Editor’s Note: In honor of the Christmas season, we are posting some past articles from TOO because they seem just as relevant today. This is the first of a two-part article by Edmund Connelly originally posted on December 21, 2008.
VDARE.com is again running their wonderful War on Christmas series, begun in 1999. Various contributors there document how an overwhelmingly Christian America which for centuries celebrated Christmas as both a religious and cultural holiday has in recent years moved vigorously first to quash religious observance of Christmas in the public square and is now mopping up the remaining secular symbols.
While much has been written and reported about this assault, few want to situate the attack on Christmas within a larger set of conflicts between Jews and White Christians. But to understand the hostility toward Christmas in America, one must do just that, as Jewish Townhall.com columnist Burt Prelutsky bluntly did in his 2004 column “The Jewish grinch who stole Christmas.”
The blame for the brisk departure of Christmas observations in so many parts of American life now, Prelutsky argued, can be blamed on “my fellow Jews. When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the American Civil Liberties Union, at the forefront. . . . But the dirty little secret in America is that anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society — it’s been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity. “
One could spend a year, from one Christmas to the next, reading about the Gentile-Jewish basis of the War on Christmas. Some accounts are scholarly, while others are more popular. Some overtly point to the religious split as the source of the hostility, while others cautiously skirt around the issue.
Rush Limbaugh’s younger brother David is at pains not to name the source of the powerful anti-Christian bias he sees in our culture. Thus, in his 2003 work Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity, he can open a chapter by writing “In the documented bias against Christians and Christianity in our modern culture, Hollywood and Big Media play very major roles.” But he ignores the highly Jewish nature of the American media in general and Hollywood in particular. In fact, the words “Jews” and “Judaism” do not even appear in his extensive index.
The same can be said for Bill O’Reilly — another culture warrior on the good side of the War on Christmas who never mentions the Jewish angle. But I love his poster anyway, even though he doesn’t want to say whom he is really fighting against. This silence is, of course, a wonderful comment on Jewish power in America.
Incidentally, the Jewish dominance of Hollywood is so obvious and undeniable that Los Angeles Times’ columnist Joel Stein recently announced it. What else can you say when all eight major film studios are run by Jews. And Abe Foxman seems to agree. So I guess it’s okay for us at TOO to say it.
But, according to Foxman, these Hollywood Jewish executives just “happen to be Jewish,” as if the Jewishness of Hollywood really doesn’t make any difference. But of course it does, and the War on Christmas is Exhibit A for that proposition.
In The Culture-Wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World, Theodore Baehr and Pat Boone have assembled a collection of Christian writings on the perils they and their families face in an increasingly anti-Christian America. Arguing that “whoever controls the media controls the culture,” they too avoid direct discussion of Jewish roles. Still, by including a chapter such as William Lind’s excellent “Who Stole Our Culture?” it is obvious to even the halfway informed reader what civilizational rival they are discussing.
Lind goes as far as anyone in this book to frame the conflict:
The Frankfurt School was well on the way to creating political correctness. Then suddenly, fate intervened. In 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, where the Frankfurt School was located. Since the Frankfurt School was Marxist, and the Nazis hated Marxism, and since almost all its members were Jewish, it decided to leave Germany. In 1934, the Frankfurt School, including its leading members from Germany, was re-established in New York City with help from Columbia University. Soon, its focus shifted from destroying traditional Western culture in Germany to doing so in the United States. It would prove all too successful.
Needless to say, this emphasis on the Frankfurt school moves the discussion in the same direction as Kevin MacDonald does in The Culture of Critique, where MacDonald describes the broad range of Jewish movements arrayed against the culture of the West, including Christianity.
Perhaps one of the best books on this kulturkampf is Fox News Channel host John Gibson’s 2005 The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought. One need not read too intently between the lines to realize that the bulk of the “secular liberals” Gibson blames for the assault on Christmas are Jews.
He does this by bookending his tale with stories about Christians and Jews. In his preface, he relates the pain a Christian father recently experienced upon learning that his four-year-old son had learned to paint a menorah in preschool but not a Christmas tree. This was because the school had no “Christmas” tree, only a “friendship” tree. In contrast, the school displayed large drawings of menorahs with big block letters spelling out HAPPY HANUKAH. It’s pretty clear which culture is dominant these days.
Gibson closes the book with a debate with Ira Glasser of the ACLU, displaying the “hairsplitting” style of argumentation that Glasser so forcefully wielded in a debate. “Hairsplitting,” of course, could just as easily be what many people mean when they say reasoning is “Talmudic.”
Finally, if one is so inclined, a perusal of law professor Stephen M. Feldman’s Please Don’t Wish Me a Merry Christmas: A Critical History of the Separation of Church and State may be informative. What does it say, for instance, when someone who writes a book with such a title opens with the sentence “I am Jewish”? The scorching hostility toward everything Christian in this New York University Press book is inescapable, which is why Richard John Neuhaus called Feldman “relentless,” if not “fanatical.”
