aggressive manner, but the first blow against the blessing of a Christmas tree has been struck by a Jewish supervisor in an upmarket Long Island town. Now let’s reverse matters. And ask ourselves what would happen if a Christian supervisor had grabbed the microphone from a rabbi who was busy blessing the lighting of a Menorah. I’ll tell you. He would be arrested and brought up on hate crime charges quicker than you can say Abe Foxman, that’s what.

“And Kaiman is not alone. […] A millionaire, Joel Krupnik, who owns apartment buildings on the Lower East Side of New York City and in Israel, has decorated his house with a skinny Santa with a bloody head in one hand and a knife in another. He calls it freedom of expression, but again, it is freedom to insult the Christian faith, no ifs or buts about it.”
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I would call on Christians in authority not to listen to individuals who try to trash our Christian traditions and cherished way of life. I would call on Jews to stop trying to trash our Christian traditions and cherished way of life. I would call on all reporters and commentators to identify the religion or background ethnicity of individuals who try to trash our Christian traditions and cherished way of life, so that we know who is doing it.

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Meanwhile, Jewish comedienne Sarah Silverman’s new movie “Jesus Is Magic”, touted by some as “the perfect antidote” to holiday fare at the movies these days, offers up jokes about rape and incest, and has a routine where she sings “Amazing Grace”, but apparently holds a microphone to her private parts, and “accompanies” her singing with noises from her orifices down there…

Now the ADL is going after sermons they don’t like, accusing a California pastor of anti-Semitism. (Here’s the sermon in question.)

Why aren’t the liberals outraged? After all, to a liberal, Christianity is a preference like any other, and all preferences are entitled to equal expression and practice. So why aren’t liberals outraged that this preference known as Christianity is being trashed publicly?

If these demonstrations had trashed Wicca-ism or Vagina-ism or Transgender-ism, they would be labeled “hate” and denounced as bigotry.

Perhaps Mr. Kalb can comment on this seeming discrepancy.

My view is that Christianity is a serious worldview competitor to liberalism, and so long as it remains so liberalism will not only tolerate viciousness against Christianity, it will encourage and enable it (usually in the name of “free speech,” or “inclusiveness.”)

The most interesting part of this phenomenon are Christians who actively participate in or support it, and trash Christianity and its customs and practices in order to appease and make good with liberals and liberalism.

To qualify for protection an expressive action must either

1. Understand itself as an expression of a preference and nothing more (e.g., weird pornography), or

2. Oppose the most powerful system of nonliberal understandings and preferences, so that it subverts the dominance of the latter.

It’s OK to be hateful, bigoted etc. as long as you’re nuking hate and bigotry. The principle of bigotry is the notion that it’s OK for any nonliberal idea to have public effect. On that view Krupnik’s action gives you a net reduction in bigotry by subverting the dominant nonliberal system and therefore reducing its ability to impose its innate bigotry.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

I think your formulation is exactly right. But it is chilling to see it in black and white.

Bigotry is the position that a non-liberal idea may have public effect (say, marriage is limited to heterosexual couples). This position is then posited as hate and bigotry. Next, hate and bigotry may be dealt with legitimately by means of hatred and bigotry (“nuked” in your shorthand).

The only remaining question is this: Are there any limits to the means used by liberals to deal with “hate” and “bigotry,” as liberals define those terms?

“The only remaining question is this: Are there any limits to the means used by liberals to deal with ‘hate’ and ‘bigotry,’ as liberals define those terms?” (—MD, 12/20, 4:13pm)

Liberals are a pretty rough bunch when it comes to dealing with those they view as enemies (think David Koresh and the Branch Davidians; think Elian Gonzalez and his uncle Lazaro denied due process by a midnight assault by armed government goons; think PeeCee speech suppression all over the liberal West right now with its fines, its jail, its outlawing of legitimate political parties, and its personal ruin and destruction of individuals involved wherever possible). Are there any limits? I don’t think there are many: liberals don’t like playing by rules and will circumvent them or just ignore them and forge ahead then deny they’ve done any such thing. Liberals most definitely do not understand the expression “fair play,” haven’t a clue as to what it means. In general, liberals will ruthlessly try to do whatever they think they can get away with, counting on their allies in the media and academia later to “paper over” whatever travesties of justice they’ve committed in furtherance of their goals and in pursuit of their enemies. Liberalism is intrinsically totalitarian though it constantly pays lip service to democracy and fairness. The fairest groups on the planet are not liberals, needless to say, but trad conservatives or their equivalent counterparts in other cultures around the world (where those counterparts exist, that is—they don’t always).
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Long live free Flanders!

