Oh, don't you remember the fervor of the War on Christmas back in 2005?
American society was about to crumble because the most extravagant Christians were not allowed to do things like put nativity scenes in the middle of busy intersections or follow you around all day yelling Christmas carols into your ears. Anyone saying "Happy Holidays" was threatened with midnight disappearances to Bill O'Reilly inspired reeducation camps in order to save what was left of our country. Glenn Beck was weeping, but he wasn't a major factor on television yet. Several high profile culture warriors released well timed books on the subject (how did they know it was going to be a topic du jour?) of the coming cultural takeover of American society driven by people...like...me.
Wasn't that fun? It was really important, too. So important, in fact, that the "War On Christmas" meme has been mentioned less and less each year following 2005, despite cultural conditions staying relatively static.
I mean, maybe people are focused on other news stories right now, but I can think of more than a few rather big national news stories the press could have focused on in the final quarter of 2005. Can you name anything more important on which we could have spent our time back then?
But it isn't like the "War on Christmas" is over. It seethes right below the surface, on Facebook status updates and chain emails from folks I know who really believe I am mindlessly supporting a cabal of elite individuals who plan to strip me of my culture and traditions. (They think about this while shopping at Wal-Mart, I'm sure.) Talk radio still hammers the narrative, asking breathlessly for callers to describe how badly affluent, caucasian Christians are oppressed during this woeful time of the year.
Take for example the "kid who got suspended for drawing Jesus on the cross from his public school" meme. How outrageous! Talk radio yammers. If he had drawn a picture of Obama, he'd still be in school! They say. Brainwashing! Oppression! Badness! Outrage! RARRR!!
Until the real story comes out. The real story you won't hear about on Fox News or talk radio. The local media screwed the pooch here and got almost everything wrong. Because the story fit so neatly into the precanned "War on Christmas" narrative, it got play.
No, the teacher hadn't instructed them to draw things that make them think of Christmas.
No, it wasn't a sketch of Jesus on the cross, it was a picture of the student himself on the cross, with eyes 'X'ed out to signify death.
No, the kid didn't get suspended, but he did have to see the school psychologist.
NOW, the father disagrees with the above statements from the school and maintains that all this is about the school oppressing his family's religion. He is demanding compensation from the school for "all the suffering" this has cased the family while inviting the press to publicize the story. There is no indication how the story first came to the media's attention, but the father's quotes give me some idea.
(Remember, folks, only godless liberals take public demands for compensation to frivolous lawsuit status.)
Just as a hypothetical, had the student actually done anything to hurt himself or others, after the teacher had seen such a drawing, the same press driving the "War on Christmas" meme would instead be driving the "Why Weren't Warning Signs Heeded?" narrative.
But we don't get to hear about a teacher doing their job correctly, effectively, and with regard to a student's welfare, or how a school has rather appropriate operating proceedures and didn't overreact to a situation. We hear instead about how that teacher hates Christmas, and how this public school is doing its part to rid America of religion.