Volume 1 ■ Issue 2 ■ December 7, 2006
Santa’s Helpers Battle Grinches in the War for Christmas
Culture & Media Institute
12/13/2006 9:45:28 AM
seems almost ridiculous that acknowledging Christmas should be controversial.
In a country where 96% of the citizens celebrate it, why do so many feel like
Christmas is under attack? An online poll done by the Chicago Tribune
last week showed that 68% of respondents think there is a war on Christmas.
Because, Tiny Tim, there is.
Led predominantly by the ACLU (they’ll deny it of course, but ask the folks in
Wilson County, Tennessee who are currently in court fighting the ACLU over –
among other charges -- a kindergarten class singing two Christmas
carols), the attacks against the only legal federal holiday in December
have been mounting aggressively the past several years. It seemed to culminate
last year with Wal-Mart’s decision to forbid its employees to greet customers
with “Merry Christmas.” The backlash was intense and led the giant retailer to
reverse itself this year. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman says the company learned its
lesson and “this year we’re not afraid to say ‘Merry Christmas.’”
to say “Merry Christmas?!”
Is that really where we are as a nation? A lot of folks think so, which is why
a growing grassroots movement is fighting to reclaim Christmas. Led by
Christian organizations like the American Family Association, Concerned Women
for America, the Catholic League, Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund,
the push back against Politically Correct Christmas is gaining momentum.
And as part of that effort the Culture and Media Institute is unveiling its
first annual Christmas Lists of Santa’s Helpers and Grinches – a Who’s Who in
the War for Christmas. The list recognizes some of the heroes in the fight to
restore Christmas to a place of respect and honor in the public square, and
drops lumps of coal in the stockings of those out to eradicate any mention of
the C-word in public. Not limited to retailers, CMI’s list comprises
organizations, businesses, media and individuals who are taking a stand for--
Take for instance the Young Conservatives at the University of Texas. They rate
as Helpers because theyrecently put up a creative “ACLU Nativity Scene” in
Austin to point out the extremity of what the ACLU promotes. Their nativity
scene features Gary and Joseph, not Mary and Joseph, because the ACLU is an
ardent supporter of same-sex “marriage.” The three Wise Men are Lenin, Stalin
and Marx because, the Young Conservatives say, “the founders of the ACLU were
strident supporters of Soviet style Communism.” Executive Director Joseph Wyly
states, “The ACLU and other left-wing extremist groups are working diligently to
destroy American’s rights to the free expression of religion.”
And he’s right.
The ACLU is suing the Wilson County school system near Nashville, Tennessee for
the “irreparable damage” suffered by the plaintiffs for whom they brought the
case. What supposedly caused the horrific damage? Among other things, a
kindergarten concert performance of “Away in the Manger” and “Joy to the World.”
recent poll by Rasmussen Reports found that 69% of Americans would prefer
retailers use the greeting “Merry Christmas” rather than the generic, PC “Happy
Holidays.” And yet a recent poll of this writer’s mailbox found that 63% of the
catalogs received in the last two weeks used some form of “Holiday” title. Only
25% used the word “Christmas” and 12% used secular pictures of Santa, reindeer
and wreaths, with no mention of “Holiday” or “Christmas” – talk about playing it
“We’re seeing a re-run of ‘Holidaysiacs Gone Wild,’” said Robert Knight,
director of the Culture and Media Institute. “’Holidaysiacs are people so
terrified of offending anyone that they reflexively replace the word ‘Christmas’
with ‘holiday’ even when it’s a specific reference to Christmas. Holidaysiacs
need to relax, sip a little eggnog and dump the political correctness out near
the curb. We wish them a Merry Christmas.”
The war on Christmas is not a figment of the imaginations of Fox News or
conservative Christians, as the liberal media would have you believe.
