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Thank heavens Theresa May is finally standing up for Christmas ... I've heard nothing about it this year

By Mark Steel

Thank the Lord: Theresa May has spoken up in defence of Christmas, saying we can no longer tolerate a situation in which people are afraid to mention Christmas in the office.

For too long, brave Christmas rebels have been forced to crawl behind the coffee machine to whisper "tinsel" as an act of defiance, like dissidents in Soviet Russia. Paratroopers swoop across buildings on zip-wires to break into offices and put a tiny Christmas tree outside the toilet. When the managers see it the next morning, they immediately torch it with a flame-thrower, so as not to offend Zen Buddhists. But it's a symbolic victory for Christmas, and that's what really matters.

She's right that we daren't seem to mention Christmas anymore. All the adverts now say: "This year, give your family the treat they deserve for Pagan Solstice dinner and make it a Midwinter Celebration of Darkness as the Earth Tilts to its Optimum Angle from the Sun creating Minimum Daylight they'll always remember with Jacobs Cream Crackers."

How many workplaces in December ever play Christmas songs? In every shopping centre they're blaring out Kendrick Lamar and Tibetan chanting. If you want to hear Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade, or I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day by Wizzard, you have to tune into BBC 6 Music's Noel Hour at 2am, or visit an underground Christmas music club in Berlin.

The report the Prime Minister praised, which claimed that too many politically correct employers are victimising Christians, was issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The Daily Mail and The Sun published a large section of the report.

Isn't that typical of these whinging, do-gooding papers, which rush to endorse anything that the so-called "equality and human rights" lobby dreams up.

The report singles out workplaces that "fail to celebrate Christmas for fear of offending other staff". This is so true. Go into Starbucks and the staff wear absolutely no reindeer antlers, or Christmas jumpers with Christmas puddings, or any symbol of Christmas at all, during the first two weeks in August. It's probably because they're scared of upsetting Hindus.

And in most supermarkets you can barely spot the word Christmas this month - apart from across the outside and the inside, and over hoardings and boards, and on signs over the pot plants saying, "This year beat the Christmas rush on pot plants with our Christmas Away in a Hydrangea Christmas special Christmas offer".

The report went on to explain that employers are "victimising Christians", according to the Mail, by "deriding Government departments and town halls that use messages such as "Season's Greetings" on cards, instead of "Happy Christmas".

We've seen some awful examples of victimisation against Christians over the centuries, but even the Romans wouldn't have gone that far.

That's why we all know the verse in the book of Matthew that starts: "Pontius Pilate did wash his hands and look unto the greeting that lay upon the inside of the card. And he did say unto the crowd 'It sayeth not the word Christmas. You've gone too far this time'. And, from then on, he did draweth the line at crucifixions".

Go into most offices these days on Christmas Day, and there's barely any sign that it's Christmas at all - apart from the fact it's shut and there's no one there. And that's probably because all the Christians have been chased away by jihadists.

Conservative MP Fiona Bruce explained how bad the situation is, with Christians being "fearful" to mention their religion. This is why we should be grateful to heroic freedom fighters such as the people who make Songs of Praise. Every week, like the French Resistance, they risk their lives to broadcast their message to lift the spirits of those who are too terrified to say "Christmas" in public.

Even where Christianity is permitted, Christian children are forced to sing hymns with lines such as "Sun and moon bow down before him", which is disgracefully disrespectful, suggesting stars and comets and other bits of space don't bow, or even curtsey, before God, probably because they don't want to offend the Sikhs.

The Prime Minister finished her comments by saying: "I'm sure we all want to ensure people at work are able to speak quite freely about Christmas." This is the type of stirring rhetoric we expect from a leader, and next week she'll probably go even further and proclaim, "And let me tell you this: Christmas means Christmas."

Because, this year at last, we have a Prime Minister who won't tolerate the persecution of people who speak freely about Christmas.

For too long we've seen armed police bash down doors in a library, or a branch of Kwik-Fit, and drag someone away in a van because they've been overheard saying "We had a goose this year instead of a turkey, by way of a change."

The time has come when we should be able to say "I fell asleep after The Chase Christmas Special" without being in fear of our lives.

"Christians have lost their jobs due to their faith", the report says, and there are too many incidents of this, in which you hear someone was sacked for saying, "The Lord Jesus Christ our saviour came into this earth to die for our sins, born of a virgin in Bethlehem, hallelujah", because they're a bingo-caller and say it before each number.

So, while some people have mourned the death of Castro as a fighter for liberation of the peasants of Cuba, Theresa May, bless her, is prepared to be the Christian's Fidel and, finally, make Christmas free.

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