Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought Hardcover – October 20, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From the Back Cover
"Mr. Gibson deserves great credit for calling attention to a growing problem."
Michael J. Gaynor, Theconservativevoice.com
"John Gibson, gutsy anchor of Fox News The Big Story, is to be commended for titling his latest book The War on Christmas, for as Gibson shows, the attempt by certain groups to prohibit Christmas displays is not simply an academic difference . . . but a desire by anti- Christians, to stamp out of society any reference to Christmas."
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Human Events Online
"Gibsons book is an interesting read for all of us who are concerned that our rights to practice our faith in daily life are being eroded to such an extent that we must hide behind closed doors to celebrate a traditional holiday."
Stephen Strang --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
John Gibson is the host of The Big Story on Fox News Channel, which airs daily at 5:00 p.m. and is currently the sixth highest rated show in all of cable news. Before joining Fox News Channel, he was an anchor and reporter for MSNBC, CNBC, and NBC News. His first book was Hating America.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I would rather freeze to death than seek warmth from this book by burning it.
As the title suggests, this book attacks one of Fox News' favorite groups of rascals, the "liberals". By "liberals", the book is referring to a sizable percentage (but not all) of the members of the Democratic Party, particularly what the author feels are the fringe elements of the party, like members of the ACLU and others who want to eliminate traditions and remove any facet of religion from American life. The book uses the term "liberal" in a very generalized way and it accuses these modern- day grinches; these Ebenezer Scrooges of the American Way, of waging an all- out war to take away the Christmas holiday, stuff it into a small stocking, and bury it deep into the ground where no one will ever see or hear about it again.
To back himself, Gibson devotes the first seven chapters of this book to specific incidents where the anti- Christmas warriors tried to eliminate some symbol of Christmas. He travels to small towns and large cities across America in search of examples to support his claims. He discovers example after example of heartless liberals taking on the schools and threatening them with lawsuits if they allow the word "Christmas" to be used in the presence of school children. He finds evidence that people are being singled out for being religious and that the big, bad ACLU is typically the group behind the front; promising a lawsuit if the school doesn't change its ways and eliminate Christmas trees, change the "Christmas" break to a "Holiday" break, and stop singing about religion in Christmas carols.
Reading about a group of evil thugs trying to eliminate the Christmas holiday immediately brought out the skeptic inside me. Could this really be true that Christmas is coming to an end? Are liberals truly committed to banning the Christmas holiday? Will these people continue their fight all the way to an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that effectively banishes the Christmas season completely? Or, is this all a bunch of hype: An overblown expose intended to sell books and make people think a major problem exists when there is really no problem at all?
Some of the incidents I read about in this book seemed unusual, so I decided to consult a few sources to find out if the information presented was factual. The claim that seemed the most outrageous to me was the one from chapter four, stating that Plano, Texas did not allowing students to wear green and red. A little research proved that the "Red and Green Free Zone" is false, and there is even a disclaimer about it on the school's web page. Hmmm..I wondered..if this claim is false, then what about those in the remainder of the book? If one chapter is a fabrication, could the others also be a figment of Gibson's anti- liberal imagination?
Some further research shows that some of Gibson's claims do have a small degree of merit. It is true, for example, that religious symbols have been banned in some cities in the public schools and on government land. The feeling of those who want the ban is that anything related to government, whether it is a public school or the grounds surrounding the county courthouse, should be free from any religious displays. Some of what the book reports here is true about this type of banning. But what isn't true is the hysterical hype that Gibson creates as he writes the pages of each chapter. There is an occasional disagreement over the display of Christmas symbols during Christmas in many communities and I agree that the demands by the anti- Christmas groups have gone over the top on many occasions. But to refer to this as a "War" against Christmas is absurd and it is untrue that "liberals" are all to blame for this anti- Christmas and anti- Christian bias. I know many people of the liberal persuasion and, if anything, they would like to see the Christmas season expanded by several more days in order to get more time off of work. Banning Christmas would be the last thing on their minds. It is a time for celebration and good cheer- two things that liberals are generally known to embrace, not reject.
This book makes a few more mistakes that should not go unnoticed. First of all, the book doesn't have an index or a listing of notes of reference in the back. What Gibson does instead for his references is to name the people, places, and things immediately as he talks about them. But he doesn't delve as deeply as he should. A few quotes and a few names from people who claim to support the idea that there are people who want to ban Christmas is all Gibson needs. He accepts this as absolute proof that what he believes to be true really is true. He doesn't offer any official study or set of scientific data to back his extreme claims. The words of a disgruntled parent in one town and a former school board member in another are all he needs to confirm his belief that there is an actual "war" taking place across America to bring an end to the celebration of Christmas.
So why did Gibson write this book? It appears to have been thrown together quickly and without much thought or attention to detail. It seems to me that its intent is basically another potshot at the people considered by many conservatives to be public enemy number one: The "liberals" and all of their anti- religion, anti- family, and generally "immoral" positions on the social issues of the day. The book accomplishes this by seeking out a few people who will back up what the author feels is true and then proceeds to blow the entire situation out of proportion, making the reader think (like the book's subtitle suggests) that this "war" is taking place everywhere and that it is "much worse than you thought". The claim that there is a "liberal plot" taking place under our noses is political hysteria intended to make the reader think that a sinister movement is underway and that you must take action now to prevent this virus from spreading.
