The Telegraph blurbs Dr Tim Stanley:
Dr Tim Stanley is a historian of the United States. He is working on a biography of Pat Buchanan.
Well, if you say so, but reading his post, I find it hard to believe he’s a Real Historian™.
Anti-social displays of bad taste are becoming common in the United States of America. The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue reports the following outrages: “In a South Carolina cancer center, a 67-year-old volunteer Santa was evicted because of the “different cultures and beliefs of the patients we care for” … In an elementary school in Stockton, California, poinsettias were banned but somehow snowmen were permitted; they justified their censorship by saying there was a Sikh temple in the city … A skeleton St. Nick was found hanging from a cross on the grounds of the Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg, Virginia.”
Wouldn’t you think a Real Historian™ would have the nous to find out that “The Catholic League” is just Bill Donohue himself? A League of one?
But it gets worse.
More worrying is the insidious conversion of the religious festival of Christmas into a purely cultural phenomenon. Christians on both sides of the Atlantic have noticed with dismay that the commercial aspects of the season have been elevated (I saw crackers on sale in September) while its spiritual dimension has been squeezed out of the public sphere.
This from a historian? He seems to think it just happened. This “insidious conversion” has been going on just about as long as “Christmas” has meant anything (which isn’t all that long).
But it gets much worse.
I’ve said it before and I’ll write it again: the Founding Fathers never intended for faith to be excluded from public or political life. America might lack England’s established church or continental Europe’s pervasive Catholicism, but it was founded by Christians along Christian principles with the express intention of building a more Christian commonwealth. It is, at risk of sounding pedantic, a Christian nation in all but its absence of national church.
Uh……….that’s not history, it’s an agenda. It’s bullshit. It’s not true. Real Historians™ don’t say or write that. That’s David Barton history – for which see my esteemed blog-neighbor Chris Rodda at This Week in Christian Nationalism.
The real war on Christmas is not the effort to deprive it of a place in the public sphere, which is more like a set of small, localised skirmishes. No, the real war is the effort to strip the festival of its meaning. Christmas isn’t about brandy eggnog and mince pies, generous presents and bad TV. It’s about the birth of Jesus Christ. Take away that central truth and you are left with a holiday that lacks a message. Take away that message, and the system of morals that flows naturally from it, and you risk stripping America of its ethical foundation. There is no better example than the decision of the dean of Washington and Jefferson College to approve the display of a Christmas tree covered in condoms. This is the future: the joyless abuse of the hollow remnants of Western civilisation. It is a future that, like the rubber covered tree, points to sterility and death.
That’s our choice: the message of Jesus Christ, or sterility and death. Yessir, Dr Tim.