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‘Tis the season to talk a bunch of baubles

‘Tis the season to talk a bunch of baubles

Google ‘War on Christmas 2014’ and you will find a raft of reports about vinegary American atheists working their godless socks off to squeeze all the cheer out of the festive season, and trash all that’s ‘holy’ about lickle baby Jesus’ birthday.

Here, from The Blaze (dated Dec 1), is  just one of dozens:

Atheists are bringing their annual war on Christmas to the south, where a new billboard campaign takes direct aim at the Christian holiday.

American Atheists, an activist group based in Cranford, New Jersey, launched numerous billboards Monday featuring a little girl and her mock letter to Santa.

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At first glance, the text appears to be a direct response to vast majority of American Christians who embrace at least some of what the Bible recounts about Christ’s purported divinity.

Consider that a 2013 poll found that 77 percent of US citizens believe that Jesus was resurrected, with a separate poll finding that nearly 70 percent of the nation believes Christ is God or God’s son.

American Atheists claim, though, that the billboards — on display from December 1-24 — targets:

In the closet atheists who are pressured to observe religious traditions during the holidays. Even children know churches spew absurdity, which is why they don’t want to attend services. Enjoy the time with your family and friends instead.

That was from American Atheists President David Silverman who added:

Today’s adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed.

The billboard appears in numerous southern cities, including Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, St Louis, Missouri, Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin — locations intentionally selected “to be near schools and churches”, according  to American Atheists.

During past Christmas seasons, American Atheists has taken its anti-Christmas message to New York City’s Times Square, among other locations. Last year’s Times Square billboard asked, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” then answered: “Nobody”.

And American Atheists’ 2012 “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!” featured an image of Santa with a photo of Jesus suffering on the cross. The “merry” corresponded to the traditional Christmas mascot, with “myth” presented beneath the Christian savior’s picture, clearly in reference to Jesus’ death.

The 2011 campaign featured Jesus, Satan and Santa and the group’s 2010 message also called the Christmas story “a myth”.

Apparently bored by Christians grizzling about the “War on Christmas” in the UK, the media here appeared to to be underplaying the subject this year. Tabloid tales, according to Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian:

Seems to boil down mainly to changing taste in greetings cards and parents being denied the inalienable right to watch their kid singing Little Donkey, preferably with a tea towel on its head. Well, except in the 13 out of 14 schools where they still can.

Her op-ed was aimed at devout Christian Dr Liam Fox, below, who served as Defence Secretary between 2010 and 2011. He declared that British society must not shy away from its own beliefs or traditions such as saying “Happy Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”.

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In an online video message, Fox said Christmas is:

A time of hope and renewal, a central part of our religious belief.

Fox started his message by talking about religious tolerance – saying:

It lies at the heart of any truly civilised society. But, because we tolerate and respect views different to our own, that does not mean that we have to apologise for our own beliefs, traditions or culture.

He said he seeks to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas time and will wish everyone, “of all religions and none”, a “very happy and peaceful Christmas”.

Earlier, the Voice of Christians Persecuted in the UK – the  Christian Institute – revealed that many of the UK’s local councils were  abandoning the true meaning of Christmas in their Christmas cards.

Many of the messages offer variations of the phrase ‘Seasons Greetings, while some simply wish people ‘all the best for the festive period’.

Institute Director Colin Hart slammed those councils who ignored Jesus in their cards, but commended others who had:

Chosen to shun the saccharine sentiment of ‘Happy Holidays’ for Christmas cards that celebrate the coming of Jesus.

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The CI reported that ahe survey, of 2,000 families, commissioned by campaign group Christmas Starts with Christ, revealed that a third of children aged between ten and 13 do not know that Christmas marks the birth of Jesus. The poll also found that only ten per cent of adults can correctly state four facts about Jesus’ birth.

On BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback show Simon Calvert, spokesman for the Institute warned about secularists who want to “wipe out Christ from Christmas”.

The birth of Christ is a cause for deep joy not PC inflicted embarrassment. The Scrooge-like approach of some councils to take Christ out of Christmas is a denial of the wonderful truth of the Christmas story as well as an affront to this country’s Christian heritage. This has all the hallmarks of another attempt by publicly funded bodies to airbrush Christianity out of public life.

Of the 191 councils who supplied details of their official Christmas greetings, 27 per cent are not sending cards, reportedly due to budget cuts.

