The War on Christmas
December 11, 2009 by Chip Wood
I’ve written before about how upset I get at all the politically correct prissies who refuse to let their salespeople or employees wish their customers “Merry Christmas” this time of year.
Because they’re afraid they might upset someone who doesn’t celebrate the holiday they insist on such mind-numbing platitudes as “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” I hear it over and over again—and always respond with a loud and cheery “and Merry Christmas to you!” Most of time, I get a cheerful “Merry Christmas” right back.
Sadly, the war against Christmas continues to gain ground. Public-school officials at Marysville Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C., decided not to allow the kindergarten class to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the school’s annual Christmas—oops, scratch that—the school’s annual holiday show. Seems the parent of one student objected to the song because it contained the word “Christmas.” She didn’t want her little tyke exposed to something with “religious overtones.” So the school officials buckled.
What do they do at the public schools in your area?
Meanwhile, the battle against public display of anything religious claimed another victim, this time in Washington, D.C. The new visitor’s center at the United States Capitol contains a replica of the Speaker’s rostrum in the House chamber. It’s an exact copy, except for this change: The actual chair has the words “In God We Trust” engraved across the top. The phrase is missing from the copy. I wonder which scaredy-cat bureaucrat decided on that?
We’ve become so afraid of offending a tiny (but vocal) minority that it’s perfectly all right to ignore the wishes and beliefs of a huge (but silent) majority. I’ve heard this sad situation referred to as the tyranny of the minority. But I think a more accurate phrase is the cowardice of the majority. What a bunch of spineless sissies our leaders have become.
What the Constitution Actually Says
Permit me to rant for a bit about one of the biggest lies the anti-religious zealots have used against us. It is that “the Constitution requires the separation of church and state.”
Baloney. The Constitution requires no such thing.
Let me begin today’s lesson by asking you, what is the most important sentence in the U.S. Constitution?
I would submit that it’s the very first one. Do you remember how this marvelous document begins? Our founding fathers set the tone for everything they believed, and everything that would follow, in Article I, Section 1, sentence one. It reads, “All legislative powers herein granted are vested in Congress….”
A friend of mine who has lectured widely on the Constitution likes to stop at this point and ask: “Are there any math students present? Okay, maybe you can help me out. If ‘all’ lawmaking power resides in Congress, how much is in the Supreme Court? Right, none! How about the Executive Branch? Right, none again. Thanks for your help.”
There’s a very important principle here—one that has been deliberately obfuscated over the past 50 years. A Supreme Court decision isn’t supposed to be “the law of the land.” The Court has no Constitutional right to make law. All it is supposed to do is to decide “the law of the case.” Their decision should be binding on the plaintiff and the defendant … and no one else.
Instead, for most of my lifetime, layer upon layer of additional government has been sanctioned, and even initiated, by the black-robed justices of the U.S. Supreme Court—men and women who regularly and repeatedly ignore the very first sentence of the document they have sworn to uphold.
And let me digress for a moment to note that the very same principle applies to the Executive Branch. What lawmaking powers does the Constitution bestow on the President and all of the cabinets, agencies and commissions he oversees? Again, the answer is none. Yet we get Executive Orders, Presidential decrees, all sorts of new rules and regulations, and now dozens of new “czars,” for crying out loud. Each and every one has assumed powers that are nowhere granted in the Constitution. And no one dares challenge them!
With that as background, let’s turn to the First Amendment (the one used to justify arguments for “the separation of church and state”) and see what it actually says.
Here is how it begins:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
That seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? “Congress shall make no law,” either promoting a religion or prohibiting one.
According to the Constitution, what are the states allowed to do, when it comes to religion (or just about anything else)? The answer is, pretty much whatever they want.
Could a state require that the Ten Commandments be posted in every courthouse? Sure it could.
Could a city or county government install a crèche on its lawn every Christmas? Absolutely.
Could a governor encourage the citizens of his state to call on the Almighty to alleviate drought or do other good works? Without a doubt.
The framers of our Constitution expected the citizens of each state to decide for themselves how state and local affairs would be conducted. Would every state decide the same thing? Absolutely not. Our founding fathers expected differences to emerge between states. Some would be minor, some major. If one state passed laws you felt were onerous, you could vote to change them—or move to another state.
The idea that every law and every rule in every state should be exactly the same as the ones in every other state would strike our founding fathers as the height of absurdity. They believed that differences were good; that competition would reward good policy and punish bad.
The system worked pretty well for more than 150 years. It could work even better today, thanks to the vastly improved flow of information and transportation. If we choose, we can learn a lot about policies and procedures in other states. And if we like what we find out, we can get there a lot easier than our forefathers did.
Instead, we’ve permitted the tyranny of the minority to trample the rights of the majority. Maybe it’s time for the rest of us to demand our rights back.
My hat is off to the Bill O’Reillys, the Glenn Becks and the others across America who are fighting the good fight to celebrate Christmas this Dec. 25, and not just a “happy holiday.”
But I wish they would do more. I wish they would help us take the offensive against the liberal loonies who have gotten their way for far too long. How about a national campaign to explain and then restore the U.S. Constitution? That would be a Christmas present that would benefit the entire country.
And to all the sorry appeasers and retreaters out there, I hope someone roasts your chestnuts in an open fire. Bah, humbug, indeed.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.