False News of Bill O’Reilly Punching Santa Fools Haters

False News of Bill O’Reilly Punching Santa Fools Haters

The Daily Currant is not a serious news website. That does not stop the world from reporting what they read there as actual news. On December 26th The Daily Currant posted a story about Bill O’Reilly getting arrested for punching out a Macy’s Santa Claus on Christmas Eve for saying “Happy Holidays” to him. Like everything posted at the parody website, it was not true. But that does not seem to stop the O’Reilly haters from, well, hating more.

The Twitter universe is alive today with plenty of heat for Bill O’Reilly, as reported at Twitchy.com.

It just goes to show how ridiculous the other side in the War on Christmas can be, too.

O’Reilly is guilty of plenty of his own War on Christmas sins. But I can just imagine the phone call he got from his mother this week. “Billy, did you really punch out Santa?”

Plotting to Celebrate Christmas in Saudi Arabia

Plotting to Celebrate Christmas in Saudi Arabia

The games of the American War on Christmas pale in comparison with what goes on in other parts of the world. Today a Middle East news site is reporting action by the Saudi government to crack down on a party of 41 people “plotting to celebrate Christmas”.

The raid is the latest in a string of religious crackdowns against residents perceived to threaten the country’s strict religious code.

The host of the alleged Christmas gathering is reported to be an Asian diplomat whose guests included 41 Christians, as well as two Saudi Arabian and Egyptian Muslims. The host and the two Muslims were said to be “severely intoxicated.”

The guests were said to have been referred to the “respective authorities.” It is unclear whether or not they have been released since.

The kingdom, which only recognizes Islamic faith and practice, has in the past banned public Christmas celebrations, but is ambiguous about festivities staged in private quarters.

Sal Lizard as Santa Goes Political

Sal Lizard as Santa Goes Political

Over the years we have seen Santa in both a good and a bad light. But 2012 has been a rough year for Sal Lizard, a so-called professional Santa who has been promoting his new book all season while appearing as Santa as he does every year. Recently he was on FoxNews where he was goaded into discussing the War on Christmas…and he took the bait:

Who is Santa Claus to engage in political discussion? Does Lizard not realize that there is nothing offensive in the term “Happy Holidays”? The only people calling “Happy Holidays” politically correct are those who say “Merry Christmas” is maligned (as does Lizard). There is nothing remotely offensive in the term “Happy Holidays:, just as there is nothing offensive in the term “Merry Christmas”. In this case, one good turn does not deserve another. Lizard demeans the image of Santa by lowering Santa to the level of political hacks. That should never be Santa’s schtick.

Shame on Santa Lizard for going there. We are sure he didn’t want to engage in the debates of the War on Christmas but we ARE sure he wants to sell more books. Shame on Sal for using the image of Santa out there like that. What ever it is that he claims he learned in “Being Santa” it is clear he has not learned enough.

Masschusetts Community Decides It is a Christmas Tree

Masschusetts Community Decides It is a Christmas Tree

Imagine this: a New England town held a holiday event featuring a pine tree festively decorated with lights and December seasonal decorations. Being New England they had to be careful what they called it. After all, this is the land where Christmas was once banned. So they put up their tree and called it holiday tree, just like their famous neighbors, Rhode Island.

Then someone called the city. “That’s not a holiday tree,” they complained. “That’s a Christmas tree.” The caller didn’t want the tree taken down. He just wanted the tree called what it really is.

After hours of painstaking and heart wrenching debate the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance describing the city lighted tree they display every December…a Christmas tree.

Put this city on the map for a letter to come soon from the FFRF in 2013.

More on this story here.

Christ in Christmas Banners Taken Down in San Antonio

Christ in Christmas Banners Taken Down in San Antonio

The Knights of Columbus — a private organization — paid money to the utility company to put up a banner between two light poles (private property). The banners said “Keep Christ in Christmas”. Somebody called and complained so the city took the banners down. Right or wrong?

