Religious Right Opens Money-Raising Christmas Crusade

Religious Right groups and right-wing pundits are stepping up their ongoing campaign to convince Americans that Christmas is under attack.

In early November, the Alliance Defense Fund, a lawyers’ outfit bankrolled by TV preachers, issued a press statement with the headline, “More than 800 attorneys nationwide ready to combat attempts to censor Christmas.”

The Jerry Falwell-backed Liberty Counsel also announced a “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign” to stamp out alleged discrimination against the holiday.

TV talking heads such as Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson are also rallying against what they frequently describe as dark forces bent on persecuting Christians. Indeed, Gibson has authored a book on the matter called The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.

Rob Boston, assistant communications director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the Associated Press that “about 95 percent of the whining from the far right” over the holiday is for raising money.

“They’re trying,” said Boston, “to get people worked up so they will think Christmas is being removed from public life. There isn’t any evidence that’s happening.”