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Free Speech: Dispatch from the 'War on Christmas'
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Fellow warriors, it’s time to tighten our ranks. Thump your Bibles and head to the front lines. It’s time to take back what’s ours!

I’m talking about Christmas, of course. How dare those pagans, Jews, Hindus and secular humanists try to kill Christmas?

The conspiracy is most evident at this time of year in that verbal grenade -- “Happy Holidays!” It sounds so cheerful, so innocuous, doesn’t it?

But heed my warning, it’s all part of the war -- a war being waged to destroy all that is moral and holy.

Don’t believe me? Watch any national news program.

“The Schmertzel family in Poohwanka Falls, Wisconsin, is all set to celebrate the holidays in style,” the permed anchor will chirp, as footage of a Christmas display appears on the screen. Walk into any department store or gift shop and you’ll hear it -- “Season’s greetings!”

Well, this proud Christian will take it no more. “Stick it where the Hanukkah candles don’t shine!” is my new motto. I’m declaring myself an embedded reporter, and plan to go right to the heart of the seasonal skirmish.

If cashiers and other employees can’t wish me a Merry Christmas, I’ll just walk right out of their store. I’ve noticed that other folks in Savannah are planning on doing the same, according to what I’ve read in Vox Populi.

Who cares if we stole this HOLYday from the pagans? They may have had Yule and Saturnalia first, but we’ve done it better, with Santa Claus, presents and other wholesome values.

So what if this country is 80 percent Christian? We may be in the majority, but we’re clearly under attack on all sides. That’s why we must shout, pout and demand what is rightfully ours.

Thankfully, there are some signs The Righteous Ones are winning the War against Christmas. But this victory hasn’t come without losses. This war already has claimed many victims, including Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

It was just two years ago that he first declared war on the War on Christmas. On The O’Reilly Factor, he proclaimed, “It’s all part of the secular progressive agenda... to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square. If you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious-based, usually.”

O’Reilly was joined in this effort by fellow Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and John Gibson (who happens to be the author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought). They produced Christmas Under Siege in 2004, which clearly proves Christmas is under attack by those “secular progressives.”

These brave men began an investigation of America’s retail giants. “This investigation is designed to spotlight retailers who have knocked the word ‘Christmas’ out of the Christmas season,” O’Reilly righteously said, adding, “We’re not interested with the word ‘merry.’ Don’t really care about ‘merry.’”

(Well, of course not! What does “merry” have to do with “Christmas?”)

Some retailers already have buckled under the pressure. I’m proud to report from the frontlines that Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, Sears, Kmart and Macy’s are among those who have reversed earlier decisions to avoid use of the word “Christmas” in their 2006 advertising campaigns.

Wal-Mart even announced they were “endorsing” Christmas by using its name in store, print, radio and TV advertising. They even changed their stores’ “Holiday Shops” to “Christmas Shops!” Hallelujah!

It’s not just retailers. Educators are to blame, too. “What I’ve noticed is the way this appears in schools -- for instance, we now don’t call it the Christmas break,” Gibson said. “It’s the winter break, as if people worship winter.”

The heathen foes of Christmas immediately struck back. Hendrik Hertzberg, executive editor of The New Yorker, called Fox News the “Christmas Pentagon” and O’Reilly its “Patton.”

“The War on Christmas is a little like Santa Claus, in that it (a) comes to us from the sky, beamed down by the satellites of cable news, and (b) does not, in the boringly empirical sense, exist,” Hertzberg wrote.

Bless him, O’Reilly didn’t take it lying down. He added The New Yorker to his hall of shame, and recommended that readers and sponsors avoid it.

But in the end, those rampaging secularists got to him. In a stunning defeat of the Right (or Right Side, as I like to call it) at the hands of those pinko Leftists, O’Reilly reversed his position, saying, “Happy Holidays is fine, just don’t ban ‘Merry Christmas.’”

Brother Bill, how could you sell us down the river? I’m sorely disappointed, but I’m really trying to forgive him.

After all, this is the season of peace, love, goodwill and joy. č


In addition to her duties as the news editor of Connect Savannah, Linda Sickler is a brilliant satirist who is thankful to have store employees say “Hello,” must less “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.”