Here is CMI’s first annual list of Santa’s Helpers and Grinches on the Christmas
Manuel Zamorano and the Committee to
Save Merry Christmas -
This California-based activist launched a boycott of Federated Department Stores
two years ago to get Macy’s’ attention. It appears to have worked. Now, Macy’s
and a growing number of retailers are acknowledging Christmas.
Liberty Counsel/ Alliance Defense
Fund/American Center for Law and Justice
– These organizations provide information and legal resources to battle
Christmas censorship. Liberty Counsel also publishes a “Naughty and Nice”
listing of retailers for consumers interested in supporting businesses that are
not afraid of the word “Christmas.”
American Family Association/ The
Catholic League/Concerned Women For America/Focus on the Family
– The AFA and Catholic League urged members to boycott Wal-Mart last year and
many credit their actions with the retailer’s change of heart this Christmas
season. CWA and Focus on the Family regularly stand with the ADF in its annual
efforts to save Christmas.
– the Fox News Channel commentator was a major champion for Christmas last year
and has already taken a stand with his first column and broadcast salvo about
the War on Christmas.
Wal-Mart /Macy’s/Kohl’s/ Sears/JCPenney/L.L.
– These major retailers are all using “Christmas” in their customer greetings
and advertising. A Wal-Mart spokesperson has been quoted in the press saying
the company, “learned its lesson” after last year’s disastrous attempts to
direct employees not to say “Merry Christmas.”
Food Lion grocery stores
will use “Merry Christmas” in stores this season. In past years it has been the
company’s policy to use a generic holiday message.
John Gibson of Fox News Channel --
His book The War
on Christmas put the issue in the spotlight in 2005 and increased public
awareness of the growing censorship of Christmas and the “casual, accepted
anti-Christian bias” that tends to show up around Christmastime.
“God Squad” in Chicago
– In Chicago, the Nativity Scene
Committee (the official name of the self-dubbed “God Squad) is a
non-denominational cadre of volunteer policemen, electricians and carpenters who
take time every year to set up a life-size nativity scene in downtown Chicago’s
– The network’s movie The Christmas Card translated into a real-life
network campaign to send cards to American troops this Christmas. The campaign
called “Cards for Troops” is an initiative being launched with the Department of
Defense to send letters, packages, calling cards and even frequent flier miles
to troops serving overseas.
University of Texas Young
Conservatives – This group
of college students in Austin set up an “ACLU Nativity Scene” on campus to draw
attention to the leftist organization’s extreme views and persecution of
Christianity. The couple is Gary and Joseph, and the three Wise Men are Karl
Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Baby Jesus is – of course – missing from
– The children’s book author just released a book titled Help! Mom! The Ninth
Circuit Nabbed the Nativity! which tells the story of two boys who witness
the school Christmas program come under attack when the judges from the Ninth
Circuit court show up and put an end to the festivities in the name of
diversity, global warming and toenails. The story has a happy Christmas ending.
– The paper’s editorialists chastised Windy City leaders for strong-arming
organizers of a Christmas market to drop the creators of The Nativity Story
as an event sponsor. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and
Chattanooga Times Free Press weighed in on the lack of common sense too.
The Dallas Morning News
– for their editorial pointing the finger at the city of Dallas for putting up a
“downtown holiday tree.” Says the editorial writer: “Yeah, like synagogues
everywhere are dusting off their holiday candelabras.”
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes
club at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Virginia
– The student group organized a showing of The Nativity Story at their
high school --and didn’t draw fire from the ACLU.
Magic Tree, Inc.
– This start-up company is marketing the DVD Santa’s Sing-a-long, a
children’s video that includes stories about the meaning and genesis of some
classic Christmas carols. Creator Joseph Wheeler says the DVD was created after
Wal-Mart’s refusal to allow employees to say “Merry Christmas” last year. He
wanted to create a DVD for children that teaches them about traditional
Christmas values. [Not surprisingly the DVD has come under attack. The attacks,
according to the product’s creator, are coming from reviewers who don’t
typically review children’s DVDs, which leads him to believe it is really an
attack on Christmas itself.]
