When I was a boy, Kensington was a village half an hour north of Chevy Chase Circle where, inside an ice-cold armory, Catholic kids practiced basketball. Montgomery County was a bedroom suburb of D.C. Nothing beyond existed, except for the Rockville drive-in.
This fall, both precincts became world-famous as citadels of wacko liberalism. The Montgomery County Council voted to fine homeowners $500 who let cigarette smoke escape into neighbors' houses. And the Kensington council voted to purge Santa from its 30-year-old tradition of lighting a pine tree in front of town hall.
Why did the Kensington Taliban expel St. Nick? Says the mayor: "Because two families felt that they would be uncomfortable with Santa Claus being a part of the event." Ebeneezer Scrooge felt the same way.
Now this may not be in the Christmas spirit, but it needs to be said – as writer Tom Piatak says it so well in Chronicles. The spirit that seeks to purge Santa, and has already purged Christ from Christmas, is not a spirit of tolerance, but a spirit of "hatred, resentment and envy."
And why should a tiny few who resent Christmas prevail in America over the great joyous majority who love it?
Multiculturalists say Christmas celebrations cause "non-Christians to feel 'left out.' I am skeptical, but even if the multiculturalists are right," says Piatak, "how much should we worry about those who feel left out. ... We cannot forever shield non-Christians from the reality that they are a minority in America, and suppressing the observances of the majority seems a high price to pay to allow overly sensitive souls to live in comfortable delusion."
Moreover, he adds, "Christmas in America was never marked by pogroms or expressions of hatred, but by countless acts of charity and kindness. ... The public celebration of Christmas was capable of being enjoyed by non-Christians as well as Christians, and almost everyone did enjoy at least some of it. I know of non-Christians who enjoy Christmas specials, Christmas movies, Christmas music."
Under true tolerance, schoolchildren whose parents do not wish for them to take part in Christmas carols, pageants or plays would be exempt, but all non-Christians would be invited to join in.
But, as multiculturalists know, the result of free choice would be the almost-universal celebration of Christmas in public. And this they cannot abide, for their agenda is to purge from public life the Christian faith that gave birth to Western civilization. For they believe Western civilization was a blight upon mankind. As that great multiculturalist Jesse Jackson put it, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go!"
"Europe is the faith, the faith is Europe," asserted the Catholic writer Hillaire Belloc. Piatak echoes Belloc. Christmas "has been the principal holiday of the world's most creative civilization for over a millennium. It has inspired a profusion of art, architecture, literature and music; a love of Christmas can lead to a deeper love of our whole civilization. Giotto never painted a Kwanzaa scene, Bach did not write a Hannukah oratorio, and Dickens did not pen 'A Ramadan Carol.' And no one comparable to them did, either."
Indeed, the birth of Christ has inspired more great paintings, music and sculpture than any event in history. "Ultimately," writes Piatak, "we should be free to celebrate Christmas publicly and joyously, because it is a great holiday, and because it is our holiday and one of the crowning glories of Western culture that gave birth to America and sustains us still."
But why, then, are we not free to do so? Why may we not celebrate, as we did for 200 years, the birth of our Savior, the day God became man to open up for us the gates of heaven and bring mankind the hope of eternal salvation?
Answer: Because our Constitution has been hijacked by bigots in black robes, who perverted it to de-Christianize America. And we let them get away with it. Second, because Christians have become an intimidated lot, who will permit themselves to be pushed around and even permit their Savior to go uncelebrated for fear of being called insensitive. But if we do not proclaim the Son of God, will He proclaim us before the Father in heaven?
If Jesus was truly God, and the first Christmas was the day he was born of the Virgin Mary, and He came into the world for our salvation, what does it say about us that we would permit a handful of unhappy people to deny us the right to celebrate His birth in our public squares?
But, nevertheless, "God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing ye dismay" – not even the ACLU on this coming Christmas Day.