It is an all too familiar story. A local college professor says it was the right move. If the city allowed the banners to remain they would be violating the “establishment clause” of the Constitution. But the Knights of Columbus say “no so fast”. It seems the policy of the utility allows for the banners if they support a non-profit event. The Knights of Columbus are non-profit and Christmas, they claim, is an event. The city says it won’t charge them for the contract and the banners are back up on more private property.

And nobody in San Antonio appears to be happy about any of this. More here.

FDNY Takes Down Christmas Trees

FDNY Takes Down Christmas Trees

The Fire Department of New York is coming under fire today for taking the real trees displayed in apartment buildings due to code violations. Residents are crying “bah humbug!”. The FDNY says they are just doing their jobs. The Christmas tree fires reported in apartment buildings have been so prolific that New York cannot spare the danger or the cost. Speaking of the cost, no word yet on any imposed fines. Read more about it here.

Note: most FDNY stations have live trees, too.

Nearly As Many People Believe There is a War On Christmas as Believe in Santa Claus

Nearly As Many People Believe There is a War On Christmas as Believe in Santa Claus

In a wide ranging new poll from Public Policy Polling 47 percent of respondents said there is a War on Christmas — nearly as many (52 percent) said they believed in Santa Claus. (44 percent also said Santa is a Democrat).

While this poll is interesting it should be noted that the data was generated between December 5 and December 7, 2012, right at the height of the annual media circus surrounding the “War on Christmas”.

Our own polling on the topic consistently shows most Americans (78 percent) do NOT believe there is a War on Christmas. Most of our polling is done in late summer/early fall.

The definition of “war on Christmas” is disputed about as much as any kind of element of it. Many believe that the “War on Christmas” means an outright removal of Christmas from society. But with evidence of so much Christmas around us — from decorations to advertisements to parties to music to movies to foods — there is little evidence that such a “war” is having any real affect. How can there be a war when one side is winning so completely?

American Atheists Plaster Times Square with Anti-Christian Campaign

American Atheists Plaster Times Square with Anti-Christian Campaign

“If you know God is a myth, you do not have to lie and call yourself Christian in order to have a festive holiday season,” David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said. “You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should.” These comments came as the media was giving him love for the launch of this festive attack ad in Times Square:

American Atheist Attack Ad in Times Square, NYC
American Atheist Attack Ad in Times Square, NYC

It should be noted that nowhere in the media is this called offensive. It should likewise be noted that nobody is crying out for its removal because it is offensive.

Let the hate email begin, now that the obvious observations have been made.

Just remember, if you don’t like it, wait til next year when they do it again.

Ellwood, Pa. Man Takes Nativity Mobile in Fight Against FFRF

Ellwood, Pa. Man Takes Nativity Mobile in Fight Against FFRF

A trailer carrying a Nativity display remained parked along Lawrence Avenue in front of the Ellwood City Municipal Building Friday, and the man who helped put it there said he hoped it would remain throughout the holiday season.

“I’m going to try to keep it there at least through Christmas,” said Mike Parisi, of Ellwood City. Parisi was a vocal supporter of keeping a Nativity display on the municipal building lawn, in keeping with a borough tradition going back at least a half-century.

Parisi was on a committee earlier this year to devise a way to keep a display at the municipal building, while avoiding a threatened lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which had opposed the tradition on First Amendment establishment clause grounds.

This year, the community Nativity is on private property at the former St. Agatha Church along Fifth Street and Spring Avenue.

The trailer Nativity belongs to the Moose club in Ellwood City. Parisi, who is a Moose member, proposed putting the display on a trailer and parking it in front of the municipal building, which he did Thursday evening.

Approximately 250 people attended the Nativity’s arrival, Parisi said, and those who turned out donated approximately $275 to Mooseheart, a resident school in Illinois for children in need.

Under borough parking regulations, any trailer parked on borough streets must be connected to a towing vehicle at all times, and no trailer can remain in the same parking space for more than seven consecutive days. Ellwood City traditionally suspends enforcement of parking meters between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, allowing two hours of free parking between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Lawrence Avenue business district.

