Tuesday, December 21, 2004

What Would Doctor Phil Say?

Mark Steyn illustrates for us the "How is it working for you so far?" ramifications of the anti-Christmas crusade:
The seasonally litigious rest their fanatical devotion to the deChristification of Christmas on the separation of church and state. America's founders were opposed to the "establishment" of religion, whose meaning is clear enough to any Englishman: the new republic did not want President Washington serving simultaneously as Supreme Governor of the Church of America, or the Bishop of Virginia sitting in the US Senate. Two centuries on, these possibilities are so remote that the "separation" of church and state has dwindled down to threats of legal action over red-and-green party napkins.

But every time some sensitive flower pulls off a legal victory over the school board, who really wins? For the answer to that, look no further than last month's election results. Forty years of effort by the American Civil Liberties Union to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicised Christianity in America. By "politicised", I don't mean that anyone who feels his kid should be allowed to sing Silent Night if he wants to is perforce a Republican, but only that year in, year out it becomes harder for such folks to support a secular Democratic Party closely allied with the anti-Christmas militants. American liberals need to rethink their priorities: what's more important? Winning a victory over the kindergarten teacher's holiday concert, or winning back Congress and the White House?


Matteo said...

Oh, I don't know what the ultimate answer is, Bob. As a libertarian, you know that the term "public funds" is problematic. If 90% of the public doesn't mind a little of their money (taken, in the final analysis, at gunpoint) spent to spread some decorative Christmas Cheer, then it's hard to see where the harm is. Sometimes tolerance means the minority tolerating the majority. However, the problem is, even if it was based on voluntary donations, the ACLU would still cry foul.

The thing I find so absurd is that I would never dream of going to, say, India during Diwali (which I've done), and complaining that I'm offended by all the colorful displays of Ganesh and the other gods. It would be just lame. It's their culture (notice the root of the word culture: cult, meaning worship), not mine. I'm a guest. America somehow managed not to be a theocracy for its first 200 years before all this PC inanity started, I imagine we're capable of doing it again.

At any rate, ultimately the majority does rule. I don't know why the Democrats want to be on the wrong side of it.

In any case, I'm not particulary equipped or inclined to debate this thing into the ground. I'm not a hardliner, but it does seem that the pendulum needs to swing back in the other direction. Liberals need to practice a little bit of this darned tolerance they're always trying to shove down everyone else's throat.

Matteo said...

I'm not sure where "contented taxpayer" is implied in anything I've said. My point is that it seems sort of absurd that when a bunch of folks, the vast majority of whom agree on a certain issue, pool their money through taxation, it becomes "public money", thereby sacrosanct, and unusable to support something the vast majority believes should (or at least may) be supported. Again, even if people made individual donations to support a display, it would still raise the ire of the Democrats and the ACLU.

There've been cases, documented in David Limbaugh's book "Persecution" where schoolchildren have been silenced for praying at lunchtime, or for naming "Jesus Christ" as a hero, or for using a Bible story as an example of their favorite story. There's nothing whatsoever neutral about that kind of thing, and that's part of the driving force behind the counter-reaction we're seeing, which has about three more days to run before being put to bed for another year.

Thanks for reading the blog, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!