North Korea Behind the War on Christmas

The wingnuts are getting increasingly bizarre in their claims about the mythical “war on Christmas,” now claiming that it’s all part of a North Korean communist plot. Seriously.

You might be a communist if…You ban poinsettias from a government school; You rename a Christmas tree a “holiday” tree in a state building…or You threaten your neighbors with unexpected consequences if they want to put up Christmas lights. North Korea has claimed that South Korea’s plan to place three Christmas light displays in the shape of large trees is “a mean attempt for psychological warfare.” Their official site states, “The enemy warmongers … should be aware that they should be held responsible entirely for any unexpected consequences that may be caused by their scheme,” according to the Associated French Press.

Here in America, a Texas school banned Santa; a California school went another step and also banned poinsettias and Christmas trees, alleging that each was too religious. In addition, Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island renamed a Christmas tree a holiday tree against the wishes of the tree’s donor and the outcry across his state. It appears Gov. Chafee is well-suited for survival at the North Korea border. His policies are better for kow-towing to the Commies than celebrating Christmas.

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel, commented: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to millions of people who live in repressive regimes like North Korea, where their faith is tested everyday. America needs to be a beacon of hope to the world. It is an important lesson to Americans to not let the ‘grinches’ steal our Christmas spirit here in the land of the free.”

Actually, Christmas was once banned in America. By the Puritans of Massachusetts.

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  • Ellie

    Nice that the Liberty Council and Mathew Staver finally admit what they worship: trees.

  • Michael Heath

    Re Liberty Counsel’s Press Release linked to in the Right Wing Watch article that Ed links to here:

    They use this slogan right-under the top banner which has their name, “Restoring the Culture by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Family“.

    Are there any legal advocacy groups who fight harder in the U.S. against advancing religious freedom or the family? This is just another prime example of conservatives delusionally projecting, and this case being bigots as well.

  • Michael Heath

    Notice how their press release, published on-line, failed to provide links to their assertions:

    . . . a Texas school banned Santa; a California school went another step and also banned poinsettias and Christmas trees, alleging that each was too religious. In addition, Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island renamed a Christmas tree a holiday tree against the wishes of the tree’s donor and the outcry across his state.

  • Aquaria

    You might be a communist if…You ban poinsettias from a government school

    They’re extremely poisonous–they should be banned when children who aren’t old enough to know better might try to eat them.

    You rename a Christmas tree a “holiday” tree in a state building

    Because nothing says Christmas like a gigantic pagan tree to worship

    You threaten your neighbors with unexpected consequences if they want to put up Christmas lights.

    Citation of this ever fucking happening–even once. You can do to your own property whatever you damn well please that’s illegal and doesn’t disturb your neighbors.

    If you have so many lights that it makes your neighbor’s house bright enough to be mistaken for day–only then would they probably complain.

    North Korea has claimed that South Korea’s plan to place three Christmas light displays in the shape of large trees is “a mean attempt for psychological warfare.”

    North Korea would say that kitties are bad if South Korea said they were good. It would say that being gay was bad if South Korea said it was good. You should relate to that Liberty Counsel, since anything that decent people like or enjoy or just don’t give a flying fuck about, you have to do the exact opposite. You’re both opposite-humping fools.

    Get down off your cross, Mat. You’re the only one putting you up there–or keeping your sorry ass there.

  • Aquaria

    Or poinsettias have long been believed to be poisonous, so schools usually play it safe, even though I don’t think there is any evidence that it is. I know that when my mom brought one to school for us, that was the reason the school gave for not having it there, and they wouldn’t budge on that.

    That was in the 60s, though.

