Anthony Zurcher of the BBC recently quipped, “I hate when politicians start talking about the war on Christmas before the war on Halloween is even over.”
President Donald Trump has been complaining about the war on Christmas for months. At the Heritage Foundation, Trump said, “You’re gonna be saying Merry Christmas again” and when “you go to the stores they will have red walls, and they have the snow, and they even have the sleigh and the whole thing.” At the Values Voter Summit, Trump said that the war on Christmas has been so successful “that people don’t talk about [it] anymore.”
Trump really needs to get out more. In my neighborhood, the stores were getting ready for Christmas in October!
According to Trump, who has probably not seen the inside of a store in years, celebrating Christmas ended sometime during the Obama’s administration.
The idea that there is a war on Christmas started with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in 2004 when he tried to sell the idea that liberals were threatening the existence of Christmas by recognizing that other religious holidays (Hanukkah, for example) are also celebrated in December. From my observations of holiday decorations in local department stores, I think Christmas red is safe from Jewish blue for at least another season of commercialism. If there is an organized effort to downplay Christmas, no one told Main Street.
Most Americans do not agree with O’Reilly and Trump. A Public Policy poll found that only 31 percent of Americans believe that there is a war on Christmas. In addition, a poll by CreditCards.com “found that 72 percent of Americans are annoyed with the early arrival” of Christmas decorations in retail stores. Among Trump supporters, however, 60 percent in the Public Policy poll believe there is a war on Christmas. Sad.
Trump’s promotion of a war on Christmas is a distraction from his war on Christianity. Christmas is, after all, not about red walls, the snow and the sleigh, unless you are a salesman. Trump is not upset that the birth of Christ and the message of Christianity (which, by the way, he never mentions) at Christmas has been overtaken by commercialism. He is upset that the commercialization of Christmas may be diminished by people wrapping their Hanukkah gifts in blue wrapping paper.
While the war on Christmas may be fake news, the war on Christianity is real. Fake Christians use Christianity to cover their un-Christian misbehavior, from child molestation (no problem, one said, because the Virgin Mary was a teenager when Joseph married her) to taking money from the poor and giving it to billionaires. As Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times stated, “When Christians cite the Bible to defend child molestation, Jesus should probably sue for defamation.”
Trump’s war on Christianity can also be seen in the tax bills passing through Congress. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill would decrease taxes for the rich while increasing taxes on many Americans making under $75,000. It also increases taxes for college students and people with high medical bills. All of this to pay for a 43 percent decrease in corporate taxes (35 to 20 percent)! Couldn’t we give them a 25 percent decrease, instead, and leave some money to feed the poor, help the chronically ill, and invest in our children’s education?
After voting to add over a trillion dollars to the national debt to pay for their tax cuts, Republicans now say they can’t find the money to continue funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health care for 9 million poor children. Merry Christmas, kids!
Of course, nothing puts us in the Christmas spirit more than watching the President of the United States share videos on Twitter from groups whose intent is to spread hatred toward Muslims. Trump retweeted three videos from a far-right fringe group in Great Britain who, according to the Prime Minster of Great Britain, “seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tension.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called Trump’s tweets “deeply disturbing.”
Trump’s tweets were, however, a big Christmas present to white supremacists around the world. After Trump’s tweets, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke responded, “Thank God for Trump! That’s why we love him.”
There they go again, blaming God for their sins. Listen, America. Christmas is alive and well. Christianity, however, is becoming a lost religion.