Thursday, January 06, 2005

One Last Follow-Up on The Christmas Wars

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The Christmas Wars, Cont'd



(I originally wrote this the day after Christmas but didn't get it ready to post until today.)

Mark Steyn writes compellingly here about the attempted "de-Christification" of America. He first notes the flimsy basis for most ACLU attacks on Christian symbols in the public square:

The seasonally litigious rest their fanatical devotion to the de-Christification of Christmas on the separation of church and state. America's founders were certainly opposed to the ''establishment'' of religion, whose meaning is clear enough to any Englishman: The new republic did not want President George Washington serving simultaneously as supreme governor of the Church of America, as the queen today is simultaneously head of the Church of England, or the bishop of Virginia sitting in the U.S. Senate, as today the archbishop of York sits in the House of Lords. Two centuries on, these possibilities are so remote to Americans that the ''separation'' of church and state has dwindled down to threats of legal action over red and green party napkins.
Not too much new there. But Steyn then argues that the secularists have actually shot themselves in the foot by attacking public religion frontally, because after every "legal victory over the school board, who really wins?"

For the answer to that, look no further than last month's election results. Forty years of ACLU efforts to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicized Christianity in America. By ''politicized,'' I don't mean that anyone who feels his kid should be allowed to sing ''Silent Night'' if he wants to is perforce a Republican, but only that year in, year out, it becomes harder for such folks to support a secular Democratic Party closely allied with the anti-Christmas militants. American liberals need to rethink their priorities: What's more important? Winning a victory over the New Jersey kindergarten teacher's holiday concert, or winning back Congress and the White House?

In Britain and Europe, by contrast, the formal and informal symbols of religious faith remained in place in national life and there were no local equivalent to America's militant litigants, and the result is the total collapse of Christianity: Across the continent, the churches are empty. In attempting to sue God out of public life, American liberals demonstrate yet again that they're great on tactics, lousy on long-term strategy.
The entire piece is full of the usual piercing Steyn wit and logic.

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