RedState’s Christmas Gift: Historical Revisionism

I intended to let Christmas pass without a note of partisanship, but because our honorable friends opposite have opted otherwise, I feel obligated to reply. RedState’s Erick Erickson wants to make much of the fact that, per Time, the First Family did not attend Christmas services:

  • No Churchgoing Christmas for the First Family: Why should we be surprised or upset by this? The Obamas are not, to my knowledge, Christians and typically only Christians go to church on Christmas. At least he’s not trying to pretend anymore. Good for him.

But Erickson glosses over the source article’s context:

Other Presidents and their families have opted to stay in Washington for the holiday. The Clintons traditionally went to midnight mass at the Washington National Cathedral and woke up in the White House on Christmas morning before heading south for vacation. President Reagan also remained in Washington over Christmas — reportedly so members of the Secret Service could be near their families — although Reagan didn’t venture out to a local church service. (Emphasis ours)

A moment of further research reveals that Reagan’s ecclesiastical absenteeism even became a campaign issue:

President Reagan’s spokesman said today that the President seldom attended church services because he disliked inconveniencing parishioners. He also said that Mr. Reagan did not intend to make morality a campaign issue.

Larry Speakes, the deputy press secretary, faced questions about the President’s religious habits in the wake of Mr. Reagan’s overtly religious speech Tuesday to the National Association of Evangelicals and his push for approval of a constitutional amendment allowing voluntary prayer in public schools.

Apparently, empty words about religious faith are enough for Erickson. What a surprise.



  1. Well, it sure didn’t seem like Erick the RedState was at church last night either, considering the fact that he and his pals were playing on Twitter all night, experimenting with this thing called “humor,” by trying to come up with “clever” “leftist” holiday songs.

  2. Oh wow. Total Christianity fail, Mr Erickson.

    Matthew 6:1-8:

    1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

    2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  3. Amazing how so much of the culture wars depends upon ignoring and doing the exact opposite of those verses…

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