Good Fellowship at IHR Annual Christmas Gathering
ORANGE COUNTY. December 15, 2102. The meaning of Christmas and gratitude for the growing fellowship of like minded freethinkers in Southern California were the themes of the annual Christmas party held by the Institute for Historical Review. Guests came from as far away as Las Vegas and San Diego.
IHR Director Mark Weber was the host of the potluck supper and reflected on the growth over the past four years of an expanding and cohesive circle of people in Southern California who gather for frequent IHR meetings. There is always a lively synergy among younger and older members.
Special guest Paul Fromm from the Canadian Association for Free Expression reflected on that amazing story of the spontaneous truces that broke out along the Western Front at Christmas, 1914, when British and German soldiers sang Christmas carols, shared food and even played soccer. “There was a tremendous wisdom and good common sense,” Mr. Fromm noted. “Deep down these men saw one another as coming from a common culture. there was an inner reluctance about the coming slaughter. This was a fratricidal war that did much to weaken and ruin European man” for the benefit of manipulators and outsiders.
Mr. Fromm discussed the attack on Christmas. “I find it dumbfounding that such a good and gentle feast can come in for such attack and shunning. Some religions celebrate the massacre of their enemies or, in the case of Judaism’s Passover, the death of every firstborn Egyptian male. How can such a tragedy, if, indeed, it happened be a cause for feasting and joy? On the other hand, Christmas celebrates the birth of a Saviour. It is a gentle feast of joy and giving,” he added.
The attack on Christmas, he pointed out, came in two assault waves. The first hit in the 1940s and 1950s. Songs, many written by Jewish writers like Irving Berlin, erased Christ — songs like “White Christmas”, “City Bells”, “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer.” Now, there was nothing wring with these songs in themselves,” he explained. “They celebrated a secular or folk aspect of Christmas, but they downplayed or erased the core reason for Christmas — the birth of Christ.”
The second wave of the assault has occurred over the past 20 years. Businesses and government and the trendy have replaced “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons’ Greetings.” Not many of us celebrate a season, Mr. Fromm added, “like snow and ice where I come from. Merchants know very well people are buying their over-priced imported Chinese junk because they celebrate Christmas, not a holiday or season. People have been conned in the name of inclusiveness or exclude the beliefs and celebrations of the Majority.
Mr. Fromm concluded by urging people to use the leverage of their custom with merchants to insist that the word “Christmas” be used in their signage and greetings.
Many comments were made about the fine dishes offered to the attendees. Mr. Fromm especially commented on a spicy Jambalaya-like Louisiana dish prepared by Miss Cathleen. “It reminds me of the Jambalaya Louisiana Council of Conservative Citizens chairman Herb Price used to serve down at Baton Rouge,” Mr. Fromm praised.