The Army got a stern warning from a Defense Department representative recently. Avoid the word “Christmas” under all circumstances.
An equal opportunity officer delivered the message to leaders of the 158th Infantry Brigade at Mississippi’s Camp Shelby, according to Fox News.
An unidentified soldier attending the meeting said that when the subject of the upcoming Christmas football game was brought up, the officer immediately told the attendees that the word “Christmas” couldn’t be used.
“Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told Fox News. “Almost the entire room blew up. Everybody was frustrated. The equal opportunity rep told our commander that not everyone celebrates Christmas and we couldn’t say Christmas celebration. It had to be holiday celebration.”
When a brief, heated discussion on political correctness ensued, the equal opportunity officer said those weren’t her rules — they were the Army’s.
“She said an individual can say Christmas, but as an organization in the Army, you can’t say Christmas,” the soldier said.
The soldier has since hired a lawyer.
“It’s unbelievable that the Army would ban ‘Christmas’ like it’s a bad word,” said Michael Berry, an attorney with the Liberty Institute, a legal firm representing the soldier. “Are they going to have the ‘Merry Christmas’ police going around issuing citations to an soldier who slips and says the word? They’re treating Christmas like it’s pornography. As a matter of fact, the Army actually treats pornography better than it does Christmas.”
It’s not the first time Equal Opportunity officers have caused trouble at Camp Shelby. Earlier this year, I reported exclusively about a briefing at Camp Shelby that labeled the American Family Association as a domestic hate group.
After my story was published, the Secretary of the Army ordered military leaders to halt all briefings on extremist organizations that labeled Evangelical Christian ministries as domestic hate groups.
“Between the Air Force and the Army, it’s like they don’t like Christian values, they don’t like the word Christ or Christmas,” the soldier said. “They don’t like you talking about it.”
Until this gets all sorted out, the Department of Defense wishes everyone a very merry winter.