In 2005, Bill O'Reilly declared there was a "War On Christmas" because retailers were posting signs that said, "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas." Of course, the stores were simply trying to appeal to all Americans instead of a single group, in hopes that everyone would buy more stuff during the holiday shopping season. But Uncle Bill and his followers proceeded to blacklist retailers and anyone else who didn't cave in to the media pressure.
Now, three years later, Bill is pushing, "We Say Merry Christmas" bumper stickers (free with a purchase of $19.95 or more from his website), The Liberty Council and Focus on the Family have posted "Naughty or Nice" lists, identifying retailers who mention (or don't mention) the word "Christmas" in their ads, and there has been a major backlash by religious groups (and individuals) about recent billboards and signs posted by various groups.
When are Bill and the others going to realize that this is not a war on Christmas? Rather, it's an effort to include everyone, regardless of their beliefs, in the celebration of the season. Whether you celebrate The Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever, you should have the right, in a free country, to celebrate and to be acknowledged without exclusion or discrimination.
I mean, we're bombarded with Christmas messages even though most non-Christians know that it was originally a pagan holiday. You don't see non-Christian groups boycotting, having signs removed, etc. (that I know of). People of all faiths (and no faith) should be able to enjoy gift giving, family gatherings, and private and public celebrations without being demonized. And retailers should be able to advertise to the general public without being deemed "naughty".
What's really funny is the worst promotions against Christmas come from self-proclaimed Christians. See Fred Phelps's "Santa Clause will take you to Hell" promotion as a prime example.
How's that for a "War on Christmas?"
Liberty Council Naughty/Nice List
Focus on the Family puts retailers on Christmas naughty, nice list
Atheist sign joins nativity scene, tree at Capitol
Missing atheist sign found in Washington state
"Imagine No Religion" Billboard Visits Canton, Ohio This Month!
American Humanist Association Puts Atheist Ads on D.C. Buses
Don't believe in God? You are not alone.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)