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The War On Christmas In the Age of Trump

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Credit: VDare.com
Credit: VDare.com

The Main Stream Media consensus on the War on Christmas has long been a denial that there is such a thing—coupled with an insistence that, even if there might be, no one could possibly consider it an important issue. 2016 did not cooperate with this narrative, since the year saw discussion of the War on Christmas at the highest level in politics, from one end of Europe to another, and everywhere Donald Trump, who regularly promised to bring back “Merry Christmas” as the standard public holiday greeting, held one of his campaign rallies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the War on Christmas in a speech describing the assault on traditional forms of identity throughout the West:

We see that many Euro-Atlantic states have taken the way where they deny or reject their own roots, including their Christian roots which form the basis of Western civilization…. The people in many European states are actually ashamed of their religious affiliations and are indeed frightened to speak about them. Christian holidays and celebrations are abolished or “neutrally” renamed, as if one were ashamed of those Christian holidays. With this method one hides away the deeper moral value of those celebrations….

I am deeply convinced that this is a direct way to the degradation and primitivization of culture.….

Without the moral values that are rooted in Christianity and other world religions, without rules and moral values which have formed, and been developed, over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity and become brutes….

One has to respect the right of every minority to self-determination, but at the same time there cannot and must not be any doubt about the rights of the majority.

I am far from being an uncritical admirer of Putin. But these words echo what American conservatives have been saying for years.

At the other end of Europe, the Catholic bishop of Shrewsbury, Mark Davies (right) described the same phenomenon in England, and cited similar warnings from the new British Prime Minister, Theresa May:

There has been a danger of a strange silence falling over our land which has recently led the Prime Minister to urge Christians never to be afraid of speaking freely in the public space. She insisted that our Christian heritage is something of which everyone can be proud, and Christians must “jealously guard” their right to speak publicly about their faith. The Prime Minister is doubtless conscious of the strange phenomenon of local authorities and public bodies who fear that even to mention the word ‘Christmas’ might be a cause of offence….

In a country founded on the Christian faith, it is a terrible perversion of political correctness that would so intimidate people from speaking of Christianity: the very faith and moral path which has shaped our way of life.[Homily of the Rt Rev. Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, at Midnight Mass in Shrewsbury Cathedral, Christmas 2016]

These foreign examples show that the much-mythologized “Separation of Church and State,” often cited as a reason for the War On Christmas by American Christophobes, is just a ruse. England has an Established Church, but the War On Christmas rages there too.

Those seeking to undermine the West in the name of “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” and “Political Correctness” certainly recognize this, which is why they are so quick to attack anyone decrying the assault on Christmas.

As Putin, May, and Davies all realize, the assault on Christianity, of which the War on Christmas is a part, is only partly the result of secularization. It also represents an assault on the traditions and heritage of the West. Anyone who values those traditions should therefore be concerned about the War on Christmas, whether he is a practicing Christian or not.

  • When Slate’s Osita Nwanevu (left) set out to embarrass the estimable Stephen Miller, whom Trump has named to a key post in his White House, he began by citing columns Miller wrote on the War on Christmas while a student at Duke.
  • The MSM started attacking Miller’s boss for his preference for “Merry Christmas” even before last Christmas, when The New Republic’s Elizabeth Bruenig [Email her] decried “the fixation of people like Trump, who prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holiday.’” According to Bruenig, such people were defending Christmas not for “specifically religious reasons”—

but because ‘Merry Christmas’ informs people that they are on English-speaking, Christianist turf, where the people in charge all celebrate Christmas in a decidedly American way. People who aren’t celebrating Christmas or who do so in an unfamiliar way are supposed to feel unwelcome when they hear it. [Donald Trump’s “Merry Christmas” Has Nothing to Do With Christmas, September 25, 2015]

I am very skeptical of the claim that those who prefer “Merry Christmas” want to make other people “feel unwelcome.” Instead, they simply want to continue celebrating in public a holiday they (and the great majority of Americans) cherish. And no one has ever made me feel “unwelcome” because part of my own celebration of Christmas has always included some distinctly Polish elements.

But Bruenig’s disdain for Americans who prefer that things be done “in a decidedly American way” in their own country came through clearly, as did her dismay that anyone should worry about the War on Christmas.

Bruenig’s distaste for ordinary Americans, though, was subtle compared to what transpired between Christmas 2015 and Christmas 2016. The preferred presidential candidate of the readers of Slate and The New Republic declared that half of Trump’s supporters were “deplorables,” and her husband dismissed Trump’s supporters as “standard redneck[s]” before the election and “angry white men” after the election.

