I love Christmas, but the wingnuts are really bringing out the Grinch in me. If I have to read one more article about how Christians are being persecuted by stores wishing them “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” I might just convert to Hinduism and call it a day.
First, why is it offensive to include all the winter holidays in a single greeting, when you’re trying to sell goods to a wide range of consumers? You don’t see Jews getting all pissy about the lack of “Happy Hanukkah” signs at Walgreen’s, or Hindus complaining that there aren’t enough Diwali greetings when they walk into Target. Perhaps this is because, as religious minorities, they recognize that people with different belief systems exist in this country, and including them all under the banner of “Happy Holidays” is the most logical way to go. Why purposely exclude particular groups by only recognizing Christian holidays?
Second, for all the bitching about “putting Christ back in Christmas,” perhaps these religious extremists would be better suited to trying to eliminate Santa Claus or Christmas trees or other secular Christmas symbols. Perhaps they should try and figure out when Jesus was actually born, and change the day we celebrate — after all, we all know that December 25th was chosen as a way to have the Christian holiday line up with Pagan celebrations, to make conversion easier. Or how about rallying against the consumerism that Christmas is so fraught with? Last time I read the Bible, there was no point where God said, “My son is born, now go forth and buy stuff.” If you want to complain about secularization and taking Christ out of Christmas, start with Santa Claus and FAO Schwarz.
Third, with all the problems in the world, wingnut Christians are focusing on this? As Jeremy Cohen wrote in his Times op/ed today:
This campaign – which is being hyped on Fox and conservative talk radio – is an odd one. Christmas remains ubiquitous, and with its celebrators in control of the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and every state supreme court and legislature, it hardly lacks for powerful supporters. There is also something perverse, when Christians are being jailed for discussing the Bible in Saudi Arabia and slaughtered in Sudan, about spending so much energy on stores that sell “holiday trees.”
But what about “traditional values” and Christmas being an integral part of America? Yup, wrong.
The vast majority of schools and businesses close for Christmas. Christmas themes and decorations (Santa, Christmas trees, green and red) are everywhere. Christmas music plays in most department stores. There is no war on Christmas. But these godbags are making me embarassed to be celebrating it.
However, there does seem to be a war on women’s health, led by zealot pharmacists. Trying to get birth control pills? Uh uh. Female sexuality is evil. Want your herpes medicine? Sorry, no can do — God is punishing you for your sins. But it’s the Christian pharmacists who are the victims when they’re told to do their jobs. Gotta love the logic here.
Also, Grady Hendrix is clearly a Christian persecutor for writing this article, which is a wee bit critical of the “Left Behind” movies. Hilarious. Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: World O’Crap also makes the baby Jesus cry. And they are way funnier than I’ll ever be. My favorite part: In response to an Agape Press columnist offering a free Christmas ad that reads, “If this is only the ‘Holiday Season,’ if this is not ‘Christmas,’ then you do not have a Savior! Merry Christmas!”, WOC says:
Not bad. But I think I can come up with something even more offensive. How about, “If you think this is only the ‘Holiday Season,’ then you can eat crap and die! Merry Christmas, you unsaved bastard!”
Also, taking Jesus out of Christmas is right up there with the homos, the cloners and the baby-killers in causing the Asian tsunami.
UPDATE 2: It’s Hitchens v. Christmas on Scarborough Country. Hi-larious. He refers to Jerry Falwell “the fat-faced revered,”and tells Joe Scarborough that he has no interest in hearing him speak (“I came here to talk, not to listen to you. You invited me on for my opinions, not to listen to yours.”). Money quote:
HITCHENS: … as in Washington, D.C., there are large numbers of public buildings, lavishly financed, usually, in fact, invariably, tax exempt, sometimes even government subsidized by the—what do we call it, faith-based program.
They are called churches. People can go there if they want to have religious ceremony. They can put up hoardings on their land which say it’s Jesus’ birthday or Christ has risen, if it’s Easter, anything like that. You can’t stop them. They do it all the time, and they are very welcome.
I would like, however, to be able to go to Union Station and not be told that I am a Christian over the loud speaker all the time, or, indeed, to Wal-Mart or Target or 7/Eleven and not have an incessant one-party state month of permanent Christian music and propaganda. I think that’s annoying and offensive, and also […] I promise only one thing. I promise you, I would say that if I was a Christian. I am not. But if I was one, I would not want it imposed on other people. […] And certainly not in this ugly—not in this ugly, vulgar, boring way?
SCARBOROUGH: It’s ugly? What is ugly and vulgar and boring, Christmas trees?
HITCHENS: Don’t you find the tinsel and the incessant stuff on the radio and the TV, don’t you find it gets you down? Don’t you find it’s cheap and tinselly? I certainly do.