POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

You Really Are a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

by David Trumbull

December 4, 2009

The Massachusetts Republican Party is holding a Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Details and sign-up form are available on the Party’s website Yes, a Christmas Party, not a Holiday Party, nor a Winter Party. No doubt we’ll soon see a return to hanging heretics on the Common and burning witches—at least if you listen to some liberals you’d get the impression that the mere utterance of the “C word” will surely lead to persecution of the infidels among us. Yes, were come to the point where “Peace on Earth; goodwill toward man” is taken, at least in our government-run schools, as a code phrase for “Holy war; intolerance toward anyone who differs from us.”

Personally, I’ve never understood why some persons recoil at the word Christmas. It is, after all, the legal name of the civil holiday, even if the name does acknowledge its Christian origin. Surely the various secular “Christmas” parties and festivities that start after Thanksgiving and run through December 25th wouldn’t exist but for the Christian festival that runs for twelve days starting on December 25th. However, those secular celebrations are exactly that—secular—there is nothing distinctively Christian about Rudolph, coniferous greenery, silver bells, and eggnog.

I don’t worship mighty Woden, nor hammer wielding Thor, but I have no hesitancy to call the fourth and fifth days of the week by names that evoke the memory of these gods of the Germanic races—Wednesday and Thursday. Why even Quakers, who formerly said “First Day,” “Second Day,” and so forth to avoid honoring the pagan gods of the Sun and Moon, have largely set aside that curious custom.

Change the names and you lose connection to our history. Severe a people from their history and you take away their understanding of who they are. Take away that self-identity and you can make the people into your slaves. That is the radical agenda. That is the “why” behind the war on Christmas. To quote the character Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Ernest: “[It] reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to?”

[David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.]