Nelson: The war on Christmas is the result of catering to diversity

Ross Nelson.jpg

Yes, Virginia, there is a war on Christmas. Times have changed a bit, though. The reasoning behind the attacks is not so much what it used to be—separation of church and state and the squelching of religion in the public square—but more along the lines of catering to diversity.

Some years ago the director and board of Bonanzaville, an important North Dakota historical museum, decided to change the name of its yearly Christmas program from “Christmas on the Prairie” to “Holidays on the Prairie.” (The name has since been restored.) When I inquired of the director why it was necessary to drop Christmas from the title, he explained that not everyone was a Christian in North Dakota's early days, the upshot being that “Christmas” was exclusive.

Only an academic could be this inane. Nearly every settler in the state was a Christian, at least on paper, and Christmas was their biggest holiday. No doubt some Druids, Manicheans, Muslims, atheists, Zoroastrians, cat jugglers and others passed through or settled here. But most were (and still are) Christians and thus it's largely their history. The gentle reader will also note that the same historical organization has a large display of Native American history and artifacts.

Carolyn Buck's column in the Forum said she was “speechless” that a clothing shop's sales clerk would lament that gift-wrapping purchases and uttering “Merry Christmas” were forbidden by management. How dare a clerk who has wished customers a merry Christmas all of her working life be so insular and rude? Someone could be offended.

Thus in the name of diversity are we pressed into a relativistic uniformity. Diversity is of course divisive. For example, you and I likely couldn't tell the difference between a Czech and a Slovak, but they could and the two ethnicities split up. Such friction is practically universal, not because any people are necessarily bad but because they are different.


Diversity is leading to the balkanization of America. In the meantime we will find that it is we who will have to adapt to others who have immigrated here, not vice versa.

There are many instances of schools and businesses curtailing and bowdlerizing Christmas music, celebrations, and even the name itself, all for diversity's sake.

As a child in Glyndon's elementary school I participated in the school Christmas plays yearly. Mouthing “in excelsis Deo” was always a stumbling block. Such celebrations were as routine as cold weather in January. Contrast this to a Richmond, Va., middle school which dropped songs mentioning Jesus “to be more sensitive to the increasing diverse population at the school.”

Even Pope Francis, known for his leftist views, explained that “in the name of a false respect for non-Christians, which often hides the desire to marginalize the faith, every reference to the birth of Christ is being eliminated from the holiday.” We needn't be Catholics to see that he was right.

The couth tourist or emigrant doesn't criticize Islamic or Jewish religious practices when he's abroad. We should expect our own to be similarly upheld.

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