CBS and the writers of Two and a Half Men -
“CBS apparently is trying to outdo NBC in being offensive to Christians,” said
Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute. On the Dec. 11th
episode of Two and a Half Men, playboy character Charlie (Charlie Sheen)
sings “Joy to the World, I’m getting laid.” Employing the tune of the Christmas
carol Joy to the World, the song was filled with raunchy lyrics, as were
other carols adapted to the sexual theme. Later in the show the child character
gets drunk on egg nog and the maid adapts a line from the movie It’s a
Wonderful Life to fit the sex-obsessed episode when she says, “Every time a
guy gets laid an angel gets a stiffy.”
“Perverting one of the most beloved carols of all time goes
over the line,” Knight continued. “But then, Two and Half Men is not
about real men. Real men marry and cherish women. This show is about the liberal
media’s alley cat culture, in which men are compulsive, promiscuous freaks who
top out at an emotional age of 14 and who worship at the altar of sex. Throwing
a child into the middle of this meltdown is even more unconscionable.”
Orlando Cloisters retirement facility in Orlando, FL –
Management of the senior citizens’ living facility issued instructions to
strip the common areas of any religious symbols or words in Christmas
displays. One employee was directed to cut the wings off the angel atop the
Christmas tree and other angels were removed from display as well. A Santa
Claus figure replaced the angel on the tree. Management told residents only
secular images of Christmas would be allowed, but they are allowing a menorah to
be displayed. Menorahs are religious symbols associated with Hanukkah.
Brandeis Elementary School in Louisville – KY – A
teacher got in trouble for displaying the words “Santa’s Helpers” over a paper
Christmas tree made from cut-outs of student handprints, representing all of the
students in the class. Another teacher found the tree offensive, so the
principal said the Christmas tree could stay but the words “Santa’s Helpers” had
to come down. The Catholic League quotes the principal as saying, “Of course
the children in her classroom that were Indian or Muslim probably did not
believe in Santa Claus.” The principal suggested the words “Holiday Helpers” or
“Winter Helpers” could replace “Santa’s Helpers” because that would “make it
Said the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, “We have entered a
new day when those on the public payroll are spending their time worrying if
some non-Christian kid’s hands helped to make a secular symbol. Their selective
interest in inclusion, which just happens to bud every December—and just for
Christmas—is nothing but a ruse to disguise their bigotry.”
Howell Public Schools, Detroit, MI – The school
system has set a quota – 30 percent -- on religious songs that can be performed
at school concerts.
Airport – The airport had brightened its atmosphere with several
Christmas trees as it has done for decades. A rabbi threatened to sue,
demanding that a menorah be included in the holiday décor. Rather than add a
menorah, airport officials took down the Christmas trees. They said that all
faiths and cultures in the Seattle area would have to be represented, or none.
An airport spokesgrinch said the airport didn’t have time to play “cultural
anthropologist” during its busiest time of the year. After intense public
pressure and media scrutiny the airport revoked its own decision and has put the
trees back up. However, in announcing the decision the Port of Seattle
spokesman said (emphasis added),
“We look forward to sitting
down after the first of the year …to make sure there's an appropriate winter
holiday representation for all faiths. We want to find out a way to
celebrate the winter holidays that is sensitive to all faiths.” They
still can’t bring themselves to embrace Christmas.
MGM, Harvey and Bob Weinstein
– These Hollywood garbage peddlers will release the slasher movie Black
Christmas … on Christmas day. Promos for the gore-fest apparently tout the
movie’s “slay ride” body count and mock “people who express outrage.” The
Weinsteins were behind 2003’s crude Bad Santa, an “uncut” version of
which has been released on video.
Mail – The 2006 series of Christmas stamps feature a reindeer, Santa Claus,
a Christmas tree, and a snowman. But no stamp features anything having to do
with the birth of Christ.
Christmas card makers in Britain
– According to an article in the Daily Mail, only one Christmas card in
100 has any religious imagery, and many were mocking it. One featured shepherds
smoking sheep dung, implying that the angel they saw was a hallucination.
