Since the forces of good overwhelmed the anti-Christmas brigades a few years ago, the annual yuletide controversies have been rather muted. This year, the always-reliable ACLU threatened schools in Tennessee with doom if they promoted Christmas, and there were a few other atrocities. Generally, though, the traditions of Christmas are on display, bringing happiness to American children.
But dissenters remain. An atheist put up an anti-Christmas billboard outside the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey that reads: ‘‘You KNOW it’s a myth. This season, celebrate REASON!’’
You know, I would like to celebrate reason, too. That’s why I support honoring a federal holiday that allows citizens a day off to think about a man who changed history by preaching ‘‘love your neighbor as yourself.’’
The view some liberal folks have of Christmas is interesting. New York Times columnist Gail Collins is a moderate lefty who says this about the tunnel billboard: ‘‘In this battle for the hearts and minds of commuters, the atheists seem to have been overly belligerent, although it is understandable that they get a little testy this time of year.’’
Why would any rational person get testy about a federal holiday that brings joy to the majority of their countrymen and helps the economy, to boot? As a Christian, I don’t mind the winter solstice people doing whatever it is they do. If it involves ice hockey, I might even participate. Why resent the happiness of others, especially if no harm is being done? That’s not reasonable.
Some liberal people believe that Muslims, Jews and atheists might feel ‘‘left out’’ of the Christmas revelry. Well, I feel left out when folks eat onions because my stomach can’t tolerate them. That’s just the way it goes. Muslims, Jews, Hindus and most every other religious group have their own special days, do they not?
Jesus, I believe, would be shocked that his own humble birth has now become an occasion for attack billboards. The wise men would also be appalled. King Herod might approve, but he also might have executed the atheists involved just for fun. That’s the kind of guy Herod was.
In the end, the anti-Christmas people are tiresome and petty. Christmas is about the birth of a child and the happiness of all the children who followed him into this world. The day is set up to create magic for youngsters and to steep them in giving and receiving. Fanatical adults should not be intruding on or interfering with the positive spirit of Christmas. That means you, ACLU.
Finally, there is a reason why Congress designates special days for official celebration. As far as Christmas is concerned, it benefits the individual citizen and the country in general to think of others. That is what Christmas is truly about. It’s the reason for the season.
Veteran TV news anchor Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show ‘‘The O’Reilly Factor.’’ Visit his website at www.billoreilly.com. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/billoreilly.