by Rabbi Aryeh Spero
It’s December 2030, and I’m shopping with my grandson in a mall in northern Virginia. We’ve purchased a gift for a relative.
“Gift wrap?” inquired the clerk.
“Happy Chanukah, Merry Kwanzaa, or Ramadan Greetings?”
I frowned. The clerk whispered, “Listen, I think there may still be a few rolls of Christmas wrap in the back if you want…”
My grandson looked up at me and asked, “Why is the man whispering, Grandpa?”
The clerk leaned over the counter: “The store’s Diversity Regulations stipulate that we’re no longer permitted to offer anything saying ‘Christmas.’”
“Grandpa,” David asked, “when did the stores stop offering Christmas paper?”
“I’m not exactly sure,” I replied, “but I do remember that already back in 2005 stores like Kohl’s and Target no longer allowed their employees to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ Now even schools are forbidden to print the word ‘Christmas’ on their calendars in the December 25th box.”
“But, Grandpa, the President still lights the National Fern!”
“Yes, David, and it was once the National Christmas Tree. But there were these very powerful and well-moneyed groups such as the ACLU that for over 50 years relentlessly tried to remove anything of Christmas from American public life and social discourse. Then there was this other group, the ADL, which claimed to be fighting bigotry, but really appeared to be promoting bigotry against Christians and people with political views the ADL didn’t like. Anyway, by the time 2005 had arrived, most American people no longer had the conviction and mettle of the people who founded this nation in the 18th century.”
“Why not, Grandpa?”
“Well, believe it or not, they simply were worn down by constantly being called names like anti-Semite, Islamophobe, racist, or homophobe.”
“You mean, people 50 years ago were so scared that they’d allow their country to be taken from them rather than be called a name? I thought sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me!”
“Well, there was another factor at work. Back then we called it ‘political correctness.’ If you spoke out against the ACLU, you were called ‘intolerant.’ If you cherished our American freedoms and were patriotic, you were ‘reactionary.’ If you were revolted by the in-your-face perversions of the day, you were ‘unsophisticated.’ If you believed in right and wrong, your thinking was ‘un-nuanced.’
“Some of the people who stood up against the ACLU,” I continued, “were called Conservatives. In those days, you weren’t welcomed in ‘progressive’ circles if you were a Conservative. You didn’t get those high-paying jobs in the media, Hollywood, or in the University. In fact, if they knew you were Conservative, you could even lose your job -- and, if you wanted to keep your job, you had to undergo diversity training at Sensitivity Sessions and mouth the appropriate platitudes and apologies, even against your own conscience.”
“How did the ACLU control everybody?” David asked.
“You see, they insisted that any references to Christmas and Christianity were ‘offensive’ to some people.”
“Were the Christians trying to impose their religion on everybody?”
“Heavens, no, David. But when Christians wanted simply to express themselves as other groups did, they were accused of having a hidden agenda of ‘Christianizing’ America. Black ‘pride,’ Jewish ‘pride,’ Islamic and Hispanic ‘pride’ were considered social goods and ‘diversity,’ but Christian expression was considered a symptom of concealed anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia, and even American imperialism!”
“Grandpa, how did you feel when someone wished you Merry Christmas?”
“I felt fine being on the receiving end of good wishes and that person’s desire to include me in his season of joy. Besides, it was the gracious thing to do. Then along came the Left and they politicized every harmless and gentle aspect of everyday life, rendering almost anything any normal person said as somehow ‘insensitive’ to some person or group. They took regular daily life which had been sweet and turned it into a political brawl. They made fair-minded Americans self-conscious of every word, and relations between people strained and bitter. They busy-bodied into everything private and personal. And out of a desire to be considered ‘inclusive,’ Christians allowed their Christianity to be rubbed out from the public sphere.”
“Just so they could be called ‘nice’ by a bunch of bullies, Grandpa?”
“Yes, because unbeknownst to our good-willed Christian friends, the ACLU and its fanatical left-wing collaborators were zealously engaged in a deliberate plan to expunge Christianity from America, all the while pretending that their intent was simply to have a more inclusive America and not offend non-Christians.”
“So Grandpa, I guess American Christians were suckers.”
“I’m afraid so.”
As we walked around, I noticed how quiet and gloomy the store was, and remembered back to the days when every department, resplendent with colorful decorations and Christmas music, was almost bursting with shoppers.
“Grandpa, if the ACLU and ADL were against religion, why did they want religious symbols for Moslem-Americans and Jewish-Americans and African-Americans?”
“Well, David, that’s the dark little secret that only your Grandpa and a few others knew. These people weren’t anti-religious as much as they were anti-Christian: anti- the majority religion that made America, America. They weren’t against Allah or African gods. They hated the Christian God. Many simply despised Christians of Faith, hated them as people.”
“Isn’t that hatred, too?”
“Yes, indeed, 100% bigotry. But the bigotries of the Left, and those of minorities, were called ‘tolerance.’ Whatever they said, in those days, was considered the moral high ground, the law. Whomever they supported, even brutal dictators like Fidel Castro, was considered enlightened.”
“So Grandpa, if you knew what the real goals were of the ACLU and ADL, why didn’t you speak up, then?”
“I did, as did others, but so few would listen. If only they could have realized that failure to act would bring about even greater curtailment of their rights and complete demolition of our great American civilization.”
“Grandpa, who were the people who made up the ACLU?”
