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Santa is a fascist!

“Good evening, this is the news from the BBC, 25th December 2010. Several arrests were made today after a dawn raid on an illegal Christmas celebration in Hertfordshire. Acting on a tip-off, armed officers swooped on the residential premises where they found a secret grotto, a fully-decorated Christmas Tree and up to two dozen suspects unwrapping gifts and singing carols. The police also recovered large quantities of contraband including a plate of mince pies, a string of fairy lights, a whole stuffed turkey and a sackful of toys.

The raid came as a part of ‘Operation Tolerance’ which is designed to curb the alarming spread of Christmas-crimes in the community.”

That’s a joke, right? Ridiculous? Alarmist? Wildly over-the-top? Gross exaggeration? Undue pessimism? Perhaps.

A church has been told that it cannot publicise its Christmas services on a community notice board to avoid offending other religions.

The Church of England may be the established faith of the United Kingdom. But Buckinghamshire county council regards it as a “religious preference group” and the ban was upheld yesterday.

A spokesman for the Tory-controlled council confirmed the distinction, explaining that because the service contained Christian prayers it was against policy.

Margaret Dewar, who is responsible for the council libraries, said: “The aim of the policy is to be inclusive and to respect the religious diversity of Buckinghamshire.”

Peter Mussett, the council’s community development librarian, said his member of staff was right not to display the poster.

“We have a multi-faith community and passions can be inflamed by religious issues,” he said. “We don’t want to cause offence to anyone.”

Well, they managed to offend me.

12 comments to Santa is a fascist!

  • Unbelievable. Some “Tory” council, that.

    My faith is shaken.

  • Ian Grey

    At least, on this occasion, it isn’t a case of it being “the wrong sort of religion”, as it would appear that they are all banned, even the diverse ones that would otherwise be celebrated, so to speak.

    My local library has a similar no politics or religion policy on public notices. I’d prefer it if they happily put anything up without being judgemental on the basis that I’d prefer a scenario of some people occasionally choosing to be offended rather than straight-forward censorship.

  • Kit Taylor

    Oh come of it! This can’t be true, surely?

  • Peter

    It occurs to me that those of non-Christian denominations who are merchants, service providers and manufacturers who do a brisk trade at this time of year are likely not offended by commercial aspects of the holiday. Too bad that diversity and tolerance appears, increasingly, to be a one way road.

  • This is a story about feeble-mindedness among our leaders, and their tendency to bend over and get shafted by multiculturalism. If Buckinghamshire County Council was remotely sensible it would ascertain the degree of offence that might be caused by the said Christian observance. I’m sure it would find that the sum total was, for the most part, very small.

    Where offence was caused another interpretation of events should come into play. If two peoples really are so very different that they cannot co-exist in the same place, the presumption must lie with the original owners of said place. The onus is then on the others to conform or leave. But, of course, since no good can come of forcing people to be other than who or what they are, the better option might be that they leave.

  • Peter is the closest to being right here… the problem isn’t immigrants and people of non-Christian faith, but box-ticking officials who genuinely have no clue about what will and won’t offend people.

    Muslims don’t get offended by Christmas (my local butcher’s shop is advertising halal turkey…) – and in areas where there are significant numbers of Muslims, councillors know that carol services aren’t going to upset anyone.

    Rural Buckinghamshire isn’t one of these place. As with the Osama prison story, sheltered suburbanites who’ve likely never spoken to a Muslim make these policies, and often err on the side of lunacy (presumably because they fear the Moorish Hordes they’ve read about will slay them if they make a mistake).

  • The irony here is that there is a plausible reason for refusing to post a Church flyer on a publicly-funded noticeboard, namely the issue of the separation of Church and State. A pernickety reason, yes. Nitpickingly constitutional, yes. Inconsistent, almost certainly. But a thousand times better than this chin-dribblingly feeble ‘offence’ argument.

    Just follow the logic to its conclusion: shops will be encouraged to avoid Xmassy displays and references to Xmas in their advertising etc. (in some ways, a relief perhaps!) to avoid offending non-Christians. The government will tell us not to hang lights outside our houses and to install Xmas trees away from the front windows, in case a passing Sikh takes offence.

    How diversity becomes conformity, in one easy step.

  • John Anderson, RI USA

    “The aim of the policy is to be inclusive …”, by which we mean to exclude everyone, not allowing equal access but rather denying access to any and all.

    “For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.” ~ H. L. Mencken

  • Ian

    The problem isn’t necessarily that Buckinghamshire is PC. It’s that the idiots who run local authorities kowtow to religion and treat it as a special case, and here the right are with them. So it’s no surprise that these idiots are Tory idiots.

    If a community noticeboard is intended for not-for-profit outfits, the publication of Christian services should be no more offensive to the heathen than a notice of a bridge club to the unsophisticated…

    The state gives special audiences to Christian lobbies at some times (especially in education and legislation about marriage and so forth) yet takes offence at other times. If the state looked upon religious groups with the indifference that most people look upon the existence of their local bridge club, we wouldn’t have these problems.

  • Simon Jester


    Surely we don’t have separation of Church and State? I’m thinking of things like the Queen being head of the C of E, the bishops’ seats in the House of Lords, state funding of Christian schools, specifically Christian school assemblies and RE (or has this been eliminated?), etc.

  • Ian,

    You don’t seem to have heard of the culture war. It is precisely the case that English mores, religious or otherwise, must not all be reduced to the level of bridge-playing. This kind of reductionism is the egalitarian left’s dream. For pete’s sake don’t dream with them. On the contrary, WAKE UP!

  • Paul Marks

    As Richard Littlejohn pointed out in today’s “Sun” the same Council allowed a Muslim festival in the library only a couple of weeks ago.

    The Council also attacked “so called Christians” who did not like the banning of Christmas. The “Community” would not tolerate a poster advertising a carol service.

    I admit that I am a “so called” (whatever this supposed to mean) Christian myself, but I would point that carol services are enjoyed by many athiests and in the “old days” (say a couple of years ago) were a central feature of the community (but not the new council French Revolution style community, at least this seems to be what the council is saying).

    I just wish the “Conservatives” who control this council would go away, but I know they will not. I hope the local people vote Labour – this would not save the place, but I prefer honest leftists to false Conservatives.