Leading the fight to defend Christianity in the so-called “War on Christmas,” Rep. Henry Brown (R-SC) introduced congressional resolution 951, which “urges protection of the symbols and traditions of Christmas.” Despite criticism from House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) against frivolous legislation, Brown has pressed forward and collected 74 GOP cosponsors. The religious meaning of Christmas is serious to Brown. In an explanation of his resolution to the Christian Broadcast Network, Brown noted that, “we’re in a troubled world,” so “we can’t lose sight of our deep faith by some how or another diminishing the value of Christmas.”
The main threat to Christmas, Brown contents, is the use of the term “happy holidays” rather than an emphasis on “Christ and Christmas.” In an interview with Fox Business last week, Brown lashed out at the use of “happy holidays”:
BROWN: We forget the real meaning of Christmas by using “happy holidays” or “joy to the seasons” or some other word rather than “Merry Christmas.” [...]
Every year, more and more people are shying away from “Merry Christmas” and using “happy holidays” or some other means of expressing this special time for us.
Indeed, Brown has even attempted to use his resolution as a jab against President Obama. Declaring that the Obamas’ holiday card doesn’t mention Christmas, Brown said, “I believe that sending a Christmas card without referencing a holiday and its purpose limits the Christmas celebration in favor of a more ‘politically correct’ holiday.” Brown’s fight to preserve Christmas and shun “happy holidays” has earned him the title of “patriot” from noted culture warrior Bill O’Reilly.
However, Brown’s 2008 December newsletter wished a “happy holiday” to his constituents for the “holiday season.” Although the newsletter had a link to the White House Christmas tree website, it made no other mention of Christ or Christmas. (Click here for a screenshot) And as Slate’s Chris Beam has observed, Brown didn’t introduce his resolution last year, even though President Bush’s 2008 holiday card didn’t mention Christmas either.