Don’t say “Christmas,” soldier
Maybe it was about time to get the Army involved in the War On Christmas – a long march through every corner of American life by the anti-religious, collectivist Left, designed to scour this prime patch of emotional and intellectual real estate clean of all religious significance. You’ll lose this holiday, Christians, even if they have to pry it from your trembling fingers. The big year-end holiday season is too valuable to be left in your hands.
Todd Starnes at Fox News relates a bizarre outburst from an “equal opportunity officer” at a meeting of the 158th Infantry Brigade in Mississippi, at which the annual Christmas football tournament was discussed:
“Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told me. “Almost the entire room blew up. Everybody was frustrated. The equal opportunity rep told our commander that not everyone celebrates Christmas and we couldn’t say Christmas celebration. It had to be holiday celebration.”
The soldier said there was a brief, but heated discussion about political correctness. At one point, the equal opportunity representative tried to deflect the criticism by pointing out it was the Army’s rules – not hers.
“She said an individual can say Christmas, but as an organization in the Army you can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told me.
The Army said there was no such policy… right before they said well, yeah, there kinda is.
“There is no policy at the 158th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East or First Army that forbids using the word ‘Christmas’,” Public Affairs Chief Amanda Glenn told me.
She confirmed that there was a discussion in the meeting about the football tournament. She said it was meant to be a team building event and it had no tie to a specific religious event or holiday celebration.
“The Equal Opportunity advisor simply stated that it would be more appropriate to call it a holiday football event,” she said.
That’s not how the soldier who told Starnes about the incident portrayed the one of the meeting, but even if it the public affairs chief is correct, it’s still extremely inappropriate to riddle the military with political officers who declare the word “Christmas” inappropriate. A big part of the War on Christmas involves portraying the true name of the holiday as inappropriate, divisive, exclusionary, and too religious for admission to the public square.
Once society concedes Christmas is “inappropriate,” its goose is cooked, because we have been conditioned to believe in the rigorous exclusion of the inappropriate from our officially sanctioned culture, and the part of culture that isn’t officially sanctioned dwindles in importance with every passing year. The “public square” is huge now; private life withdraws to the thinning shadows beyond its ever-expanding boundaries.
Starnes puts this incident in the context of other anti-Christian edicts that have been bubbling through the Army of late, particularly at Camp Shelby, but the War on Christmas is a crucial theater of battle. The purge of all respect for Christianity from public life cannot be completed as long as a major page of the calendar – the most important holiday of the year – is still dedicated, with both official and popular respect, to the great Christian holy day. Collectivists are great believers in the power of words; control of language equals control of thought. They know how important the word “Christmas” is, especially when people who aren’t Christian are bandying it about, smiling happily at heartfelt wishes for a Merry Christmas from their believing neighbors. Even worse, there might actually still be people who aren’t Christian saying “Merry Christmas” to each other! We can’t have that, now can we?
In truth, Christmas is the most inclusive of holidays, both in concept and execution, if I might borrow a bit of military lingo. Re-defining it as exclusive is an important step toward declaring it intolerant, at which point a barrage of heavy political and cultural artillery can be called in to destroy the target. This was also part of the objective in this year’s sudden brouhaha over jolly old white-skinned Santa Claus as an inherently divisive figure, whose blinding skin pallor (outside of his ruddy cheeks and nose) supposedly intimidated minority children and made them feel excluded from the holiday we’re not supposed to call Christmas any more. In times past, Christians worried that Santa Claus was muscling Christ out of the holiday; now it’s Santa’s turn to get the bum’s rush, not really because of what he looks like, but because of what “Santa” means.
You will relinquish that holiday, Christians. Part of the process will be forcing you to admit that you have no right to it, that even the most open-hearted appeal to the spirit of the season – a hearty wish of “Merry Christmas!” to your non-Christian friends and neighbors, without even the slightest implied subtext that they ought to knock off their non-Christianity – is divisive and “inappropriate.” If you object to the process, you’ll be told you’re “over-reacting,” something you’re probably accustomed to hearing by now. Then you’ll be conditioned to view resistance as more trouble than it’s worth. Who really wants to argue with the Equal Opportunity Officers, in either military or civilian life?
Once the name of the day has been officially rewritten across the millions of pages of rules that govern public life, those who revere Christmas will be fully marginalized, and the war will be won. All that remains will be a mop-up operation.