On Tuesday’s “Faith and Freedom” radio broadcast, Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, and Holly Meade, the group’s director of communications, warned listeners that America is headed to a place where we lock people up for celebrating Christmas and then beat them to death in prison.
This will happen, somehow, despite the fact that Republicans are about to control the House, the Senate, the White House, and possibly the Supreme Court. The “cultural Marxists,” they suggest, will break through all that. Staver harkened back to an editorial written by Ronald Reagan back in 1978 about how, when Ukraine was under communist control, people changed the lyrics of Christmas carols to make them more secular and said he feared the same thing was happening here. Meade went a step further and suggested that this would lead, inevitably, to Christians being tossed in prison and murdered.
“We’re dealing with it even today, these cases where these atheist groups are trying to take out Christmas and Christ out of the holiday,” she said. “It’s just so prophetic. Ronald Reagan had talked about Christians in the former Soviet Union were brave if they went out into the streets to sing Christmas carols, knowing they could be arrested. There was a Roman Catholic priest who delivered a sermon in 1983 protesting against the fact that December 25 had been declared a work day instead of a holiday. And what happened to him? He was arrested by police, beaten, imprisoned and died! I hate to say, but if we continue, we’re getting that way in the United States.”
Not to be a party pooper, but I don’t think anyone has time for that. Not only have I never beaten anyone up in my life, but I have a giant pile of laundry I need to get done, and if I’m not getting to that, I’m definitely not getting it together to beat anyone up for celebrating Christmas. As much as having worked retail for ten years of my life has given me some Christmas music-related PTSD, I’m not about to punch someone in the face for singing “Silent Night” or whatever. (“Silver Bells,” maybe, but only because that’s an objectively annoying song.)
Even if I did have time, though, beating up Christians celebrating Christmas isn’t on my wish list. No one I know is just waiting for the day we can assault carolers. It’s not a goal we’ve been working toward. And of all the controversies involving law enforcement, arresting Christians for delivering sermons isn’t one of them.
Of course, threats like these are how organizations like the Liberty Counsel make their money. They tell their relatively sheltered audience that secular forces (hey, that’s us!) are just dying to throw them in prison and murder them for singing Christmas carols. Their listeners respond with an opening of their wallets and the line “Take my money, please!” It’s going to be even harder, of course, to make these threats seem viable now that Republicans are basically in charge of everything. Which means Christian Right groups will probably have to come up with a new threat, like roving gangs of atheists with axes going around beheading Nativity scene Jesuses or something. I’m sure we all look forward to whatever they come up with!
(Image via YouTube)