"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.'" -- Luke 2:8-14
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- That was then, this is now. Glorifying and praising God, while acceptable in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, is no longer in vogue in many areas of American culture. If those shepherds showed up this week in one of America's high schools to praise the birth of Christ, liberal activists would shower them with court-ordered injunctions to prevent His name from being heard in a government school.
Imagine the Magi walking great distances along a modern American highway to bestow their finest gifts on baby Jesus. They would surely be accompanied by a vast army of liberal protestors chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Jesus Christ has got to go."
If such a protest occurred, the media would give the demonstrators -- not the birth of our Savior -- wall-to-wall coverage. Polls would be taken and pundits -- not priests or pastors -- would be summoned from the far corners of the earth. They would follow not a star -- but a satellite in the sky -- in order to denounce the Birth, question its importance and protest the exclusion of other "gods" from the news coverage.
Sounds crazy, but it's not far from what is happening in America today.
Led by the American Civil Liberties Union and the People for the American Way, liberal activists are working overtime to erase the real meaning of Christmas from American culture. Secular elites who spend millions of dollars annually to ensure unfettered distribution of condoms to schoolchildren and the unabridged "right" of teenage girls to have abortions now deem Christmas carols too controversial for schools and urge banning public displays of nativity scenes.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has documented dozens of cases across the country of nativity and Christmas displays being vandalized and desecrated. The hostility toward religious Christmas exhibits "is the worst we've seen," says League president Bill Donohue.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.