The American Family Association is displeased that not everyone is taking the “War on Christmas” seriously. The group, which issues “Naughty-and-Nice” lists to put pressure on companies to include the words “Merry Christmas” in their advertising, claims in this month’s AFA Journal that whoever doesn’t believe that the U.S. is witnessing an anti-Christmas onslaught is actually…waging war on Christmas.
The AFA directed much of its anger towards Christians who have criticized or mocked the AFA’s “War on Christmas” campaign by pointing out the campaign’s absurd arguments about religious persecution and its focus on commercial activity as the most important part of the holiday. But the AFA wants you to know that if you don’t agree with them, you are probably an anti-Christmas belligerent, even if you don’t know it.
Another Christmas is upon us, and that means gifts under the tree, excited children, family travels and, of course, wars over Christmas itself.
Initially, criticisms aimed at AFA over this issue came mostly from left-leaning members of the media or people who simply hated everything the ministry did anyway.
In a New York Times op-ed piece last December, for example, Gail Collins derided AFA and others for embracing “a seasonal victimhood” that is meant to force stores to link corporate greed with the birth of Jesus Christ.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but we learned long ago that the secular news media sometimes cares little for the truth when it comes to evangelical Christians. A good smear is quicker and cheaper than actually trying to understand us.
However, over the last couple of years, AFA has found itself being targeted – either implicitly or explicitly – by other Christians. Whether it’s from Rachel Held Evans on the evangelical left or Russell Moore on the evangelical right, some Christians have chided and condemned AFA’s pro-Christmas campaigns.
AFA’s efforts in this arena have never existed in a vacuum. The ministry holds three propositions in tandem: (1) There has been an intentional effort for over 100 years to secularize the U.S. (2) The war on Christmas does exist, and it has been part of this wider effort. (3) The attempt to secularize the nation is bad for America and ultimately threatens the very existence of the Republic.
In the case of the secularization of our nation – and the danger it poses to our Republic – a whole lot more than Christmas is being stolen.