Christmas Censorship Has a Long History

Dec 23, 2015

Liberty Counsel has been working on a number of cases involving religious viewpoint censorship of Christmas. In places such as city hall and schools, from inside homeowner associations and a nursing home, a courthouse and a park – the "grinches" of Christmas are still at work.

The war against Christmas is nothing new. This antagonism towards Christianity was also found under Communism. During one of the nearly 1,000 radio addresses he wrote and presented prior to becoming President, Ronald Reagan described Christmas under the former Soviet Union. In an effort to resist Christians, Communist leaders secularized a favorite Ukrainian Christmas carol, "Nova Radist Stala" (Joyous News Has Come to Us). The original song began with these words:

"The joyous news has come which never was before. Over a cave above a manger a bright star has lit the world, where Jesus was born from a virgin maiden…"

Communists feared the public outcry that would follow a complete ban on Christmas, so they began to slowly secularize the holiday, and finally the song read:

"The joyous news has come which never was before. Long-awaited star of freedom lit the skies in October [the month of the Revolution]. Where formerly lived the kings and had the roots their nobles, there today with simple folks, Lenin’s glory hovers."

In Communist Romania, Rev. Geza Palffy, a Roman Catholic priest, delivered a sermon in 1983, protesting against the fact that December 25th had been declared a work day instead of a holiday. The next day he was arrested by secret police, beaten, imprisoned and died. Inside and outside the Iron Curtain, Ukrainians never stopped singing: "We beg you our Lord, we pray to you today. Grant us freedom, return glory to our Mother Ukraine." Mr. Reagan ended his broadcast: "I guess we all hope their prayer is answered." Indeed it was.

This war against Christmas is nothing new. Repressive forces have always had the same goal – to first secularize and then to eliminate Christmas. We need to be perpetually vigilant and grateful every year for the freedom to celebrate.

Read our news release to get more details about this war on Christmas.