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Punk Rockers Knock Christmas

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
What's been called the "War on Christmas" is often a case of secular liberals wanting to engage in Christmas denial. In the name of not wanting to offend people of minority faiths (or no faith), they remove the C-word from department store catalogs and Christmas songs from public school concerts, leaving us with lame messages about snow.

But there's another kind of Christmas denial: the kind that simply stomps on Christianity as ridiculous and kicks over the nativity set. Take the atheist punk band Bad Religion and its new record of Christmas songs they found "hilarious" to record.

Co-founder Brett Gurewitz told LA Weekly, "Clearly, it's a satire. We were rolling on the floor a lot of the time ... it felt like a Monty Python skit to me."

Greg Graffin, the other co-founder, is a part-time professor of biology and author of the book "Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God." This is Graffin in a nutshell: "Our faith should be expressed in working toward a better planet for our children and not the selfish, juvenile hope for a better afterlife for ourselves. I don't think anyone is going to Hell, because it only exists in the minds of people who wish ill will on others."

Bad Religion's "Christmas Songs" album is concluded by a song called "American Jesus," which rips on America and Christianity. The lyrics start with an apparent conservative Christian's take: "I feel sorry for the earth's population/'Cause so few live in the U.S.A./At least the foreigners can copy our morality/They can visit but they cannot stay."

Then it turns to God, and the band lets it fly: "He's the farmer's barren fields, the force the army wields, the expression on the faces of the starving millions/The power of the man, he's the fuel that drives the Klan, he's the motive and conscience of the murderer/The nuclear bombs, the kids with no moms and I'm fearful that he's inside me."

Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" was suspended from A&E for expressing his Christian beliefs to GQ Magazine. How do these elites react to an entertainer that slams Christianity?

Does it surprise you this album drew an eight-minute promotion on taxpayer-funded National Public Radio? On a Sunday night "news" program? NPR anchor Rachel Hunter played a clip of their takedown of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and wisecracked that by listening to it, "you find yourself engaged in a spontaneous episode of fist pumping. Maybe a family mosh pit because things are about to get rowdy."

Hunter called them "the esteemed punk band Bad Religion" and laughed along with them as she promoted their "haunting bass line," their "awesome guitar solo" and their "very tight, lovely produced harmony." The segment had everything a salesman would love except the question "So where can we all buy it?"

What it did not have was a single challenging question about every offensive lyric and argument listed above. There was no time in eight minutes to discuss the assertion that "American Jesus" drives the Ku Klux Klan, and no time to examine the "selfish, juvenile hope for an afterlife." Gurewitz did repeat to NPR that recording the songs was "hilarious" and added he has a "twisted sense of humor."

"This is something that you're doing a little tongue-in-cheek," Hunter lamely suggested. Graffin agreed: "The band's name is 'Bad Religion,' and we have a long history of questioning religion and social norms and being skeptics and so forth. So we thought that that would make it a really fun thing to do." Would gays have accepted Robertson's statement had he defended it as "a really fun thing to do"?

Hunter added that the songs selected are not secular songs but "religious Christmas hymns." Graffin argued back: "Virtually everyone who celebrates Christmas has heard these songs. And so, it's not Bad Religion that has made them ironic. It's kind of a secular society that's made Christmas ironic."

Why can't leftists ever take responsibility for anything?

Since this band believes churches are a blight on society, it's unsurprising that 20 percent of their sales proceeds will go to suing the Catholic Church through the "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests," a group as despicable as it is dishonest. Only a group like SNAP could accept money from a band called Bad Religion.

Epitaph Records promotes the album with these words: "In a world still brimming with rampant anti-intellectualism, inequality and oppression, Bad Religion's signature brand of sonically charged humanist dissent is as relevant as ever, and this Christmas season, just a little more ironic." That's what secular liberals like the NPR fan base love most about the Christmas season: promoting a garbage pail full of allegedly hilarious "sonically charged humanist dissent" from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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