We told you a book about Christmas from Sarah Palin was a very bad idea. It hits bookshelves this week and already the roar is deafening.
New York Magazine has a review with audio clips, Sarah Palin saying things like this:
An angry atheist with a lawyer is one of the most powerful persons in America.
Atheismâ€™s track record makes the Spanish Inquisition seem like Disneyland by comparison.
This is exactly why we didn’t want to see Sarah Palin talk about Christmas. These broad strokes, condemning all atheists, do no favors for any fan of Christmas. While we take our shots here at the activists of atheism such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation we feel it important to point out that for every militant group out there we find thousands of silent, respectful and Christmas-loving atheists who do not agree with such movements that attack the presence of Christmas in public.
To attack all atheists in a book as counter-Christmas is like saying all Muslims are terrorists and all Christians are bigots.
Palin’s predictable assault on the use of “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas” is another short-sighted, tired, and ultimately flawed Christmas logic:
Walgreensâ€™ 24-page nationwide circular used the word holiday 36 times without one mention of Christmas.
This is a ridiculous notion. There is no crime, no offense, and certainly nothing out-of-place with the use of the word “holiday”. Late December is a time filled with holidays — Christmas, Channukah, Kwaanza, New’s Year’s Eve — who is any retailer to decide which of these celebrants buys gifts in their store? It’s not like Walgreens is saying “everyone except Christmas shoppers come shop with us”. Walgreens never gets credit for their Easter sales and folks like Sarah Palin never seem to mention that. The simple assault on “Happy Holidays” is the oddest battle in the war on Christmas and hanging on to it makes ardent Christians like Sarah Palin look stupid.
What is particularly painful about Palin’s book is that on many points she is completely correct:
The war on Christmas is the tip of the spear in a larger battle to secularize our culture, and make true religious freedom a thing of Americaâ€™s past.
This is a true statement and she and others would be wise to stop using Christmas as the big stage to hold the discussion. They get sucked into the dumb attacks against Christmas because they view them as an opportunity to say “I told you so.” In some cases, they are correct (such as not singing Christmas songs in public schools). But others look just goofy — such as complaining about Christmas lights (there were no Christmas lights at the Nativity, folks and sometimes folks can over-do them to the detriment of a neighborhood. It’s isn’t anti-Christmas to say that, it is common sense).
Sarah Palin is the wrong person saying the wrong things in the wrong way at the wrong time. Her publishing a book some 45-days before Christmas makes her guilty of commercializing Christmas as much as anyone. When this book was announced in March would have been a better time for her to make her case.
What the War on Christmas really needs is a rational Christian to step forward and blow the whistle on the likes of Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly and others who paint with broad strokes and tend to forget and/or never know the true history of Christmas.