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Monday, December 13, 2004

Christiophobia

Pat Buchanan: Christiophobia.

"'Tis the season to be jolly." But, as usual, not for all of us.

It is the Christmas season, that time in December when all good Christians celebrate the birth of the Savior of mankind, born in a stable in Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago.

It is a time of family gatherings and gift-giving, of joyous music and fond memories. For some, it is one of the few days of the year, Easter being the other, when they return to the old church for the feast day that yet retains its hold upon them from childhood.

Even many non-believers celebrate, for Christmas joy is contagious.

But not for all. For some, it is not too much to say that they hate the idea of Christmas with a deep abiding hate, not just the "Bah, humbug!" dismissal of old Scrooge. They want Christmas dead.

As usual, they are busy at work, going to court to get Nativity scenes expunged from public squares, demanding that statues of Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus be removed from department stores and parades, checking vigilantly to see that any and all caroling at public schools is free of such outrages as "Silent Night." For people such as these, even Santa has become an intolerably divisive figure who must be purged from public life.

And this year, again, they are meeting with some success, especially with a business community for whom Christmas has always been about sales volume, not salvation.

Target stores have told the Salvation Army it may no longer station volunteers at store entrances, with their red kettles, and solicit charitable contributions for the poor. The 30-year tradition that reaped the Army $9 million a year has been terminated.

The reason? Says Target, unconvincingly, it is so the company can have a consistent policy of no solicitations outside its stores. But in recent years, the gay lobby has pressured Target to ban the Army because it is Christian and rejects homosexuality as sinful.

Now Macy's has stopped using the phrase "Merry Christmas" in all store advertising, replacing it with what Macy's calls the more inclusive "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays."

But how is it "inclusive" to exclude the Christians' greeting? Is that not anti-Christian?

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