This year, it was practically impossible to deny that some major factions of the atheist movement were waging a full-out assault on Christmas.
The typical "War on Christmas" allegations that arise around this time every year are usually met with a fair bit of skepticism, but considering the vehement attacks on nativities and Christian themes this holiday season, denial is virtually impossible.
We thought we'd recap the chaos that unfolded this year so that you can see a substantial portion of the chaos in a more comprensive form. So, here it is:
The atheist-led war got off to a rousing start in early November when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker decided to change the name of the capitol's "holiday" tree back to a "Christmas" tree. This, of course, ignited anger from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which called the tree's name-change a "snub to non-Christians."
In an interview with the Blaze, Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-president of the FFRF called Walker “…a Teabagger governor wearing religion on his sleeves." She went on to say that, in an ideal world, there would be no Christmas trees, Menorahs or other religious symbols on government property. In the case of the Christmas spruce versus holiday tree, she maintained that “the government should not be using the word Christmas.”
In Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee took the opposite approach, as he decided to call the state's spruce a "holiday" tree. Critics erupted, but the governor held his ground, citing inclusiveness as the motivating factor.
Then, of course, there was South Carolina's Hollings Cancer Center and its ban on Santa Claus. Hospital volunteer Frank Cloyes, a retiree who volunteered to play St. Nick every year, was told he couldn't do so this Christmas because of religious diversity. The uproar was so boisterous, that the hospital decided to let Cloyes come after all. Tis the season for changes of heart (and good PR), apparently.
At the Claudia Landeen School in Stockton, California, teachers were allegedly told that they wouldn't be allowed to display Santas, Christmas trees — even Poinsettia plants this year. The ban, of course, was intended to prevent religious discrimination.
In Pitman, New Jersey, non-believers raised a ruckus over a "Keep Christ in Christmas" sign that was positioned on private property, yet hanging over a public street. And in Maryland, well-meaning carolers were booted out of a U.S. Post Office. Apparently, holiday cheer and parcel packages don't mix.
While there were plenty of similar dramas across the country, it seemed that nativities were the favorite target of non-believers this year. In Warren, Michigan, for instance, atheists threatened legal action if officials didn't comply with their demands to post an anti-Christmas sign inside of city hall.
The situation in Santa Monica, California, was a bit more sinister. Non-believers exploited technicalities to thwart the display of a nearly six-decade old nativity tradition. While the atheists succeeded in co-opting the space with anti-God displays, Christians are understandably less-than-pleased with the outcome.
In Wisconsin, home to the FFRF, yet another nativity drama unfolded. This time, a private group placed the traditional birth scene in the capitol -- an action atheists were clearly unhappy with. The FFRF then decided it would be appropriate to place a mock nativity -- complete with an African baby, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, the Statue of Liberty and other non-religious elements -- next to the traditional one.
But the most epic nativity battle unfolded between atheists and unwavering Christmas lovers in Athens, Texas. After the FFRF made threats over a display was was present in front of the local courthouse, 5,000 people showed up to protest, sing hymns and support the Christian imagery. And no, they weren't Occupy protesters.
Fox News host Eric Bolling was so turned-off by the way in which FFRF leader Dan Barker characterized the nativity and Jesus that he actually kicked Barker off of his show. Watch the segment, below:
Even North Korea got in on the anti-Christmas sentiment following festive lights that were displayed by neighboring South Korea. Oh, and we almost forgot the anti-Christmas billboards featuring Jesus, Santa and...Satan (here in America, of course).
While these scenarios don't represent every, single instance of anti-Christmas sentiment (there were too many to capture), they give you an idea of just how intense the 2011 War on Christmas became. Next year, I'm sure we'll be back with countless more bizarre tales.