If there really is a "War on Christmas", then the pro- Christmas forces are obviously winning. There is little or no evidence to suggest that America is going to "ban" the Christmas holiday or any other holiday. John Gibson and his Fox News colleagues had been reporting on this "story" for a few months leading up to the 2005 Christmas season. They wanted to get the idea fresh into people's minds and fuel some outrage in preparation for the release of Gibson's book. Some of the so- called "war" incidents have already been proven untrue and in one instance (the Plano Texas ban on red and green) a lawyer for the school district asked that Fox News host Bill O'Reilly get his facts straight before he reports a rumor as absolute truth.
Christmas is and will always be a time for celebration and togetherness and it is highly unlikely that this holiday tradition will ever be tossed by the wayside in favor of secularist visions of a religion- free America. "The War on Christmas" brings up an accurate fact or two but buries them beneath some false claims and an obvious political agenda. Gibson is correct that there have been movements to ban certain religious symbols from public places. However, his claims that the ACLU and liberals all across this land are engaged in a secret, unholy plot to rid the USA of Christmas trees, Christmas carols, Santa Claus, and general holiday cheer is overblown and hysterical on its face.
So when it comes time to celebrate another Christmas season, don't worry that the liberal grinches are going to take away the most popular season from the Who's down in the Whoville known as the United States of America. There is no such plot underway. But don't be surprised if Gibson & Company at Fox News come up with another whopper of a story just before the Christmas 2006 holiday season. They need something to fuel up their followers and rack up the dollars in their own Christmas savings accounts by publishing silly, unfounded books. They hope that enough people will believe the hype and purchase the book, just to see if it is all really true. And they hope that you, Mr. or Mrs. average American consumer, will take the bait and fatten the wallets of Gibson and the others in charge on the Fox News network. After all, the Christmas holiday is inching closer and closer to extinction through a Supreme Court ruling. There is little time left for the Fox News leadership to enjoy the holiday season they love so much.
You wouldn't want to prevent people like John Gibson from making some extra money during the Christmas season, now would you??
Some interesting points brought up in this book:
a. The US Supreme Court has ruled (Allegheny County vs. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, 1989) that Christmas trees are secular, not religious symbols. If a person or school tries to remove a Christmas tree from a public school or public area because it is regarded as a symbol of the Christian faith, that person or school is in violation of the law.
In their decision, the high court said: "The Christmas tree, unlike the menorah, is not itself a religious symbol. Although Christmas trees once carried religious connotations, today they typify the secular celebration of Christmas."
(NOTE: In addition, the Supreme Court has ruled that nativity scenes and menorahs may be displayed on government property without violating the constitution.)
b. When a school tries to forbid school children from trading religious-themed gifts, the school is in violation of their right to free speech in student-to-student communication. Even the ACLU agrees with this.
c. The United States is 84% Christian according to the Pew Poll Research Council's percentages for 2002. A Fox News Poll says 94% of Americans celebrate Christmas. Calling the US a "Christian nation" is an observance of fact, and not an endorsement of religion.
d. Banning Christmas trees and other Christmas-related traditions in the name of diversity is contrary to the meaning of diversity which is to foster appreciation of all religions. Such bans are actually anti-Christian discrimination and are violations of law allowing free speech.
The book concludes with profiles of lawyers who have been successful in standing up to the ACLU and defending people's rights to practice their religion in public areas.
The seven case studies are:
1. Covington, Georgia - The ACLU threatens to sue Newton County school board if it used the word "Christmas" to identify the December vacation period in the school calendar. The school board complies.
2. Mustang, Oklahoma - At Lakehoma Elementary, the superintendant of schools issues an order banning the nativity scene and the singing of "Silent Night" from a school Christmas show. The uproar was covered by the press in the US, Britain, and even Taiwan. Voters later retaliated by defeating an $11 million school bond, forcing the school administrators to reconsider their policies.
3. Baldwin City, Kansas - At public schools, Santa Claus is banned, and Christmas programs are referred to as "holiday" programs.
4. Plano, Texas - At public schools, Christmas parties are referred to as "winter" parties; red and green napkins are banned (only white colors are allowed). Children are forbidden to write "Merry Christmas" on cards being sent to US soldiers stationed overseas; they have to say "Happy Holidays" instead.
(NOTE: A lawsuit was filed against the Plano school district Dec 15, 2004 (Jonathan Morgan, et al., v. the Plano Independent School District, et al.). On Dec 16, 2004, Judge Paul Brown, US District Court in Sherman, TX, issued a restraining order that prohibited Plano from enforcing its restrictions, including its ban on red and green, and on student exchange of religious themed gifts.)
5. Eugene, Oregon - On Dec 1, 2000, the city manager banned Christmas trees in public areas as part of a diversity program. The ban was rescinded one month later after massive protest; the city manager also learned that Christmas trees were not religious symbols.
6. Indianapolis, Indiana - The dean of the Indiana Law School removes the Christmas tree from a school atrium because three people considered it a symbol of Christianity. Students, both Democrat and Republican, reacted in massive protest. They reminded the school of the US Supreme Court ruling. They also pointed out that a big Christmas tree is displayed in the state capital building in Indianapolis. The dean quit his job two years later. Decorations are no longer allowed in the atrium.
7. Maplewood, New Jersey - In Dec 2002, the superintendant of schools issued a last-minute cancellation of a school field trip to see a production of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" because of the play's religious content. In Dec 2004, the schools ban instrumental versions of Christmas carols. The ensuing uproar forced the school board to revisit the ban.