Friday, December 09, 2005

The War on Yule - er, Christmas

A book titled "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse Than You Thought", authored by Fox News anchor John Gibson, recently hit the shelves. The "War on Christmas" is one of the latest rallying points by fundies hoping to further the culture wars. They claim that Jesus is being removed from His own holiday. Never mind that it wasn't a Christian holiday to start with. History isn't important here; the persecution of American Christians is.

The fundamentalists are so 'offended' by inclusive greetings that they've even criticized their usual darling, George W. Bush. Dubya recently received widespread criticism from previous backers by daring to mail out cards that wished recipients a happy 'holiday season'. If it doesn't say 'Christmas', it must be anti-Christian, right?

I am a liberal. I don't mind being wished a 'Merry Christmas'. Most well-wishers are simply expressing a hope that I be happy, hardly something to complain about. It's the people who say "Merry Kee-RIGH-st-mas" who get a "Joyous Yule" or "Happy Hanukkah" from me (don't say the latter if you're wearing a pentagram; they really will assume you're Jewish). These people aren't really wishing you a happy anything, they're making an assertion in disguise. I just make one back, which usually ends the transaction. I suspect most liberals feel the same way.

I think it's pretty hypocritical, though, for large fundamentalist churches to complain about a liberal "War on Christmas" when many of them will be closing their doors on Christmas Sunday. They claim that this is so worshippers, including their employees, can have 'family time' on this day, but I think I know the real reason: the kids will screech if they have to wait to open their toys.

This sends a really bad message to those kids. Johnny, forget learning how to delay gratification (a sadly missing skill in our society). Susie, never mind what I said about the spiritual being more important than the material (a cornerstone of Xian thought). Timmy, playing with your new Lazer Tag is much more important than going to another kid's birthday party, even if He did save you from the lake of fire.

Who's really taking the "Christ" out of "Christ"-mas this year?

Sarah G


At 6:42 PM, Blogger Wanderer said...

Unfortunately, this book neither presents a new idea, nor is it the first book to present this one.
We've been stealing christmas for a long time.

I am in agreement with you. The occasional "Merry Christmas" doesn't bother me. People make assumptions. You get over it.

It is interesting you bring up this church closing thing. The various fundamentalist and other Christian blogs I visit have tossed this one around a lot this week. The way they justify or argue this point amongst each other is quite something.

So we get accused of stealing their holiday. Don't even worry about the facts on this one. Just look. The average non-threatening Christian is ignoring this debate. Then again, they are the ones that leave us alone.

As for the fundies, they are tearing each other apart over this issue, just like so many other issues they draw their knives for.

Take a seat and relax. The fundies are killing themselves. What's left are a bunch of different paths who aren't bothering each other.

Fundies that aren't in politics are just funny. Those that are we need to be wary of, but these books and backroom debates are only loosely associated with that set.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Cincy Diva said...

to steal a phrase from the Christians...

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Wanderer said...

Thank you. In truth, AMEN translates roughly to "So be it." Not so far from a "So mote it be." Our traditions appear to have stolen so much from each other that neither side could press charges at this point. In truth, societal structures created much of the base for both camps, and such both sides merely steal from history with hefty flavoring from the Deity. (Who no doubt laughs until she has tears in her eyes at how seriously some people take some of the most trivial arguments.)


At 7:15 PM, Blogger dystopia productions said...

I think it's a good commentary. I mean, the religious right is saying Christmas is a Pagan Holiday like it's a bad thing. But you're right Sarah. It started out as a Pagan religion and if they [the religious right] refuse to believe it, let them. They have to see the light or either have a hex cast on them.

So Mote It Be.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Wanderer said...

It might just be me, but don't you think that comments about hexing people who don't agree with us might actually lead to the fear and/or inability to take us seriously that causes a lot of the division between these groups? The same division that leads to these pointless little "wars" about terminology and traditional roots?


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