December 20, 2005
It was just a small thing but I was taken aback when I received
a memo saying that the offices at work would be shut down during
"winter closure." Then it dawned on me that "winter
closure" was what we used to call "Christmas vacation."
colleges and universities have long since stopped calling it the
Christmas vacation. A large shopping mall in San Francisco was
decked out in all sorts of holiday decorations, including a huge
tree, with Santa Claus sitting next to it -- but nowhere was there
that now-controversial phrase, "Merry Christmas."
is that any mention of Christmas might offend people who are not
Christians -- and that this should be avoided at all costs.
who does not keep track of my friends' religions, I have undoubtedly
over the years sent out Christmas cards to people who were Jewish
or non-religious. Yet none has protested or seemed to be traumatized.
is now one of many things that make us walk on eggshells during
this supposedly liberated era. Are we all wimps?
years, we have gotten used to the American Civil Liberties Union
launching legalistic jihads against recognitions of Christmas,
in between coming to the rescue of murderers and terrorists.
invokes that famous phrase about a "wall of separation between
church and state" -- a phrase found nowhere in the Constitution
but somehow considered to be part of Constitutional law.
forbad Congress from creating "an establishment of religion"
but this was no mysterious concept known only to deep thinking
who wrote the Constitution all knew exactly what an establishment
of religion was because they had all lived under one -- the established
Church of England.
meant that everyone had to pay taxes to support that church, whether
they belonged to it or not, and that people who didn't belong
to the established church could not be admitted to various institutions
or be appointed to certain official positions.
nothing to do with Christmas, merry or otherwise.
It is one
of the sad signs of our times that we allow the ACLU to bamboozle
us, or bully us with lawsuits, over something for which no one
ever passed a law.
gets away with this not only because of liberal judges who create
their own laws out of thin air and call it "Constitutional"
law. The ACLU and others get away with spooking us on all sorts
of things, even when they don't threaten us with lawsuits, but
only with not being in step with the latest politically correct
It is not
just on religious issues that the media and the intelligentsia
seem determined to suppress the symbols of Western civilization.
American flags can be seen on homes in working class communities
but seldom on elite college campuses.
banish the symbols of a civilization often undermine that civilization
in other ways as well. People who warn us against being "Eurocentric"
are often totally Eurocentric when it comes to condemning the
sins of the human race as if they were peculiarities of "our
not just isolated foibles that we can laugh at. No society can
survive in the long run without the allegiance of its people.
Undermining a sense of the worthiness of a society undermines
that allegiance -- and, without allegiance, there is no defense.
In the international
jungle, made more dangerous by terrorist networks that circle
the globe, anything that it is not defended is in jeopardy --
which means we are all in jeopardy, and so are our children and
our children's children.
wage war against the symbols of American society and Western civilization
may do so for no wider purpose than moral exhibitionism or just
a desire to be in step with fashionable trends. But silliness
can be a prelude to tragedy.
enjoy your winter closure, your merry you-know-what, and -- before
it becomes taboo -- a Happy New Year.
2005 Creators Syndicate