“Well, sadly some of our own wayward brethren who had long ago abandoned belief in God, the Bible and our own Jewish religion. Having no religious identity, they basically defined themselves as ‘not being Christian,’ so they fought Christmas displays tooth and nail. Many felt insecure even in their identity as Americans, so they waged war against the Christianity underlying America.”
“Who else belonged to the ACLU?”
“People who were raised Christian but rejected it and were therefore embarrassed by it. And, of course, the ACLU had its atheists, too. They despised America’s Judeo-Christian ethos.”
“Grandpa, we were taught in school that our country was founded on our Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritage. And that our Founding Fathers were guided greatly by the principles of the Holy Koran.”
“Yes, another victory for liberalism: rewrite history and deny the facts, all in the name of ‘inclusion’.”
“Grandpa, where is the ACLU located today?”
“Why, it’s right there in Washington, D.C., across from the U.S. Capitol.”
“You mean that big white-marble building where the Supreme Court used to be? The one with the statues of Mohammed and Ruth Bader Ginsburg?”
“Yes, David. You see, the country decided that since, in effect, the ACLU and leftist judges determined almost every American law in the last 50 years, as well as being the final word as to what is Constitutional, we might as well dispense with the Supreme Court and locate in that building America’s real judicial, legal power: the ACLU.”
We took our packages and walked out of the store and were guided down the escalator by Spanish and Arabic directions, though, unlike my grandson, I focused on the smaller English subtitles.
We drove on Route 50 until we came to Falls Mosque, Virginia. I remembered when the city had been renamed from the original Falls Church when that section of Virginia was granted the right to no longer live by American law but, instead, by its own shariah law now that 40% of the people in that area were Islamic. The ACLU told us that in the name of multiculturalism, not to do so would offend Islamic sensibilities and honor.
However, I knew that such a step had been rooted in timidity. We had become fraidy-cats, enfeebled, because 50 years of liberalism had made us no longer believe in ourselves, who we were and what we stood for. That had always been liberalism’s goal.
Anyway, the rage among liberals had been to change all these historic American names, as was being done by their mentors and idols in Eurabia who guided us as to what was sophisticated. Londonstan, Parisabia, and Berlindad, all were renamed cities in the greater Caliphate living under the Religion of Peace.
My grandson interrupted my thoughts: “If the ACLU people hated America so, why didn’t they just leave?”
“Son, they were on a mission. They wanted to reshape America and make it socialist, with themselves at the helm calling the shots, running the show. They didn’t love America as America, but they knew they would love it completely when it became socialist. Besides, no one leaves America. Look at those Hollywood gripers. The money is too good here. The fame. The ease and the safety. Where else do you become a hero by bashing your country? Why would they leave, their family is here?”
As we got out of our car near home, we spotted a small building with a Cross. It was lit up and the distant sounds of a hymn could be heard in the cold evening air.
“What’s happening inside that building?”
“David, that is a church. A church is a place where Christians gather privately to express their Christianity, now that public expression of Christianity in America is forbidden.”
“Grandpa, how many Christians were there in America back in 2005?”
“Well, I’d say about 260 million. Indeed 85% of the country was then Christian.”
“85%?” David exclaimed, amazed, bewildered.
“Incredible, right? Of course, half the Jews had no problem with Christmas, and not all atheists were offended by Christmas trees – but it turned out that less than 10% of the country’s population was able to control the other 91%.”
“And the Americans didn’t fight for themselves at all?”
“Well, they had been bullied so long, son, they lost their fiber. The others were afraid of a newspaper called The New York Times. And the people themselves decided they had more important things to do than defend their heritage.”
“But, Grandpa, without traditions and heritage, you have nothing, right? Why did they accept that everybody else’s feelings were more important than their feelings?”
“They had become intimidated by a foolish and destructive wind that ran across the land. It was a suicidal ideology: liberalism. It taught that the greatest virtue was national self-criticism. It resulted in people hating their own great country, America. And thus a handful of well-positioned, manipulative liberal elitists were able to bring down an entire powerful country.”
I thought back to what distorted times they had been, back in late 2005. While Christians were reviled and seen by liberals as the enemy, jihadist terrorists were “understood” and their detention raised a cry in their behalf for “compassion.” Social and political energy was channeled in two directions: overwhelming concern for the highest degree of humane treatment for Islamic terrorists coupled with an all out assault against Christians wanting merely to say Merry Christmas.
“You know, David,” I continued, “I remember back when I was growing up in America in the 1950s. The Christians had beautiful Christmas trees covered with glittering lights lining the avenues in the snow, children went from house to house singing Christmas carols, people gave presents to each other wrapped in sparkly wrappings, strangers would extend unexpected kindnesses and generosities to each other, and walking down a street on a wintry night one might even come across a gentle nativity scene that didn’t hurt anybody. But that was America then, not now.”
Words are only good if they lead to action, I thought. Nothing happens unless the people venture boldly into public debates and the streets and face down those who are trying to destroy them and put their heritage and children in harm’s way. Where had the activists been? We were too fine to get out in the streets, too gentlemanly to call things the way they were, too preoccupied with appearing ‘compassionate’ to stop the leftists and jihadists. Maybe our good-willed friends simply never realized that some of America’s greatest foes were citizens within our own borders.
I put my arm around my young grandson. “My America is gone now. How wonderful it was. It was heaven on earth. We could have taken to the streets. We could have stood together and risen up, one citizen at a time, defying every challenge in every forum, and fighting for our freedoms on the front-lines of every village and town.”
“So what happened, Grandpa? How did we lose America?”
“I’ll tell you: our soldiers on the battlefield overseas were brave, but we folks at home had no guts.”