In previous blog posts, I have discussed the racist origins of the Religious Right. Every year Fox news and the Religious Right become apoplectic over their made-up “War on Christmas” as they claim that liberal, pinko, gays are trying to outlaw Christmas and force people to say “Happy Holidays.”
However, the “War on Christmas has its roots deep in racism as well. Henry Ford, famous for Ford automobiles and assembly line factories, was an infamous anti-Semite.
He published a newspaper called The Dearborn Independent. Every employee of Ford Motors received copies of his newspaper. He used it as a way to promote his own anti-Semite propaganda.
In the 1920’s he published a book called The International Jew – The World’s Foremost Problem.
Ford portrays Jews as trying to ban Christmas. On page 255, he states,
“The doubters felt that when the Jews began to make such demands as that Christmas carols should be suppressed in the schools, as “offensive to the Jews”; and that Christmas trees should be banished from police stations in poor neighborhoods as “offensive to the Jews”; and that the Easter holidays should be abolished as “offensive to the Jews.”
On page 264, Ford writes,
“It is intended in this and the following article to indicate by the actual program, what the real objective of Jewry is in the United States . . . Elimination of Christmas celebrations in public schools and public places, police stations, and so on, public displays of Christmas trees, singing of Christmas carols, and Christian hymns.”
The entire book, written by Ford, is a collection of anti-Semitic diatribes about how dangerous Jews are to the American way of life. Ford inspired fear by claiming Jews were attacking Christmas. It becomes clear that racists use a powerful mix of religion and fear to promote their own political agenda.
Today the Evangelicals have been infiltrated by White Nationalists. The mix of racism and religion in the Religious Right is inseparable.
Even worse, White nationalist Evangelicals have joined forces with the Political Right. When I hear there is a “War on Christmas,” I hear propaganda designed to inspire fear towards anyone who isn’t White and Evangelical. The Church in the United States is at a crossroads. We must speak prophetically to the Evangelical church and denounce their racism and White Nationalism. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, we must call our apostate brothers and sisters back to the Christianity Jesus preached.
I find it interesting that so many Fundagelicals on the Religious Right like to invoke the imagery of the “Civil War” as a warning to the rest of America of what will happen if their White Nationalism is challenged.
The Civil War may have ended April 9, 1865, but the ideas of inferior races survived and it seems “The South Will Rise Again.” wasn’t just a slogan but has become reality. If your church teaches you to hate others or to fear others, you are at the wrong church. If your pastor is decrying a “War on Christmas,” it’s time to leave the racism and fear behind. Like Paul, I urge you to “Come out from among them.”
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