Rick Perry’s War on Christmas

In his 2008 book, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For, Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticizes the American Civil Liberties Union for supposedly engaging in a “war on Christmas” by forcing schools to remove references to Christmas in holiday programs and decorations.

Last year one of Gov. Perry’s loudest supporters, Liberty Institute — Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family — absurdly claimed that curriculum writers were trying to keep public school students from learning about Christmas in their social studies classrooms, shrieking: “Merry Christmas: Don’t be afraid to say it!”

But maybe Liberty Institute should have a chat with Gov. Perry and find out whether he’s “afraid to say it.” As in the past, Gov. Perry’s holiday card to thousands of his closest friends doesn’t say a word about Christmas. Click on the picture for the full version.

The Perry family wishes “joy from all our hearts,” and the card includes a Bible verse.

The American Family Association is in the middle of its annual boycott of businesses that wish customers “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”:

“Christians celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Christ. Yet there are those companies which feel that a public recognition of the birthday of Christ is not appropriate. Why? Because a few people may be offended!”

Businesses like that, AFA says, are “anti-Christmas.”

So where are the howls of protest from the religious right about Gov. Perry’s personal “war on Christmas”? We hear nothing but crickets chirping. Why? Because groups like AFA and Liberty Institute aren’t serious. Their “war on Christmas” nonsense is just a gimmick — one that uses faith as a political weapon to divide Americans and to raise more money. ‘Tis the season to be a hypocrite, apparently.

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  • Anonymous says:

    Rick Perry. I hate to tell you this since it is so dear to your heart, but Christmas is NOT Christian! You could say it is Pagan. There is NOTHING Biblical regarding Christmas. We are commanded to remember His death for He died for us, washing our sins away. There is no requirement to honor His birth.

  • Josie Lowery says:

    We need a new holiday for America: Dumba()()-aphalia. When the “knuckleheads” visit every household at the darkest part of the year, and distribute fruitcakes to all the little f*rtknockers, and everyone goes running blindly along the interstate wearing their duncecaps and proclaiming “Ignorance for everyone!!!” , lest the sun disappears forever. Or something.

  • Eric Hetvile says:

    abb3w, that link is brilliant. Thanks for the pointer.

  • Ben says:

    Nice work, Gus. That ornament is a great find.

  • abb3w says:

    Spotted via Ed Brayton’s “Dispatches from the Culture Wars”, there’s an essay covering the origin of the War On Christmas meme here. Short version: it started as 1950s wingnuttery from the Birchers.

  • Gus says:

    The Republican National Commitee must be an atheist organization, they sell a Happy Holidays ornament:


  • Rocket Mike says:

    Rich Perry, the Prince of Paint Creek, uses a verse from the Old Testament on what I suppose is his Christmas card???? Doesn’t he realize that the verse is BC?

    Also, he does not know what Boy Scout Values are. This Creationist/ID supporting knucklehead doesn’t realize that the Boy Scout Values support modern science, not superstition! The Boy Scout Geology merit badge manual includes only natural explanations for the geology of the Earth. It gives the scientifically supported age of the Earth and points out how life has changed through time. There is not one mention of the Creation or Intelligent Design myths. I know, because I have helped several thousand young boys and girls get their Geology merit badges over the years.

  • David says:

    I just want to assure folks that I like to celebrate a nice robust Christmas with all the best holiday cheer and a wish for Peace on Earth , Goodwill toward men. Materially, what I remember the most from my childhood are the large apples, oranges, brazil nuts and walnuts we got in our stockings.

  • Delbard says:

    A followup, my server won’t let me use their E-mail

  • Delbard says:

    correction: I have used the American family Hyperlink. I would encourage anyone to do the same thing

  • Delbard says:

    I used I American Family hyperlink to wish Staples, Office Deport, and Radio Shack a “right on”. Christians should spend more time practicing Christianity than professing it. I have read Cover to cover 4 interpretations of the Bible (and parts of others). I have yet to read any instruction of Jesus Christ that is in agreement with the views of the American Family Association.

  • David says:

    We need a new holiday for America: Dumba()()-aphalia. When the “knuckleheads” visit every household at the darkest part of the year, and distribute fruitcakes to all the little f*rtknockers, and everyone goes running blindly along the interstate wearing their duncecaps and proclaiming “Ignorance for everyone!!!” , lest the sun disappears forever.
    Or something.

  • Ben says:

    Charles, I do hear people say “Happy Holidays” on occasion, and I sometimes say it myself. Sometimes I say “Merry Christmas.” Doesn’t matter to me one way or another. You know I’m an atheist, but I have a Christmas tree and presents and lights and I enjoy Christmas quite a bit. It’s a nice time to spend with family and friends and hope for good things. I do admit to some schadenfreude when someone like Bill O’Reilly goes into a sputtering rage about the war on Christmas. It’s just so ridiculous. Just visit Pharyngula, where hordes of atheists and agnostics hang out, and one can see that the overwhelming majority of them enjoy celebrating Christmas.

  • Charles says:

    I think we should all wish Governor Perry and his family a Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Personally, I don’t know anyone that says “Happy Holidays.” Do you? I look at it this way. If I am in sympathy with TFN’s causes, I say “Merry Christmas,” and I do not know anyone who says “Happy Holidays,” that has to mean something. What does it mean?

    It means what TFN says is correct. This is a mole hill that outfits like Focus on the Family have imagined into a mountain so they can use the deceitful hype to pick the pockets of their supporters. Moreover, I would betcha many of those poor souls who send in money have trouble putting food on the table and keeping warm during the winter. If these people put out an appeal for support, do you think James Dobson would send them food or a blanket? Don’t hold your breath.

  • Lynn says:

    They have a dog named Trout? The Perrys must work from the same book of names as Sarah and Todd.

  • Charles says:

    Well, that just goes to show you. Rick Perry cannot be a “true” Christian because his Bible verse did not come from the authorized King James version of the Bible—the only true and correct Bible. It’s authorized—says so right inside.

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