By Irene F. Starkehaus -
The duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world, and the struggle between individualism and collectivism is the same struggle reproduced on another level. ~ William F. Buckley
In short, the reason that the clash between Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays does matter is because religion and politics are the same thing. Insisting on the phrase Merry Christmas en lieu of Happy Holidays may seem like an act of tokenism to some, but to a growing number of Americans, it is the shot that will eventually be heard around the world as a firm and provoked backlash against progressivism. We are seeing the same reverberations of revolt making themselves heard through the recoil against the cancellation of Duck Dynasty by the A&E network. This kind of seismic activity should be duly noted by anyone demoralized by the perceived victory of the American Left in redefining culture. It really is a good sign.
I've read numerous articles likening the Merry Christmas effort and the Duck Dynasty uprising as something akin to a great awakening in American culture. I think this observation might be a little off, actually. I believe that the real awakening occurred three decades ago when the election of Ronald Reagan brought about an era of Christian revivalism. I think it has been laying in wait, ready to pounce for some time. What is unique about the year's Merry Christmas and Duck Dynasty struggles is that there is literally no one person who is leading the charge against secular bullying. It is completely organic and that should be of great concern to those who strive for a perfectly secular America. It should also be of great solace for those who mourn our nation's cultural deterioration.
Don't get me wrong. It's been a tough year for conservatives. Christians find themselves heavily burdened with the mass delusion of pragmatism regarding separation of Church and State as if such a thing could be possible. Because of almost universal misinterpretations of the Establishment Clause, The Free Exercise Clause and First Amendment, conservatives struggle to effectively point out that Judeo-Christian traditions are the very building blocks of American law and without God the whole system collapses.
The Left inadvertently proves this point by moving…with a nod and a wink from Republicans, I might add – Christian influence away from anything in the public arena and leaving American jurisprudence drifting in all its rudderless glory. With nothing to anchor the tradition of law to the service of God and Man, the president becomes the ruler – not the servant – of the People. Nine men and women in black robes become the judge and jury of the human race rather than advocates for the Constitution. The Congress becomes a parliamentary beard for a burgeoning American autocracy.
And it's been a tough year for conservative Christians because they have lost a lot of cultural territory that they had long believed was unassailable.
Americans now have marriage redefined through judicial activism when marriage, through the underpinning of natural law within the Constitution, could only be between a man and a woman. That doesn't matter. The courts have negated the importance of natural law in Constitutional liberty because it interferes with the judiciary's otherwise arbitrary power to judge. That this is the moral equivalent of building the foundation of law on quicksand is quite beside the point. Their power may lack any semblance of wisdom or restraint but they compensate by their complete and utter self-possession.
We have the federal government that is not just allowing the destruction of human life as a decision to be made between a woman and her doctor, but it's now necessitating said destruction through its very own HHS mandates. Never mind that the Left has accidentally overturned Roe v. Wade – the Golden Rule of American Progressivism – through inverse intervention by the State in dictating reproductive ethics. That's an argument for a nation that respects logic.
Further, the individual right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness becomes displaced through the subjectivity of those Obamacare requirements that may not be in keeping with a person's budget, lifestyle and value system. 2013 – it's been a very bad year for autonomy.
I think conservatives find ourselves most disheartened because we allow progressives to take the offensive and set the terms of each battle in the culture war. This is the antithesis of a proficient strategy for overcoming the Left's assault. The Left decides what battles will be fought, how they will be fought, what language will be used in fighting them and when the fight is over. Why is it then that conservatives wonder at our constant losses? At the soul of the progressive battle cry is the Left's baseline of inevitability. This doctrine of predetermination simply designates that once the Right has lost ground to progressivism, that ground can never be regained. Conventional thinking concludes that the Right must concede the defeat and move on to the Left's next battleground because that's how it has always been done. You know, except for the abolition of slavery, the promotion of women's suffrage and the Civil Rights movement…all of which were conservative initiatives.
The greatest Christmas gift that the Right can give to itself this year is a reaffirmation that there is no such thing as inevitability. Fate runs contrary to the gift of self-determinism and must be rejected every time the idea is put forth. When Republicans succumb to the unstoppable momentum of Obamacare, when they push away the calls for repealing this atrocity of law as…well, it's too late now. It's the law of the land…they are signaling their allegiance to the progressive doctrine of inevitability and they may as well resign because they are useless. To this point, it may well be time to start revisiting areas that Republicans conceded to inevitability decades ago.
Did Republicans long ago lose the major battle against Social Security? Yes, they did. Does that mean that Social Security is irrevocable? I'll bet it's not. I mean, I'm not saying that repealing Social Security would be easy. I'm not saying that just by virtue of taking on the fight that we would inevitably win. I'm just suggesting that it is possible to take on the behemoth of the welfare state, and it is possible to change the course of human history by doing so. And since Social Security is the argument that the Left uses for pushing Obamacare down the throats of the American people, perhaps it is time to think about retaking that ground.
Do Republicans habitually lose battles against the proliferation of abortion and contraception at the expense of the American culture? Yes, they do. Does that mean that this entropy is unstoppable?
It turns out that Planned Parenthood has disabled the ability to embed their latest Christmas video which speaks volumes to their complete lack of humility in creating it in the first place. Do me a favor. Follow this link and listen to their joyless, macabre Planned Parenthood parody of the Twelve Days of Christmas and tell me. Can they even hear themselves over their own reverb of smug satisfaction? Do they put forth all the Flukian decadence that lives at the heart of their campaign without recognizing that conservatives expect nothing less than this display of debauchery from them? Does their triumphalism sound a tad tone deaf to you?
Behold the difference between Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays:
For my part, I think the culture war has yet to be won, and I fully believe that a good deal of settled law has a little room for repeal. I call this is the true audacity of hope. I most humbly wish you a Merry Christmas and a jubilant year of resistance to the miserable march of inevitability. Merry Christmas… in word and in deed… because it actually makes a great deal of difference to a great many people.