The perceived wisdom is that the “War on Christmas” is merely a right-wing delusion and in general companies themselves are deciding to be more inclusive in celebrating the holidays rather than responding to complaints from anti-religious people who are offended by Christmas decorations.

It turns out Microsoft has proven that this was not the case, after responding to a complaint about adding a small Santa hat to VSCode, Microsoft’s open-source IDE.

The little hat can be seen below:

In case you have to squint to see the symbol of oppression, see it more clearly zoomed in.

VSCode user Christian-Schiffer complained:

The Santa Hat on vscode insiders and pushing of religion is very offensive to me, additionally xmas has cost millions of Jews their lives over the centuries, yet even if that was not the case, pushing religious symbols as part of a product update is completely unacceptable. Please remove it immediately and make it your top priority. To me this is almost equally offensive as a swastika.

Christian-Schiffer referred to an article on Sefaria listing the sins associated with Christmas which include:

  • Christmas has always been a holiday celebrated carelessly. For millennia, pagans, Christians, and even Jews have been swept away in the season’s festivities, and very few people ever pause to consider the celebration’s intrinsic meaning, history, or origins.
  • Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, a Christian god who came to rescue mankind from the “curse of the Torah.”
  • At its origin, Christmas is a 24-hour declaration that Judaism is no longer valid.
  • December 25 is a day on which Jews have been shamed, tortured, and murdered.
  • Many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents, and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of some extremely offensive and violent rituals

Microsoft responded to the complaint by saying:

@Christian-Schiffer we’re sorry we hurt your and other’s feelings. We’ll remote the Santa Hat.

Microsoft subsequently also removed what we presume to be complaints regarding the response from the thread.

While there is no denying religion has been and still are responsible for numerous ills all over the world, and individuals are fully in their right to demand their software be secular, the incident does prove that companies who may be otherwise inclined are under real pressure to not celebrate a holiday billions of people look forward to. I doubt Microsoft will make the same mistake next year.

In short, the war on Christmas appears to be very real.

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