Mike Huckabee’s surprisingly strong showing in Iowa and elsewhere may have more to do with his unabashed embrace of Christmas than anything else.
Last month, the former Republican governor of Arkansas aired a campaign commercial in which he said, “At this time of year… what really matters is the celebration and birth of Christ, and being with our family and our friends… God Bless and Merry Christmas.”
This sent liberals and leftists into an apocalyptic tizzy. Huckabee sends an “exclusionary message to non-Christian Americans,” editorialized the Washington Post.
“The birth of Christ is not what really matters if you’re an American Muslim, an American Hindu, an American Jew, an American Sikh, an American Pagan, or any member of another non-Christian American religion,” decreed one indignant You Tuber.
As a statement of personal preference, this may well be true. But as a matter of historical record, it is completely false. All Americans are heirs to a rich Judeo-Christian heritage in which the birth of Christ is a seminal historical event.
Indeed, Judeo-Christian principles undergird our law and our political system, and have done so ever since the first colonists arrived at Jamestown in 1607.
“There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations,” explained Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in 1829.
AND YET, IT’S BECOME culturally uncouth to say publicly “Merry Christmas.” The preferred term nowadays is “Happy Holidays.”
I first noticed this last month when the commanding officer of my Navy Reserve unit wrote in his monthly memo that because of reconstructive knee surgery, he would be “unable to usher in the holidays” with us during our next (pre-Christmas) drill. However, he added that he wished us all a “safe and joy-filled holiday season.”
Then there was the “holiday party” sponsored by the Pentagon office where I currently work as a civilian consultant — no mention of Christmas there.
The final email notices that many of my colleagues sent out the Friday before Christmas — this to mark the end of the year and a week or two of vacation — also mostly substituted “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas.”
Ditto when I went out to eat in Alexandria, Virginia two days before Christmas. The young and hospitable waitress twice wished my date and me a happy holiday, but said nothing of Christmas.
I shopped for a Christmas wreath that says “Merry Christmas.” After trekking to four stores, I found lots of wreaths, but none — absolutely none — inscribed with those two apparently proscribed words.
The music in the outside shopping mall on Christmas Eve? You’d think this would be the time, finally, to play Christmas music, right? If not traditional Christmas carols, then at least secular pop Christmas music.
Nah! A bland muzak, or elevator music, instead filled the air — just as it had all month.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online