Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Transcending Christmas, Pt. 2: Who Owns Christmas - Rick Perry, Tony Perkins or... FOX News?

Christmas trees have become big news
 this season if only because the 
"war on Christmas is heating up.

And FOX News is leading the charge.

Because, only FOX News can determine who should celebrate Christmas. That's right. FOX News OWNS Christmas. Or at least it thinks it does. For example: the controversy about Rhode Island's Capitol "Holiday Tree" was kept alive recently by FOX attack reporter, Jesse Waters. Waters accosted Gov. Lincoln Chafee, asking him why the tree was called a "Holiday Tree" instead of a Christmas tree. Chafee was not quite as ruffled as Waters wanted him to be when he sited the state's religious dissident founder by saying:
“We’re trying to uphold the values of Roger Williams and make sure that the purity of theology is kept free from the pollution of government.”
Needless to say, Waters didn't get it and kept hounding the governor, asking "What holiday are you celebrating?" 

FOX also owns Christmas with egregious books like The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought by John Gibson. (Gibson is the host of FOX's "The Big Story.")

Simply put, by featuring the "war" on Christmas so frequently and consistently, FOX wants to show us who REALLY owns Christmas.

Of course, plenty of other entities claim ownership of Christmas, not the least of which is the Family Research Council of the (now ubiquitous) conservative political convention, the Values Voters Summit. As we all know, the grand high exalted mystic ruler of the FRC, Tony Perkins, wastes no time in his views on who owns Christmas. It not only belongs to people who tell you where it should be celebrated, but to people who bloviate on where it shouldn't be celebrated:
Imagine celebrating the holidays at a graveyard--or the sight of a mass execution. That's what the Harris County Democratic Party's doing by holding their Christmas party at an abortion clinic. And not just any clinic, but Planned Parenthood's Houston mega-center. When reporters broke the news, the city's liberal mayor, Annise Parker, tried to defend the idea by saying, "It's not about the building; it's about people's lives." She's absolutely right. This is about lives--specifically, the millions taken in abortion clinics like this one! Even moderates like Andrew Breitbart said, "One doesn't have to be a dedicated pro-life activist to find the idea of this event kind of sick." After all, Christmas is a celebration of birth-not death. We rejoice in the baby who came so that we might have life-and life more abundantly.*
Last year, we wrote an article on Tony Perkins' "Christmas Card" to donors/followers of the FRC (Stranger Than Fiction: Tony Perkins' Christmas Card") in which he politicizes Christmas, albeit over-texted with Scripture. No doubt about it: TonyPerkins and the FRC have a serious stake in Christmas.

Rick Perry Is Not "Strong", But He Owns Christmas Too

Rick Perry's ad "Strong" earned him a record-breaking 665,000 "dislikes" on YouTube not only because he  slammed gays in the military and the absence of prayer in public schools, but he stated that kids "can't celebrate Christmas" in schools.** The ad instantly gave way to a dozen parodies (see the most stinging one below - "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm an a**hole"). The bombastic attack on the Obama administration chose to hang on to Christmas as demonstration of ownership. 

So it seems that any "war" on Christmas, any inclusive attempts with "Holiday Trees" and "Happy Holidays", any celebration of Christmas in the "wrong" places declares the owners of Christmas to be the ones who insist on...control. We've noted that Christmas has, in effect, transcended itself, morphing into a universal Christmas Spirit. By controlling Christmas, these same people also attempt to control the Christmas Spirit. 

Perhaps the one person who realizes this manipulation is John Stewart of The Daily Show as the video below demonstrates. Stewart, of course, pokes fun at the whole ridiculousness of the "war", but in his comedy lies the truth: people may think they own Christmas, but the ownership of the Christmas Spirit? 

I don't think so. 

* Some rather sticky points against Perkins' rhetoric: some people actually do celebrate part of their Christmas placing wreaths or "blankets" of evergreens on loved ones graves. Secondly, Andrew Breibart is not and never has been a "moderate."

** CBS News:"Based on checking the schoolhouse scene in Iowa and Texas and consulting an array of national experts, it's clear that school officials are not permitted to organize prayers or focus on a single religion in connection with Christmas, but kids may pray and also celebrate the holiday on their own," the site's article reads.