Hey, ill-tempered atheist, hands off the baby Jesus, step away from the manger

by Todd Starnes / Fox News, Guest Columnist |

NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) -- My atheist readers should prepare to have their egg nog curdled because I'm about to reveal something that's politically incorrect.

I believe that Jesus is the reason for the season and that makes me about as politically incorrect as they come – especially among our nation's ill-tempered atheists.

I made that revelation in my upcoming Fox News Radio special, "The Todd Starnes All-American Christmas" set to air on Christmas Eve.

I've often wondered why folks like the Freedom From Religion Foundation get their Christmas stockings in a twist at the mere mention of the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Maybe all they got for Christmas one year was a package of underwear and a can of Aunt Edna's fruit cake?


What's even more bizarre is how they get so worked up over something they don't even believe is real. I'm no psychologist – but I'm sure there's a clinical term for such a condition.

Nevertheless, the atheists have sworn some sort of oath to push Christmas celebrations underground. "Away with the Manger" seems to be their battle cry.

Their modus operandi has traditionally been to target small towns and bully City Hall and the public school system. They mail nasty letters and threaten them with lawsuits.

Sarah Palin talked about the assault on Christmas during my upcoming Fox Radio Christmas special.

"There are crazy things going on in society," she said. "They are trying to take Christ out of Christmas."

And unfortunately, many Americans are letting the atheists do just that.

"Today unfortunately, they feel they have to be so politically correct – that the joy of Christmas is diminishing," she said.

Gov. Palin is correct. Many communities have thrown in the towel. The excuses vary from town to town – but most folks worry about spending tax dollars on lengthy court battles. So instead of standing up for their constitutional rights, they shove the Baby Jesus into storage and take down their "Merry Christmas" signs.

The atheists have been allowed to wage their yuletide warfare for the most part without so much as a fight. But that's not the case this year. This year, the town folks are fighting back and they are ready to deck somebody's halls and jingle somebody's bells.

One of my new heroes is Terry Calhoun. He's the mayor of Rainbow City, Alabama. The FFRF sent him a terse letter demanding that the town remove its Nativity.

Mayor Calhoun told the Wisconsin atheists to go back to where they came from.

"As long as I am mayor, I'm going to do what I think is right and I'm not moving that manger scene," he told television station KTRK.

The FFRF also tried to bully a fire station in Utica, New York. It was a strategic error.

The firefighters posted a holiday sign outside Fire Station 4 declaring "Happy Birthday Jesus. We Love You."

An FFRF lawyer fired off a letter complaining it's "bad policy" for a government agency to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Syracuse.com reported the FFRF fretted that the message excluded – among other people – Muslims.

Well, there's a good reason for that. We aren't celebrating the birthday of Mohammed on December 25.

Fire Chief Russell Brooks decided to stand his ground. He told television station WKTV that the firefighters erected the sign after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

"9/11 brought a lot of the guys closer to God, and they just wanted to show their faith in Jesus," Brooks said. "They had no idea a controversy would arise."

The FFRF bunch nearly had a win in Piedmont, Alabama after they demanded the town drop the "Keep Christ in Christmas" theme for the annual holiday parade.

The town complied – but with a slight caveat. They allowed all the parade entrants to post the theme on their floats and trucks and tractors. On the night of the parade, virtually every parade float was promoting the reason for the season.

The FFRF should know better than to mess with folks in Alabama. They don't take too kindly to out-of-town atheists trying to stir up trouble.

So let not your heart be troubled, my friends. The atheists are on the losing side of this battle.

Sarah Palin told me during our Christmas special that it's not too late to return to the true meaning of Christmas.

"We can get that back and work together to put the joy back into Christmas – by putting Christ back into Christmas," she said.

So let me reaffirm what I shared with our audience in the "Todd Starnes All-American Christmas" – Jesus is the reason for the season.

And that, my friends, is what Christmas is all about.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join hisFacebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is "God Less America."