While the trailer was not moved Friday, it was not ticketed. Parisi said he would move the trailer periodically, as necessary to remain in compliance with borough regulations.

“I want to stay within the law,” he said.

Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court said the Nativity trailer has done that.

“As long as they comply with the law, there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.

Athens Atheist Backs Down — For Now

Athens Atheist Backs Down — For Now

A San Antonio man says he plans to drop his lawsuit against the city of Athens for putting up a nativity scene in front of the Henderson County courthouse as a Christmas decoration. But he isn’t giving up his fight.

In short, atheist Patrick Green said it’s no longer a fair fight because Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has offered to step in and assist the city or the county.

Greene’s original suit claims the city is helping fund the display, which is a violation of both state and federal law.

But he doesn’t believe his suit will get a fair shake in court if Abbott is involved and therefore plans to ask the judge to dismiss it. He will file a new one against the attorney general because he claims Abbott’s involvement indicates a showing of preference of one religion over another.

“I realized the power that Greg Abbott has. There would be no fair adjudication of my lawsuit with Greg Abbott butting his nose into it. So I’m filing a dismissal because basically it’s not going to be unbiased. I want him to mind his own business,” he said.

Greene maintains he’d like to see the nativity scene moved to private property, such as church property.

Or he said the Texas Constitution would be okay with the nativity scene if there was at least one other religious symbol such as a menorah in the same vicinity. Then there would be no mistaking that the state was not advocating any one religion.

“If the nativity scene was with a menorah and other religious beliefs that would be terrific,” he said.

Abbott’s office released a statement that said, “Public acknowledgements of religious heritage are constitutional and protected by Supreme Court precedent. The city of Athens and Henderson County have no legal obligation to remove a nativity scene from the courthouse grounds during the Christmas season. The Attorney General’s Office stands ready to provide appropriate legal support to further protect religious liberties in the state of Texas.”

FRFF Attacks Another East Texas Town

FRFF Attacks Another East Texas Town

Last year (and this year) it was Athens, Texas. Now it is Crockett, Texas.

This Christmas, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is focusing their efforts on a Nativity scene in Crockett. They are the same organization that, from more than a thousand miles away, opposed the Nativity scene in Henderson County in 2011.

“I think it’s just an expression of the values of our community, and I’m glad it’s here,” says First Baptist Church of Crockett Pastor Keeny Dickenson.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) argues that the religious display is a violation of the constitution because it stands on government property.

County officials defend their display, though.

“We have a long standing tradition here. We want the Nativity scene; we feel it’s within our rights to have it and we’ll keep it for the holiday period,” says Houston County Judge Erin Ford.

It’s a conflict all too familiar to another East Texas town. Last December, the FFRF fought to have Henderson County’s Nativity display removed, too.

“You cannot mix government and religion. That’s why this country has more religious people than any place in the world, is because government and religion have been kept separate,” said Charles Caperton, the attorney representing the FFRF in Henderson County last April.

After fighting to display their own atheist sign next to the Athens Nativity scene, the FFRF was denied that privilege in October. Back then the foundation was still evaluating their next move, but standing firm.

“We live under a secular and Godless constitution that requires that government should not take sides in matters of religion and personal conscience,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, the Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-president.

While the foundation is focusing on a new Nativity scene this season, the residents in Crockett have no intentions of backing down.

“Jesus is the reason that we have this season, and this is just one other way we like to celebrate the birth of Christ,” says Linnea Robinson, a Crockett resident in support of the display.

To the county, the Nativity scene is a symbol of celebration that they won’t be taking down this Christmas. The Houston County Judge says their county attorney will be sending a response to the FFRF next week.

Florida School Keeps Santa, Dumps Nativity

Florida School Keeps Santa, Dumps Nativity

A Cottondale, Florida elementary school is the latest scene of Christmas debate as the school nixed a traditional nativity scene, opting instead to keep just the figure of Santa Claus on display.

