There was a time when the Christmas haters were on the offensive, but now the pushback is in full gear. Our side is showing increasing resolve, and becoming more creative, even when we lose a legal battle.
The Catholic League threw down the gauntlet when Oregon’s Hillsboro School District censored Santa—not just Jesus—from any public display. Employees were told not to decorate their doors with religious figures or symbols, even going so far as to ban Santa.
The school district said it was responding to complaints made over the years by school employees saying that Christmas decorations made them feel “uncomfortable.” We decided it was time to make these school officials feel “uncomfortable.”
We bombarded the Portland media with a news release by Bill Donohue that told it like it is. “After telling employees to ‘refrain’ from using Santa to decorate their doors—in the name of being ‘respectful and sensitive to diverse perspectives and beliefs’—school officials then lied to the community, saying, ‘We [are] NOT banning Santa.’ But that is exactly what they did.”
It didn’t take long before Donohue received an apology from the Hillsboro School District, saying it was all a misunderstanding. Santa was back, and “Christmas-related decorations” were allowed to be displayed.
Another victory was notched when a Texas judge overruled a school district that had banned a poster depicting a scene from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The Christmas haters said it had a Christian message, and had to be censored.
A Christmas hater in Knightstown, Indiana, filed a federal lawsuit to get town officials to remove a cross from atop their Christmas tree. The victory was marred when townspeople responded by putting crosses everywhere—they adorned businesses, yards, parks—places where crosses were never seen.
The most active Christmas haters this season were the ACLU, Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), American Atheists, and the Satanic Temple. The ACLU filed suit over religious symbols on public property; FFRF erected anti-Christmas displays next to nativity scenes; American Atheists paid for billboards mocking Christmas; and the Satanists placed their symbols on public grounds.
“Trees of Diversity” were exhibited in parts of Utah, Marquette University would not allow a Christmas tree event—it held an “Igniting Hope” tree ceremony—and a “Winter Concert” in Mesa, Arizona censored the singing of “Silent Night.”
These examples show that the Christmas wars are far from over. But compared to where we were a decade ago, there are encouraging signs. The nation is increasingly fed up with political correctness, and that is a very good thing.