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EDITORIAL: The true meaning of Xmas

- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving is over and Black Friday has arrived. With the Christmas season now semiofficially upon us, tradition dictates that consumers flood shopping malls and online marketplaces to buy everything in sight. At the same time, politically motivated busybodies stop at nothing to distract from, deny or delete any references to that Jesus guy who may or may not have inspired the holiday known as Xmas. The "X" stands for we can't remember what.

Every year, chain stores, schools, local town councils, advertisers and others needlessly put themselves in the middle of the Christmas censorship debate in an effort to appease the politically correct grinch.

Some shoppers may cringe as they notice a store cashier saying "Season's Greetings" in lieu of "Merry Christmas." Schools may opt out of any activity relating to Christmas, while local governments decide to call their yearly parades during the season "Holiday" or "Winter" celebrations instead of "Christmas" festivals.

The petty and transparent insults to the season and to Christianity are so trivial it is practically an admission by the religion's staunchest opponents that America is a Christian land. Indeed, every gratuitously insipid "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" quip ends up serving as a useful reminder to believers that the "holidays" in this "season" are really so much more. They actually are holy days.

The Alliance Defense Fund started its defense of Christmas back in September. The organization called upon Arizona state and federal officials to stop prohibiting Arizona public school children from expressing their religion through Christmas themes while decorating ornaments for the annual Capitol Christmas tree. The guidelines for the ornaments made by the kids include instructions that warn, "Ornaments cannot reflect a religious or political theme. ... Instead share your interpretation of our theme 'Arizona's Gift, from the Grand Canyon State.' "

The defense fund's request for religious toleration was issued on behalf of a mother whose son wanted to enter religious ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree with controversial motifs, such as "Merry Christmas," "Happy Birthday, Jesus," and another showing a manger scene with the baby Christ.

Even for non-Christians, the idea of decorating a Christmas tree without reference to Christmas is folly. Imagine celebrating Passover without remembering what passed over who and why.

Sometimes, the multicultural movement motivates store chains to betray their purely secular commercial interests in a desperate attempt to seem inclusive. Recently, Best Buy featured the phrase, "Happy Eid al-Adha" in a Thanksgiving circular, as if the chain's deluge of Wi-Fi, flat-screen and laptop ads doesn't act as enough of a distraction from the true meaning of Christmas.

Eid al-Adha, by the way, for those who don't know, is the Islamic "festival of sacrifice" that concludes the Hajj, which is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. There's no danger of the pilgrims taking advantage of the Indians in that holiday image.

Speaking of the true meaning of Christmas, the Boston Herald reported on a Nativity scene in Manchester's public square that was removed by local government officials who merely feared it would invite lawsuits. The state's Bayam Elementary School is debating whether or not to bar Santa Claus, dreidels and any other religious-themed chachka from the school's holiday gift store. One humorless parent defended banning jolly old St. Nick because if the school allows Santas, swastikas would find their way into the classrooms next.

And that, perhaps, is the broader cultural significance of the war on Christmas. In our relativistic age, we're not expected to believe in anything. To politically correct liberals, belief is an odd eccentricity passed down by barbarians who lived in a more superstitious time.

The war on Christmas is really an attack on Americans' independence. We can't do anything anymore without our betters supervising what we drink, drive, eat, smoke or read. Surely we can't be trusted to celebrate on our own, either.