How Right-Wing Myths Get Started

I came across this article earlier, but didn’t think any element of it warranted a blog post:

A Florida woman says she was fired from her job for refusing to comply with a policy requiring employees to say “Happy Holidays” to callers …Tonia Thomas says she was terminated two weeks ago from her job at Counts Oakes Resort Properties in Panama City after balking at the rule because it went against her religion. She is suing for lost wages, she said.

Thomas offered to use a generic greeting or say “Merry Christmas” to callers instead, but that offer was denied by company President Andy Phillips, according to the Liberty Counsel — the Christian-based legal group representing her.

My first thought upon reading this was that there had to be more to this story – the company in question insists that Thomas was dismissed for other reasons – but that probably won’t stop the Religious Right from seizing on this episode as further proof that there is a “War on Christmas/War on Christians.”

Then I came across this article in CNS based on a report from the Catholic League claiming that there have been nearly 30 documented episodes of anti-Christmas vandalism and violence in recent weeks.  Among the instances cited is this:

[I]n Riverside, Calif., a pastor was brutally beaten and robbed behind his church as he went to a supply room to get a Christmas bulb.

According to The Press Enterprise, 49-year-old Pastor James Dennis Warman was struck repeatedly in the head by two assailants on Dec. 7. He is now in a medically induced coma and not able to speak, and he may have brain damage, according to his wife, Mendy Warman.

Apparently the Right is chalking this assault up to rapid anti-Christmas sentiment … while the local police are treating it as an act of robbery:

Along with his wife and daughter, James Dennis Warman stopped by the Base Line Rd. church to finish his sermon for Sunday morning, but figured he’d also fix a broken bulb on the Christmas tree. He walked out the back door to retrieve a replacement from storage. Then his family heard a scream – two robbers were attacking the 49-year-old elementary school teacher with a blunt object, repeatedly striking his head.

As Warman lay defenseless on the ground, bleeding, his wife ran at the attackers with a bass guitar she had found by the back door. Finally they ran off, taking the victim’s wallet … “I don’t think they were lying in wait for him,” sheriff’s Sgt. Don Lupear said of the suspects. “But I think it was a crime of opportunity, which was bad.”

While there is absolutely no justification for claiming that this has anything at all to do with the supposed “war on Christmas,” apparently the Right is intent on going ahead and doing exactly that.