Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The War on the War on Christmas is worse than you think

Until very recently -- five minutes ago, actually -- I had been relying more or less on second-hand accounts of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's outrage over the supposed "War on Christmas." Using the time-honored tool of the researcher, Google, I came across this at Media Matters:

O'Reilly: "War" on Christmas part of "secular progressive agenda" that includes "legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage"

There's a video; please watch it and feel free to sneer while O'Reilly and John Gibson, also a Fox News anchor and author of "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought," make fools of themselves in front of millions of television viewers.

Who knew? Little Johnny isn't going to go running into the Toys 'R Us store full of greedy dreams of giant robots and shiny trucks and have a clerk remind him that it's "Christmas" time any more -- which is sure to leave plenty of room in his tiny brain for the insidious ideologies of Marxists and queers.

Toward the end of the segment, O'Reilly even brings this up, in a way. He says, after discussing the public schools' reference to the inter-semester break in classes as a "winter break,"

"No kid's gonna come home and ask Mom what 'winter break' is. But a kid might come home and say, 'Hey, what's this Christmas thing all about? Who's this baby Jesus guy?' So look, that's on a very intellectual level, and it's behind the scenes, but these retailers are just killing... they're shooting themselves in the foot. They're just killing themselves. Because millions of people are just not going to shop in these places."
So, according to Bill, the onus of "Christmas education" is on the shoulders of our nation's retailers. This is news to me -- I was under the impression that they were the ones who'd already undone Christmas with their unending calls to crippling consumerist binges. Now that they've suggested removing even the farce of mentioning the Christian holiday, they've really become the Bad Guys.

Shouldn't it be Mom who told little Johnny about Christmas? I'd probably report myself to Child Protective Services if all my kid knew about Christmas came from Geoffery Giraffe, and I'd deserve to be arrested.

That's what really, deep down, bugs me about this entire movement: it attempts to make the public schools and private retailers responsible for what is and should remain a parental responsibility to educate their own children about faith and morals.

I certainly wouldn't trust my kids to get their religious education from anyone else... particularly not from Bill O'Reilly.