It has become a tradition as reliable as the Rockefeller Center tree lighting itself. Every Christmas, we have to endure an onslaught of atheist rage directed at public facilities, southern Christians, and the very holiday at the center of all the controversy. This year, the prime militants – David Silverman’s American Atheists group – have started the season off with a bang. Hoping to stir up trouble, they’ve placed billboards in southern states featuring a little girl writing a letter to Santa: “Dear Santa,” the girl writes, “All I want for Christmas is to skip church. I’m too old for fairy tales.”
What is the point of such a billboard? Well, according to Silverman himself, the point is to get enough attention that he gets invited onto talk shows like The O’Reilly Factor. Bill O’Reilly has long made the War on Christmas a central component of his December ratings, so it’s only natural that he would comply with such a strategy.
But while the billboards and other obvious ragebait are just so much hot air, the atheist desire to transform the country is very real. And they have been remarkably successful. Think back to the way Christmas was when you were a kid. If you’re old enough, you can remember nativity scenes, people unafraid to say “Merry Christmas,” and even the occasional mention of Jesus on television. Now, of course, these have been replaced by secular holiday ornaments, “Happy Holidays,” and a moratorium on any mention of the man born in Bethlehem.
According to the atheists and their friends on the left, this has made America a more palatable place to live for people of all walks of life. Twisting the separation of church and state well beyond its original meaning, they have insisted on removing any government endorsement of Christianity, no matter how small or insignificant. This succeeds in sending conservatives into apoplectic fits every December, but it’s not clear whether it really has any beneficial impact on the rest of America.
I don’t have any problem with atheists or non-Christians. Believe what you want to believe. But the truth is that Christmas is and always will be a Christian holiday. And – perhaps illogically – it’s also a time of rampant commercialism and consumerism. Be that as it may, the American economy depends on the success of Christmas in more ways than one. For businesses to thrive by selling millions of dollars worth of products in the name of the holiday while refusing to say “Merry Christmas” is an irony that deserves scrutiny, if not condemnation.
Can you imagine the uproar if a Christian organization put up billboards during Ramadan meant to attack Islam? Someone would surely be put to death, and the liberal news media would kill them a second time with predictable vitriol. I’m not one to cry “poor, Christian me” too often, but there comes a time when enough is enough.