Online leftist Twitter warriors are up in arms over a joke made by Tim Allen in the new Disney+ series The Santa Clauses. They’re furious at the well-known, moderately conservative actor for, of all things, defending the phrase “Merry Christmas.”
The new six-part miniseries serves as a sequel to the 2006 movie The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, which was the third installment in The Santa Clause franchise.
The first installment, The Santa Clause, hit the theaters in 1994 and instantly became a Christmas classic, earning $190 million at the box office.
Tim Allen, who reprises his role as Scott Calvin and Santa Claus in the series, hasn’t been silent about his political beliefs. He one of the very few (at least somewhat) conservative actors in Hollywood – a species of actor that’s critically endangered.
In a brief scene in the new series, Santa Claus (Tim Allen) jokes that “Saying ‘Merry Christmas to all’ has suddenly become problematic.”
That’s it. That’s the entire joke. But somehow, that was even too much for some to handle.
Seemingly proving Santa’s point, many leftists have had an angered reaction to the joke.
“Remember when Disney cancelled Tim Allen from being Buzz Lightyear? They shoulda [sic] cancelled him from being Santa too,” one user wrote.
“He has to shove his boomer conservative politics down our throats,” another tweeted.
Many other users acted like there has been no concerted effort in recent decades to phase out the phrase “Merry Christmas” in favor of other, supposedly more inclusive well-wishes.
Except there has been.
At the University of Maine, administrators sent an email to faculty and staff informing that there was not to be any decorations in “any public areas with Christmas or any other religious themed decorations. Winter holiday decorations are fine but we need to not display any decorations that could be perceived as religious.”
“This includes xmas trees, wreaths, xmas presents, menorahs, candy canes, etc.,” the email stated, intentionally removing the name of “Christ” from “Christmas.”
And how about when the town of Bethlehem, New York removed the sign “Merry Christmas” from town property over fears it violated the U.S. Constitution. Lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom got involved and wrote a letter to the town, informing them that displaying the sign is allowed under the law.
According to James S. Robbins, a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors and author of the book Erasing America, “The use of ‘Happy Holidays’ spread in the late 20th century as a way for retailers to greet customers without fear of offending those who might not celebrate Christmas.”
So yes, just as there has been an effort to remove sectarian prayer in public schools, there has also been an effort to remove the phrase “Merry Christmas” from polite discourse.
It’s ok to point that out, and if you’re a comedian, to poke fun at it.
A memo to those upset with Santa Claus: Tim Allen is a comedian – and comedians make jokes. It’s in their job description.
As the season of Advent begins, and as we begin to say, “Merry Christmas,” we reflect on both Christ’s birth and his second coming.
Check out Focus on the Family’s recent broadcast Celebrating Advent as a Family. In addition, you can sign up to receive weekly devotionals that focus on the themes of Advent, and to receive activities for your kids to help them learn more about Christ’s arrival. You can sign up by clicking here.
Related articles and resources:
Celebrating Advent as a Family
Photo from Reuters.