The Christmas season has gotten secularized and commercialized, yes. Our Hallmark movie culture has managed to minimize the amount of Christ in Christmas, but He was still there — if just in the name and acknowledgment of what the holiday was about.
The same cannot be said for the folks at the National Railroad Museum in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.
According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, the Museum has, since 2007, held a Festival of Trees every year at Christmastime. It’s one of their main fundraisers, actually, with elaborate trees sponsored by numerous organizations.
The museum is apparently aggressively secular in its standards. “We’re not a religious organization. We focus on trains,” said Jacqueline Frank, CEO of the museum.
“And honestly, the Christmas tree is used by so many different secular and religious organizations. All we’re doing is putting up decoration in that room.”
She made those remarks in response to the backlash after two of those sponsored trees exist in direct opposition to the word of the Savior, whose birth is the subject of the holiday itself: one by a notorious satanic troll organization and the other by an LGBT group who adorned their tree with slogans like “Protect Trans Kids.”
“While the sight of a red, glowering tree with ornaments like ‘Hail Santa’ might seem controversial to some, The Festival of Trees opened on Nov. 15 to about 250 people, and no comments,” the Press Gazette reported.
— The Gateway Pundit (@gatewaypundit) November 23, 2023
“Only Tuesday morning could Frank count on one hand the number of calls she’s received from people in the community who were upset about the tree’s presence, the result of a social media post’s call to action.”
Yes, they were somewhat concerned, the retrograde online fools, with an organization using Christmas to promote an organization that names itself after Christ’s direct adversary.
Oh, but Frank swears that there was nothing untoward about letting the Satanic Temple of Wisconsin have the tree, which the Press Gazette said was “festooned with red lights and adorned with pentacle baubles and upside-down crosses.”
(Remarkably, the Press Gazette’s reporter went on to say it was one of 60 trees “with no explicit Christian overtones” — and just five words after they reported that it was “festooned with pentacle baubles and upside-down crosses.” Perhaps they could have dispatched someone with a rudimentary knowledge of what remains the most prevalent religion in America to cover this story? Just a thought.)
See, Frank says that when she vetted them, she found out they didn’t really believe in Satan — they say so on their website! That website also said their mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.”
If you ever wanted to hear radical anti-Christian individualistic ontology in the most euphemistic of terms, I guess that would suffice. Anyhow, Frank said there was “no hesitation” to host the tree and that to not do so would set a dangerous precedent.
“If we want to be an inclusive organization, we want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable. Who am I to suddenly say … this thing that is your belief system and outside the mainstream is bad?” Frank said.
“I think there’s a lot to be said of being able to include everybody, to respect everyone and to provide dignity for everybody.”
Well, not quite anybody. The museum had three criteria for exclusion, according to WGBA-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin: no promotion of hate, drug use or violence.
And they can be quite picky when it comes to what falls under those three categories in other circumstances. From the Press Gazette: “Only one tree had an element flagged by the museum because it had the appearance of drug paraphernalia when, in reality, it was road salt. That organization shifted gears to make sure it was promoting road safety and not a highly addictive stimulant.” (One hopes the reporter chronicling this was smiling as he typed those words; one fears that he didn’t.)
So rock salt is verboten, so it doesn’t remind anyone of a white, crystalline substance (don’t want to be accused of throwing Hunter Biden off the wagon if the first son visits, after all), but the Satanic Temple’s tree and a tree from the Bay Area Council of Gender Diversity — a pro-transgender organization — passed mettle.
Not only that, Frank said, but excluding those trees would set a bad precedent and put the museum on a slippery slope.
“We believe that everybody should be included regardless of their religious group, regardless of any business or organization that they’re a part of. So we don’t discriminate, since we’re not a religious group ourselves, we’re going to allow anyone who wants to take place to take part,” Frank told WGBA.
I mean, except for organizations that directly spit in the face of those who celebrate the Christmas holiday — which does, I believe, qualify as hate if rock salt qualifies as drugs.
The Satanic Temple — I mean, the name alone is enough for summary judgment. As for the Bay Area Council of Gender Diversity, you don’t have to get past the first chapter of the first book of the Bible — again, the book that is the Holy Word of the Savior whose birth we commemorate on Christmas — to find this: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them.”
He does not, in subsequent pages, create 46 different genders or indicate it is within one’s power to choose a gender other than that God gave them. That verse from Genesis, spoiler alert for the unread and unbelievers, it stays pretty much consistent throughout the Good Book.
Furthermore, while non-Christian organizations take out trees, they’re not trying to spike the football on Christianity. I doubt the Muslim organization has a crescent and star atop the tree with the inscription, “One Prophet Better Than You,” or the Jewish tree is adorned with a banner saying “Stop After the First 39 Books.” That would be the appropriate analog for an organization that puts inverted crosses on its tree, for the love of Pete.
But no, please — let’s focus on misinterpretations of rock salt. That’s what’s really important. Say what you will about the soft commercialization of the Hallmark Christmas and how it may have led down the primrose path to this, at least it beats a very satanic holiday season, brought to you by two organizations that don’t just want to secularize Christmas but turn it into a celebration of all that’s anti-Christian.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.