Julie Sanchez has an excellent article up titled The True Spirit of Xmas: How 4/5 of the country became an oppressed minority over at Reason Magazine’s website that is well worth a read.
It’s a Christmas tradition as venerable as mistletoe and caroling: As the days grow shorter, conservative activists claiming to speak for American Christendom raise their voices, not for a rousing round of “Good King Wenceslaus,” but to complain that the roughly 75 to 80 percent of Americans who profess allegiance to some denomination or another of Christianity constitute a cruelly oppressed minority.
National Review‘s John Derbyshire reports bristling at these two seemingly innocuous words with the sort of fascinated intensity he normally reserves for buggery. There’s even a
Committee to Save Merry Christmas, urging a boycott of stores that spit on Christians by deploying such bigoted phrases as “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings.” And in case you thought those phrases were, in our increasingly pluralistic society, just nice ways of creating a festive atmosphere without seeming to exclude the folks celebrating, you know, those other holidays happening around this time, CNN’s Lou Dobbs shakes his jowls to remind you that those phrases have “excluded everyone who is celebrating Christmas” (which is apparently neither happy nor a holiday). The Christian Law Association has released a vague list of horror stories under the rhetorical headline: “Has Christmas Become Illegal in America?”
The article touches on a number of news items we’ve talked about here at SEB over the past months and puts the lie to the favored claim of the religious right that Christianity and its followers are being marginalized or persecuted. A claim we’re going to hear more and more after the outcome of the most recent presidential election. A lot of the True Believers™ have been emboldened by their success at the polls and are convinced now more than ever that there is a receptive audience for their claims of victimization. It’s already a tired mantra on their part and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. The worst thing we can do is to let those claims go unchallenged as can be seen in some of the comments in some of the more active threads here at SEB.