So little did the Clinton campaign think of ordinary Americans that it couldn’t be bothered to even ask for their votes. The New York Times reported after the election that Clinton had turned down an invitation to give a St. Patrick’s Day address at Notre Dame because her campaign did not feel the need to appeal to white Catholics.

(To be fair to the Clinton campaign, though, it wasn’t as far gone as the academic Left, one of whose members, a professor at Drexel, tweeted on Christmas Eve that “all I want for Christmas is white genocide” and who later sought to “clarify” by writing, “when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed”).

In large part because Trump embraced ordinary Americans while Clinton and her allies viewed them with ill-disguised contempt, he got to spend December traveling the county, thanking voters—and wishing them Merry Christmas.

For Trump realized that one of the ways in which he appealed to ordinary Americans was by championing Christmas. Trump called his post-election tour the “Merry Christmas USA Thank You Tour,” and, according to Liam Stack of the New York Times, to ld Wisconsinites at one of his post-election rallies, “When I started 18 months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we are going to come back here some day and we are going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again. Merry Christmas. So, Merry Christmas everyone. Happy New Year, but Merry Christmas.”

Stack, though, went on to baldly declare that “There is no evidence of an organized attack on Christmas in the United States,” and he attributed any concern over this supposedly non-existent attack entirely to FOX News.[How the ‘War on Christmas’ Controversy Was Created, By Liam Stack, December 19, 2016]]

Not to be outdone, the Washington Post’s Petula Dvorak [Tweet her] reacted to Trump’s post-election comments on Christmas by asserting that “There isn’t and never was a war on this thing we think is Christmas. You can’t swing a cat anywhere in America today and not hit a piece of tinsel” and explicitly arguing that people should say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” because

there are a few other holidays this time of year, and the folks who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Saturnalia, Festivus and Ramadan — which does fall in December occasionally — are also citizens of America. [T rump vs. Obama in the alleged war on Christmas: Ugliness in a season of joy, By Petula Dvorak, December 19, 2016]

Yes, Dvorak really does think that Americans shouldn’t mention the holiday celebrated by the vast majority of us because the writers of a television comedy made up another winter holiday as a joke in the ‘90s!

I hate to break it to Stack, but VDARE.com began its War on Christmas Competition long before anyone on FOX took up the topic, and I wrote my first essay documenting what Stack and Dvorak deny exists 15 years ago.

And despite the political success of Donald Trump, the sad truth is that the War on Christmas continues, albeit with more conscious resistance than was the case at the beginning of this century—what VDARE.com has called a “trench warfare” phase. Hence two contrasting concerts I wrote about in December for the website of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

On December 4, I got to hear a wonderful Christmas concert by the Cleveland Orchestra. Particular highlights included the three carol medleys performed by the Orchestra: Robert Wendel’s “Christmas a la Valse,” Malcolm Arnold’s “Fantasy on Christmas Carols,” and Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival.”

There was nothing incongruous about one of the world’s premier orchestras playing Christmas carols. As Paula Simons observed in 2003:

Traditional Christmas carols are beautiful songs. They combine rich, lyric poetry with melodies of timeless power. A child who grows up hearing and singing the likes of God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen or Silent Night . . . or the other great world classics gets a profound musical education. The intricate harmonies and modalities of real carols don’t just move our hearts. They train our ears to appreciate more sophisticated musical forms and our voices to sing in concert with others. [Cultural Censorship is Ruining Christmas Carols, by Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal, 12/17/2003]

The following Monday, I got to hear my sister describe a fifth-grade concert she just endured. Not one song mentioned Christmas, or even alluded to Christmas. All the songs were recent concoctions, devoid of cultural significance or artistic merit. Rather than sing “Silent Night” or even “Jingle Bells,” the children sang “Bop,” “Ringing Ringing” and “The Wacky Winter Song,” the latter a tuneless lament for how cold winter is.

And this is not in New York, but in the Heartland! Quite a contrast from my own experience in public elementary school in Cleveland, where we sang Christmas carols and learned about this great festival.

If the War on Christmas were as non-existent as the New York Times’ Stack and the Washington Post’s Dvorak insist, schoolchildren would still be singing Christmas carols at school concerts in December. Instead, what my sister experienced was a deliberately-engineered cultural desert.

As she described the concert she attended, I kept thinking about the one I had just attended, with the beautiful sound of the Cleveland Orchestra’s violins and violas playing the exquisite “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella” still fresh in my mind.

And I thought back to what the conductor told us before inviting the audience to sing along with five of the Christmas songs contained in Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival” that the lyrics were in our programs, but he didn’t believe anyone would need them.

