Every year, millions of Christians that celebrate the birth of their Savior are faced with the attacks on Christmas - "holiday trees," atheist ad campaigns and even outright blasphemy in mocking nativity scenes. To Christians and conservatives, the evidence is overwhelming. But in recent years, the left and the mainstream media have actively denied that the war even exists.
From the hard left gang of current and former MSNBC personalities to CNN hosts to Huffington Post writers, the watch words have been "fake" and "phony" and "ridiculous." With varying degrees ire, they've blamed Fox News and the "Christian right" for the "manufactured outrage" at attacks on Christmas.
2011: The Battle Continues
But just how "fake" is this war on Christmas? The Culture and Media Institute has compiled a short list of the attacks on Christmas that have occurred this year alone.
The most sacrilegious attack this year comes in the form of a Christmas television special set to air in Canada, that features the home-made porn star and household- name Pamela Anderson starring as the Virgin Mary.
The most widely-known U.S. attack on Christmas 2011 comes from none other than the governor of Rhode Island, Independent Lincoln Chafee. Sporting his political correctness cap this year, Chafee has renamed the state house Christmas tree a "holiday tree." Chafee's decision frustrated Rhode Island Republican state representative Doreen Costa, who called Chafee a "Grinch" and decided to erect her own Christmas tree to compete with his tree. "The governor defended his decision by arguing that it is in keeping with the state's founding in 1636 by religious dissident Roger Williams as a haven for tolerance - where government and religion were kept separate," the Daily Mail reported.
In upstate New York, one school district has declared that "Christmas and Hanukkah will no longer be celebrated in classrooms." According to FOX/WROC, The Batavia City School District will no longer allow decorations for either holiday to appear in classrooms as well as teachers are discouraged from writing or saying "Merry Christmas." In Fairfax County, Va., grade-schoolers are treated to "winter celebration."
In Texas, another school district has declared war on Christmas - this time, classrooms are not allowed to celebrate Santa Claus or exchange gifts. Even those in Santa hats that wish to do good are being discouraged - yes, Mills Fleet Farm Stores in Wisconsin have banned the Salvation Army bell-ringers because allowing them on property could "open the floodgates to others," said company co-president Stewart Mills Jr. However, Mills later reversed the ban, calling the initial decision "unfortunate."
Even our "tolerant" Federal government is playing the Grinch card this year. According to FoxNews.com, "A group of Christmas carolers was thrown out of a U.S. Post Office in Silver Spring, MD, after the post office manager told them they were not allowed to sing Christmas carols on government property."
There are plenty of examples from the recent past documented by the Culture and Media Institute. In 2009, Manhattan clothing retailer XOXO upped the Christmas raunch factor by displaying young models in "window theater" to attract buyers by undressing and dressing one another.
That same year across the pond an eco-celebration took place instead of a Christmas one, when a 33-foot cone was used in place of a Christmas tree in Poole, Dorset, U.K., in order to bring awareness to "health and safety" issues.
A year earlier, there was a pornographic display of the Virgin Mary in Playboy Mexico. The cover read "We love you Maria" and featured a model in nothing but a white sheet covering her head and breasts.
Comedy Central featured comedian Denis Leary in a one hour feature titled "Merry F-ing Christmas" in 2005 which Leary's routine included references to alcoholism, drug use and sexual misconduct.
The list goes on, but it's not enough for the secular liberal media to recognize a pattern. They prefer Denial and blame-shifting.
Not surprisingly, the media have gained their talking points from left wing blogs that suggested the "war on Christmas" has spawned from the imaginations of those on the right.
CNN correspondent Carol Costello openly admitted that her biased ideas about the war on Christmas came from none other than The Huffington Post. On the Nov. 30, 2011 "CNN Newsroom" broadcast, Costello said:
"Fox News, as it does every year, went crazy….I know, it's ridiculous, depending on how you look at it. As political reporter Jason Linkins writes on The Huffington Post, 'There is no war on Christmas, never was.' He goes on to write, 'in fact, many Christians, myself included, register a basic level of annoyance at the way the Christmas season now stretches back into October because we don't really need a basic reminder of how to properly celebrate the birth of Christ or his divinity on the account of the fact there is a basic concept called faith that we keep in our hearts ... Is there really a war on Christmas?'"
