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New York City Schools: “Suggestion that a crèche is a historically accurate representation of an event with secular significance is wholly disingenuous.”

19 December 2012

Charlie Brown Christmas

I have often criticized, both on this blog and elsewhere, the so called “War on Christmas.” My opinion has been that it is principally a means for some on the Religious Right to do fund raising by stirring up people’s fears.  I haven’t changed my opinion that an awful  lot of that does go on.  And I also think that a lot of the examples of that “war” that you get from places like Fox News can be pretty silly.

Today though, I read this piece that has made me question whether maybe there is something genuine about the “War on Christmas” after all. Maybe I shouldn’t dismiss the idea entirely. Maybe there really is a desire by a great many of our cultural elites to diminish the recognition of Christmas, and the Christian Faith of which it is a part, in our public sphere. And maybe those people are out there doing everything that they can do to make the rest of us structure our public lives according to their secular dogmas, – dogmas that, perhaps, a majority of Americans do not yet subscribe too.  Here is an excerpt from the article by Tom Piatak:

“The desire to efface Christmas that lies behind the elevation of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all the rest is illustrated by the New York City schools, which ban Nativity scenes but regularly display menorahs and Moslem crescents.  Nor did the New York City schools try to rectify this when their hostility to Christianity was challenged in the courts.  Instead, they vigorously defended the ban, claiming that the “suggestion that a crèche is a historically accurate representation of an event with secular significance is wholly disingenuous.”  The birth of the most important figure in history carries no weight in New York City, nor does the fact that the birth was first depicted in a crèche by another seminal historical figure, an itinerant friar from Assisi named Francis.  It does not take a belief in the divinity of Christ or the sanctity of Francis to recognize their tremendous impact on the history and culture of the West.  Apparently, though, the multiculturalists are eager to promote every culture but our own.”

You can read the whole article here.  It has given me something to think about.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 December 2012 5:01 pm

    I have to agree with you about both the “War on Christmas” and that NYC is wrong in their application of civil law in this case.
    Unfortunately the use of right-wing smear language defeats the authors message. I don’t see it as “cultural Marxism”, primarily because the right uses “cultural Ayn Randism” in the same manner.
    It appears to me to be a backlash to all the evils done in the name of Christ, much like the falling away from the churches in Europe after the end of the World War in 1945. Too many people were turned off by the churches complicity in the continual wars that destroyed Europe.

    • 28 December 2012 11:53 pm

      Thank you for leaving a comment. I’m not sure that I agree that the authors choice of words rises to the level of right wing smear language. I do think that the point that you make in your last paragraph is a valid one.

  2. Tom Piatak permalink
    19 December 2012 5:08 pm

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Here is something else to ponder. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which you use to illustrate your post, first aired in 1965. It was instantly recognized as a classic, receiving both an Emmy and a Peabody Award. Yet it shows students in a public school putting on a Christmas play about the first Christmas and it mentions no holiday other than Christmas. There were many, many public schools in 1965 that celebrated Christmas in ways similar to those depicted in the show. How many such celebrations are found in schools today?

    • 28 December 2012 11:52 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to make a comment. I did have some of what you mention above in mind when I chose the peanuts picture to accompany the post. Your article was excellent. Thank you for it.

  3. maxsnafu permalink
    28 December 2012 9:01 pm

    If, after reading that article, all you can muster up is the notion to “think” about the situation, I’m afraid there’s no hope for you.

    • 28 December 2012 11:50 pm

      Boy, you really missed the point.

      Part of the reason that I’ve, in the past, been reticent to accept the idea that there is a “war on Christmas” is it’s association, so often, with the sort of slow witted, self righteous people who make comments like the one you made here.

      • maxsnafu permalink
        1 January 2013 5:49 pm

        Slow witted people like Peter Brimelow? By the way, I should have ended my previous post with “Cue the name-calling.”

  4. 2 January 2013 5:35 pm

    Instead of making a substantive comment either agreeing or disagreeing with my post, you chose to simply make a personal insult, and one that fundamentally misinterprets the point of my post.

    I would have done better to have simply ignored your comment, as I usually do ignore such comments. But I read yours at a moment when I was not feeling patient. And, instead of being kind, I told you exactly what I thought of the comment.

    Having yourself begun with an ad hominem attack, it is ridiculous for you to now try to claim to be a victim.

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