And few seemed to. But a few short years from now, after millions of children have learned to sing “Bop Bop” rather than “Joy to the World,” that will no longer be the case.

Christmas leads to the heart of our culture; the War on Christmas leads nowhere.

But maybe, just maybe, the events of 2016 mean that our arrival at that grim destination will be delayed, perhaps even indefinitely delayed.

Tom Piatak Email him has been writing about the War On Christmas for VDARE.com since 2001

(Reprinted from VDare.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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50 Comments to "The War On Christmas In the Age of Trump"

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  1. Bravo!

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  2. {…there are a few other holidays this time of year, and the folks who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Saturnalia, Festivus and Ramadan — which does fall in December occasionally — are also citizens of America.}: Petula Dvorak.

    {One has to respect the right of every minority to self-determination, but at the same time there cannot and must not be any doubt about the rights of the majority.}: Russian President, Orthodox Christian Vladimir Putin.

  3. I keep reading complaints about a ‘War’ on Christmas but I’ve never heard much about a ‘War’ on Easter which is a much more important event in Christianity.

    (Indeed some Christian groups like the Puritans had their own ‘War’ on Christmas-banning it-believing that it was an overwhelmingly Pagan event.)

    You might even look on the bright side-a focus on anti-Christmas seems to be leaving Easter untouched.

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  4. Here in Australia most people still say “merry Christmas”….& if someone doesn’t like it…well, they can go f — ….but that wouldn’t be in the Christmas spirit, would it ?

  5. Really? With all the current problems this country has….this is insignificant.

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  6. “Her husband dismissed Trump’s supporters as ‘standard redneck[s]‘ before the election and ‘angry white men’ after the election.”

    It takes a onetime owner of an El Camino with a back bed lining of astro turf, to recognize a redneck when he sees one in the rear view mirror. Similarly, as he cast his vote in the New York electoral college with Andy Cuomo, the two of them certainly were angry white men.

    He should have taken to heart himself the advice he gave those he deplored weeks before, when he warned white men not to expect to regain the place they once held in America. That included you, Bill, looking forward to (as Colin Powell put it in his leaked email) banging bimbos again in the White House.

  7. I recently relocated to East Texas. I am told there are as many people in East Texas as in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro. Deplorables as far as you can see. I am unexpectedly happy here. Merry Christmas is standard and delivered with eye contact and a smile. In church Christmas is about Jesus. On the street it’s about good will. Merry Christmas is an affirmation and declaration of good will toward everyone. Deplorable!

  8. They’re absolutely terrified that they might lose control of the Narrative. As well they should be, because if they lose that, they’ll likely lose everything.

    That they are running scared, and becoming more desperate than ever, is one of the best things about the election. But let’s not underestimate them, for they have proven many times that they subscribe to only one principle: the wrecking of the USA and the destruction of every single thing that once made her great.

  9. Article made me remember/reminisce. In the early 40s in a public grammar school as it was called (grades 1 through 8) in Brooklyn, I learned and loved to sing Christmas carols (as they were called) as I had a good voice (before puberty) and could sing in tune. Indeed I was picked out with others (who could sing in tune) to sing carols in a prospective school setting (I cannot for the life of me remember the setting). I may be going beyond judicious to say so in a public comment, but I also remember that, being jewish, and known as such (school body was >60% Protestants, ~30% Irish/Italian Roman Catholics and <5% Jews), I was ashamed to appear publicly and sing Christian carols, so I demurred with no repercussions that I remember although I thought about it quite a bit at the time, personal repercussions so to speak.

    Now that I've blurted all this out, I realize it's not something to be all that ashamed of, is it?

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  10. says:
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    . . . Now that I’ve blurted all this out, I realize it’s not something to be all that ashamed of, is it?

    Anecdote: I “had” Miss Black in one of those years as my home teacher. She was an elderly fanatic who had the students read from the New Testament (she supplied the books). When in a pet, as often, she would send off a Jewish boy at the end of the school day, by reminding him that he would burn in hell by reason of being who he was. Parents complained to the principal, a Jew, about Miss Black. He put them off because Miss Black was a year or 2 from retirement and he didn’t want to jeopardise her retirement pay.

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  11. because ‘Merry Christmas’ informs people that they are on English-speaking, Christianist turf, where the people in charge all celebrate Christmas in a decidedly American way.

    Not intending to detract from Bruenig’s idiocy/dishonesty in claiming that people are actually motivated by that when they say “Merry Christmas”, but that would be a useful collateral effect in our current circumstances, if it were true, now that she mentions it.

