Home Christian News Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s Plot To Ruin Christmas, and America

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s Plot To Ruin Christmas, and America

Andrew Torba
Andrew Torba in a 2018 interview. (Video screen grab via Youtube/PAHomepage)

(RNS) — Andrew Torba, an ultraconservative web commentator, turned on the radio a few weeks ago and discovered a secret war on Christmas.

Not the one fought by “libs” on the sides of Starbucks cups or in city buses’ destination displays reading “Happy Holidays,” but by Rudolph, Frosty and a few mostly deceased Jewish songwriters.

In a Nov. 21 episode of his “Parallel Christian Society Podcast,” Torba, founder of the alt-right social media platform Gab and co-author of “Christian Nationalism: A Biblical Guide For Taking Dominion and Discipling Nations,” expressed his dismay at learning that many popular Christmas songs were written by American Jews.

Drawing mainly from a review of “A Kosher Christmas” in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz dating to 2012, Torba recounted how many of the season’s most popular songs — “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Let it Snow” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” to name a few —were written by Jews.

Those songs, Torba claimed, were part of a conspiracy to kick Christ out of Christmas that turned a celebration of the birth of Jesus into a winter holiday with room for Jews. “Knowing this, how could you allow your household to be filled with this music?” Tobra asked his listeners.

Torba’s suspicions were also raised when he found that, along with ruining Christmas, Jews in America celebrate Hanukkah and that American presidents have acknowledged that Jewish holiday.

Wow, incredible, incredible, how this happened,” he said. “In a Christian nation, it takes this relatively minor Jewish holiday and turns it into this prominent holiday that is celebrated in our White House. Isn’t that something?”

Asked about his podcast, Torba cited the Haaretz article, which quoted the late American novelist Philip Roth describing “White Christmas” as a song that took Christ out of Christmas.

“People who hate and reject Jesus Christ, and whose faith and identity centers around that rejection, wrote subversive songs to ‘de-Christ’ Christmas,” he said in an email. “This is a problem and Christians deserve to know about it so they can adjust their listening habits during the Christmas season accordingly.”

Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, suggested Christian nationalists such as Torba might want to do a little reading about American history. Firstly, he pointed out, Christmas was not really a part of America’s founding. “The Puritans were opposed to Christmas,” Sarna said.

In 1659, leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony approved the “Penalty for Keeping Christmas,” which imposed fines on those who feasted or refused to work on the holiday. It wasn’t until German immigrants brought Santa Claus, Christmas trees and songs like “Silent Night” with them that Americans took up Christmas with gusto. (Christmas Day itself did not become a federal holiday until 1870.)