It's a seasonal tradition, as predictable as wreaths and reindeer: Social conservatives accuse the news media, government, public schools and culture in general of waging a "war on Christmas." (One act of aggression they like to cite: Saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas.")
Presidential candidate Rick Perry contemplates a bigger battleground, a war not just against Christmas but against religion — and its field marshal is President Obama. In a television ad airing in Iowa, the Texas governor says: "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian. But you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I'll end Obama's war on religion. And I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage…"
This is demagoguery. Contrary to public opinion, the Supreme Court has not banned children from praying in public schools. What is prohibited are state-sponsored prayers or Bible readings — a perfectly reasonable ban given the requirements of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. And there is no reason to juxtapose gays serving openly in the military with the issue of whether children can pray in schools. The offensive implication is that equality for gays in the military is somehow anti-religious.