5 Things You Didn't Know About the "War on Christmas"
Welcome once again to the most wonderful time of the year. Here in Houston the air is cool, the streets in River Oaks and Upper Kirby are festive as festive can be, gingerbread and peppermint-flavored everything adorns local drink menus, and the giant, soul-eating kraken that lives underneath the Galleria is already calling her annual sacrifices to her.
It's also a time to watch some of my fellow Houstonians re-apply their "Keep Christ in Christmas" bumper stickers so that they can't be mistaken for being on the wrong side of the totally made-up "War on Christmas." Every year there's yet another batch of yokels all eaten up with the belief that Christmas is somehow under attack from secular forces in order to, I don't know, make Jesus cry or something. It's martyrdom fan fiction written by people who have only the firstiest of First World problems.
While I could sit here for 700 words and lace a logical explanation about why the "War on Christmas" is stupid with penis jokes, instead I've got a better idea. If you've clicked on this link in a frothy rage, I want to tell you a few things you might not have realized about this war against the atheist liberal scum you think you're waging.
5. The "War" Was Started By the John Birch Society: If you've never heard of the John Birch Society then you probably get a better night's sleep than I do. Founder Robert Welch, a candy manufacturer, started off with a fairly legitimate organization dedicated to fighting communism in 1958, but like most people who made fighting communism a life-long goal what he started turned into a paranoid conspiracy that accused everything from fluoridation of water to the Book of the Month Club to being sinister, subliminal plots from hidden American commies to overthrow the capitalist nation.
One of their earliest campaigns, though, was the idea that Christ was being eradicated from Christmas celebrations as a classic communist strike at undermining religious belief in order to make people less able to resist the state. From the 1959 pamphlet "There Goes Christmas?!" by Hubert Kregeloh:
"The UN fanatics launched their assault on Christmas in 1958, but too late to get very far before the holy day was at hand. They are already busy, however, at this very moment, on efforts to poison the 1959 Christmas season with their high-pressure propaganda. What they now want to put over on the American people is simply this: Department stores throughout the country are to utilize UN symbols and emblems as Christmas decorations."
Piece continues on next page.