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The Real Siege of Christmas

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It's not often I dump a column half way through its creation. I just did so, regarding an article on Fox News' head clown, Bill O'Reilly.

Over the past six weeks, O'Reilly has launched a blistering attack on the non-existent secular "war on Christmas." Perhaps the Fox pundit felt his drummed-up war would somehow obfuscate the problems inherent in the other drummed-up war; the one created by President Bush. Who knows?

Well, O'Reilly's phony war lost a bit of air, once it was revealed that the presidential seasonal greeting card said, "Happy Holidays." This, combined with the fact that numerous Christian fundamentalist "mega-churches" aren't even holding Sunday Christmas Day services, as it might interfere with the commercialism allowing them to overload their perfectly-coiffed children with as many presents as they can jam into the SUV, pretty much snuffed O'Reilly's self-imagined anti-secular pogrom.

On a more serious note, I received a press release from an old high school friend of mine, whom I am back in touch with, and is a member of the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good. My friend Mike is a Jesuit priest, and a very bright guy. I felt their information was far more prescient than anything I could write to expose the well-known, blustery fakir O'Reilly, and his ilk.

I quote from "The Real Siege of Christmas"

"Commentators Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and John Gibson of Fox News, and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights dishonor the spirit of Christmas by grandstanding about superficial issues while undermining the true spirit of Christmas"their focus on the language of retail advertising, and shopping itself makes a mockery of the real Christmas message."

Comments by these folks "Distract from the true meaning of Christmas"that Jesus Christ was born to bring good news to the poor "The Catholic social tradition calls us to ask if Wal-Mart workers and shoppers earn a family wage, if they were able to feed their families,and take their kids to the doctor," said Alexia Kelley, Executive Director of the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good.

"Just in time for Christmas, Congressional leaders are preparing to deliver tax breaks to the rich and spending cuts to the poor. The budget cuts funding for food stamps, health care for the needy, and student loans for low and middle class Americans."

"How do you celebrate Christ's birth by balancing the federal budget on the backs of the neediest? It is a bad Christmas story. It is a moral outrage to hurt the poor, our youth and our senior citizens and at the same time pass more tax cuts that benefit the rich and bankrupt our grandchildren's futures," said Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, National Coordinator of NETWORK, a Catholic Social Justice Lobby.

"So far this Christmas season, O'Reilly, Hannity, Gibson and Donahue have all put superficiality ahead of spirituality. We pray that the Christmas season will inspire all of us to direct our anger at true injustices, such as a budget that cuts funding for the poor and gives tax breaks to the rich. That's the real siege on the spirit of Christmas."
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Thomas L. Walsh graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Communications/Journalism degree in 1962. Following a successful business career, he retired to Idaho's Teton Valley in 1999, where he works as a free-lance writer. Walsh and his (more...)
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