This year, unlike previous years, it feels particularly egregious to suffer Fox News and their moronic flock’s annual persecution complex over f-ing Starbucks red cups (or whatever) after what they did to promote the actual persecution of immigrants and minorities. 2018 will be remembered as a year the GOP went off the rails promoting voter suppression, violence against minorities, and perhaps worst of all, justifying the sick policy of tearing infants and toddlers from their parents and throwing them into cages, and then mocking their trauma.
Sidebar: I know this is painful to watch, but at the 15- minute mark of this video, John Oliver shows what happens when a toddler was reunited with his mother after ICE agents ripped him from his mother’s arms.
That is what real persecution looks like—-not someone wishing you good tidings.
However, we are at that time of year. Right out of the gate, Fox News dedicated an entire story to some loser who put up an ultra-obnoxious Christmas display, where every inch of his house was covered in lights and—plot twist—his homeowner’s sssociation had a problem with it. Fox News used the tagline ”Idaho Man Wins War on Christmas,” (yet the bobblehead still thought he was in Ohio), and it was every bit as ridiculous as you have come to expect. The discount Fox and Friends hosts ended by declaring him a martyr and saying that if he hadn’t taken them to court, we would “lose religious freedom in this country,” and that it’s not so much a “War on Christmas” as it is a “War on Christians.”
Yes, one can only imagine the trauma of getting a letter from your HOA.
Fox News is responsible more than anything for this phony annual tradition, and the modern “war on Christmas” can be traced back to a Bill O'Reilly episode that aired at this time 14 years ago, featuring a segment entitled ”Christmas Under Siege.” In that segment, O’Reilly lamented that some cities used the phrase “Holiday Tree” instead of “Christmas Tree,” and that stores were saying “Happy Holidays” instead of the term “Merry Christmas.” He later promoted a 2005 book by a right-wing radio host, John Gibson, who declared that Christmas was under attack. The movement took off from there.
But Fox only took this to threat level Stupid—they didn’t invent it. The roots of “the War on Christmas” go way back to the 1920s. Henry Ford was a die-hard anti-Semite, and used his fortune to publish a series of pamphlets that were disgustingly named The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem. He used this platform to accuse American Jews of all sorts of crimes, which included engaging in a war to “abolish” Christmas.
It is not religious tolerance in the midst of religious difference, but religious attack that they preach and practice. The whole record of Jewish opposition to Christmas, Easter and certain patriotic songs shows that.
Ford was referring to a few instances where Jewish leaders protested the teaching of Christianity in public schools. Bible study in school was common at many schools at the time. For the record, they did not oppose Christianity, just the proselytizing in public schools. However, Mr. Ford berated the department store owners, “the Levys and the Isaacs and the Goldsteins and the Silvermans,” and said they were profiting off of Christmas merchandis,e while simultaneously trying to undermine the holiday.
The battle picked up fiercely again in the 1950s, thanks to the John Birch Society. The group has a disturbing history of anti-Semitism and racism, and referred to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s as “Mosow-inspired,” because Russia was trying to establish a ”Soviet Negro Republic.” (They were likely the precursor to InfoWars.) The group published a pamphlet warning that an “assault on Christmas” would carried out by “UN fanatics”:
What they now want to put over on the American people is simply this: Department stores throughout the country are to utilize UN symbols and emblems as Christmas decorations.
The actual term, “War on Christmas,” however, according to Snopes, was coined by conservative author Peter Brimelow. This bigot launched racist screeds, both in print and online, that were condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for being “racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant.” In an online post in 2000, he used the phrase “War on Christmas” to complain that certain undesirable elements in our society were “part of the struggle to abolish America.”
No one, and I mean NO ONE, is in any danger of not seeing Christmas decorations or nativity scenes, finding cards with religious themes, or forgetting that the holiday is called “Christmas.” Jews and Muslims have never cared that someone told them “Merry Christmas,” and in fact, often use it as a reply when someone says it to them.
Yet that was never what this has really been about. Fox News, always looking for new ways to stoke fear, division, and hate, dusted off a bigoted old trope that had been relegated to history’s trash bin and breathed new life into it. Who cares if this meant taking a holiday designed to bring everyone together in peace and joy, if you can make it about bashing people you don’t like? (Hence the woman in front of my friend at Walmart screaming “It’s MERRY Christmas!!! SAY IT!!!!”)
Taking it all the way back to 1921, almost 100 years ago, Henry Ford wrote “Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone’s Birth.” And yet, here we are, almost 100 years later, and if I Google “religious Christmas card,” I get over 100 million results.
The mediums may change, but conservatives never do. They still love to lie, they just do it on Twitter now.
Today at Wal-Mart I told the cashier Merry Christmas. She said, Ã¢ÂÂHappy Holidays, sir.Ã¢ÂÂ I smiled & said Ã¢ÂÂYou donÃ¢ÂÂt have to be afraid anymore. President Trump gave us Christmas back.Ã¢ÂÂ She started crying tears of joy & said Ã¢ÂÂMerry ChristmasÃ¢ÂÂ & then everyone in the store applauded.
Ã¢ÂÂ Cheese For Everyone! (@CheeseForEvery1) November 23, 2018
Yeah, sure that happened. Probably at the hipster coffee shop Jacob Wohl keeps talking about.