Saturday, December 25, 2004

Washington Post And the Christmas Seige

Here's an article from the Washington Post, attempting to be all fair and balanced -- cites both the ACLU and the ADF on the Great Christmas Seige.

(You'll remember the ADF as the charming folks who sued the school two days before Thanksgiving, the one that they claimed "banned" the Declaration of Independence? When actually the school principal just objected to a fundie teacher using the classroom to preach the word of Christ to his third-graders?)

Anyway, according to the article, the Far-Right religious folk claim to feel "that traditional values are under attack from all different angles," according to Erik Stanley, chief counsel for the Liberty Counsel -- and that's why they've started this seige on Christmas fuss, not to mention the gay-marriage protests, and the hard-core press against evolution being taught in the schools.

Because not-teaching evolution is a traditional value. I guess.

Or maybe ignorance is?

Also from the article:

"Those on the other side of these battles say the Christian groups are wildly exaggerating the threats from a phantom enemy for the purpose of mobilizing evangelicals to contribute funds (some groups are explicitly using the Christmas issue to raise money) or to become politically active. On the Christmas fight, the American Civil Liberties Union, the group most often cited as the enemy of traditionalists, says it has not filed a single case blocking Christmas displays this year and cites half a dozen instances over the past year in which it has fought on the side of more religious expression."

The article goes on to say:

In the case of secularizing Christmas, it is more difficult to demonstrate a widespread threat.

"It's very convenient for Christians to say the culture has changed and they've lost power, but Christians have never been stronger politically," said Marci A. Hamilton, who teaches at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and has written a book, "God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law."

She said the threat to Christmas "is not secularization, it's pluralization. The law doesn't say Christian symbols have to be taken out of schools, only that it can't only be Christian, it has to be pluralistic."

The conservative groups agree there have been no recent legal cases limiting religious expression. [Conservative] Liberty Counsel's Stanley said threats to Christmas have not jumped this year. "I think the response to those threats are increasing," he said.

(My emphasis added.)

So there is no seige on Christmas -- there's a Far-Right movement to invent a bunch of noise to make it sound like there's a seige on Christmas.

Why isn't the media doing a story on that?

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