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I mean, look what liberals have done to the United States Constitution: gutted it, killed it. As Joe Sobran has pointed out many times, the Constitution is dead. The ones who’ve killed it in both letter and spirit are the liberals, by simply refusing to accept there are rules they’re supposed to play by even if they don’t like them. Starting with FDR’s administration and his famous “packing of the Supreme Court with liberals” they’ve made it into a “living document” to get around the fact that the men who wrote it intended certain things and not other things, not the ones liberals badly want. The Ninth Amendment, for example? Liberals never heard of it—never heard of it in their lives. First Amendment? They take one part of it, the “establishment clause,” distort if out of all proportion till it’s unrecognizable, clearly not what the Framers meant, then totally ignore the part about government not infringing “the free exercise thereof.” Look at their gross mininterpretation of the XIVth Amendment, the one whose right and reasonable interpretation would’ve spared us the “Anchor Baby” phenomenon. Or, how about their pulling “emanations” and “penumbras” out of a hat to give us Roe v. Wade? One could go on and on with just their trashing of the Constitution, let alone the other ways in which they just ignore what they don’t fancy and plow ahead with their marxism-lite programs for everybody. They do not accept the fact there are rules and people in government, people in power, must play by them. Liberals tend very much to hold that the ends—in their case, building what they imagine to be utopia on earth—justify the means.
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Long live free Flanders!

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Where I wrote “Ninth Amendment” above, I meant the Ninth and Tenth Amendments—liberals never heard of either of them and don’t want to hear of either of them, don’t want to know about them, would rather just go on ignoring them. These are people who do not understand the notion of playing by the rules. That’s one of the reasons they can be so ruthless when they get power into their hands.
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Long live free Flanders!

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From an entry up tonight at Majority Rights:
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“I am somewhat bemused to find three men in cassocks stepping into the ring to take on the ‘silly bureaucrats’ and the ‘minority in leadership who want to privatise religion.’ But that’s what has happened today. First off, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams put his name to a piece in The Mail On Sunday, saying:

” ‘What makes some people suspicious of Christmas these days is that it’s too religious. This year there seem to have been even more stories about the banning of Christian images and words by silly bureaucrats.’

“Right on cue the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, weighed in during GMTV’s Sunday Programme with:

” ‘We must avoid the kind of political correctness that is creeping in and undermining the public expression of the Christian faith.’

“He said he was concerned about ‘a worrying hostility towards Christianity and all religions by a minority of people in leadership today who want to privatise religion, push it to the boundaries, not allow a voice in the public arena.’

“Meanwhile the Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Reverend Jonathan Gledhill, declared his diocese to be fighting back against the politically correct approach to Christmas with a new poster campaign:

” ‘There have been reports from all over the country about local authorities, businesses, retail centres and even central government trying to take the Christ out of Christmas, claiming Christmas is offensive. They seem to want to make Christmas history - the Diocese of Lichfield wants to make Christmas His story’

“Ordinarily, we would say these churchmen are part of the liberal problem and preside over an emotionally feminised version of Christianity. However, even they have limits. They have, it seems, noticed that the silly bureaucrats and the mysterious minority in leadership have none, and will go on chipping away at every surviving outcrop of Western culture until nothing remains. The ‘hands-off’ declarations of today reveal a fault-line between religious liberals and committed egalitarian activists. In essence, the former are drawing a line in the snow. They are refusing to let their faith be marxised out of existence - which is a point I have made many, many times in respect of Western Man in general. When all roads lead to extinction, resistance will be the only recourse.”
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The word “Winterval” in the title of the Majority Rights log entry refers to the name chosen as a replacement for “Christmas” by a number of town councils in England. “Christmas” has been replaced in those towns because apparently lots of complaints have been lodged by individuals and groups to the effect that the name “Christmas” and also the Christmas holiday and celebrations themselves are “offensive.”

To me it’s clear these complaints can only be coming, in their majority, from Jewish and Moslem individuals and groups and from Christian male and female homosexual groups.