Speaking of The Huffington Post, it recently managed to document a battle in the war on Christmas while simultaneously pooh-poohing it. Peter Orvetti detailed the latest action in "the annual fight over the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn."
As Orvetti explained, in 2009, reacting to agitation by atheist groups, the county banned all seasonal displays from the courthouse lawn, including the nativity scene that had been there for many years. That was subsequently moderated, and 10 displays per year would be allowed, first-come, first-served, for anyone who wanted them.
"This year," Orvetti wrote, "all the spots were nabbed by March, with most taken by atheist and humanist groups, and two by the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Another spot featured a skeleton Santa Claus, crucified. It was "intended to comment on the commercialization of the holiday."
Yet after all that, Orvetti dismissed the incident as "a flash point in the ginned-up 'War on Christmas.'" If anyone is ginning-up the war on Christmas, Orvetti himself just gave them plenty to work with.
CNN's John Avlon let his true feelings show on "The Situation Room" on Dec. 15, 2010 when he barked, "I mean, what is absurd to me and sad is that the whole phony, manufactured outrage on the war on Christmas has jumped from talk radio to the US. Senate … But this is just such manufactured outrage … phony political gamesmanship … tired of some of the games that they are seeing."
Dependable liberal Alan Colmes appeared on the "Imus in the Morning" show on Dec. 1, 2011 saying, "Are we having a phony war on Christmas again this year and drum up with the idea that liberals have on Christmas …"
If it's not phony, then it must be meaningless. Richard Wolffe on MSNBC's "Politics Nation" on the Nov. 1, 2011 broadcast said, "They've got meaningless stuff like this which, like the representative said, nobody is questioning. I don't know where - it's like the war on Christmas. Who is waging this one?"
It wouldn't be a textbook liberal argument without a "psycho" right wing enemy. Indeed, the liberal media have called those who acknowledge the war everything from "paranoid" to "psycho," and their so-called war, "phony," "manufactured" and "fake."
Target: Fox News
MSNBC's favorite loudmouth, Ed Schultz, didn't mince words about those who "believe" in the war on Christmas. On his Dec. 21, 2010 show, he said, "And in 'Psycho Talk' tonight, the brain wizards over at 'Fox & Friends' took a quick break this morning from wining about the war on Christmas to launch some cheap shots at the Obama administration's counterterrorism efforts."
Two days later, guest host Cenk Uygur, apparently unable to come up with anything original for the same "Ed Show" segment, said, "This Fox News obsession with a non-existent war on Christmas is the very merry psycho talk."
Jonathan Alter carried the war-on-Fox torch into the Dec. 16, 2010 broadcast of Hardball, saying, "These guys are playing the Christmas card … it reminds me of what Fox did. Remember the war on Christmas? They tried to stigmatize liberals by saying that they were anti-Christmas or something."
And no "war on Christmas" attack would be complete without a hit on Bill O'Reilly. On Nov. 18, 2010, Keith Olbermann said on "Countdown," "Does this mean the war on Christmas is over? Last night, Bill O'Reilly took a victory lap … This is when the paranoia runs as deep as possible and they work into the frenzy that we're used to seeing this time of year, every year. We can set our clocks by it."
Fox News couldn't be acting alone in creating the imaginary war. It must be in cahoots with those fiendish Republicans. "Plus, the vice president steps into it with the Republicans' war on Christmas vacation …" Ed Schultz said on Dec. 16, 2010 on the broadcast of "The Ed Show."
According to Schultz's MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann, not only was it the Republicans' war, but they were "enraged" about it. On "Countdown" on Dec. 15, 2010, Olbermann spouted off that, "… Republicans are now enraged about the war on Christmas vacation."
Even more sinister, the "Christian right" is in on the plot. "These days, the war on Christmas is fought by the Christian right … [Catholic League President] William Donahue and Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, traditional combatants in the war on Christmas, have trained their Yuletide guns on someone, not for railing out put the Christ back in Christmas, but for failing to worship Santa Claus," spat Olbermann on "Countdown" on Nov. 13, 2010.