In 1960, The War On Christmas Started In July
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 03:14:41 PM EST
According to Bill O'Reilly, the War On Christmas is once again in full swing, expressed in the decision of a Colorado town to use white Christmas lights and plain wreaths rather than colored lights and fancier ornaments. The situation seems dire, but history reveals another story. According to a December 9, 1960 article from a publication by Billy James Hargis' Christian Crusade, The War On Christmas used to begin as early as July. The trend seems clear. The War On Christmas, which judging by the noise of O'Reilly and comrades only gets going now by October or November, has become lazy and soft. [image, above: full article posted in extended story]
NOTE: As an historical point, the Puritans actually invented the War on Christmas by instituting a ban on the holiday during their short tenure in power in England; they considered Christmas to be immoral (or even diabolical) and "Popish". After being more or less hounded out of England, the Puritans then exported their War On Christmas to the New World in the form of a ban on the holiday, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that was eventually lifted in 1681.

According To Billy James Hargis' 1960 "Crusader" article [below], during the dark days of 1960 (soon to lead up to the Cuban Missile Crisis) communism was stealthily advancing via liberal Protestant churches and the machinations of Hallmark Greeting Cards and UNICEF.
These days, the War on Christmas only gets truly rolling now in October or November, sans Hallmark's and UNICEF's shared alleged satanic muscle. Are the forces of evil are running out of oomph ?

If we can trust the veracity of a man who campaigned against sex education in schools and was laid low by a sex scandal that came out when two of the students from Hargis' Christian college married and discovered, their honeymoon night, that both had slept with the apparently omnivorous Billy James Hargis, The War On Christmas used to begin in July.

The slippage seems dramatic, and it might be tempting to blame the dramatic seasonal change in the onset of the War On Christmas to empirical factors such as Global Warming except that the ideological lineage of Billy James Hargis's line of conspiricism, which was so tightly aligned with the conspiricism of the John Birch Society that at one point a news report speculated on a possible merger of the Christian Crusade with the JBS, leads more or less to beliefs held by US Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe (and perhaps John Hagee as well) that Global Warming is actually part of the evil communist plot to create a satanic One world government through the United Nations. Whatever the reason though, the trend seems clear ; within a decade or so, the War On Christmas won't get going in earnest until after Christmas. But such a pointlessly late onset could be interpreted also as a very early jump on the following Christmas, and that might be just the sort of perking up the War On Christmas needs to get back its groove. Time will tell.

Below: December 9, 1960 article from "The Crusader"

Hargis & Hagee : A Pointless Digression On Chubby Scotch-Irish Evangelists "Christian Crusade" founder Billy James Hargis shared much in common with Christians United For Israel founder Pastor John Hagee - considerable physical resemblance and also a similar belief in a vast, sinister Godless atheist/secular-humanist/socialist conspiracy to conquer Christianity and laissez-faire capitalism and subject the peoples of the world to a drab, colorless satanic regime ruled with an iron fist.

There are differences between the two also. At 6'6" Hargis was enormous and fat whereas Hagee is comparatively short and plump. John Hagee is not given to the sort of blustery fits of public, penitent sobbing Hargis was known for, and Hagee also seems unconcerned with the War On Christmas while Billy James Hargis saw it as the vanguard of an evil communist conspiracy that included the National Council Of Churches, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dwight Eisenhower.

A Brief History of The War On Christmas

The "war on Christmas" traces back, historically, to Calvinist bans on the celebration of Christmas which began in Geneva and then migrated, with the spread of Calvinist theological views, to Scotland, where Christmas was almost eradicated, outlawed for four centuries - only to by revived by returning Scotch soldiers who had experienced Christmas rituals while fighting alongside troops of other nationalities who celebrated Christmas. Reportedly, the Scottish soldiers liked the culinary delights which accompanied the holiday. From Scotland, the ban on Christmas spread, briefly (for about a decade) to England with the Cromwellian revolution and then it migrated with the Puritans, fleeing the persecution their political and theological tendency that followed the Cromwellian revolution, to the New World, where, in the Bay State Colony Christmas was at one point legally banned for two decades. Early in the 20th Century in America, the notion of a "war on Christmas", which had long been on the wane, got a boost, as Talk To Action contributor Chip Berlet demonstrates, in 1921 with Henry Ford's notorious and highly influential anti-Jewish tract "The International Jew".

