What Is “The War on Christmas”?

As December arrives, so does the ideological debate often dubbed by the right as “The War on Christmas.” Though the idea of liberals waging war on the holiday dates back all the way to when Henry Ford was alive, it has been especially talked about within the last few years. With Donald Trump as president, many on the right are crediting Trump with ending the hypothetical war on their beliefs, that they believe was often led by former president Barack Obama.

Recently, the White House released a video of the Christmas decor in the White House and while the decorations are beautiful, the comment section is not. A popular theme among commenters seems to be joy over spotting a nativity scene among the decor, something they say Obama banned from the White House during his time as president. Unsurprisingly, this is a falsehood, but before being 100% debunked, it was heavily pushed by the right-wing media. Major news organization Fox News even pushed the conspiracy theory, citing that he decided against having religious holiday displays such as nativity scenes at the White House because the first lady thought they were creepy.

While Obama has been the center of the majority of the War on Christmas rumors of the past few years, there are some that don’t have his name attached in one way or another. Namely, the Starbucks holiday cup debacle. In 2015, Starbucks revealed the design for their annual holiday season cup as a simplistic red cup with their green and white logo in the center. Social media outrage among the right, particularly the evangelical right, ensued, and the outraged formed themselves into two different groups. The first group decided they would be boycotting Starbucks products altogether, and the latter decided to give Starbucks a piece of their mind. They did this by posting pictures of the red cups with “Merry Christmas” written on them because they told their barista that was their name. While their holiday cup designs have been significantly more Christmas-themed every year since then, they still haven’t escaped criticism. More recently, Fox News covered the non-story of people on the right thinking this year’s design is pushing the gay agenda.

While it seems this ideology probably won’t ever go away for good, it can be combated by making light of it, as many Twitter users have done by making it the center of jokes.

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