Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas

|Views: 6|Likes:
Published by Camp Constitution

More info:

Published by: Camp Constitution on Dec 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





by John Eidsmoe 
magine, if you will, a gala birthdayparty given in your honor. The guestswill sing, dance, give presents, eat,drink, and have the merriest of times.The hitch: your name will not be men-tioned, the gifts will not be for you, thecelebrants won’t be thinking about you,and everyone would sort of prefer thatyou not come.That’s all that will be left of Christ-mas if various groups have their way. Allacross the country, this year as in the pastseveral years, there has been a concerteddrive to remove all vestiges of Christianityfrom the celebration of Christ’s birthday.For example:
• Public schools increasingly call
Christmas vacation something like “win-ter break.”
• Students and teachers are discour
-aged or prohibited from wishing eachother “Merry Christmas,” preferring“Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”instead.
• Christmas trees are either banned or
called “winter trees.”
• Public-school Christmas programs, er,
pardon me, “winter programs,” go heavyon “Frosty the Snowman” and “Deck theHalls,” but the traditional Christmas carolsare censored.
• Retail store employees are instructed
to wish their customers “Happy Holidays”or “Seasons Greetings” rather than “MerryChristmas.”
• Retail catalogs tout their goods as per
-fect for “the season” but avoid mentioningChrist or Christmas.
• Christmas cards, if I may call them
that, wish our friends the “joys of the sea-son” but commonly omit the “Reason forthe season.
• Public buildings such as city halls,
fire and police departments, etc., featureholiday displays with holly, reindeer, and
 John Eidsmoe, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel,is a professor at the Oak Brook College of Law &Government Policy and serves as legal counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law.
   A   P   I  m  a  g  e  s
Keeping Chri in Chrima:
Thisnativity scene was set up with privatefunds as part of the traditional GermanChristkindlmarket in downtown Chicago.
Because “public life” now entails virtually every part of ourlives, erasing references to God entirely from public lifemeans virtually eliminating them from America.
The War on 
candy canes, but no manger scenes and noBaby Jesus.These practices are far from universal.But they are increasing, and they are partof a concerted drive to cleanse the publicarena from any and all vestiges of Ameri-ca’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
Sometimes this is done by public officialswho are themselves hostile to Christianityand the Bible. But I would like to think mostare motivated by other considerations.Sometimes officials secularize the pub-lic arena because they don’t want to of-fend anyone, and somehow they think theycan avoid giving offense by reducing theholiday observance to the lowest commondenominator. We need to remind theseofficials that we are offended when ourheritage is stripped of its mean-ing. Secularism is also a belief system.We must remember that thepublic sector has grown exponen-tially while the private sector hasshrunk. Today the public arena isthe main forum for the dissemi-nation and discussion of ideasand issues: public elementaryand secondary schools, publicuniversities, public streets, publicparks, public civic centers, pub-lic museums, public airwaves, and the like.The public arena has become the primaryforum for the battle of ideas. If religiousideas are prohibited in the public arena butsecular ideas are permitted, then religiousexpression and religious viewpoints areplaced at a distinct disadvantage.Other officials naively capitulate to theargument that the First Amendment man-dates an absolute separation of church andstate, and therefore any and all public reli-gious observances are unconstitutional. Infact, the federal courts have said no suchthing. In
Florey v. Sioux Falls Independent School District 
, 619 F.2d 1311 (8th Cir.1980),
the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Ap-peals ruled that public-school Christmasprograms can include sacred carols so longas they are a balanced part of a generalholiday observance. In
 Lynch v. Donnelly
,405 U.S. 668 (1984),
the Supreme Courtheld that a nativity scene in front of a firestation in Nantucket, Rhode Island, did notviolate the First Amendment. However,in
County of Allegheny v.
 ACLU of Pitts-burgh
, 492 U.S. 573 (1989), the SupremeCourt held 5-4 that a manger scene wasunconstitutional but that a Jewish menorahdid not violate the First Amendment. Thecourt rationalized its decision by observ-ing that the manger scene stood alone asan endorsement of Christianity, while themenorah was part of a general holiday dis-play that included both sacred and secularsymbols.Now, almost all Americans believe inreligious freedom, and hardly anyone inthis country wants an established statechurch. But the pilgrims did not come tothis country to get away from prayers atfootball games, and most Americans todaydo not believe a manger scene or a Christ-mas carol in the public arena constitutes anestablishment of religion.However, in recent years radical sepa-rationists have argued that a public reli-gious practice or public display of a reli-gious symbol endorses the religion of themajority and communicates a message tothe minority that they are excluded fromfull participation in the life of the nation.In
Glassroth v. Moore
, the challenge to theTen Commandments monument in the Al-
Some officials naively capitulate to theargument that the First Amendmentmandates an absolute separation ofchurch and state, and therefore anyand all public religious observancesare unconstitutional. In fact, thefederal courts have said no such thing.
the ten Commandmen monumen,
as seen in 2003 through the doors of theAlabama Judicial Building, was ordered removed by a federal court.
   A   P   I  m  a  g  e  s

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->