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Fr. Joseph K. Horn
c. 1990

You would not believe what I heard on the radio yesterday! Tom Leykis, a [former] talk-show host at KFI in Los Angeles, said:

“I find it outrageous that in this day and age of awareness of the necessity of the separation of Church and State that we still have Christmas as an official national holiday. ’Christmas’, the word, means Christ’s Mass. It’s obviously a Christian thing! And the government gives its stamp of approval by making it an official national holiday, which surely offends non-Christians! I never send cards that say ’Merry Christmas’; mine say things like ’Happy Holidays’. We should either change the official name of Christmas to something non-religious, or get rid of it altogether.”
Sorry, Tom, you are WAY off base here.

First of all, you say that you avoid being religious by sending cards that say “Happy Holidays”. The word “holiday” comes from “holy day”. Sorry. And even if your cards say nothing, and show only a picture of Santa Claus... well, guess what, the name “Santa Claus” is from “Saint Nicholas”, so I guess you’ll suggest that we rename Santa Claus too. And he is always shown wearing a red suit because bishops wear red. I guess it’s time to redesign his wardrobe so as not to offend anybody, or how about a mint-green polyester leisure suit so that everybody is equally offended? And what would you suggest we rename Christmas to? Xmas? Hah! Did you know that Xmas is a Christian designation, with the X standing for the Greek letter CHI which is early-Christian shorthand for “Christ”? Hah! Even “Xmas” is Christian in origin!

Anyway, it’s not as if Christmas is the only holiday with religious roots. How about Thanksgiving? It wasn’t the Indians that the Pilgrims were thanking on that first Thanksgiving; they were thanking God. Thanksgiving is fundamentally a religious holiday. Should we get rid of it too, Tom? Halloween is All Hallow’s Eve, the day before All Saints Day, and even before it had that connotation it was a pagan religious holiday, so I guess we should get rid of that too, eh Tom? And we’ll have to get rid of Saint Valentine’s Day, because it’s named after a saint of the Catholic Church. And so is Saint Patrick’s Day. Too bad for the Irish; we have to throw away Saint Patrick’s Day now, just to make Tom Leykis happy and uphold his warped notion of the separation of Church and State.

Hey, we have to change the names of the days of the week, too!

Guess we’ll have to start calling them Billday, Fredday, Tomday, Bettyday, Inglebertday...

While we’re at it, we’ll have to rename March and May, which were named after a god and goddess, respectively. And we’ll have to stop using A.D. and B.C. with dates, because they are based on the life of Jesus Christ. From now on the calendar will be January, February, Bubba, April, Cathy, June...

All the planets (except earth) are named after pagan gods and goddesses; from the innermost planet outwards, they’re named after the messenger of the gods; goddess of spring; god of war; god of the weather; god of agriculture; father of the titans; god of the sea; and the god of the underworld. What do you suggest we rename them to, Tom? Remember, now, no matter what you pick, it can’t have ANY relationship to any aspect of any religion whatsoever! Good luck, Tom!

We’ll also have to rename the elements on the periodic table! Many of them are named after ancient pagan gods and goddesses: titanium; mercury; vanadium; niobium; palladium; promethium; thulium; thorium; uranium; plutonium...

Wow, we’ll also have to rename cities all over the world that have names with a religious history: Mount Saint Helens; Saint Petersburg; Paris; San Paulo; Phoenix; Saint Louis; Corpus Christi; San Antonio; Coeur d’Alene; the “parishes” (not “counties”) in Louisiana...

And how about half the cities in California! Good bye, Los Angeles! Good bye, San Francisco! Farewell forever to San Luis Obispo; Sacramento; Santa Cruz; San Juan Capistrano; San Diego; San Dimas; San Clemente; San Onofre; San Bernardino; Santa Ana; Santa Monica; Santa Barbara; Santa Paula; San Fernando; San Jose; Santa Rosa; Santa Maria... and all the missions...

I’ve only touched the surface of the impact that religion has had on human history and society, but I’ve only got 7 minutes here! Tom, listen! Wiping history clean of everything related to religion would be as brutal and nearsighted as the communist so-called “cultural revolution”. The communists believed that their new philosophies were so much more advanced and modern and better than the old ways, that they demolished ancient mansions and fortresses and burned entire libraries in contempt, losing forever thousands of years worth of manuscripts and historical records. We will never be able to recover what they destroyed, and now look how the mighty communists have fallen. Such disrespect for our own past is so pathetic. It’s so arrogant. It’s so stupid.

Yes, Tom, we all agree with you that religion is, and ought to be, a matter of personal choice. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. Whom I love is a matter of my personal choice, but love is more real to me than anything else. Tom, religion is inextricably woven into human history. Trying to rip it out would tear the very soul from what it means to be human.

Tom, whether you like it or not, Christmas is celebrated because it is a pivotal point of actual human history. That fact will never change. And Christmas will never go away.

Note from Joe: Boy, am I ahead of the pack! Check out this article that appeared on NewsMax.com recently!

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2002

Christmas ‘Offensive,’ Newspaper Whines

Every year it’s harder to remember that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Those who don’t want to celebrate don’t have to, but the leftist mainstream media have increasing difficulty understanding that.

Get a load of this bigoted review of “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” by someone named Mark Lowry in the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth, Texas, as pointed out tonight by Fox News Channel’s excellent Brit Hume:

“For the first hour-and-40-minutes, the big-budget revue succeeds in entertaining and building holiday spirit,” writes Lowry, who applauds such “cheesy” highlights as a teddy bear version of “The Nutcracker” and the Rockettes. He fails to explain what the Rockettes have to do with the birth of Christ.

“But then the tone changes rapidly,” Lowry whines.

“A recreation [sic; he means ‘re-creation’] of the biblical Christmas story, complete with live animals, wise men and shepherds drags on for a good 20 minutes.


“An ominous voice narrates the entire story, beginning with Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy, with such seriousness that it turns preachy and overbearing. You almost expect the narrator to tell the Easter story and read the Book of Revelation.

“Had NextStage been a church and its congregation known what to expect, terrific.”

Lured Into ‘Ambush’

“But to lure spectators of all faiths [and non-faiths] with the promise of an entertaining holiday revue, and then to ambush them with Christian theology, is dated and borderline offensive, especially at a time when understanding of other cultures and beliefs is more important than ever.

“The RCCS creators are wrong to assume that Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians don’t have the same right to holiday fluff that Christians do.

“If you want to see the Rockettes, then go, but remember to leave after the ‘Christmas Dreams’ number, before ‘The Living Nativity’ begins,” Lowry concludes.

“Understanding of other cultures and beliefs”? Would Lowry expect a celebration of Ramadan or Hanukkah to be corrupted into something secular? “Right to holiday fluff”? Imagine how Muslims would rage if their holy days were treated in such a commercial way.

Lowry must be one of those who think Easter is not about the Resurrection but about chocolate rabbits, fancy hats and drunken students vomiting on the beach.

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