– This organization has placed more fear into the hearts of school districts and
local governments than Ebenezer Scrooge ever instilled in anyone. Most recently
the Chief Grinch is suing a Wilson County, TN school district for – among other
things - “irreparable damages” caused to plaintiffs by the singing of “Away in a
Manger” and “Joy to the World.”
Berkley (MI) City Council
– The council voted to remove a nativity scene from public property this year
after being threatened with a lawsuit by the ACLU. The nativity scene, which
had been present outside the city hall for decades, will be displayed on church
property this year. A Berkeley resident reports that hundreds of locals
petitioned the city government not to capitulate to the ACLU and to fight in
court. The city council ignored the petitioners and voted 6-1 to move the
City of Chicago-
The city strong-armed the organizers of the annual Christkindlmarket (Christ
Child Market) into dropping New Line Cinemas as a sponsor of the event. New
Line is the studio that released The Nativity Story – a movie about
Jesus’ birth – the reason there IS a Christkindlmarket in the first place.
St. Albans, WV
– Driven by fear of lawsuits, the city actually removed Mary, Joseph and the
baby Jesus from the nativity scene in its annual Festival of Lights display.
Only after the story was picked up by the Associated Press and
officials received complaints from as far away as South Korea did they change
– The retail giant is embracing
“Merry Christmas” in stores but still banning Salvation Army bell ringers from
soliciting donations in front of their stores. The company says it’s part of a
general “no solicitation policy” they decided to start enforcing. While Target
is helping the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program with a $1 million infusion of
cash, the non-profit regularly collected many times that in their kettles in
front of Target stores. Bottom line: No bell ringers in front of Target means a
loss of millions of dollars to help the needy.
– Headline writers, advertisers and community spokespeople who use only “Happy
Holidays” or “Holiday” when obviously referring to Christmas.
Portland and Waterville, ME
– Portland officials are calling the 55-foot blue spruce in Monument Square a
“holiday tree” because, according to the city’s marketing director, the city
doesn’t “want to offend anybody.” In Waterville a new organization – Waterville
Main Street - took over the annual Christmas parade and renamed it “The Parade
Best Buy/Lowes/Eddie Bauer/Barnes and
Noble – These major
retailers make no mention of “Christmas,” only “Happy Holidays” in their
advertising. Liberty Counsel reports a Best Buy spokesperson told them the
company considers the use of the words “Merry Christmas” to be disrespectful.
The Sanfordville PTA in Warwick, NY –
This parent group reportedly buckled under the pressure of one complaint and
changed the annual “Breakfast with Santa” fundraiser to the “Winter Wonderland
Breakfast” and is forcing Santa to appear with Frosty the Snowman this year.
Marine Reserves’ Toys for Tots
Program –A donation of
talking Jesus dolls was initially rejected because the group didn’t want to risk
offending Jewish or Muslim children. Bad publicity followed the initial
decision and the group reversed course, accepting the donation and saying the
dolls would be distributed to Christian children.
– Caving to political correctness the annual Christmas parade down Main Street
has been cumbersomely renamed the Main Street Christmas Holiday Parade.
Austin Cline, regional director for
the Council for Secular Humanism
– His atheist website sports a poster reading “Crush a Crèche! Keep America
Free from a Religious Christmas this year! It’s up to You!”
Oyster Bilingual School in
Washington, D.C. – placed
a sign that said,
"Holiday Tree Sale" in English and "Venta de Arboles de Navidad" in Spanish.
Apparently it’s only acceptable to use the word "Christmas" in Spanish.
– A survey of 2300 employers in England found 75% have banned Christmas
decorations. The reason most gave was fear of offending other faiths.
– The city banned St. Nicholas from the city’s kindergartens. City officials
say that jolly St. Nick frightens children. Conservatives accuse the city of
kow-towing to a growing Muslim population.
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