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The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought, John Gibson, Sentinel, 2005, 186 pp., $24.95

Traditionally, for millions of people around the world, descriptions of Christmas have inspired visions of peace, good will, joy, and contentment even for those who place more emphasis on commercialism and materialism rather than on the spiritual dimensions of this important celebration.

In contrast, John Gibson sounds an alarm to alert us to the full-scale attacks on Christmas throughout the United States, and warns that similar assaults are underway in Europe, Australia, and Great Britain. Gibson, Fox News anchor, reports for the reader the raging controversies and battles fought in many U.S. communities.

Numerous city, county, state, federal, and school district officials have determined that it is safer to ban any and all public display of the language and symbols associated with Christmas than run the risk of encountering objections. Gibson characterizes them as "amateur constitutional law practitioners who got way out ahead of the Supreme Court of the United States when it came to banning Christmas."

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." Gibson asserts: "A free expression of Christmas in this age is fast becoming impossible."

We face a crisis: the war on Christmas is "really a war on Christianity."

School districts often capitulate to pressure and threats of litigation from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In some districts, students are disciplined for mentioning Christian references in their work, wishing their friends "Merry Christmas," or trying to give small gifts that officials deem inappropriate. Parents are instructed to bring only white paper napkins and plates, never red or green, to "winter parties." Efforts to expunge from the language the word "Christmas" include correcting terminology to substitute "giving trees" or "friendship trees" and "Winter Break."

Across the country, Christians who resent the building momentum to abolish the public presence of Christmas are increasingly fighting back, seeking protection under First Amendment rights against hostile intolerance. A chapter of the book is devoted to information about attorneys who are specifically trained to advocate for religious freedom, and organizations such as the Alliance Defense Fund and the Liberty Legal Institute, which are equipped to litigate!

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