The enthusiasm on the part of much of the western establishment to “de-platform” Christmas – often the prelude to the cancellation of something that has been targeted – contrasts starkly with its relentless celebration of everything else. There is hardly a letter in the ever expanding LGBT+ lexicon that does not have its own day, for example.
Dublin City Council, never behind the door when it comes to cultural erasure and invention, set the mark with its “Winter Lights.” This began in November with more gigs for court artists and the accompanying bumpf had nary a mention of the dreaded C word.
Just in case they might offend someone of course. But just who might “someone” be? I would hazard a guess and say that the majority of eastern Europeans are Christians, or at the very least unlikely to share the Irish Woke antipathy to Christianity which has not yet gotten up to speed in Poland and elsewhere.
There also appears to be an abundance of African churches who one assumes have not re-invented Christmas as some American Walmart holiday, and people of Chinese or Islamic heritage can hardly object – and I have not heard that they do – to Irish Christian festivals given that there is a Chinese New Year celebration in Dublin and that Croke Park hosted Eid.
Of course, the push to leave Christ out of Christmas is not coming from those communities. It all has to do with ticking another box on the bucket list of deracinated Irish liberals. They think that by jettisoning all of the “baggage” of the past that they will reveal themselves as some wonderful new creature. Like Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs perhaps.
As Niamh Uí Bhriain noted last year, Cromwell banned Christmas as a time of celebration in 1644 but it had to be restored after riots in 1647. Ireland managed to escape the restriction because Cromwell and his republican army did not arrive here until 1649, and after that the banning of holidays was the least of the atrocities suffered by the native Catholic population.
To compare our modern day puritans to Cromwell is probably to risk invoking the Irish equivalent of Godwin’s Law, but Cromwell was after all in historical terms a man of the left – earning the praise of Karl Marx in Capital – and his attempt to destroy the faith of the Irish people along with the new wave of expropriation has generally been regarded by the British left as mostly a good thing.
Given that all of the Trotskyist TDs in Leinster House are current or former members of British based far-left organisations, they probably share that view of the native. They certainly act as though they do. Post-nationalist Sinn Féin with its veneration of “our National Health Service” in the British controlled part of Ireland, and its propensity of late to picket Catholic Churches is playing catch up and no doubt has some other silly “progressive” reason for embracing the multi cultural winter or solstice thingamy.
They also no doubt like most of those who know very little about history are unaware that attempting to turn Christmas into something else has antecedents. Among them, the Nazi transformation of the Christian feast into a pagan Julfest and the replacement of the Christbaum with the Firbaum.
The Hungarian Stalinists tried to make Stalin’s birthday on December 18 an alternative day of joy and celebration, which is perhaps something Ógra Shinn Féin might propose at next year’s Ard Fheis, but their plan to replace the Christmas tree with a Fir Tree decorated with the chocolate fondant szaloncukor failed on the basis that chocolate was an unknown luxury for anyone outside of the elite in socialist Hungary.
Our own commissars are not yet in a position to ensure that selection boxes become a black market commodity, so must be content for the time being to do their usual thing and back whatever bottom feeding commercial motivations are turning Christmas into no more than a binge with some leftie rationale.
They get well paid for it after all.