  12. Some day the identity politics trend will be another memory. There is a Christmas message that is helpful to all people but not all people are comfortable in their own skin to think about it. They can be non-Christians and allow Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus as they can allow about Easter.

  13. I got a lot of “Merry Christmas” from cashiers this year while shopping. Not a single “Happy Holidays”. It was a nice change, but surprising. For years a cashier could be literally fired for saying the “C” word. Thanks Mr. Trump.

  14. Actually… it is exactly the point.

  15. I appreciate your good will – and the principal’s.

  16. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Of course Easter is the most important Christian holiday (St. Augustine: “We are the Easter people”). But Christmas is also important and very much part of the joy of the Christian tradition. Hanukkah is Kwanzaa for Jews. Their little bubbelehs felt left out an voila, a Jewish holiday with present and toys! That wasn’t enough, so they set about protesting and suing to remove Christmas plays, carols, crèches. And that wasn’t enough…

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  17. Arguments for a War on Christmas: the chance to suppress ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, and suchlike crap.

    Arguments against a War on Christmas: almost everything else. Except in Scotland, where the vile Englishised, Americanised, Germanised, Disneyfied, commercialised, foreign rubbish should be chucked out.

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  18. >there are a few other holidays this time of year, and the folks who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Saturnalia, Festivus and Ramadan — which does fall in December occasionally — are also citizens of America.

    “The folks who celebrate Ramadan” also celebrate Christmas, and, in my experience, will be happy to wish you a Merry Christmas, or accept your Christmas greeting to them.

    It seems it is only “the folks who celebrate Hanukkah” who are bitching about others celebrating Christmas “in public.”

    Sorry, folks, I am with Mr. Putin on this one, even though I am agnostic.

  19. Very funny and very apt. My vote for the first bad “Christmas” song to be thrown in the rubbish would be that awful Mel Torme (or whatever his real name is) song about chestnuts.

    It’a the same with Easter: all we hear about is Easter bonnets and rabbits. I’ve always thought we Christians could be generous here and allow others to have a bunny as the supreme symbol of their holiday like, for instance, Ramadan Bunny or Hanukkah Bunny.

  20. It’s not insignificant at all.. it highly symbolic and illustrative of globalists attempts to atomize and fracture society.
    Christmas time used to be a time of good cheer, where people could say ‘merry christmas’ to strangers. Little things like that is what helps knit societies together and give us hope; now it is a bleak, gray crassly commercialized ‘holiday’ consumermastide….with all meaning other than consumption taken out of it. People now insincerely say ‘ have a good holiday’ we have ‘holiday trees’ and people ask ‘how was your holiday’ for risk of offending…Linuses speech is now ‘hate speech’ because it is not inclusive…

    it is symbolic of just how much the hostile elite hate western civilization.

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  21. Very well said.

    {it is symbolic of just how much the hostile elite hate western civilization.}

    …..how much hostile anti-Christian, anti-West, anti-American elite hate Western, Christian civilization.
    How much they hate America.

    Hit back and hit hard.
    Merry Christmas to all.
    Enough.

  22. “It’s not insignificant at all.. it highly symbolic and illustrative of globalists attempts to atomize and fracture society.”

    Bullshit. The ‘war on Christmas’ pales in significance to war with Russia and white genocide, to name just two current situations.

    “Christmas time used to be a time of good cheer, where people could say ‘merry christmas’ to strangers.”

    People can still say Merry Christmas to anyone….just don’t expect everyone else to say it.

    By the way the word Christmas always start with an upper case ‘C’.

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  23. All of the war mongers in the Republican party profess Christianity as do most of the Democrat party.

  24. “I was ashamed to appear publicly and sing Christian carols, so I demurred with no
    repercussions”

    Where did he shame come from? From the presence of other Jews? You were in Brooklyn, right? If other Jews did not know you were singing Christmas carols you would not be embarrassed?

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  25. I think that is largely because Easter has very little cultural influence left. Outside of observant Christians, people might hide Easter baskets for their kids or get their picture with the Easter Bunny at the mall, but they don’t really celebrate Easter the way they do Christmas.

    Many public and private schools have moved their Spring Breaks so they doesn’t coincide with Easter and most public schools and employers don’t give the day off for Good Friday. Christmas is treated differently because of the influence it has in the culture.

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  26. Kwanzaa is a non-existent ‘holiday’ manufactured by a racist black criminal sexual predator from LA.

    There is no such holiday in Africa.

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  27. By the way the word Christmas always start with an upper case ‘C’.

    Gosh really?! By the way, when using the phrase “by the way” one adds a comma; and, by the way “starts” not start.
    #thanksgrammartroll.

