Like it or not, Jesus is coming this Christmas. Many people don’t like it at all.
Some call it Christophobia, though that designation recently took a hit. Some call it “the war on Christmas” but Stephen Colbert and others have mocked that into near oblivion.
Whatever you want to call it, modern American culture loves Christmas but Jesus? Not so much. Thanks to Newsbuster, the Catholic League and the Blaze here are some of the most egregious examples.
Mickey’s Very Merry Party
OneNewsNow reported that a billboard promoting Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Orlando’s Disney World made one serious error: It left out the “Christmas” part. Which is strange, since the event’s title leaves it in.
Marshfield, Mass., Holiday, er Winter Break
In Marshfield, Mass., the decision to change “Christmas Vacation” to “Holiday Break” met with some resistance. It looks like “Winter Break” won.
Keep Christ Out of Christmas?
The good people of Piedmont, Alabama, had a great theme for their annual Christmas parade: “Keep Christ in Christmas.” Until The Freedom From Religion Foundation complained, Fox radio reported. The good people of Piedmont protested peacefully.
Beating Baxter Bullies
The Baxter County Quorom Court in Arkansas rents a portion of its yard to a chamber of commerce who adorns it with a Christmas display that includes a Nativity scene. After complaints imperiled the display, the court now posts a disclaimer alongside it: “The County of Baxter salutes liberty. Let these festive lights and times remind us that we are keepers of the flame of liberty and our legacy of freedom. Whatever your religion or beliefs, enjoy the holidays. This display is owned and erected by private citizens of Baxter County.”
Have a Hellish Christmas?
Speaking of bullies, a “Satanic Temple” (though reports say they don’t actually believe in Satan) forced a holiday display on the State Capital in Tallahassee, according to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
Spoiling Jesus’ Birthday
That you want to celebrate Jesus’ birthday offends the Chicago Chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, so they are placing giant A letters and these placards next to Christmas displays, with an explanation of the wonderfulness of atheism. Rumor has it they plan to target kids’ birthday parties next (just kidding).
The Legend of the Candy Cane
Isaiah Martinez’ family says his teacher wouldn’t let him pass out candy canes with the Christ-centered “legend of the candy cane” attached because “Jesus isn’t allowed at school.” They hope a district court can help win him the right to speak Jesus’ name.
The Catholic League flagged a Washington Post column by art critic Phillip Kennicott. He objects to a “Picturing Mary” exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts because it omits a notorious pornographic image of Mary. Then the critic goes after Mary herself. Why? Because she was “invoked in wars against Islamic states and anti-Semitic campaigns,” because “Chaucer’s ferociously anti-Semitic Prioress’s Tale begins with an invocation to Mary,” and because “Mary’s purity and virginity have been used to indict sexuality in general, especially unregulated sex.” Yikes.
In a stunt too disgusting to describe, Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 show featured Daniel Tosh describing how he made a baby Jesus out of feces and, ahem, bodily fluids. He then laid it in a manger on air. The Catholic League decried the act as hate speech.
He Who Must Not Be Named
But the most notorious example this Advent Season has to be the CNN interview with New Orleans Saint player Benjamin Watson. The NFL star was talking about his viral Facebook post about the Ferguson, Mo., protests, but as soon as he mentioned Jesus, a strange green technical difficulty zapped him away. It at least gives the strong impression of being a Jesus diss … see it below. Are Christians upset for no reason? If so, CNN should set the record straight.
All of which is a timely reminder: Like latter-day Herods, many people still want to keep Christ far away. Our job is to keep him close.