The Christmas Wars / Christmas Dilemma
More events during 2011. Part 5
This is a continuation from Part 4
Is Fox News is the a main source of the "War on Christmas:"
In his blog of DEC-15, Jim Wallis of Sojourners suggests that:
"Each Advent in recent years, around the time when those prefab, do-it-yourself gingerbread house kits appear on supermarket shelves, Fox News launches its (allegedly) defensive campaign commonly known as the 'War on Christmas.'
Fox News' 'war' is designed to criticize the 'secularization' of our culture wrought by atheists, agnostics, liberals, leftists, progressives, and separation of church and state zealots— i.e. Democrats. This irreligious coalition force is allegedly waging a strategic offensive on Christmas, trying to banish the sacred symbols of the season, denying our religious heritage, and even undermining the spiritual rubrics upon which our great nation is built.
Fox News positions itself as the defender of the faith and all things sacred. And Bill O’Reilly fancies himself the 'watchdog' of Christmas.
Fox News' usual targets include shopping malls and stores that replace their 'Merry Christmas' greetings with 'Happy Holidays,' and state governments that no longer call their official 'Christmas' trees by their rightful name, or municipalities that ban any depictions of, or references to, the Christmas season in public places. Those who are attacked defend themselves, often claim that they are really religious too, and the perennial war is on.
But what we actually have here is a theological problem, where cultural and commercial symbols are confused with truly Christian ones, and the meaning of the holy season is missed all together.
The war on Christmas is really about what brand of 'civil religion' America should have. The particular (read: biblical) meaning of Christmas, for Christians, has almost nothing to do with the media war. ..."
Jim Wallis concludes:
"The real Christmas announces the birth of Jesus to a world of poverty, pain, and sin, and offers the hope of salvation and justice.
The Fox News Christmas heralds the steady promotion of consumerism, the defense of wealth and power, the adulation of money and markets, and the regular belittling or attacking of efforts to overcome poverty.
The real Christmas offers the joyful promise of peace and the hope of reconciliation with God and between humankind.
The Fox News Christmas proffers the constant drumbeat of war, the reliance on military solutions to every conflict, the demonizing of our enemies, and the gospel of American dominance.
The real Christmas lifts up the Virgin Mary’s song of praise for her baby boy: 'He has brought the mighty down from their thrones, and lifted the lowly, he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich empty away.'
The Fox News Christmas would label Mary’s Magnificat as 'class warfare'." 1
Christmas Wars via Email:
The Email account associated with this website received an Email from "Anne" with pictures of some highly decorated Christmas trees. The caption read:
"These are NOT holiday trees, winter festival trees, Hannkkah bushes, Allah plants! They are Christmas trees! The pure green colour of the stately Fir tree called a Christmas Tree today, remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting Hope of mankind found in the Lord Jesus, all the needles point Heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward Heaven."
As webmaster, I replied on behalf of the ReligiousTolerance.org group:
"We wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Meanwhile, the Atheist on our staff has recently celebrated the Winter Solstice; the Wiccan (neopagan) has celebrated Yule, and our resident Buddhist has enjoyed Bodhi Day. We hope that your holiday/holy day is as positive as our days have been."
Anne replied very quickly:
"How very sad that they choose, like you, the dead end road -- or more to the point a make believe Santa Clause [sic]."
"The Santa Clause" is the title of a movie; Santa Clause is a kind, generous, but mythical character.
Bill O'Reilly's coverage of wars, 2011-DEC:
One of the most active newscasters on the topic of the Christmas Wars is Bill O'Reilly on Fox News. Giordano Bruno posted a message on Dave Silverman's facebook account showing the following image:
O'Reilly discussed the War on Christmas for 41 minutes and 48 seconds between 2011-DEC-01 and DEC-21, He spent 13 minutes and 25 seconds on real wars. 2
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- Jim Wallis, "The Real War on Christmas ... by Fox News," Sojourners, 2011-DEC-15, at:
- Posting by Giordano Bruno on Dave Silverman's facebook page, 2011-DEC-22 at: http://www.facebook.com/
Copyright © 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2011-DEC-16
Latest update: 2011-JAN-01
Author: B.A. Robinson