Dan Radmacher used to work as a journalist back east, most recently as editorial page editor of the Roanoke (Va.) Times.
He wrote a wonderful essay in 2006 bemoaning the so-called “war on Christmas,” which he said — correctly, in my view — is a trumped-up creation of right-wing talking heads who populate the Fox News Channel.
Here’s the link to what he wrote:
I offered my own take on this idiotic “war,” noting that the real war is being waged by Black Friday shoppers who battle with each other — literally — in the toy aisles at stores across America.
Dan’s column, though, does contain a passage worth noting here. He wonders why the conservative media hounds keep harping on retail employees wishing shoppers “happy holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
Here’s part of what Dan wrote: “I’ll admit that I find it silly to refer to ‘holiday trees.’ However, those who pride themselves on being good Christians might realize that the Christmas tree is pagan in origin, and that the Bible criticizes the practice: ‘For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not’ — Jeremiah 10:3-4.
“But what’s so wrong with ‘Happy Holidays’ as a season greeting? The word holiday, after all, is derived from holy day.”
The only thing “wrong” with it is in the closed minds of those who keep beating the drums on the trumped-up “war on Christmas.”
Let’s remember, too, that the federal government closes on Christmas. Banks are closed. Wall Street shuts down. Students are home from school.
A war on Christmas? It’s a figment of TV talking heads’ own bias.