It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the town criers at Fox News, when reality intrudes on their dreams of a White (Evangelical) Christmas.
This year the outrage was triggered by a church nativity scene referencing hypocracy about attitudes toward immigrants and an asssertion about The Left opting for child pornography over Rudolf the Red Nose Reinder for holiday entertainment.
San Diego’s Mike Slater got the call from Fox and Friends this morning to bemoan a statanic statue in Illinois, and the banning of candy Christmas canes in a Nebraska classroom.
Last year it was the #MeToo movement spoiling office holiday parties as companies limit alcohol consumption. And who could forget the 2015 uproar over Starbucks cups with “no Christmas designs?”
The biggies at Fox apparently have erased sexual predator Bill O’Reilly’s 2014 boasts about “Single-Handedly Saving Christmas” from their archives.
This year’s edition of the Fox Nutcase Parade is getting plenty of push back in social media.
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) December 6, 2018
The letters from the War on Christmas battlefront are particularly poignant:
My entire regiment is ill. The enemy filled hundreds of Advent Calendars with ExLax instead of chocolate and we are the worse for it. The only relief from the stench is the aroma wafting across the river of the enemy’s chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
— Christopher Moore (@TheAuthorGuy) December 3, 2018
Last year’s Pew Research Center study on the holiday found that while most Americans celebrate Christmas, fewer of them consider it a religious holiday.
NPR guest host Ray Suarez spoke with religion professor Elizabeth Drescher about how millennials in particular think about religious holidays and how religion plays into their identity.
Well, you know, I mean, I think we’ve seen a shift in the last 20 years or so in how people understand what religion and the spiritual are. And part of this comes out of the rise of the religious right in the 1980s, which defined religion in a fairly narrow kind of way. And for lots of people, that was a big turn off.
In other words, the rise of theocratic aspirations in American culture and politics is driving the very thing that its media mouthpieces are decrying.
As the folks at the Friendly Atheist blog note:
Republicans found a way to turn people against the idea of a “Merry Christmas,” dividing people over an issue that really doesn’t have to be controversial, and all because conservative Christians decided to co-opt something else as a sign of true patriotism.
There are plenty of religious folks who aren’t buying this bunk, as pastor John Pavlovitz’ column in the Kansas City Star indicates:
White evangelical Christianity as it is currently constructed in America cannot peaceably coexist with the Jesus of the scriptures,with the truth of the baby in the center of the Nativity, with the gritty off-white reality of Christmas — which is why it is choosing to remove him.
We cannot let this happen. We who seek to emulate Jesus and guard humanity need to speak this truth. We need to oppose their perennial act of aggression and their annual victim rhetoric.
We need to fight for the sick child, the migrant family, the transgender teenager, the homeless veteran, the young black man. Because when we do, we are perpetuating the heart of the Middle Eastern child, born under duress in the place where livestock dined — the one who turned the world upside down in the name of a compassion that knew no borders and a love that had no walls.
Yes there is a war on Christmas. And we’ve chosen our side.
The phrase and its annually manufactured outrages are, of course, a device used by the right wing to gin up fear.
This year’s holiday delirium at Fox is likely connected in some small way to the growing realization that El Trumpo has a lot of bad news coming his way in December.
From what I see on the presidential twitter feed this morning, I’m thinking it’s gonna be a Blue Christmas at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Via Gabe Oriz at Daily Kos:
But, hey, it’s the job of Fox News stooges to give Trump a safe space by shielding him from a flood of really bad (for him) Mueller-related news, and if they can throw in an old Fox News classic, like the traditional “War on Christmas,” it’s a two-for-one. Of course, there’s no outrage for the detained migrant children who actually will have to spend the holidays in a prison camp in the Texas desert. Merry Christmas.
Countdown to The End. Friday, December 14, will mark the end of this version of the San Diego Free Press, along with this column.
I have been asked about my future plans, and the answer is: I’m still figuring it out. So if you or your organization have a niche for my talents, this would be a good time for us to talk. firstname.lastname@example.org