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Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022

Good Grief Charlie Brown

What is Christmas really all about?

In December 1965, nearly 15 million viewers, or one-half of the television viewing audience, tuned in to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It has become the longest-running cartoon special in history, but it was almost canceled before it was ever aired. You see, the CBS network executives were less than impressed. Aside from the technical criticisms resulting from a rushed production schedule, the executives did not want Linus to recite the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke. It was thought that viewers would not want to be preached upon by an animated cartoon, especially from biblical passages. Obviously, after almost 56 years of airing every Christmas and receiving an Emmy and a Peabody award, those CBS executives got it wrong.

“There will always be an audience for innocence in this country,” said Charlie Brown’s creator, Charles Schulz. Nonetheless, the religious celebration of Christmas continues to face trivialization. For example (when they occupied the White House), the Obamas weren’t even planning to display the Nativity scene at Christmas, which has been a longtime East Room tradition. Instead, the “Obamas were planning a nonreligious Christmas.” Great. Whatever that means.

Fast forward to Biden’s second year in the White House, and more Americans today believe there is a “war on Christmas” than in years past. According to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll, nearly four in 10 respondents agreed that politicians are trying to remove Christianity from the Christmas season.

And the reason for this growing sentiment across the country? The poll’s sponsors attributed the shift to “Republicans, Trump supporters and, surprisingly, Hispanic Americans.”

Of course. It couldn’t be the number of violent attacks on churches and church gatherings or the elected officials who banned church services and even singing during church services during the pandemic (even though massive, so-called “peaceful” protests with shouting and singing were permitted and lauded).

It couldn’t be that there is a movement in Congress to remove God from the Pledge of Allegiance and our national motto (“In God We Trust”) or cancel government partnerships with faithbased hospitals. Or prohibiting parents from using tuition assistance programs to send their children to religious or parochial schools (which is before the U.S. Supreme Court now, in Carson v. Makin)? Or the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland suing the state of Texas to overturn the law that protects the unborn by prohibiting abortions once a “fetal heartbeat” can be detected? Or what about the Biden administration suing the Little Sisters of the Poor to force them to provide abortion-inducing drugs in their health-care plans?

Of course not. It’s not any of those rational reasons, according to the left. For the left, it’s the Trump supporters – the “deplorables” – that have this cockamamie idea that there is an attack on religious freedom in this country or see the “progressive” forces that want to remove all vestiges of our Judeo- Christian principles from government, family, culture, business, entertainment, education, etc.

However, those principles are upon which our country was founded – right there in the Declaration of Independence, hiding in plain sight. It says, “We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And the reason that prayer is so very needed for our country, and our very way of life, is that without the Creator, there are no rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. None.

So while Christmas includes a visit from Santa Claus and shopping for gifts, it’s not the reason for the season, although it’s easy to think that. It’s one of the reasons that Charlie Brown lamented, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!”

We do, Charlie Brown, we do.

And it starts by not taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas.”

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.


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