Congressman Thomas Massie’s Christmas card showed a picture of him and six other members of his family each holding a long gun. The card carries the inscription, “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.” A photo of the card was posted on Twitter on December 4.
Massie was criticized for doing so, drawing the ire of those who say that this card came on the heels of the Michigan school shooting. On December 6, he stood his ground saying he would not delete the photo.
Rep. Massie’s Christmas card was offensive, but not because we believed he intentionally tried to make a statement relative to what happened in Michigan.
The gun imagery was in bad taste. If this needed to be explained, then he has an even bigger problem. Most importantly, it had absolutely nothing to do with honoring the meaning of Christmas.
Throughout the years, we have objected to the dumbing-down of Christmas, using it as a medium to make statements that are extrinsic to the meaning of Christmas. Whether it was a nativity scene with animals in lieu of the Holy Family, or Christmas cards that were nothing more than a family album, the trend has been to relegate the birth of Jesus to a second-class status. That’s why Massie’s contribution was not welcome.
In 2006, Bill Donohue received a Christmas card from President George W. Bush and the First Lady. When asked by the Washington Post if he objected to its secular tone—”Merry Christmas” was noticeably absent—Donohue said that while he did not like it, he assumed all presidents issued some generic Christmas cards. He was wrong.
Reporter Alan Cooperman told him that every president from FDR to Bush’s father had issued at least one card while in office that said “Merry Christmas.” That changed things. The newspaper quoted Donohue saying, “This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture.”
Rep. Massie had plenty of other opportunities throughout the year to sport his guns. Christmas should not have been one of them.