ISSN 2330-717X

Censoring And Neutering Christmas – OpEd

Bill DonohueBill Donohue

Secularists are not necessarily anti-Christmas, but the radicals in their ranks are. At the top of the list is FFRF. Its tactics are twofold: If religious Christmas symbols and events cannot be banned, secular symbols and events must compete with them. Consider the following.

For many years, the northern Michigan town of Menominee has displayed a nativity scene on public property. It was taken down this year after a complaint by FFRF. Chicago’s Daley Square has long been host to a life-size nativity scene, and in recent years that spot has been shared with a display by FFRF: it is celebrating seasonal climate changes (the change from autumn to winter means a lot to these people); it is also saluting freedom from religion. Both the religious and the secular displays are now up.

FFRF reflexively chooses censorship over competition. It feels at home with censorial tactics because that is what it is good at (it is now threatening the city of St. Bernard, Ohio with a lawsuit over its crèche). But when that fails, faux competition is its default position. For example, the local Chicago chapter of FFRF explains its dummy secular display by saying “the holidays should be all-inclusive.” But they are not.

With the exception of national holidays, such as the 4th of July and Thanksgiving, most holidays are properly exclusionary in nature.

Martin Luther King Day celebrates the contributions of this American civil rights leader. No one else is celebrated on his holiday; to do so would be to neuter his heroics. Similarly, Veteran’s Day excludes all non-veterans from its celebrations. If everyone were included, it would negate the honors that veterans deserve.

To those who still don’t get it (they are largely post-graduates), try this thought experiment. What makes our birthdays special? Still need help? One of the wonderful things about our birthdays is that they exclude most of the world from celebrating with us. We get the gifts—everyone else gets nothing.

Three cheers for exclusion!

Try educating FFRF: [email protected]


About the Author

William Donohue
William Donohue
William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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