The Latest Fronts In the War on Christmas

It’s the Holiday season, so inevitably that means that right-wing legislators and activists are launching their annual effort to save Christmas from the forces of secularism. 

Via AU’s Wall of Separation, we learn that Sen. Chris Buttars of Utah is sponsoring a resolution calling on everyone to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” and doing so, he insists, because he’s “sick of the Christmas wars”:

Sen. Chris Buttars wants Utah’s Legislature to declare its opposition to the “war on Christmas.”

The West Jordan Republican is sponsoring a resolution encouraging retailers to embrace Christmas in their promotions rather than the generic “holidays.”

“It would encourage the use of ‘Merry Christmas,'” Buttars said of the non-binding statement that is still being drafted. “I’m sick of the Christmas wars — we’re a Christian nation and ought to use the word.”

Several fellow lawmakers he wouldn’t yet name support his effort, added Buttars, who has a long history of championing the socially conservative agenda of the Utah Eagle Forum.

I too am sick of the Christmas wars, but it seems that the proper way of handling it is to let people decide for themselves what phrase they want to use instead of demanding that they say “Merry Christmas”  … in fact, this is exactly the sort of effort that seems destined to simply prolong the “Christmas wars” Buttars is complaining about.

And speaking of the “war on Christmas,” it looks Freedom From Religion Foundation is putting up their own holiday signs this year:

In the latest round of what’s become almost a winter tradition — conflicts over religious symbols in public places — a group of atheists and agnostics have put up a sign in the state Capitol that says, in part: “Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation members put up the sign Monday, partly in response to a nearby Nativity scene. They also debuted a billboard in downtown Olympia that reads: “Reason’s Greetings.”

Of course, now people are unhappy about this:

[I]n 2006, Olympia real-estate agent Ron Wesselius saw a menorah displayed inside the Capitol and wanted to put up a Nativity scene. He was denied because he applied too late for the state to research the issues, according to the state Department of General Administration.

Wesselius, working with the Alliance Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit, the state settled, and he put up a Nativity scene in 2007. He put up another one Monday morning — a few steps from the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s sign.

“I think people are losing track of what Christmas is,” Wesselius said. “It’s not about one religion against another religion.”

Of the foundation’s sign, Wesselius said: “I think they’re being a little divisive there in their saying. But they have freedom of speech and equal access.”

That’s right – in 2006, Wesselius and the ADF sued the state of Washington because he saw a menorah in the Capitol and demanded to be allowed to put up a nativity scene and now he’s complaining that other people are being “divisive” and pitting one religion against another and ultimately “losing track of what Christmas” is all about.