Wonderful historical background. I really appreciate it. I don't know, I think we're doing pretty good what with the "holiday" lights sold as such, inverted Christmas trees, and baby pandas dressed in Santa hats to be "adopted" for "the holidays" instead of in crosses for Christmas.

by GreenEyed Lilo on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 03:40:13 PM EST
I should scrape up some pics of Hagee and Hargis. They're spittin' images. Hargis was just bigger.

Surprising about the origin of the "War On Christmas", eh ? The Puritans who started it !

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 04:00:41 PM EST

When I first came to Texas, I watched a few of Hagee's services on TV.  While his public demeanor is generally fairly mild, the same cannot be said of his sermons.

Frankly, I fail to understand why so many people are willing to sit there, week in and week out, in his services and spend an hour being harangued and yelled at by him.

by tacitus on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 06:37:36 PM EST

the mission sermon in the wonderful Studs Lonigan trilogy by James T. Farrell? Now, there was a first-class old-school Roman Catholic harangue for you, with the gates of hell gaping.
    I remember sermons like that. They were something like a good horror movie, except one heard them in church.

by nogodsnomasters on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:42:36 AM EST

That we're taking the "Christ out of Christmas" has been a common refrain from Christians for at least 25 years, even in the more heathen parts of the world, like Scotland where I grew up.

Given that Christmas has long been more than just a celebration of the birth of Christ (if it ever was just that), it should come as no surprise that some Christians object to the increasingly secular and consumer-driven festivities surrounding the holiday.

But, as always, the modern religious right manages to find a way to whine and protest about the most inconsequential part of an issue.  Like superficial claims that gay marriage is destroying the family, claims that replacing the word Christmas with the word Holiday is destroying Christmas is simply missing the big picture.

Rampant commercialization has done more to destroy the original (Christian) meaning of Christmas than any amount of tweaking of names and slogans.  Of course, they can't complain about that since the right for companies to sell stuff and for people to buy it is all part of the American dream.  Really restoring the religious ideals to Christmas, even removing just the worst trappings of commercialism, would probably drive the American economy into a decade-long recession.

For all their bluster, the religious right is losing, and losing badly.  The victories they claim will be, for the most part, irrelevant in the long term.  Just as gays will never again be pushed back in the closet, Christmas will never again be anything but a family-oriented celebration of crass commercialism, with a bit of religion thrown in on the side.

by tacitus on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 04:16:32 PM EST

I think the commercialization of Christmas has always been a far bigger travesty than any other connected to the season.
   I'll never forget watching two drivers nearly come to blows over a parking space just before Christmas at a Texas shopping mall. Comfort and joy, indeed.

by nogodsnomasters on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:38:18 AM EST

Let us not forget that Christmas as a Christian holiday developed - EVOLVED! - from the many pagan celebrations of the winter solstice encountered by missionaries as the new religion worked its way across Europe in the early centuries of the first millennium CE. I suspect that this fact was at least part of the Puritan revulsion, though not to the same extent as its "Papish" extremes.

by RevRuthUCC on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 07:55:32 PM EST
The Puritans were revolted by many, many practices of the Roman church and the newly somewhat independent, mildly reformed Church of England.  Their main source of revulsion was what I consider to be a theologically correct condemnation of unnecessary and florid embellishments to what should be a very simple set of life principals and orientation before God.

What is ironic to me about the religious right's furor over the "de-Christianizing" of Christmas is that "Christmas" is not a secular holiday at all.  Why the heck would I want Macy's wishing someone a merry christmas, as a corporation, when "merry christmas"   ought to be in the same linguistic realm as "the lord be with you".  By all means, as a person of faith, please for God's sake can we liberate Christmas from its secular exile.  But that doesn't mean convincing Macy's to say Christmas.  It means convincing Macy's to mind its own business.

When the religious right stirs this little tempest up, what they are really doing is supporting the further secularization of Christmas by trying to keep Christmas in the marketplace instead of the sanctuary.

My puritan ancestors (and their's) would definitely be repulsed.

Jesus knew how to throw a party. We'll try to hold up our end of the bargain.
by jedwards on Fri Nov 23, 2007 at 01:53:32 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (313 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (110 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (66 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (68 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (68 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (99 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (83 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (62 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (180 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (47 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (63 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (134 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (24 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (40 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (138 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (153 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (56 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (81 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (91 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (94 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (100 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (100 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (54 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (74 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (73 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (51 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (92 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (57 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (74 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (61 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.