AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
As Americans of faith have long recognized, the progressive left has always been eager to cast God, Christianity, and religious practice out of our public life—and there is perhaps no greater example of this disturbing trend than the perennial War on Christmas. For the second year in a row, Joe Biden has taken part in this time-honored tradition by delivering a speech at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony devoid of any references to God, Jesus Christ, or the meaning of Christmas itself.
Like last year’s remarks—in which Biden reduced the miracle of Christ’s birth to a vague reference to a “beacon of hope”—the president’s 2022 Tree Lighting speech carefully avoided any mention of the religious significance of the event. Biden made multiple mentions of the so-called “holiday season,” before falling back on the left’s sterilized vocabulary of “unity and joy, hope and light,” eschewing the Christ-centric rhetoric historically invoked by many presidents during the annual ceremony.
Biden also doubled down on the “pro-democracy” gaslighting he initiated in his infamous September 1 speech at Independence Hall this year—nodding indistinctly to some of the left’s new favorite buzzwords like “our democracy,” “compassion,” and “unity”—but without any reference to Jesus or the biblical Christmas story.
Of course, this streak of leftists de-Christianizing Christian holidays is nothing new. On Easter Sunday in 2010, Barack Obama spoke of “the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all, Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, believers and nonbelievers alike”—downplaying the day’s centrality to the Christian faith. In Obama’s 2014 Easter message, after briefly acknowledging the Christian origins of the holiday, he went on to describe Easter as being representative of a secular “universal mission” embracing a “common thread of humanity that connects us all.”
By contrast, each of Donald Trump’s presidential Christmas messages were full of explicit references to God. During his term in office, Trump’s remarks at the National Christmas Tree Lighting (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) were delivered with a deep sense of reverence for the birth of Jesus Christ. “For Christians, this is a holy season: the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” the former president said during the 2017 ceremony. “The Christmas Story begins 2,000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby Son, and the most extraordinary gift of all—the gift of God’s love for all of humanity. Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of His life forever changed the course of human history.”
In previous generations, believe it or not, God-centered rhetoric during the Christmas season was not exclusive to Republican presidents. President Franklin Roosevelt rightly saw Christmas as an occasion to “rejoice in the birth of Christ.” Bill Clinton appealed to the “birth of Jesus,” “His luminous teachings,” and “His timeless message of God’s enduring and unconditional love for each and every person.” Even Barack Obama—at least in the earlier years of his presidency—briefly spoke of Christ’s message, which in his words “lies at the heart of my Christian faith and that of millions of Americans.” He continued: “Christ’s birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar. He was a manifestation of God’s love for us.”
Now, however, Joe Biden—a self-proclaimed “devout Catholic”—has failed to treat the day with the reverence it deserves.
Though most on the left are reluctant to admit it, the beauty of Christmas transcends any empty overtures to “peace,” “hope,” or “unity.” Rather, Christmas is the concrete celebration of a historical event that not only changed the course of human history, but also lies at the heart of the Christian faith. Biden’s failure to even nod to the religious significance of Christmas is a slap in the face to the millions of Americans who share faith in Christ.
In Quas Primas—a 1925 papal encyclical—Pope Pius XI wrote that most of the world’s problems could be reduced to the fact that citizens and world leaders alike “had thrust Jesus Christ and His holy law out of their lives” and their “politics.” He continued: “as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace.”
If Joe Biden truly cares about spreading “peace” and “hope,” he might start with remarking publicly about the ultimate source of those two things – and at the request of millions of American Christians, put Christ back in Christmas.
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