Be prepared for a homosexual parody of Christmas when you take a stroll through Amsterdam these days. The Dutch city, the self-declared “gay capital of the world,” is holding its first “Pink Christmas Festival.”
From 18 until 28 December there is a ten-day “Christmas Festival” for homosexuals, including a “gay X-mas open-air market”, gay nativity scenes – featuring Baby Jesus with either two Josephs or two Marys – several gay gatherings, a “pink ice skating rink” (for travestites), and streets lined with pink Christmas trees.
The organizers, who also organize the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade each August, say they want to “increase the range of options for homosexual men and women during Christmas week when there is not much to do.” They intend to turn the event into an annual Pink Christmas Festival and expect that in the long run Pink Christmas will become even more popular than the August Gay Pride Parade, a floating Parade on barges and boats through the famous Amsterdam canals.
The Dutch Calvinist merchants, who built the canals in the 17th century to provide easy access to their warehouses, could never have imagined that their spoilt, affluent offspring would turn the city, which they made into the commercial hub and the capitalist center of the world, into the world’s showpiece of depravity. Today’s Amsterdammers hold nothing sacred of what their ancestors cared for, except money.
Pink Christmas, the organizers say, is also an attempt to “reclaim Amsterdam for gays” and to counter the rising intolerance in the city. Over the past years, assaults on homosexuals have occurred with increasing frequency. Though the parades, parties and festivals continue, homosexual couples who venture into the streets risk being beaten up or thrown into one of the canals.
While the homosexuals make a parody of Christmas, mocking the Christians with an open show of blasphemy during the holy season, it is not the Christians whom the homosexuals fear. Those who pretend that “religious people” are intolerant will find few examples among the remaining followers of Christ in Holland. The attacks on homosexuals are perpetrated by Muslim youths. The growing presence of Islam in the Dutch capital, which is already almost 20 per cent Muslim, has made life in the city less gay than it used to be.
Europe’s Christians, however, would be naïve to expect that the Muslims will have greater respect for Christmas nativity scenes. Radical Islamists want to ban them altogether. In an interview earlier this year Belgium’s Cardinal Godfried Danneels said that Christians may thank Muslims for the growing respect for God in present-day Europe, but the liberal Cardinal does not seem to understand that the God of Islam is not the God of Christianity.
In Antwerp, in Danneels’ own Belgium, the city authorities have decreed that public shools, even during the Christmas season, have to avoid all references to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The authorities do not want to upset the schools’ large population of Muslim kids. “Christmas should be a neutral event, not focused on one particular religion, but on enjoying food and drink together with friends and family,” the city officials wrote in a letter to the schools.
Even Christmas trees have been banned in Antwerp’s public schools. Last year a Muslim civil servant and trade union representative demanded that the city show “its commitment to complete neutrality by banning Christmas trees and Easter eggs” from public buildings and spaces. Christmas carols are not allowed as background music, let alone to be sung, during Antwerp’s traditional open-air Christmas market.
Like Amsterdam, Antwerp still tolerates the word “Christmas,” though. In Oxford, England, the city council has decided to ban the C-word and replace it with the term “Winter Light Festival.” This is done in order “to include all religious denominations.”
Meanwhile, Oxford University Press has removed other words associated with Christianity and British history from Britain’s leading dictionary for children, the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Words like “bishop,” “chapel,” “abbey,” “saint,” “monarch” and “empire” have been axed. The publisher claims the changes are made to “reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.”
What multifaith means was experienced by the non-Muslim children of a junior school in Nottingham which cancelled the traditional Christmas nativity play because it got in the way of the Muslim children celebrating the Islamic Eid festivities.
In Sarajevo, Bosnia, Christmas has been abolished in all the city’s kindergarten institutions. In order not to offend Muslims, even Christmas trees have been banned from the kindergarten premises. 43 percent of Bosnians are Muslims.
In Cologne, Germany, the windows of the Galeria Kaufhof department store no longer display traditional Christmas scenes. Instead, passers-by can marvel at Islamic scenes of mosques with minarets, desert abodes and puppets dressed like Arabs, including veiled women. Over 30% of Cologne’s inhabitants are Muslims.
In Europe, the war against Christmas is being waged on all fronts, with the institution under attack from two sides: from secularist fundamentalists, who turn it into a mockery with two Josephs (or two Marys) amidst pink Christmas trees, and from Muslim fundamentalists who tolerate no nativity scenes and no Christmas trees at all.
It is time for all men of good will to raise their banners and fight: for the family and the right of child to live and to be raised – like Jesus – by a father and a mother, instead of two fathers or two mothers; for green Christmas trees; for words and concepts like Christmas, bishop, chapel, abbey, monarch and empire; in short, for God, sanity and tradition.
This article was first published at Takimag.