Dec 252010
 

Each day brings even more astonishment at how low some people can go to make a buck or get their 15 minutes of fame. Certain Christianists seem hell-bent on creating a contrived “war on Christmas” where none exists all for the sake of either raising money, or making a name for themselves. And in the end, I fear it may destroy a wonderful and important time of the year.

First, I’m just frankly sick and tired of hearing the Christianists act as though they are the ever-aggrieved. Stop with the whining already. You’re in a country whose population identifies as 76% Christian. You are NOT an oppressed minority, but boy do you love to act like it. And even if you were, and you hate it so much, why do you feel it’s  OK to actually oppress real minorities?

And stop with the, “this is a Christian nation,” already. Quote after quote from the founding fathers make it clear they were working aggressively to keep religion and government separate for the good of both. Good heavens, you can’t, in reality, keep making the claim this country was founded by Christians. Certainly, within the group of founders and those who fought that first war for freedom there were Christians, but there were Deists, Atheists, Buddhists and Muslims.

And for crying out loud, stop commercializing Christmas, insisting on throwing it in the face of everyone else, and acting like everyone in this country is out to destroy your holiday. Christmas is a holiday, but be realistic about it. No credible scholar has any reason to believe that December 25 is the real day on which Jesus was born. From times long before the advent of Christianity there have been mid-winter festivals and holidays to give people hope for a better time. Early Christians realized they needed to be part of that, and created their own celebration about hope, and I’m glad they did. And now, instead of being about light coming into the world, the Christianists commercialize Christmas even more by insisting that retail outlets be sure to observe the holiday.

Christianists now launch an annual campaign insisting on businesses and everyone else in America participation in their holiday. In the end, the true meaning of the holiday is lost on everyone, and it no longer holds that special place on the calendar. It becomes just another excuse to create fear and hate, to keep the checks coming in. How cynical these people have become, and I fear, if they continue to be supported in these hateful exercises, Christmas will be lost to us all.
So please stop insisting that commercial businesses insert themselves into my holiday celebration. I’d prefer that businesses NOT insist on being a big part of my Christmas, and I believe these Christianists, who force their beliefs on others, do the holiday a disservice by insisting on its further commercialization. Christmas is NOT about the signs hung in Walmart, it’s about the hope a new birth.

I enjoy the stories of Christmas. They’re about hoping for no rational reason and then witnessing hope fulfilled. The mean miser of the town hates Christmas, has a few nightmares, and then wakes up to take care of those he once scorned. An embittered heart grows three sizes and that old Grinch finds the strength to put back all the presents, decorations and holiday dinners he had taken. Workaholics remember to come home. Friends show up for the lonely. The destitute get help. I enjoy that people try to have a merrier attitude, and act more friendly.

I love the music of Christmas. How can you not enjoy many of the songs I’ve posted here over the past few days. Those familiar songs and Carols bring that warm feeling of family and shared experience.

I love the attitudes most people have during the holidays. We are so often neglectful of others during the rest of the year, but somehow, this time of year brings out our better angels. We can be mean and spiteful in our rhetoric, and work to create division instead of working to come together, but once a year we celebrate hope. We celebrate peace. We celebrate doing right by each other, and then rather amazingly go out and attempt to do it.

So that’s the kind of Christmas I want. A holiday about hope, love, peace and light coming into the world, and I don’t care if you wish me Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or a gay Festivus. My feelings of hope and excitement are not diminished, and I don’t see you as a lesser person so long as your wishes are good tidings.

And that is my wish for you…GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY TO ALL PEOPLE, AND PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN.

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