For years now they've been emphasizing that the salvation of America lies in faith based values against the forces of "secular fundamentalism" and "anti-religious bigotry." They've been part of organizations pushing for prayer in schools, suing any town or municipality or school that barred Christmas trees and fighting for what they said was our Judeo-Christian heritage.
When a Rabbi pushed to have a Menorah added at the Seattle-Tacoma airport, the airport responded by removing the Christmas trees. Sounds like a straightforward case of fighting for our Judeo-Christian heritage. After all a Menorah shows up in the bible by God's command. The Book of Maccabees was included in many versions of the Christian bible. It should be pretty hard for a Christian to find it offensive. Chanukah celebrates the victory of faith over secularism. You expect a joint press conference with Christian leaders backing Rabbi Bogomilsky's desire to see a celebration of religion in the public square and demanding the restoration of the trees along with a menorah.
Come on Virginia, you're not that naive?
Bill O'Reilly, to his credit, took that approach but for the most part the reaction was to vilify the Rabbi for trying to destroy Christmas and America's "traditional values" which apparently rely on having Christmas trees in airports, but couldn't possibly survive having a Menorah there.
Christian columnists and blogs vilified the "easily offended", but the Rabbi wasn't the one offended. He wanted to add a religious symbol. It's the people condemning him who are the ones easily offended.
Then came the "If we add a menorah then where do we draw the line" approach. If we add a menorah, so the argument goes, we'll have to add the symbols of every single religion including the Church of Satan. Clearly opening the door for Judaism opens the door for the Church of Satan and who can tell the difference between the two anyway.
There's only so many religions that have December holidays and only one was applying to have a religious symbol added to the airport. More to the point haven't Christians been constantly assuring us that Judaism was in a whole other category? That we were all part of a common Judeo-Christian heritage. Apparently that was great when we were putting up the Christmas trees, but when it's time to put up the Menorah then we're right out there with the Church of Satan.
Then there's the "he shouldn't have threatened a lawsuit" line. It's perfectly okay when the Pat Robertson run American Center for Law and Justice actually sues and boycotts malls and municipalities in order to defend religious symbols. But heaven help a Rabbi who does it. He's suddenly the bully beating up on the helpless entity of the Seattle-Tacoma airport.
Finally there's the "A Christmas tree is a secular symbol but a Menorah is a religious symbol" one. First of all if a Christmas tree is truly a secular symbol then why are Christian organizations fighting so hard for them in the name of faith based values and religious freedom? The same people who claim Christmas trees are a secular symbol, get outraged by political correctness if they're called "Holiday Trees." The difference of course is Christ, as in Jesus or Christianity.
The Christmas tree is part of the celebration of Christmas which is the celebration of Jesus' birth. It's a custom that became part of a religious holiday, making it religious. The irony is that the very same people who object to the encroaching forces of secularism on Christmas, are happy enough to redefine some elements of Christmas as secular if it gets them under the fence.
The Menorah commemorates G-d's miracle in Chanukah. It is a festival of thanksgiving and as such it is more akin to the American Thanksgiving. Christmas by contrast celebrates the birth of Jesus and represents the wellspring of Christianity.
If the goal is to resist secularism by emphasizing the symbols of our common Judeo-Christian heritage, then Christian groups should be united in pushing for the return of both the Christmas trees and the Menorah. If it's not, then the fraud that it's a common Judeo-Christian struggle against secularism, rather than a Christian struggle for the supremacy of Christianity and Christian symbols in public places aided by some Jews is made very crystal clear.