What does the War on Christmas have in common with "judicial activism"?

News & Politics

I've had some good laughs over the War on Christmas. And laugh we should; it's the kind of divisive political fluff that deserves our ridicule.

Thankfully, the non-Fox media are largely treating the whole affair as overblown at best, and often as the steaming load of culture-war crapus it is. Media Matters titled a nice piece of research on the reactions of the country's opinion pages to O'Reilly and Company's agitation: "Newspapers, commentators agree: Virginia, there is no War on Christmas."

But while having something as easy to mock as this murcky, Dickensian assault on the season is fun, I wonder who will have the last laugh.

That question occurred to me while trolling around the Heritage Foundation website (yes, my life is kind of sad but that's not the point). As I poked around, I realized that the nation's leading right-wing think-tank is taking the Christmas Wars quite seriously. In the beginning of December, they hosted a forum with Fox News' John Gibson, author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse Than You Thought.

And there were these sickly-sweet passages from an op-ed by Heritage's terminally perky VP of Communications and Marketing, Rebecca Hagelin:

[John] Gibson and his Fox News "pardna," Billy-the-Buckin' O'Reilly (host of the wildly popular, top-rated cable news program, "The O'Reilly Factor"), have been stirrin' up some trouble at the OK Media Corral as they set off on a journey to whup-up on the modern-day villains who are stealing the true meaning of Christmas.
O'Reilly led the charge in exposing how secularists and anti-religious types have for years been stripping the season of its original meaning.
That from a think-tank. Heritage has scholarly-sounding programs like the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, the Center for Data Analysis and the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy (a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies).

That the right's legion of pseudo-scholars are picking up the banner means the War on Christmas meme has become assimilated across the whole of the Borg-like conservative hive. It stretches from the fuckwads at Fox News to the sweaty losers on the Freeper boards all the way to the intellectual backbone of the new conservative movement.

It's only a matter of time before this becomes a real, potent cultural issue that is taken seriously by many, many people. Think about it: they're trying to steal Christmas!

If you think that's overblown or giving them too much credit, let me get to the question in the title of this post: What does the War on Christmas have in common with "judicial activism"?

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