    Bullshit. The ‘war on Christmas’ pales in significance to war with Russia and white genocide, to name just two current situations

    Ok, I am assuming English is not your first, or even second, language and you didn’t understand what I said.

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  28. And who puts the Jewish religious symbol, menorah, on every corner & public space in December with nary a whimper?

    Where’s the ACLU on that?

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  29. Yes, you are right and you should have complete the sentence: they want Hanukkah to replace Christmas. It has a more ‘universal’ significance to which everybody can relate to (ex. the “miracle of the oil”, emphasizing reflection on energy conservation and energy independence!).

  30. You’re quite the grammar queen yet you don’t know that your sacred holiday starts with an upper case letter.

    You want to pressure others to say Merry Christmas….not going to happen.
    No one is stopping anyone from saying Merry Christmas.

    Get a life and concern yourself with things that matter

    Speaking of grammar:
    “It’s not insignificant at all.. it highly symbolic and illustrative of globalists attempts to atomize and fracture society.”

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  31. If you really want to find this so-called War on Christmas, the place you should be looking is Israel. It is verboten, by law, to erect Christmas displays; and if you do, you’re likely making yourself a target. Of course, it is generally legal or at most a minor crime to harass, attack, or even kill Christians, something the Jewish Occupation does frequently and with impunity.

    Of course, there is never a single mention of the Jewish War on Christmas in Israel in the US Corporate Media. I wonder why?

  32. No more Merry Christmas, but Happy Hanukkah.
    Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews over their Syrian oppressors! You can see why it is so ‘actual’.

  33. “Christmas leads to the heart of our culture…”

    Christmas– Christ– leads to change of heart. This will change the culture.

  34. says:
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    What color is the sky in your world? You poor oppressed white guy.

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  35. Tom Piatak’s columns on the War on Christmas over the years deserve significant credit for generating the backlash that has been especially evident this Christmas season. Let’s see more from this excellent writer on Unz.com.

  36. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Name?

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  37. Anyone could have found this, but anyway, here you go.

    Maulana Karenga, convicted in 1971 of torturing two women.

    search: kwanzaa fraud

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  38. Of course, predictably, you dodged the issue, which was:

    And who puts the Jewish religious symbol, menorah, on every corner & public space in December with nary a whimper?

    Where’s the ACLU on that?

    You poor oppressed whining little Zionist twit.

    The ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ are scientifically impossible frauds.
    see the ‘holocaust’ scam debunked here:

    http://codoh.com

    No name calling, level playing field debate here:

    http://forum.codoh.com

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  39. Nice ironic reference to Dayenu at the end of your comment.

  40. A full 90% of church going kids polled think about Santa when they think of Xmas before they think of Jesus. Modern Christmas is full of old pagan symbols, with the date Dec 25 a coopting of Saturnalia, the old Roman pagan holiday. egg nog, the tree, mistletoe, etc. Xmas wasn’t really celebrated in earnest til the 3rd century, as the first Christians did not know the real birth date of Jesus. How could they celebrate? Modern Xmas is purely a construct of man that promotes consumerism anymore. Unless there is a big rejection of consumerism, the so called “death of Xmas” will continue.

  41. Then there is the Hanukkah bush. It’s a small Christmas tree decorated in Blue and White with Mogen David stars instead of the 5 point Christmas stars.
    Stretching out the Kids presents for 8 days instead of one Christmas morning orgy is less messy.

    I myself despise the vulgar capitalist consumer Christmas orgy. The worst is the large retail chains like Walmart, Target Federated etc that refuse to use the word Christmas or decorate but make their entire profit in the Christmas shopping season.

  42. Kwanza has pretty much disappeared. It was only mentioned along with Christmas in black public schools.

    Being totally artificial, the holiday never got going.

  43. Anomouse wrote about his embarrassed feelings as a child. Who are you to judge?

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  44. The Greek, Russian, Serbian, etc orthodox Christians celebrate Easter in a big way.

  45. Yes, and they are all rank hypocrites.

  46. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    You called him a “racist black criminal sexual predator.”

    Criminal and black, yes.

    Racist? Seems like a bit of wishful thinking on your part.

    That you accuse him of being a sexual predator says more about you that it does about him, I assure you.

  47. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    There is no issue because “the Jewish religious symbol, menorah, on every corner & public space in December” is a figment of your fevered imagination.

  48. “Anomouse wrote about his embarrassed feelings as a child. Who are you to judge?”

    What judgement? I want to find clarification about where did the feeling of being ashamed come from?

  49. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Is that supposed to prove he’s racist or a sexual predator?

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