In everyday parlance, this debate is often referred to as the one over “A Neutral Public Square,” and it has been going on for a long time. “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” were not always ubiquitous greetings at the end of December. For instance, back in 1952, George S. Kaufman appeared on a popular television show one week before Christmas and was asked what he wanted for the holiday. He replied, “Let’s make this one program on which no one sings ‘Silent Night.'” The response from the audience (largely Gentile, one would presume) was fast and furious: Kaufman was removed from the show.
Fast-forward to 1982 and the popular Saturday Night Live could feature a skit called “Merry Christmas, Dammit!” This skit portrayed the relationship between Donny and Marie Osmond, two non-Jewish sibling pop singers, as incestuous, and the Virgin Mary was described as “that virgin chick” in a jazzed up version of “Silent Night.” Eddie Murphy — in his popular “Gumby” guise — reads children’s story in which Santa tears out the lungs of one of his elves because the elf asked for a sip of Santa’s hot chocolate. He ends the skit by saying “And to everyone out there — a merry Christmas! And to my producer, my director, my manager, and my lawyer — Happy Hanukkah, boys!” Obviously sensibilities had changed by then, and the people calling the shots were Jews.
Indeed, Jewish aversion to Christian symbols has resulted in a much more neutral public arena. As political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg, in his much under-appreciated 1993 work The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State, wrote:
Religious symbols and forms of expression that Jews find threatening have been almost completely eliminated from schools and other public institutions. Suits brought by the ACLU, an organization whose leadership and membership are predominantly Jewish, secured federal court decisions banning officially sanctioned prayer in the public schools and crèches and other religious displays in parks and public buildings.
Writer Mark Steyn light-heartedly described how Jews created a gradual division between religious and secular Christmas symbols, making America a society where “Jesus, Mary and Joseph are for home and for church; Santa, Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman—the great secular trinity—are for everybody.” He continues:
It’s 1934 . . . and it falls to a Jew to introduce Tin Pan Alley’s first Christmas pop standard. Isidore Israel Itkowitz—or Eddie Cantor—doesn’t much like the song, but his wife talks him into it:
‘He’s making a list
And checking it twice,
He’s gonna find out
Who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town . . .’
In just 60 years, those words have become as familiar to most Americans as the Pledge of Allegiance. ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’ has gone down in his-to-ree in only 45 years. He’s not just for Episcopalians and Catholics—and who better to teach little girls ‘that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity’ regardless of the colour of their nose? Johnny Marks had such a hit—it’s one of the biggest sellers of all time—that he founded his own publishing house, St Nicholas Music, and devoted the rest of his life to composing seasonal songs, from ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ to a beautiful setting of Longfellow’s Civil War poem, ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’. . . . In the New World, the most potent Americana—observational or aspirational—is created by Jews. Perhaps the Yankees took the sleigh rides and winter wonderlands for granted, but you had to have grown up in the lowest East Side ghetto to see that.
It’s a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
As they pass around the coffee and the
pumpkin pie . . .
Jule Styne . . . was born in the Jewish slums of Bethnal Green and liked to say that it was coming from that background that made him understand the dreams of ordinary Americans. With Sammy Cahn, he wrote:
Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
. . . Irving Berlin understood. . . . Today, the calendar turns to Berlin anthems, to ‘Easter Parade’; and ‘God Bless America’ and ‘White Christmas’. They had white Christmases in Temun, Siberia, where he was born, but it’s not about the weather: a white Russian Christmas wouldn’t be the same. . . . (See M. Steyn, “A Triumph of Miscegenation,” The Spectator, December 17/24, 1994.)
Of course, this “compromise” to take Christ out of popular culture was a great victory for Jews, for it allowed the hostility many Jews felt toward a Christian majority to find vent without the Gentiles really noticing. Philip Roth, however, knew exactly what it meant:
The radio was playing ‘Easter Parade’ and I thought, But this is Jewish genius on a par with the Ten Commandments. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and then He gave to Irving Berlin ‘Easter Parade’ and ‘White Christmas.’ The two holidays that celebrate the divinity of Christ—the divinity that’s the very heart of the Jewish rejection of Christianity—and what does Irving Berlin brilliantly do? He de-Christs them both! Easter he turns into a fashion show and Christmas into a holiday about snow. Gone is the gore and the murder of Christ—down with the crucifix and up with the bonnet! He turns their religion into schlock. But nicely! Nicely! So nicely the goyim don’t even know what hit ’em. They love it. Everybody loves it. The Jews especially. Jews loathe Jesus.
Sadly, Jews have been able to translate this hatred of Christ and his birthday into increasingly scandalous imagery, thanks to their domination of Hollywood and TV studios. The progression of Christmas images from overwhelmingly positive to secular and even vicious imagery is something I’ll discuss—and show—in my next column in a few days.
Edmund Connelly is a freelance writer, academic, and expert on the cinema arts. He has previously written for The Occidental Quarterly.