DTT: Here we go once again, some people’s willingness to believe anything they read online has caused real harm. Social media propaganda has in this case, caused harm to a poor family. In this case, false “War on Christmas” reports from right-wing media that a Jewish family was responsible for cancelling a Christmas play has led to them fleeing their home in fear.
“What started as a story in the LancasterOnline community paper grew into a national media frenzy story this week with national outlets including Slate, the Washington Post, Breitbart News and Fox News weighing in with sometimes explosive headlines. Philly.com also reported on the story.
In the middle is a Jewish family in Lancaster County. A news report Thursday that they were blamed for the cancellation of an elementary school Christmas play left or fled the county after becoming aware of hostile comments on social media and news reports.
Events began last week when the Hempfield School District originally addressed what was then a budding controversy. The district said that the fifth-grade production of A Christmas Carol was canceled because the district could not afford the 15 to 20 hours of instructional time outside the classroom, not because of complaints about the line “God bless us, every one!”
The play has been a holiday tradition at the Centerville Elementary School for more than three decades.”
Read the entire and full article here…
This is not the first time such lies have been perpetuated. These lies have been rehashed year on year by right-wing bigots to stoke up hatred against Muslims or other minorities. The Inquisitr.com recently debunked a fictitious story about Sweden, where Muslim immigrants some how banned Christmas lights from being displayed. After a close investigation, it was found that the story was a lie.
The Ban on Christmas – it wasn’t the Muslims nor Jews who banned it. The following interesting bit of history from BBC tells us that the first people to ban Christmas were Christians themselves:
“From the middle of the 17th century until the early 18th century the Christian Puritans suppressed Christmas celebrations in Europe and America.”
“The Puritan movement began during the reign of Queen Elizabeth in England (1558-1603). They believed in strict moral codes, plenty of prayer and close following of New Testament scripture.”
“As the date of Christ’s birth is not in the Gospels the Puritans thought that Christmas was too strongly linked to the Pagan Roman festival and were opposed to all celebration of it, particularly the lively, boozy celebrations inherited from Saturnalia. In 1644 all Christmas activities were banned in England. This included decorating houses with evergreens and eating mince pies.”
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(1) – “Hindu Jagran Manch warns Christian schools against celebrating Christmas” (20th December 2017) https://m.timesofindia.com/city/agra/hindu-jagran-manch-warns-christian-schools-against-celebrating-christmas/amp_articleshow/62097882.cms
(2) “When Trump forbade a Christmas tree — and other forgotten stories from the ‘war on Christmas’” (25th December 2017) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/12/25/when-trump-forbade-a-christmas-tree-and-other-forgotten-stories-from-the-war-on-christmas/?utm_term=.ab8ca0f242ce
(3) – “Christmas in India tarnished by ‘climate of hate'” http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/christmas-india-tarnished-climate-hate-171224110717883.html
(4) – “Anonymous Omani businessman spreads holiday cheer” (26th December 2017) https://www.thenational.ae/world/gcc/anonymous-omani-businessman-spreads-holiday-cheer-1.690774