Friday, November 11, 2005

"War" on Christmas

Media Matters blogged In the November 9 broadcast of his television show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said "I don't believe most people who aren't Christian are offended by the words 'Merry Christmas.' I think those people are nuts."

I am not sure whether O'Reilly ever said that, but certainly Media Matters is distorting things by saying "O'Reilly opens new front in "war" on Christmas". The war on Christmas (and Christians in general) was declared by the ACLU and the left wing MSM. O" Reilly is just coming to the defense of the large number of Christians who are tired of the continual efforts to get any recognition of Christianity out of the public market place, and instead to hype the desires of people of minority religions.
Later, when guest Philip Nulman, an advertising and marketing executive, said that using the phrases "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays" does not offend Christians, O'Reilly disagreed. "It absolutely does," he said. "And I know that for a fact."
It certainly offends me. I would not be offended if they said Happy Hannukah on that holiday, or even Happy Ramadan when that period ends, but December 25 is Christmas (not Winter Holiday), and 85% of US Citizens say they are Christians, so the Christian Holiday should be recognized for what it is. And that recognition should include Nativity Scenes. Have images of Santa Claus if you want, but honor the true meaning of the celebration.
O'Reilly's comments occurred during a discussion about his "decision to look at some retail policies this year" in light of the purported fact that "some department stores even tell employees to avoid saying 'Merry Christmas.' " Introducing the segment, he described various retailers' policies on using the term:
O'REILLY: Here's what we found out: Sears/Kmart would not answer our questions.
Subsequently I have heard that they are one of the Happy Holiday companies. And if you want to let them know what you think of their policy, and that you are considering a boycott because of it, leave them a message. Another Happy Holiday instead of Merry Christmas company is WalMart. Let them know what you think. Last year I recall Home Depot just celebrated Happy Holidays. Ask them what they plan this year.
Spokesman Chris Braithwaite simply ducked the issue. Their website banners: "Wish Book Holiday 2005." They were the worst we had to deal with. OK? Sears/Kmart. JCPenney says its catalog is always called "Christmas catalog." Federated Department Stores -- Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Burdines -- says the words "Merry Christmas" will be used in most advertising. Same thing at May, Filene's, Lord & Taylor, and Marshall Field's. But Kohl's refused to define how the company will deal with Christmas. Dillard's, however, will use the slogan "Discover Christmas, Discover Dillard's." So there you go. Shop where you like the atmosphere. Just remember, Kohl's and Sears/Kmart, basically, not all right.

The segment was part of an ongoing series of reports on Fox News highlighting a purported "Christmas Under Siege" by "secular progressives," which O'Reilly promoted along with Fox News host Sean Hannity before Christmas 2004. In recent weeks, O'Reilly has renewed the campaign, including, for example, an October 20 discussion on his TV show in which he blamed the "loony left" for the "war" on Christmas while promoting Fox News host John Gibson's new book, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought (Sentinel, October 2005). In addition, during the November 1 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, he claimed that, like the country's Founding Fathers, Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. does not "want all mention of Christmas stricken from the public arena."

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