Matt Barber

Are you as annoyed as I am by that nauseatingly amorphous phrase “Happy Holidays?” You may be interested to know that the mindset behind the term precedes America’s postmodern love affair with political correctness, tracing back to good ol’ fashioned Cold War Communism (PC’s uglier big sister).      

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Indeed, today’s secularist war on Christmas (yes, the one that, like God, many liberals deny exists) was waged, in large part, when Communists began attempting to supplant the deity of Christ (and His associated Judeo-Christian principles) with the false deity of the State.

Ronald Reagan once spoke to this noteworthy historical factoid during a Christmas radio broadcast about the Ukraine’s war on Christmas. The great Gipper noted: “When the Ukraine was free and not under Soviet bondage, Christmas was, of course, the religious event that it is in the Western world.”

But as part of an effort to suppress the Gospel message and the spread of Christianity in Soviet Russia, Communist leaders secularized a favorite Ukrainian Christmas carol, “Nova Radist Stala” (Joyous News Has Come to Us).

One verse originally began: “The joyous news has come which never was before. Over a cave above a manger a bright star has lit the world, where Jesus was born from a virgin maiden …”

“Now, of course,” continued Reagan, “[public Christian expression] was neither fitting nor permitted under Communism. Still the commissars were a little leery about an outright ban. They chose to allow the song after some rewriting.”

The new version went: “The joyous news has come which never was before, a red star with five tails has brightly lit the world.” A second rewrite went further: “The joyous news has come which never was before. Long-awaited star of freedom lit the skies in October [the month of the Revolution].” The rewrite continued: “Where formerly lived the kings and had the roots their nobles, there today with simple folks, Lenin’s glory hovers.”  

As noted in a recent Liberty Counsel release on the subject: “The former Soviet Union eventually banned Christmas commemorations. St. Nicholas was replaced with ‘Did Moroz,’ or Grandfather Frost. This Stalinist creation wears a red cap and long white beard of Santa Claus, but he delivers gifts to children on New Year’s Eve. Christmas trees were also banned... 


Matt Barber

Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).