Cottondale Elementary principal Brenda Jones says the school decided to display only secular Christmas symbols after a Department of Education official visited her to talk about separation of church and state. Matt Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, says Jones made the wrong decision.

“In fact, by eliminating only the religious [symbol] – in this situation, the Christian symbol of Christmas or the holidays – they’ve not shown neutrality but they’ve shown hostility toward the viewpoint being religious and anti-religious,” he explains. “And that’s what the Constitution forbids.”

The attorney disagrees with the principal who says banning the crèche is an attempt to be fair to everyone.

“This is not an attempt to be fair to everyone; this is an attempt to actually discriminate. By their so-called fairness they’re actually discriminating,” Staver emphasizes.

“I mean, for heaven’s sakes, we have a holiday on December 25 – it’s recognized by every state in the country and every territory and the federal government, and it’s called Christmas. That’s what Christmas is about on December 25.”

Community members reportedly are so upset by the decision they are threatening to sue the school board.

Military Dumps Base Nativity Scene After Atheist Complaints

The Navy was forced to cancel a live nativity scene during a holiday tree lighting ceremony at a base in Bahrain after a military atheist group complained.

According to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the live nativity scene was canceled after the group sent a letter to the Inspector General stating that it was biased toward Christianity.

“This (referring to the live nativity) is not just support for but promotion of Christianity as the official religion of the base. This violates the Constitution and the mandates of the command to support all belief while privileging none,” the letter states.

The letter also said that the Muslim population in Bahrain could see the soldiers as a Christian force due to the live nativity scene, and not a secular military.

“The event is billed as a ‘holiday’ event but it is nothing but a Christian activity, and it is dishonest for the command to attempt to advertise the event as a ‘holiday’ activity when it is so clearly and exclusively biased toward Christianity. … This event threatens US security and violates the Constitution as well as command policy.”

After receiving the letter, the Inspector General promptly removed the live nativity scene from the base’s main courtyard.

“Upon further review, the CRP (Command Religious Program) will be removing the Living Nativity Program from the general base secular holiday festivities and co-locating it more appropriately with some of our other private religious and faith-based observances at the chapel at a separate time,” the Inspector General’s office stated, according to MAAF.

Some service members stationed in Bahrain were not happy with MAAF getting involved in their Christmas ceremony.

“It was horrible,” one unidentified officer told Fox News. “It was devastating. Here we are serving in the Middle East, defending our country and other people’s religions and we couldn’t understand why we can’t enjoy our own religious freedoms.”

Despite the controversy, MAAF is happy with the decision.

“This is an outcome that provides an affirming and enjoyable private Christian celebration for those interested as well as a religiously-neutral and enjoyable secular ‘holiday’ celebration for other installation personnel.”

Obama Holiday Card Fizzles as A Battle in War on Christmas

Ever since President Obama entered the White House we have had to endure countless references to how the Obamas don’t observe Christmas (we think they do, as it is apparent the Prez goes Christmas shopping every year).

There are also complaints we receive about the White House calling it a “holiday” tree and not a Christmas tree. And we get links all the time to any PC-filtered references to Christmas by anyone or anything associated with the White House.

Like this year’s White House holiday cards. (Their words this year, not added by us).

Frankly, unlike most issues related to the so-called War on Christmas, we feel this one is really amongst the silliest.

This year’s official White House Christmas card (our words) shows the Obama pooch Bo romping in front of a snowy White House. Here is the image, created by Iowan artist Larassa Kabel:

2012 White House Christmas Card
2012 White House Christmas Card

Now, we know you’re gonna ask: what does it say inside? This is the greeting:

“This season, may your home be filled with family, friends and the joy of the holidays,” it reads. The card is signed by “Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Malia, Sasha, Bo.”

We could point you to a lot of outrage out there about this card. Like this one. Or this one. Or even this one from MSN, of all places.

But, before you get on your horse by reading those links let’s just think a little: President Obama is president of ALL the United States — the sacred and secular celebrants of Christmas. Holiday is not a dirty word.

And it IS a great looking card.