  • dingojack

    Wiki notes:

    “In the United States and perhaps elsewhere, there is a common misconception that the poinsettia is highly toxic. This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf.[13]

    While the sap and latex of many plants of the spurge genus are indeed toxic,[14] the poinsettia’s toxicity is relatively mild. Its latex can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.[15] It is also mildly irritating to the skin or stomach[5] and may sometimes cause diarrhea and vomiting if eaten.[16] Sap introduced into the human eye may cause temporary blindness.[17] An American Journal of Emergency Medicine study of 22,793 cases reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers showed no fatalities, and furthermore that a strong majority of poinsettia exposures are accidental, involve children, and usually do not result in any type of medical treatment.[18] POISINDEX, a major source for poison control centers, says it would take 500 bracts for a 50-pound child to eat an amount found to be toxic in experiments.[13] An Ohio State University study showed no problems even with extremely large doses.[19]”



    Notes from wiki

    [5] ^ a b Bender, Steve, ed (January 2004). “Euphorbia”. The Southern Living Garden Book (2nd ed.). Birmingham, Alabama: Oxmoor House. p. 306. ISBN 0-376-03910-8.

    [13] ^ a b “ Poisonous Poinsettias”. Retrieved 2008-12-16.

    [14] ^ Tom Eke, Sahar Al-Husainy & Mathew K. Raynor (2000). “The spectrum of ocular inflammation caused by Euphorbia plant sap” (PDF). Arch Ophthalmol. 118 (1): 13–16. PMID 10636407.

    [15] ^ “Latex Allergy? Beware Poinsettias”. WebMD. Retrieved 2010-01-28.

    [16] ^ “Are Poinsettia Plants Poisonous? Fact or Fiction?”. Retrieved 2007-12-21.

    [17] ^ “Complete Poinsettia information from”. Retrieved 2008-11-29.

    [18] ^ Krenzelok EP, Jacobsen TD, Aronis JM (November 1996). “Poinsettia exposures have good outcomes…just as we thought”. Am J Emerg Med 14 (7): 671–4. doi:10.1016/S0735-6757(96)90086-8. PMID 8906768.

    [19] ^ “Poinsettia Care in the Home”. Retrieved 2010-01-28.

  • raven

    One of the high schools in my district doesn’t have any holiday decor. They had a battle between the xians and the seculars decades ago and the school just said to forget the whole thing.

    Other schools in the district do though. Their guidelines say that Holiday trees are OK. I don’t have a problem with that.

    The whole War on the War on Xmas is just made up anyway, an attempt by the fundies to politicize the year end Holidays. It’s part of their ingroup outgroup persecution-hate tactics.

  • raven


    To further add to the intrigue it turns out that poinsettias are not poisonous at all.

    One of my friends in SoCal planted their poinsettia in the backyard. Last I saw it was about 15 feet tall.

  • matty1

    And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?

    It came without ribbons! It came without tags!

    “It came without packages, boxes or bags!”

    It came without orders sent forth by the state about how we must all say that Jesus is great.

    It came to the atheist, liberal and gay -did no body tell them this isn’t their day?

    It came without folks getting all in twist because one mention of their cause was missed.

    It came without flag waving, came without fear, people did there own thing but still Christmas is here!

  • Erp

    On the Puritans banning Christmas, I looked up the law they passed in England in 1647. It banned Easter as well as Christmas (and Whitsun and all other holy days); however, since those days had been used for recreation by “Scholars, Apprentices, and other Servants”, they allowed them to “have such convenient reasonable Recreation and Relaxation from their constant and ordinary Labours on every second Tuesday in the month throughout the year”.

  • dingojack

    Dingo’s second rule-of-thumb:

    If Fundies breathlessly recite a shopping list of ‘terrible things done by [x] to persecute us poor Christians’, not one of them even vaguely happened as they claim (if at all).

    Just plain ol’ Liars for Jesus™

    Nothing to see here, move along.


  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    Not lethal, but not pleasant to eat. They are bitter and cause vomiting if eaten in large quantities.

  • I wonder how soon before the Liberty Council discovers that days of the week and months of the year are named after, eek, pagan gods!

  • MikeMa

    Nothing too craven for Staver & the LC ijits. They obviously need the extra cash donations to pay christmas holiday bonuses.

  • The Gregarious Misanthrope

    Given Christmas’s enduring popularity just about everywhere, I would have to surmise that the War on Christmas was planned by Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    North Korea does not have enough knowledge of the outside world to make any kind of propaganda effort against the outside world. Remember that “Your wives are having sex with Bart Simpson” think from Iraq in 1991? Anything coming out of North Korea would be even more misguided.

