Michigan Newspaper Editor Blasts Liberty Counsel

Michigan Newspaper Editor Blasts Liberty Counsel November 7, 2011

I find this rather amusing. Rich Perlberg, editor of the Livingston Daily, a newspaper here in Michigan, responded to one of Liberty Counsel’s press releases about the mythical War on Christmas and pretty much went off on them over it. Here’s the full text:

You are among the most anti-freedom, anti-liberty people I know.

This “save Christmas” campaign is a sham, designed to stir up controversy, create fear and, if your wishes come true, create animosity for those who don’t fit into your view of what a “real” American should be.

There is no need to “save” Christmas because there is no war on Christmas. You used “liberty” in your name, yet you would deny private businesses the liberty to make their own decisions. You overstate, or perhaps misstate, examples. Even if your rare examples are true, they are isolated instances of people making poor decisions…a far cry from a war on Christmas.

You are saying that people must act and worship the way you want them to. That’s anti-American, which is the war you are waging.

In my community, the churches are almost all Christian and they are packed with people. Our public schools regularly have concerts that feature Christian music. As November and December approach, I’ll hear greetings of “Merry Christmas” anywhere I go. It’s a wonderful sound.

This is a created, non-issue, best represented by Bill O’Reilly who screamed about the war on Christmas even while Fox was selling Bill O’Reilly holiday ornaments. It’s true. You can look it up. He created the false issue for ratings. He is the worst type of hypocrite.

I’m angry at people like you because you thrive on and promote fear, hatred, prejudice and intolerance.

But in the spirit of the season, I wish the best for you.

Happy Holidays.

That last is a nice tough. Personally, I would have used “Lo Saturnalia” or “Happy Winter Solstice.” Liberty Counsel, unsurprisingly, is not amused.

Responding to the email, Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said: “I am shocked that a general manager and editor of a newspaper would send such an angry and scathing email in response to a press release. Rich Perlberg’s email underscores the bias in his media source. The Gannett Company ought to apologize for such a lack of journalistic integrity. Perlberg’s sarcastic email, which he concludes with ‘Happy Holidays,’ illustrates that the Gannett-owned media has indeed launched a war on Christmas.”

Sounds a lot like a war on demagoguery and hypocrisy to me.


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  • azportsider

    Shorter rich Perlberg: FOAD. Have a nice day! I love it!

  • There’s a lot of resentful Christians out there who have fallen hook, line, and sinker for the notion that Christmas is under attack by secular forces (as opposed to merely being trivialized and made nauseating by its exponents). My parents are among them, having been recruited as “Christmas defenders” by Bill O’Reilly’s specious call to arms. Thus their car sported a bumpersticker that said, “We say Merry Christmas!” (so there, minions of anti-Xmas!) and their doormat says “No Pinheads.” Ugh.

  • Rich Perlberg… hmm. Is Staver suggesting that Jews must celebrate and proclaim the day designated as Jesus’s birthday?

    Makes me wonder if Staver runs around wishing everyone else a happy birthday on his own birthday.

  • Or maybe Staver likes to run around Navajo Nation shouting Happy Columbus Day!

  • D. C. Sessions

    ‘Happy Holidays,’ illustrates that the Gannett-owned media has indeed launched a war on Christmas.

    Sounds a lot like a war on demagoguery and hypocrisy to me.

    And the difference is … ?

  • helenaconstantine

    I think you mean the Io Saturnalia that is common on the internet–although I’ve never seen a citation for that phrase to an ancient text. It seems problematic because it mixes Greek and Latin, although that’s not a fatal objection. Also, one would expect a direct address to the god rather than the name of the holiday in ordinary Latin usage. I’d be willing to bet money its some Neo-pagan’s attempt to make an equivalent for merry Christmas.

  • danielrudolph

    Didn’t Christians declare war on Halloween decades ago? This sounds like payback to me.

  • This is from Richard Perlberg. Well, he’s a joodevil, whaddaya expect? Now, if some nice, blonde, Church of Christ minister said something like this–THAT would be news!