In Australia, as part of this sort of attack by a Moslem group and by the head of a Jewish organization on the name and celebration of Christmas a call has been made to change Christmas’s name in that country to “Winterval,” as has been done by these English town councils under pressure of complaints. I agree completely with the Australian church group that described (in the article linked at “attack,” above) such Moslem and Jewish demands as “absurd” and with the Australian who called these sorts of demands “intolerant and impertinent.” That’s exactly what they are: intolerant, impertinent, and absurd. They’re also unacceptable, and the rude individuals and groups making them should be told off in the plainest language. Notice by the way how the leader of the Jewish group makes the charge that Christmas has become a secular shopping holiday, which is an ironic charge for a Jewish leader to make, given that for decades Jewish leaders and groups have been in the forefront of the drive to make Christmas into nothing but exactly that, a secular shopping holiday. Now when it’s become perhaps too much that, these same people use that to condemn it? So, when is Christmas OK with them—when it’s religious? when it’s secular? Or never? I think I can be forgiven for strongly suspecting the latter. If they’d let it alone in the first place maybe it would be more like what it was supposed to be. With them you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t, and the reason is they’re anti-Christian bigots who don’t want Christmas to be religious, don’t want it to be secular, and don’t want it to exist, period.

Notice in the Australian article it says,

“But the Islamic-relations forum director, Kuranda Seyit, told The Sunday Mail it was time for Australia to fall in line with places such as the U.K., where councils have renamed Christmas ‘Winterval’ and replaced references to Christmas on signage with the words ‘Festive’ and ‘Winter.’ ‘Australia is now so diverse and there are so many cultures and festivities, we need to acknowledge the need to be inclusive of our identity.’ [Mr. Seyit] expected his plan would insult some people, but urged a ‘step-by-step’ approach.”

Look at that last comment, about how the other side plans “a step-by-step approach” to finally doing away with Christmas. Now look at the Majority Rights log entry, where it says,

“[The bureaucrats, etc.] will go on chipping away at every surviving outcrop of Western culture until nothing remains.”

And that’s exactly what they’ll do, too, if we lie down and let them. If we stand up, they won’t. It’s as simple as that.

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The use of the term, “Winterval,” reminds me of the French revolutionaries’ introduction of a new calendar, including earthy names for the months, “Thermidor,” “Germinal,” “Frimaire,” etc.

MD is right on target if those words were associated with the Terror.

Paul

According to Norman Davies’ history of Europe, in 1793 the installation of the “Revolutionary Government” occurred in June, and in July the Committee of Public Safety was established, the Terror began under Robespierre’s direction, the Jacobin Constitution of Year I was inaugurated (which included the new calendar with its catchy terminology).

So yes, the new terminology began contemporaneously with the Terror.

(Hat tip to Guessedworker over at MajorityRights.com :)
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One or two of us took a deep breath at this, for it was a rare instance in our lifetimes of the Church of England actually standing up for something, and actually being right. It was also shocking, however, that in a country with an established Christian church, and whose Muslim population (for example) is only around three per cent, such an exhortation should be felt necessary.

“… It is bewildering, therefore, that there should apparently be people here who take such offence at Christmas, and against whom a brace of archbishops feel the need to take up their croziers. I suspect they are very few in number and exert an influence far in excess of their real strength. Like all extremists and bullies, they deserve no tolerance at all.

“They might merit some of our pity: if they shut themselves off from the Christian culture, whether from the beauty of the liturgy, the serenity of church music, or from admiring the reticulated tracery of an east window, then their lives can only be deeply impoverished. They must also conduct a pretence that some of our most fundamental institutions are expressly Christian: notably our monarchy, and the Established Church of which our monarch is Supreme Governor. Parliament still begins each day’s deliberations with prayers.

“Our oldest schools and universities have intrinsic links with the Anglican Church. Our very system of justice is implicitly Christian. Our history is Christian since the dawn of the seventh century. More to the point, it is by the will of the majority, in our democracy, that all this remains so.

“Those who dislike this have, of course, every right to militate against it. They have, however, no right to impose their minority view on anyone else.”
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Long live free Flanders!

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To a liberal, and to many liberal Christians, Christianity requires that Christians refrain from any display, assertion, or expression of Christianity; to their minds, Christians must be invisible. To do otherwise is inherently offensive, in that it would assert a claim to a universal truth, or access to an objective good, or a particularized understanding of reality, all of which “discriminate” and are “intolerant” of others.

Since Christians cannot be “discriminatory” or “intolerant,” a Christian must therefore never be a Christian. This is the self-cancelling magic act of liberal Christianity, enforced by standard liberal dogma.

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