For too many decades the American people, by which I mean the people born and raised in the US in neighborhoods where there were family and neighbors who shared a culture, language, values, and history, have sat tolerantly while a tiny percentage of the population took away their culture by making it offensive to the tiny minority for Americans to live in their
John Whitehead, constitutional attorney and chairman of The Rutherford institute makes it clear in his statement below, that Americans are no longer allowed to practice Christmas outside their own homes. Homosexuals might be out of the closet, but the vast majority of Americans have been shoved into the closet.
Although Whitehead describes the control over our celebrations and speech that is exercised by a tiny minority, he writes as if only the minority can be offended. Yet the United States is a democracy in which the majority, not a tiny minority, is supposed to rule.
Whitehead gives an accurate account of Americans’ inability to enjoy a public celebration of Christmas. The tiny minority simply won’t allow it and succeeded in using the Supreme Court to prevent it, writes Dr. Paul C. Roberts for The Herland Report.
John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His books Battlefield America: The War on the American People and A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State are available online at www.amazon.com.
To a Nation of Snowflakes, Christmas Has Become Another Trigger Word
John W. Whitehead
“This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace without. Everywhere paralyzing fears harrow people by day and haunt them by night. Our world is sick with war; everywhere we turn we see its ominous possibilities. And yet, my friends, the Christmas hope for peace and goodwill toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopian. If we don’t have goodwill toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power.”— Martin Luther King, Jr., “A Christmas Sermon on Peace”
To a nation of snowflakes, Christmas has become yet another trigger word.
The latest Christmas casualties in the campaign to create one large national safe space are none other than the beloved animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (denounced for promoting bullying and homophobia) which first aired on television on December 6, 1964, and the Oscar-winning tune “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (accused of being a date rape anthem) crooned by everyone from Dean Martin to Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the movie Elf.
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One publishing company even re-issued their own redacted version of Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem “Twas the night before Christmas” in order to be more health conscious: the company edited out Moore’s mention of Santa smoking a pipe (“The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, / And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.”)
Oh, the horror.
After a year plagued with its fair share of Scrooges and Grinches and endless months of being mired in political gloom and doom, we could all use a little Christmas cheer right now. Unfortunately, the politically charged Right and Left have been trying to score points off each other for so long, using whatever means available, that even Christmas has been weaponized.
Yet, just because the War on Christmas has been adopted as a war cry by Donald Trump doesn’t mean that it’s not real. Look around you.
When I was a child in the 1950s, the magic of Christmas was promoted in the schools. We sang Christmas carols in the classroom. There were cutouts of the Nativity scene on the bulletin board, along with the smiling, chubby face of Santa and Rudolph. We were all acutely aware that Christmas was magic.
Fast forward to the present day, and there is a phobia surrounding Christmas that has turned it into fodder for the politically correct culture wars.
Indeed, in its “Constitutional Q&A: Twelve Rules of Christmas,” The Rutherford Institute points out that some communities, government agencies and businesses have gone to great lengths to avoid causing offense over Christmas.
The war on Christmas
Students asked to send seasonal cards to military troops have been told to make them “holiday cards” and instructed not to use the words “Merry Christmas” on their cards.
In Minnesota, a charter school banned the display of a poster prepared to promote the school’s yearbook as a holiday gift because the poster included Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and other secular Christmas icons, not to mention the word “Christmas.”
In Texas, a teacher in Texas who decorated her door with a scene from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” including a scrawny tree and Linus, was forced to take it down lest students be offended or feel uncomfortable.
In Connecticut, teachers were instructed to change the wording of the classic poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to “Twas the Night Before a Holiday.”
Things are not much better outside the schools.
In one West Virginia town, although the manger scene (one of 350 light exhibits in the town’s annual Festival of Lights) included shepherds, camels and a guiding star, the main attractions—Jesus, Mary and Joseph—were nowhere to be found due to concerns about the separation of church and state.
In Delaware, a Girl Scout troop was prohibited from carrying signs reading “Merry Christmas” in their town’s annual holiday parade.
While the First Amendment Establishment Clause prohibits the government from forcing religion on people or endorsing one particular religion over another, there is no legitimate legal reason why people should not be able to celebrate the season freely or wish each other a Merry Christmas or even mention the word Christmas.
The Rutherford Institute’s “Twelve Rules of Christmas” guidelines are helpful in dealing with folks who subscribe to the misguided notion that the law requires anything Christmas in nature be banned from public places.
Yet here’s the thing about this so-called War on Christmas that people don’t seem to get: while Christmas may be the “trigger” for purging Christmas from public places, government forums and speech—except when it profits Corporate America—it is part and parcel of the greater trend in recent years to whittle away at free speech and trample the First Amendment underfoot.
Claiming to promote tolerance and diversity while seeking a homogeneous mindset, many workplaces, schools and public places have become intolerant of any but the most politically correct viewpoints. Anything that might raise the specter of controversy is avoided at all costs.
We are witnessing the emergence of an unstated yet court-sanctioned right, one that makes no appearance in the Constitution and yet seems to trump the First Amendment at every turn: the right to not be offended.
This is censorship, driven by a politically correct need to pander to those who are easily offended. Where you see this “safe space” mindset really play out is in the nation’s public schools, which continue to adopt policies—such as zero tolerance policies—that promise to steer young people clear of anything that even hints at danger, controversy or non-politically correct thinking.
Unfortunately, all too often it is common sense and individual liberty that get trampled underfoot: a student gets suspended under the school’s zero tolerance policy against drugs for chewing on a Certs breath mint; a kindergartner is suspended under the school’s zero tolerance policy against violence for playing a make-believe game of cops and robbers using his finger as a gun; and a school trip to see “A Christmas Carol” is cancelled because of the school’s zero tolerance policy against anything that is in any way offensive.
See how that works? Zero tolerance policies are ultimately about programming people into compliance with the government’s dictates. The government doesn’t care about Christmas. It cares about control.
By government, I’m talking about the entrenched government bureaucracy that really calls the shots no matter what political party controls Congress and the White House.
All of the petty sniping over Melania Trump’s red-themed Christmas decorations?
That plays perfectly into the Deep State’s efforts to keep the citizenry at odds with each other and incapable of presenting a united front against the threats posed by the government and its cabal of Constitution-destroying agencies and corporate partners. You want to know why this country is in the state it’s in?
The Greek philosopher Socrates believed in teaching people to think for themselves and in the free exchange of ideas. For his efforts, he was accused of corrupting the youth and was put to death. However, his legacy lived on in the Socratic method of teaching: posing questions that help young and old discover the answers by learning to think for themselves. Now even the Socratic method is in danger of extinction.
As Rod Serling, creator of the classic sci-fi series Twilight Zone and one of the most insightful commentators on human nature, once observed, “We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”
You can’t sanitize reality. You can’t scrub out of existence every unpleasant thought or idea. You can’t legislate tolerance. You can’t create enough safe spaces to avoid the ugliness that lurks in the hearts of men and women. You can’t fight ignorance with the weapons of a police state.
What you can do, however, is step up your game. Opt for kindness over curtness, and civility over censorship. Choose peace over politics, and freedom over fascism. Find common ground with those whose politics or opinions or lifestyles may not jive with your own.
Do your part to make the world a little brighter and a little lighter, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll have a chance of digging our way out of this hole.