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Collins: Waging cultural war over holidays

  • (NICK ANDERSON / Houston Chronicle)

In its ongoing effort to protect the American public from the War on Christmas, Fox News has a special online map highlighting current reported atrocities. I am looking at it now, and the message is clear: As problems go, this one is imaginary.

Some social conservatives embrace a seasonal victimhood this time of year, complaining that Christians are continually being mugged by anti-Christmas atheists bearing court orders. But the map pinpoints only a handful of alleged secular assaults, one of which is titled: “Salvation Army Volunteer Using Smaller Bell After Business Owner Complains.”

This year's big book on the subject is by Sarah Palin, which makes it both best-selling and instantly passé. The title (“Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas”) is an attempt to spin a warm and fuzzy view of the War on the War, but I say, if you're going there, go all the way. Like Fox's John Gibson, who wrote “The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.”

Palin does paint all attempts to remove religion from any aspect of the season as “the tip of the spear in a larger battle to secularize our culture and make true religious freedom a thing of America's past.” She also takes a minute to lash out at “snickering” pundits who feel the whole “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” issue is not a big deal. Such as the one who wrote a column in the New York Times under the headline “My Favorite War.” Which, OK, was me.

“Good Tidings” is a rather small book, but it still needs a lot of filler: recipes, including one for smoked salmon spread, and family anecdotes. (When Bristol announced she was pregnant, Sarah initially wanted to make her get married, but Todd said no.) Then there was the year Granddad was taken off to the hospital for what everybody feared was a heart attack, but it turned out to be salmon poisoning.

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