We’re not the only ones, of course, who see through the political manipulation behind the right’s phony “war on Christmas” hysteria. John Young, former head of the editorial page at the Waco Tribune-Herald, offers his take on the “plastic indignation” over “Happy Holidays” and other alleged anti-Christmas outrages:
Outraged over a holiday greeting? Get real. Real Christians can find real outrages out there on the windblown streets, in the soup kitchens, in prisons, in struggling-to-get-by nursing homes, where Medicaid reimbursement rates are life-and-death matters.
Name your phony spiritual concern — that school pageants are too secular today, that local governments seek to treat the holidays in pluralistic ways. The same applies to retailers. They have Jews celebrating Hanukkah this month, as well as with adherents of Kwanzaa, and non-Christians of many stripes who just like the pretty lights and are in the mood for egg nog. They are customers. They are Americans. A business, or a nation, or a school district or city hall that doesn’t serve all of these people is running a fool’s errand.
Some Americans don’t get the whole secular nature of the American experience and never will. This nation was born as a refuge from sectarianism. Its First Amendment protections against the latter have made it the most religion-friendly construct in the history of self-governance.
Yet you have Rick Perry telling Iowa voters that “war” is being waged against Christians. Talk about plastic indignation.
I lived in Texas for a long time — Perry’s neck of the North American woods. To say that Christians, particularly the conservative, evangelical, Republican kind, are oppressed is to insinuate that the Dallas Cowboys play in a cardboard shack.
What Perry really says with this “war on Christianity” pitch to Republicans is that he doesn’t buy the notion that government should be neutral regarding faith. He thinks its job is to exalt and advertise a majority’s piety.
Read the whole thing here. And if you’ve been missing Young’s insightful columns since he left Waco, now you know where to find him.