Or should I call this the Twelfth Post of Christmas 2009?

Well, it’s official. The “war on Christmas” is over, at least for 2009. We have no less an authority on this than Jan Brewer, Republican governor of Arizona. As reported by the Phoenix New Times:

Governor Brewer Puts the “Christmas” Back in “Christmas Tree,” and Makes it Official: Christmas Celebrates the Birth of Jesus

Governor Jan Brewer made it official today: Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, Hanukkah is an eight-day festival of lights, and state employees can celebrate either holiday as they see fit.

Brewer signed Executive Order 2009-11 today, which puts the “Christmas” back in “Christmas tree” for state employees after it was renamed a “holiday tree” by former [Democratic] Governor Janet “the Grinch” Napolitano — sending right-wing bloggers into an anti-gay tirade last year.

As written, Ms Brewer’s executive order makes it sound as if the very existence of the United States utterly depends upon Christmas:

WHEREAS, the spirit of good will which has been found each December has been at the heart of our ability to live as one people despite differing faiths and backgrounds;

Honestly, Governor, I’d had no idea Christmas was so important. You’ve certainly set me straight! It’s the solemn duty of every red-blooded American — of whatever religion, or of none — to worship Christmas! Thanks for that clarification.

OK, enough of the sarcasm. Immediately after this “Christmas-is-our-patriotic-duty” implication, Ms Brewer goes on to completely misrepresent the facts:

WHEREAS, the Constitution does not permit the government to tolerate or engage in hostility toward religion, and the United States Supreme Court has affirmed that the public celebration of religious holidays, and the acknowledgment of religious origins, does not offend the Constitution;

That isn’t at all what the Supreme Court has said … as, for example, when SCOTUS ruled against Ten Commandments monuments in e.g. McCreary Cty v. ACLU of KY. Brewer is overstating her case here. Then she says:

WHEREAS, state and local officials in Arizona (and elsewhere) in the past have attempted to strip both Christmas and Hanukkah of their meaning, including establishment of policies forbidding state employees from placing religious items of celebration at their desks, re-naming of Christmas trees as “holiday” trees, and renaming of Menorahs as “candlesticks;”

Excuse me, but there is no way that either Christmas or Hanukkah can ever be “stripped of their meaning.” Renaming things in no way diminishes their metaphysical nature or their function within Christianity or Judaism. Names are, after all, just names. What something is named, in no way alters its spiritual nature, whatever that might be.

Both of these misrepresentations are enough to place Gov Brewer in my “lying liars for Jesus” club.

At any rate, I’m glad to see that Brewer declared victory for the Religious Right in the ongoing “war on Christmas” trope. Maybe it will put an end to this fake, staged dispute.

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