    Fuck KKKristianisty.

  • MikeMa

    Staver is a clown. He makes money by being a clown and issuing calls to arms to protect his christian clowndom. I personally believe he belongs on an unemployment line but there is a sucker born every minute, most of them gullible fundies, so Staver stays employed fleecing the foolish.

  • ambulocetacean

    their doormat says “No Pinheads.”

    That’s quite racist against persons with microcephaly, actually.

  • d cwilson

    Perlberg’s sarcastic email, which he concludes with ‘Happy Holidays,’ illustrates that the Gannett-owned media has indeed launched a war on Christmas.”

    Yes, because all know that the editor of a small local paper speaks for the entire media conglomerate!

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Perlberg didn’t say he was going to pray for Liberty Counsel!

    That’s effectively the same as cursing at them (isn’t it?).

    Next thing, he’ll be telling them a gay person is getting married…

    When will this rabid antichristian brutality ever stop?!?

  • Michael Heath

    It’d be nice to see an academic do some research which shows the aggregated holiday-themed media content broadcast, published, and sold trended by year. Given the rise of:

    cable TV,

    narrow-niche radio stations,

    narrow-niche marketing of media content,

    the Internet,

    music distributed through the Internet,

    DVDs,

    DVRs,

    along with music and video streamed through the Internet,

    I’m convinced we both encounter and have access to far more Christian-themed holiday media content now than we had in previous decades. In fact I’m confident the trend is exponentially explosive relative even to the 1950s and 1960s.

    Instead what we observe is the religious right’s continual frustration they can’t leverage government power to the degree they desire to control what all of us experience or how we behave. They remain frustrated fascists.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Lo Saturnalia

    I’m with you in spirit, Ed, but if you say “Lo Saturnalia” you’ll just make yourself look silly. It’s “Io” (pronounced “ee-oh”, or possibly “yo!”).

  • LightningRose

    Any retail person who gives me a “Merry Christmas!” gets a terse “I’m not a Christian and I’m offended by your assumption that I am.” in response.

  • Aquaria

    I am shocked that a general manager and editor of a newspaper would send such an angry and scathing email in response to a sniveling and angry press release. Rich Perlberg’s email underscores the bias in his media source against sniveling, lying bigots. The Gannett Company ought to apologize for such a lack of journalistic integrity not saying anything this awesome sooner. Perlberg’s sarcastic email, which he concludes with ‘Happy Holidays,’ illustrates that the Gannett-owned media has indeed launched a war on Christmas solely in my sniveling, paranoid imagination. I’m just saying this, you know, because I’m too fucking stupid to get a real job, so I have to be a two-bit con-man hawking delusion, stupidity and bigotry.

    Fucking FTFY, Matt. Now bugger off, you lying scumbag.

  • I can sort of see their point.

    The world’s two billion Christians live lives of deep isolation, with no outlets to reach out to others of their faith, no buildings in which to gather for meetings on Sundays, no special literature to call their own, and living at the whims of the godless minority.

    When will this madness stop?

  • whheydt

    Re: #15 (LightningRose) My response is even shorter. I smile and give them a cheery “Happy Winter Solstice.” Confuses ’em no end.

    –W. H. Heydt

    Old Used Programmer

  • MikeMa

    @Lightning Rose,

    Do many shops still use Merry Christmas? I haven’t heard that at a local store in years. Or maybe they say it and I just don’t hear it, being in such a good mood while out shopping. Happy Solstice sounds like a good response. The Saturnalia thing will skip right over most heads in my area.

  • haroldcamping

    LightningRose says:

    “Any retail person who gives me a “Merry Christmas!” gets a terse “I’m not a Christian and I’m offended by your assumption that I am.” in response.”

    Then you’re a c­un­t. Christmas isn’t only a Christian holiday, it’s a western holiday like New Year’s or Halloween. The employee is just wishing you a happy day on December 25. People like you piss me the f­u­c­k off. You’re an a­s­s­h­ole!