An additional 17 per cent are sending cards which do not even have a passing reference to Christmas.

Hat tip: Ernest Jackson (Council Christmas cards)

23 responses to “‘Tis the season to talk a bunch of baubles”

  1. Pete H says:

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin is in the north, not the south. 😉

  2. Barry Duke says:

    You’d think The Blaze would know that, Pete H. Anyway, thanks for the geography lesson.

  3. tonye says:

    ‘The poll also found that only ten per cent of adults can correctly state four facts about Jesus’ birth.’

    1. He was not born.
    2. He never existed.
    3. It’s just a story.
    4. He is not coming back.

    Does that mean I am in the top 10%?

  4. Broga says:

    The Christmas around Jesus, the supposed birth in a manger, the miracle pregnancy has a sense today of the bogus that it never had in the past. That sense of the bogus affects even those who are Christians still go through the motions of belief. It affects the clergy. They are far less misguided than they were but they have jobs to keep.

    The sacred nature of Christmas is exposed as sham by the ravening materialism of Christmas. No Christian restraint there as a horde of shoppers rip at goods they didn’t want in the first place. I heard one women say she didn’t need the TV she had bought but “you can’t ignore that kind of bargain.”

    Meanwhile, the media (particularly the BBC) foster the delusion that the population are overwhelmingly Christian and want to be deluged with dreary religious programmes on the one hand and utter junk viewing on the other.

    In passing, I see an Australian Report has linked “priestly celibacy” to sexual abuse. The Vatican immediately discounted the link. Frankie is between a rock and a hard place here. If he decides that celibacy is no longer a requirement he is telling thousands of priests that they have been denied sex and a companionable life in vain. If he continues with the requirement of celibacy then the tsunami of priestly abuse will continue. Seems that a need for prayer and guidance is his only option.

  5. barriejohn says:

    Talking about Christmas Cards, does anyone know why our beloved royals, Katherine and Wilhelm, have a picture of the Clitheroe Kid adorning theirs this year?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2872867/He-s-Gorgeous-Prince-George-proudly-poses-soldier-jumper-adorable-Christmas-portrait.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

    “Ooh, ‘eck!”

  6. Brian Jordan says:

    It doesn’t need atheists to deflate Chrstmas: the proponents have the process well under way. When I were a lad (not that far from Clitheroe, btw) Christmas was always “Merry”: now for the past few years it’s been an abstemious “Happy”.

  7. Pete H says:

    Barry – it doesn’t surprise me that The Blaze got it wrong. It is owned by Glenn Beck after all!

  8. Cali Ron says:

    Glenn Beck is so far off the deep end even Faux News dumped him.

    “Chosen to shun the saccharine sentiment of ‘Happy Holidays’ for Christmas cards that celebrate the coming of Jesus.” What? Are they shunning the Aspartame sentiment, too? And correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t x-mas celebrate the “birth” of christ, not the “coming of jesus”, which is usually a reference to the second imaginary coming of the imaginary son of the imaginary god.

    @barriejohn.
    Thanks for the link. I found the clothing description and ordering info very helpful. I’ve gotta get me one of those “blue sleeveless jumper’s, decorated with marching guardsmen complete with bearskins and red tunics”. Shit! there sold out. My chance for royal haberdashery ruined again! Ahh, the life of a commoner.

  9. barriejohn says:

    Cali Ron: I bet they’re all heading for the States!

    (What is it with the royals and guns?)

    PS: Fret ye not:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-george/11292883/Prince-Georges-sold-out-Christmas-tank-top-could-go-on-sale-again.html

    (That’s “news”)

  10. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: W. and K. are on a big PR campaign on which they are doing as they are told. They want to retrieve the Windsors from the disaster of Charles, Di deceased and Charles’ missus. The manipulation of this strange pair shows through. Their behaviour rarely departs from abnormal.

    Is this just the raving of a republican nasty? Here is just one cringing, stomach turning example from many on their recent begging tour of the USA. William, stressed from maintaining his fixed leer, gives a short and embarrassing speech. Really a few comments. At the end, and no doubt at the instigation of his incompetent PR honchos, he attempts to be a regular guy with this last sentence, “I’m now off to shoot a few hoops.” Oh my Gawd!

