It’s as predictable as the change of seasons: even before shopping malls start playing Christmas muzak, Religious Right leaders and pundits like Bill O’Reilly are fulminating about the supposed “War on Christmas” and how retailers who choose to wish all their customers a “happy holidays” are part of an evil plot to purge Christianity from Christmas and American culture. This year, the far-right Liberty Counsel has been promoting a “naughty or nice” list of companies based on things like the use of “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” in advertising. Just yesterday, Liberty Counsel breathlessly charged that Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee is waging “war” on Christmas because he said the state should refer to a “holiday” tree rather than a Christmas tree.
So we’re looking forward to the Liberty Counsel screed against Republican presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich, whose busy self-promotional Gingrich Productions has just sent a “Holiday Dash” email encouraging people to buy one of Newt’s books. No mention of Christmas, no Nativity scenes, secular winter snowflake background – definitely “naughty” according to the Liberty Counsel’s criteria. In fact, it looks a lot like a Walgreen’s ad whose “happy holidays” theme was sinister enough to encourage the American Family Association to call for a boycott.
How soon until Bryan Fischer notices that you can’t spell Gingrich without Grinch?