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Holy moley: Holy wars

Some commentators say the War on Christmas began in the 1920’s when Henry Ford attributed a Christmas card shortage to Jewish-Americans. Others point to 1959, when the John Birch Society condemned “an assault on Christmas carried out by United Nations Fanatics.”

Whatever the case, “War on Christmas” hype intensified in 2004 when former FOX news host Bill O’Reilly decried allegations that business leaders directed their employees not to say “Merry Christmas.” Proclaiming that secularists were behind this conflict, O’Reilly stated: “Christmas is under siege and in doing so appears to have launched war on Christmas as we know it.” Ironically, the official FOX News Christmas greeting card that year read: “Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year.”

That year was also the first of many times a woman publicly alleged O’Reilly assaulted her (the case was settled in 2017 for $9 million, in which O’Reilly admitted “no wrong-doing at all.”)

On December 15, O’Reilly declared the “War on Christmas” ended and “won by the good guys.” “Mission accomplished.” Or maybe, like President George W. Bush’s premature proclamation of victory in Iraq, the war was far from over. It raged on while American “blasphemers” kept saying “Happy Holidays.” In my opinion, the villains in this story were the usual suspects: the politically correct, secular progressives, Communists and Democrats … all pretty much alike.

On Dec. 18, 2018, President Trump renewed concern about the issue, maybe because he recognized people weren’t all saying “Merry Christmas” yet. But three days later, at a Sunrise, Florida, rally, he took credit for personally and definitively winning the War on Christmas. Some thought he was declaring victory under pretense, leaving the battlefield of an unwinnable war … kind of like Syria. My guess is that Trump realized the conflict had become “as stale as last year’s fruitcake.”

Currently, to distract Americans from his increasing plethora of problems, he’s started a new watered-down war against “the radical left;” i.e., the War on Thanksgiving. There have been lots of attempts to redefine word-meanings in the news lately; for example, words like impeachment, Russian election interference, climate change, asylum seekers, Mueller Report, whistle-blower … all changed to “hoax.” I, for one, missed the part where there was an organized movement or a prevalent social pattern to change the name of Thanksgiving to anything else. But if we ever come to the time when more than a baker’s dozen of Americans insist on changing the name of Thanksgiving to something else, I hope we’ll assign the task to someone more creative than the President.

I’m with former GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who once said, “I’m going out on a limb here and guess that most people really don’t give a crap whether you say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.” Similarly, most people couldn’t care less if you wish them “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Happy Turkey Day.” Personally, I don’t think Baby Jesus would cry if we included everyone in celebrating his birth during the happiest time of the year.

By the way, have a Holy Christmas, a Happy Five Days before Christ’s Epiphany, and let’s thank the Good Lord for our blessings. And to all who sent my family “Holiday greetings,” or wishes for a “Happy Hanukkah,” or well-wishes of any kind, the same to you.

TIM MANNELLO

Williamsport

Submitted via email

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