  11. Stuart H. says:

    Posh church down the road from me is getting the Xmas spirit big time. Some friends of ours asked to use the church hall to do a weekly lunch for the town’s homeless, and would have paid the full commercial rate as the church wardens weren’t interested. Heard yesterday that a special meeting of the church council voted to not only say no, but ban anyone involved from booking the hall in the future.
    In response I managed to piss off the vicar today. Couldn’t help noticing Baby Jesus was missing from their nativity display in the church porch as I passed, so I asked him “What’s up, were his parents too downmarket for you?”

  12. Broga says:

    @Stuart H: It seems as if they were offended at any attempt to feed the poor and wanted to ban anyone involved from the hall in the future. Not a hell of a lot of “Blessed are the poor” there.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Stuart H: They should inform the local press. The churches are always quick enough to publicize the “good works” that they do.

  14. Cali Ron says:

    @barriejohn: I’ve got my bid in, but the competition is furious for those royal knickers.

    Apparently some of us Yanks have royal envy. Why can’t we have government subsidized, god appointed state figureheads with no real authority and a bad fashion sense, too? The closest we got was JFK, but we shot him with 1 of our many 2nd amendment protected guns. The best we can hope for now is a Bush dynasty if Jeb can get elected president, but will never have the pomp and circumstance of a royal court. Sigh. Try as we might, we lack that certain sort of elegant arrogance that only “royals” seem to possess.

  15. Marky Mark says:

    Didn’t Hitchens call Charles a chinless fool, or something close to that?

    As for christmas, I stopped celebrating that holiday years ago as well as easter. finely people stopped inviting me to their christmas gatherings and easter dinners after years of me not showing up.

    As for the gathering on christmas eve I spoke about in another thread, I’m going simply to see old friends I have not seen in years and I also suspect that my x-catholic friend does not want to be alone on this date…And keeping and old friend company is something I would gladly do, especially since he is now open to an atheist point of view. We should have some good conversations there.

  16. Lucy1 says:

    My main gripe is with poor George’s hideous socks and shoes. He is 17 months old, ffs.

    And the main story? I love carols and all the nonsense. Do not need to believe it is true.

  17. Marky Mark says:

    And yes, Milwaukee Wisconsin is in the north, north of Chicago on Lake Michigan.

  18. Marky Mark says:

    ” I love carols and all the nonsense.” LOL, this brought back a fond memory from my childhood and how we would rake in the cash the week before christmas by running around the neighborhood singing christmas carols door to door…the fact that not one of us could sing a note on key didn’t phase our prey in the least…LOL

  19. barriejohn says:

    Lucy: The royals – and upper classes generally – have no idea what to do with children. They treat them as miniature adults. (At the first grammar school that I attended – a very posh semi-independent concern – we all wore BOATERS in the summer!) Just watch Charles in these clips and ask yourself whether it is any wonder that he is a tad eccentric:

    http://youtu.be/NaCJ4xTfpx0

    There’s another newsreel where he greets his mother on her returm from a foreign trip and shakes her by the hand!

  20. Vanity Unfair says:

    I’m not sure about JFK being royal, despite the Camelot stories but the USA certainly had its own LBJ immediately afterwards so can boast of the divinity of presidency if not its royalty.

  21. Robster says:

    At this rate, Baby jesus will match reality by completely vanishing just in time for the holiday season. There’ll be empty factories in China no longer churning out little plastic jesus’s nailed to sticks, or his plastic parents and three wise pieces of PVC ready to ring the joy of non recyclables to the festive season. There’ll be barrels of cheap oil saved and less greenhouse gas emitted. Less silly nonsense too.

  22. Stonyground says:

    I find it amusing that here in the UK the gradual fading away of Christ from Christmas is being blamed on some kind of secularist plot. These people talk about tolerance but can’t stand the thought of anyone celebrating the festive season in their own way, without Jesus. We get annual complaints that the supermarkets don’t do religious themed Christmas cards when we all know that they do, just not very many because they don’t sell. The fact is, hardly anyone is interested in Christianity any more and these people are in denial about it.

  23. Vanity Unfair says:

    To Stuart H:
    “Couldn’t help noticing Baby Jesus was missing from their nativity display in the church porch…”
    That’s because, on no evidence at all, LBJ’s birthday is celebrated on 25th. December so he won’t be in the manger until then. When the church gets something right, or at least logical, perhaps we should rejoice.