    And for the record, poinsettias are not that toxic. They’ll make you throw up and give you the runs. That’s it. They also taste very bad, so it’s hard to eat enough to even produce this effect. They are not even very toxic to cats and dogs, who are much more sensitive to most plant toxins than humans are.

    When I was a kid we tried growing poinsettias outdoors. We were careful to plant in full shade, but they still died in August. That’s a tough month down here. Okra loves it though.

  • raven42

    So they have… three examples of restrictions on government-funded Christmas celebrations. In the *entirety* of the U.S. Without ANY kind of corroborating references of course, so they might well have not happened at all.

  • cag

    Christ is to Christmas as man is to mantle. Just a word.

    Jeremiah 10:2 – 10:5

    10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

    10:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

    10:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    10:5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

    I surmise that J10 is not the subject of too many sermons at christmas time.

  • meg

    You might also be a communist if you drink vodka – just saying, it is a Russian drink . . .same amount of logic applies . .. .

  • You’d think they’d be happy Santa was banned. “Jesus is the reason for the season” and all that.

  • jakc

    I’d love to see a survey of Christians’ favorite Christmas Specials. Obey Santa gets mentioned more than Jesus.

  • dan4

    @4: “Citation of this ever happening-even once.”

    Gosh, you’re stupid. Staver is obviously talking here about the North Korean/South Korean situation regarding the “Christmas light displays in the shape of large trees.” He’s NOT talking about some homegrown situation involving literal house-to-house “neighbors” like your idiotic call for a “citation” implies.

    “You can do to your own property whatever you damn well please that’s illegal…”

    (*Palm hits face*).

  • organon

    @#21–> The article gives a series of examples to attempt making a connection between what they see (imagine) as a war on christmas here in the US. This is an ongoing thing where persons strive to believe they are being persecuted and wish for others to believe that acts of agression are going to happen to them in their attempts to celebrate christmas. It seems to me that the statement in #4 was about the ongoing claims of aggression and of a war being waged against those who seek to celebrate christmas, without any examples of any real acts of aggession taking place. The Korean example is an actual act of aggression that has no lack of citation. In trying to extend that to what they see as happening in the US does call for citation of actual examples. It was the article that tried to compare what happened in Korea to what they see as happening here. If there is a war going on here, it is a war on an imagined war. In the last quote, it is clear that the intended word was “legal,” not “illegal.” It is in regard, or so it seems to me, to those who cannot conceptually distinguish public property from private property and that there are rules that apply to public property that do not extend to private property. I celebrate christmas, and no one gets in my way of doing it. It is fully legal. There are no acts preventing it. There is nothing oppressing my celebrating it. And I do so, fully enjoying that right. Now if I then go to the government to seek the government to force my celebration on the rest of the public, their not agreeing to do so is not proof that they are preventing me from celebrating christmas. There are those who equate things prevented from being able to be pushed on the public at large as being the government acting as agents of imagined persons seeking to stop everyone from being able to celebrate christmas. BTW, making an argument via attacking the person making the point, rather than the point itself, is ad hominem. Also, when fueling the insults with extra emotional expressions would seem an attempt at discouraging the other person from expressing view points that differ from ones own. This is a forum where there seems a relatively high percentage of individuals who are versed in logical argument and will tend to be unreceptive to arguments using informal fallacies.

  • interrobang

    I did actually see a picture of that South Korean Christmas light display, on the BBC website. It was very tall and had a huge cross on the top. It looked like a giant middle finger pointed at NK, to me. While I suppose it’s within SK’s rights to do that, I personally think it’s a stupid move. (As far as I’m concerned, provoking NK is always a stupid move.)

    I suppose I’m more sympathetic to the communists here because I’d be pissed if someone put up a giant, lit display with a huge cross on top that was visible from my house, too. I’m very much of the opinion that people should treat their religion like they treat their genitalia — it’s okay to do whatever you want with it in private, and be proud of it if you want to, but keep it out of my face.

    Then again, by wingnut standards, I actually am a communist, so that’s not surprising.

  • dcsohl

    So with the death of Dear Leader, I guess the War on Christmas won’t be happening this year, right?