Parents in Maine’s Scarborough School District say that efforts to ban Christmas have become so extreme that they now refer to Christmas as the new “C-word.” In nearby New Hampshire, things aren’t any better. For example, the principal of Epping Elementary School boasts that his school raises money for the needy, “but we don’t call it a Christmas gift drive,” and that’s because “it’s a time for giving and that’s pretty much universal.” But if that’s the case, why choose December as the gift-giving month? Similarly, why is December “a time for giving”? His counterpart at Newfields Elementary is so wound up about Christmas that he actually said, “we’ve tried to distance ourselves from religion and world events.” No doubt he’s been a smashing success.
North Carolinians are no strangers to the “C-word,” either. At a recent Charlotte-Mecklenberg school meeting of parents, Rose Hamid, who heads a group called Muslim Women of the Carolinas, expressed her enthusiasm for censoring “Silent Night” in the schools. She won. “Joy to the World” was similarly banned, though apparently the parents were stumped on what to do about “Jingle Bells”: some said it was okay, but others were smart enough to say that the song is still linked to Christmas.
The schools in Maplewood, New Jersey have prohibited the singing of all religious songs, leading some at Columbia High School to question whether “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” was also verboten. City officials in Denver will allow “Merry Christmas” lights this year—for one last time—but will go with “Happy Holidays” starting next year.
This is only the beginning of the Christmas season and already the anti-Christmas crusade is in high gear. In the name of “separation of church and state,” they distort it. In the name of diversity, they crush it. In the name of tolerance, they obliterate it. Which is why we need to call them for what they are—cultural fascists.
William Donahue is president of theCatholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.