Militant Secularists Should Declare Christmas Truce
Crackdown on religious free speech can't be ignored
December 22, 2011
This Christmas season has seen the return of lawsuits and complaints from militant secularists who are determined to rid the public square of Christmas cheer. This year's targets have included nativity displays at Travis Air Force Base and a Texas county courthouse. The Air Force Academy also came under attack because of its participation in "Operation Christmas Child," a Christian ministry that provides shoeboxes to hundreds of thousands of needy children around the world. Even as these lawsuits pile up, I continue to hear from those who scoff at the notion of a "War on Christmas." We can see this crackdown on religious speech, yet we are told that it isn't happening.
Last week, there was one skirmish that I and my wife couldn't ignore because it happened right in front of us and our 2-year-old daughter. We were standing in line at the Aspen Hill Shopping Center post office in Silver Spring, Md., when a trio of Christmas carolers entered looking like they had stepped off the theater stage of A Christmas Carol. They were only a few notes into their tune when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a scowling postal manager rushing to confront them. He angrily told them that they had to leave immediately. He said, "You can't go into Congress and sing" and so "you can't do it here either." Everyone was momentarily frozen in astonishment before customers began booing the manager. However, he wouldn't back down even after they explained that they had been caroling in this post office for many years without incident.
I encouraged them to file a complaint but they told me that they were there to sing a couple of carols--not to stir controversy. I would speculate that there are many similar skirmishes in the "War on Christmas" that go unnoticed by the media because most people are just like these carolers. They simply want to celebrate their Christmas traditions as they've always done and aren't looking for a confrontation with a militant secularist.
Unfortunately, for these carolers and the 95 percent of Americans who celebrate Christ's birth, the "War on Christmas" is becoming much more difficult to ignore. This is why a growing number are responding like the customers waiting in line at the post office: "Let them sing!"