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Hitler For The Holidays/I Was Wrong



About a decade ago, before he had invented a career and a brand for himself as a professional racist, I met Richard Spencer for a drink at a bar. He was home for the Christmas holiday in Dallas. Something I said, I don’t know what, indicated that I thought he was a Christian. He politely explained that he was not a Christian, that he, in fact, despised Christianity, and considered himself a Nietzschean.

He might want to rethink that, thanks to Vox’s (not alt-rightist Vox Day’s; Vox’s, as in, the Washington-based liberal site) helpful holiday explainer. Here is the headline:


And here is a key line:




Why, I bet Chip and Joanna Gaines have an Advent calendar hanging somewhere in their Berchtesgaden-on-the-Brazos!

Honestly, these people. Honestly. They can’t help themselves, can they?

UPDATE: Let me be clear that the overall article is quite informative and perfectly fine. The point I’m trying to make clear is that the writer and her editors thought inserting the Third Reich reference was somehow sensible, or even relevant, to telling a story about the Advent calendar. It is a very small thing that tells a much larger story.

UPDATE.2: A reader comments:

The author of the Vox article is a Christian who also teaches at The King’s College in NYC, which last I checked, is not an SJW hothouse. She’s a fine writer who used to work for Christianity Today. Whether people like the piece or not, please let’s put the pitchforks down.

UPDATE.3: Another reader says this post is unfair to the writer:

Just an FYI, I’ve known the author for some time. She’s an orthodox (small o) Christian who teaches at King’s College and writes for Christianity Today. I can assure you, she is not anti-Christian. I understand why the line above is creating a kerfuffle, but this is one of those cases where I think unclear editing is the culprit, not anti-Christian sentiment. Read the whole piece. It’s actually quite interesting and well informed, despite the line above.

That makes sense.

UPDATE.4: These comments made me re-read the entire Vox piece, and I have to confess, with considerable embarrassment, that I jumped the gun on it. In context, the Third Reich line is not out of place, as the author explains earlier in the essay that the Nazis tried to co-opt the Advent calendar for their own illegitimate, un-Christian purposes. My knee jerked on first reading, and I inaccurately and unkindly mischaracterized the Vox piece, based on a too-quick reading, in addition to my own biases. I would like to take the whole piece down, but I am leaving it up to show how I am at times guilty of the same faults I find in my opponents. I didn’t name the writer of the piece, but her name is Alissa Wilkinson. I offer her, and Vox, my sincere apology. I thank you readers for pointing out my error.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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