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This is the last word before we all go off on this holiday weekend.
Today is the last day of Hanukkah. So Happy Hanukkah.
The day after Christmas starts the Haj, in which Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca, and we wish pilgrims well.
But this is also the Christmas weekend: Christmas Eve Sunday night and Christmas day Monday. Merry Christmas.
I have made it through the season without discussing my book, "The War on Christmas," at all. The reason is my belief that Americans learned a big lesson about holiday symbols last year, and in large measure the urge to suppress, ban, hide away and otherwise make less visible the secular symbols of Christmas has gone away this year. There are instances of this strange urge still among us. The fracas at SeaTac Airport was one.
As for the larger issue of religiosity in America, I must say there has been a big push from the angry atheists this year and they want more than a simple ban on Santa. Books by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have been high on the best-seller list for weeks now, indicating tens of thousands of people have bought these books. Dawkins and Harris and others are arguing that religion is such a terrible influence on society that no reasonable person would continue to be a believer, and that atheists should shun even moderate or liberal religionists because they enable fundamentalists.
The atheists take aim at all religion, but Christians are the big target because the largest group of people in this country self identify as Christian. Dawkins is even sponsoring something called "The Blasphemy Challenge" in which young people renounce their belief in God or Jesus on camera and the renunciations are posted on the Internet for all to see. The new angry atheists believe you shouldn't be allowed to teach your children religion because kids are impressionable and don't know how to resist indoctrination.
So for those people who mocked the war on Christmas last year, or who mistook it for an intramural war among the religious, let me remind you of what we are seeing this year. It is not Christian vs. Jew or Christians and Jews vs. Muslims, it's atheists vs. the religious of any sort.
Once again, Merry Christmas. And you might want to keep an eye on what your kids are doing on the Internet.
That's My Word.
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