Whether or not Bill O'Reilly's War on Christmas is fake, he's fighting on the wrong side this year. The Fox News anchor — and what a week it was for Fox News — shouldn't have to defend Christmas against solely the handful of atheists and mall stores and Northeastern state governments who insist on describing their seasonal decor with the secular word "holiday" instead of a word with "Christ" in it. No, O'Reilly has the duty to wage war on Christmas, the most radically redistributive holiday on the calendar.
The essence of Christmas is to confiscate the hard-earned resources of job creators and hand them off to the lazy, the weak, and the sick, as if the invisible hand of the free market had not already perfectly determined the value of these moochers to be near zero. Each December, an entire cultural industry dedicated to redistributionist propaganda takes over the nation, and, more appallingly, hardworking makers are sucked under its spell. Turner Classic Movies? More like Turner Communist Movies.
In defending public displays of Christmas, O'Reilly and his fellow pro-Christmas warriors at Fox and Friends insisted throughout the week that Christmas trees and red and green colors are not symbols of Christianity. O'Reilly explained Thursday:
No one tells you a person could possibly see a secular display of Christmas as an imposition of religion. When the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree here in New York City was lighted last night no one threw themselves to the ground screaming about Jesus... Nothing religious happened at the tree lighting. It was just a fun occasion...
Oh, sure, it seems like a fun occasion, but who paid for the presents that are supposed to go under that tree? Certainly not the little children, since, to Newt Gingrich's dismay, we still have child labor laws that punish our most industrious seventh-graders. Later in the show, O'Reilly berated Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee for the state's display of a "holiday tree," instead of a "Christmas tree." O'Reilly explained:
There is a tradition -- there's a tradition to it that supersedes the Governors of Rhode Island with all due respect... So guys like you come in and the previous governors and I'm sure there are people -- in other places say you know what? We don't want the Christmas tree tradition anymore and that's what tees people off.
You say you want people happy? They're not happy with you, Governor. They want you to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. There is no holiday tree. There is no tradition of a holiday tree.
To make his point, O'Reilly showed a clip proving even President Obama one time said "Christmas tree." This clip was cut with a zooming Christmas tree cartoon, seen at right. Everyone loves a Christmas tree, O'Reilly said, except atheists, because "They want to just burn it. All right, come on you know I'm right — you know I'm right, in your heart you know I'm right." Chafee responded, "No, your show, Fox News — you guys are too angry."
But Chafee is wrong, and there's no reason to go all Tom Ricks on Fox. It's not that O'Reilly is too angry, it's that he's not angry enough about the anti-capitalist dreck forced down our throats every year. Let's look at the sacred texts of Christmas — no, not the Bible, because non-Christians enjoy Christmas just as much, O'Reilly says. Old movies from the golden age of Hollywood. Watch these films and you know Joseph McCarthy was right: The massive anti-capitalist Christmas Industrial Complex not only seeks to redeem the lazy and undeserving, it also guilt-trips those job creators who initially resist its sinister charms.
Let's take It Happened on Fifth Avenue, for example, a 1947 film that will air twice on Turner Classic Movies this year. It is about a homeless man who breaks into a 5th Avenue mansion every year while the multi-millionaire owner is away for the winter, until he decides to take in a veteran who was evicted from his apartment and hasn't been able to get a job. The veteran and his veteran friends come up with a hair-brained scheme to build affordable housing out of old barracks. The multi-millionaire's daughter goes to the mansion and pretends to be poor and falls in love with the veteran, and then convinces her mean rich dad to pretend he is poor too. The rich dad tries to use tricky business schemes to get the veteran away from his daughter, but eventually his heart melts into a puddle of bleeding heart liberal goo and he accepts the ridiculous claim that people aren't poor because they're bad. Catch it December 16 and 23 on TCM.
Or there's All Mine to Give, the 1957 movie set in 1850s American West. A Scottish family immigrates, and builds a thriving small business, until one of their six children gets diphtheria. "Let him die!" — amirite? The family is forced to suffer the consequences of not having health insurance or living in a time of modern medicine. The father catches diphtheria and dies, but the mother rebuilds the family finances until she gets typhoid. She tasks her eldest son with giving away all his siblings to other families. This bleeding heart garbage will air December 2 and 23 on TCM.
And who can forget A Muppet Christmas Carol, which dresses up Charles Dickens' redistributionist ideology in the form of adorable puppets in order to sell it to impressionable kids? Job creator Ebeneezer Scrooge is shamed by hallucinations into giving his employees benefits like heat and days off that he cannot afford. How many of those rodent bookkeepers will lose their jobs so Bob Cratchit can have a fat turkey dinner? After the shock of the scolding ghosts, Scrooge not only gives excessive benefits to Cratchit, but also tosses away a large sum of money to a homeless bunny caroler whose vocal stylings the market has found to be of little use to society (seen freezing alone on Christmas Eve at left). By the end of the film, a brainwashed Scrooge is singing about how he will "spread the wealth"! Friends, Scrooge wasn't quoting Obama — Obama was quoting Scrooge. Hold hands with your children as this movie airs like everywhere all the time between now and December 25 as we all go off the fiscal cliff together.
If you think these propaganda films don't influence even the most upstanding members of society, think again. The New York Police Department posted this photo, taken surreptitiously November 14, of a policeman buying a homeless man $100 boots. This act of so-called "kindness" will give the homeless man no incentive to save money and buy shoes on his own, this distorting the free market.
On his show, O'Reilly read from a 1927 letter by President Calvin Coolidge: "Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas." But if O'Reilly would stop and think for a moment, he'd see that Christmas is a terrible state of mind. Let the real War on Christmas begin.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.