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Christmas Under Seige

Reported by Marie Therese - December 15, 2004

Newshound Editorial

Bill O'Reilly has joined the chorus of FOX commentators who bemoan the fact that poor old Christmas is under attack. The following words, I believe, sum up his position pretty well, even though they are not his:

"And it has become pretty general. Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone's Birth. Easter they will have the same difficulty in finding Easter cards that contain any suggestion that Easter commemorates a certain event. There will be rabbits and eggs and spring flowers, but a hint of the Resurrection will be hard to find. Now, all this begins with the designers of the cards."

To whom do these words belong?

Sean Hannity? John Gibson? Jerry Falwell? Pat Robertson? Ann Coulter? Michelle Malkin? Newt Gingrich? Brent Bozell? Mark Hyman? Rush Limbaugh? Davis Asman? John Kasich?

None of the above.

They were penned by Henry Ford in 1921 in his tract "The International Jew," a vile piece of anti-semitic garbage written by someone who blamed the International Jew Conspiracy for every ill that has ever befallen mankind. Henry Ford's type of thinking spawned the whole line of fearful, angry little men and women who daily spew their hatred on FOX News, vomiting up daily discourses that advance their own petty little prejudices and pander to the lowest common denominator among their viewership.

It seems to me that we have entered into a new phase wherein self-proclaimed representatives of the Christian majority - frightened by events beyond their control, who see Osama bin Laden under their beds and terrorists in the hedgerow - are yet again scapegoating another "minority" - only this time no one actually says the word "Jew" or "Jewish."

In today's politically-correct environment, alleged perpetrators of this completely false and fabricated "attack on the Christian majority" are carefully lumped together under the generic heading of "anti-Christian minority." That so-called minority includes the ACLU, media elite, Jews, athiests, agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Europeans, communists, pagans, Wiccans, rappers, hip hoppers and Hollywood lefties. They (we) have been morphed into the collective face of the boogey-man. It is no coincidence that O'Reilly despises both Barbra Streisand and Ludacris. I am sure they represent everything his violent, abusive father taught him to hate and fear.

As someone who has lived through the shadow of the McCarthy era (although I was too young to remember the hearings), the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War protests, Watergate, Iran-Contra, I have become more and more alarmed by the over-the-top rhetoric of power-mongers like O'Reilly and his ilk. They remind me so much of the bigoted members of the John Birch Society, that abominable monument to the white American male, whose message was based on the premise that one should hate the other because he or she is not the same as you and me. This Bircher claptrap is alive and well and on display every day on FOX News, Clear Channel, Sinclair, Liberty and the right wing internet.

How dare Bill O'Reilly tell me that I am anti-Christmas? Has he been to my house? Has he seen my Christmas tree, ornaments, outdoor decorations? I deal on a daily basis with children of all faiths. How dare he and others like him imply that there is something unholy about my sensitivity to the feelings of another human being when I say "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas"! Thankfully, I am secure enough in my spirituality to accept that the world is a veritable kaleidescope of attitudes, feelings, beliefs and emotions. Thankfully, I do not need to see the Ten Comandments displayed at my local City Hall to bolster my sense of community!

In point of fact, I do not presume to be able to know the face of God at all. As I was taught in my religion many years ago, imperfect human beings cannot possibly conceive of a being that is perfect. Therefore, the only way to know God is to know man, to be loving and kind and generous towards one's fellow beings.

And in this season, when peace has been ripped away from two countries while the drums of war are beating for a third (Iran) and nuclear destruction faces us from a fourth (North Korea), in this season of massive political manipulation and multi-national production machines telling us to BUY BUY BUY while they set about destroying the social security lifeline, in this season of fanaticism and discord, I am humbled by the amount of genuine goodness that permeates the people I meet in my day to day life.

Since each person is unique and the faces of the Infinite Being are numberless, I will continue defy the likes of Bill O'Reilly and tailor my seasonal greetings to the belief structure of the person I am with.

Shalom! Salaam! Peace!

I invite each of you to, please, take a moment and post here the word PEACE in the language(s) of your own heritage(s).

May the light shine on you and may your feet walk always on cloud.

Happy Holidays, one and all!

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