The war on Christmas, ISIS, Missouri all have valuable lessons to teach us

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This weekend the news is dominated by reports of the atrocities committed by ISIS in Paris. ISIS has no redeeming characteristics, but its evil doings nonetheless offer invaluable lessons, if we’re willing to learn.  And three groups are especially in need of learning—the pseudo-Christian crazies, the college crybabies, and any leader with national security responsibilities.

The pseudo-Christian crazies are the clowns constantly looking for—and therefore finding—evidence of a “war on Christmas.”  According them, a plain red coffee cup is the current weapon of choice, and the anti-Christian bigotry of the plain red coffee cup is only supported and reinforced if the coffee is served by someone saying “Happy Holidays.” 

Dr. Malcolm Cross
Dr. Malcolm Cross

Someone far more clever and sophisticated in these matters than I am raised the possibility in church this morning that the original rant against the plain red Starbucks coffee cup might have been a practical joke.  Protesting the color of a coffee cup or expressing outrage at “Happy Holidays” is  certainly more easy than actually following Jesus’s instructions to help the poor and the sick (activities at which I’m admittedly very bad myself). 

The anti-red cup campaign seems to have lost steam and collapsed under the weight of its own stupidity as rational Christians and others pay it less and less attention.  But if anyone is truly looking for evidence of a “war on Christmas,” I suggest taking a long, hard look at ISIS.  It truly is waging a war on Christmas, on Christianity, and basically all forms of decency and civilization as well.  One word of advice to the “War on Christmas” crowd: Don’t let ISIS catch you.  It has far more creative ways of dealing with you than simply serving you coffee in a red cup while saying “Happy Holidays.”

The college crybabies, like the pseudo-Christian crazies, are constantly on the lookout for something to take offense at. Historically, in the name of political correctness, they’ve protested against anything that can be interpreted as racist or sexist, and now they’re also protesting the alleged absence of “safe havens” on campus where they won’t be “triggered” or offended by having to hear ideas with which they disagree. 

At Yale, for example, they’re protesting a comment by an administrator that it was not the school’s job to regulate the type of Halloween costumes students wear, and at Missouri they’re on the rampage over a swastika someone—nobody knows who—drew with poop on a bathroom wall as well as an undocumented report that someone—nobody knows who—used the n-word. A man known to have threatened violence against African Americans is in police custody, but the students want more safety, and are ready and willing to shout down anyone who challenges their estimate of the threats they see against them. But one thing’s certain—there are no safe havens where we can retreat from the world and live out our lives in blissful ignorance, free from having to confront any thought we dislike. ISIS is doing an excellent job of seeing to that.

Our leaders in charge of national security can learn too from ISIS. For starters, they—and basically everyone—should abandon the ideas, voiced by our President, that ISIS is strictly a junior varsity  outfit whose actions are confined to and contained in the Middle East. Paris is in Europe, not Syria or Iraq. 

They should also learn from the bad example of university “leaders” dealing with the crybabies in search of safe havens. Yale’s administrators, while trying to defend freedom of speech, have nonetheless undermined their message with pathetic bleating of apology for failing to make their students feel safe from disagreeable ideas. Missouri’s administrators have simply resigned and run away. I sincerely doubt that saying “Sorry!” to ISIS will change its behavior.  And running way will prove none too effective as well.  As ISIS has shown, there’s no place to run where you can’t be found.

Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987.  His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present).  He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014.  He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.

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