Christianists Plan to Destroy Christmas

 Culture, Featured, Holidays, Religion, Right Wingnuts  Comments Off on Christianists Plan to Destroy Christmas
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.


Every Christmas, The Same Stupid Gripe

 Culture, General, Holidays, Religion, Right Wingnuts  Comments Off on Every Christmas, The Same Stupid Gripe
Dec 302007

I had planned on a slow work week leading up to the holiday, and had attempted to be somewhat ahead of the game when it came to preparing for the holidays, but it didn’t work out that way. For that reason, I never got around to really writing anything about the holiday, but I could not let pass without comment this whole “war on Christmas bullshit” that seems to crank up every year. An example is a commentary on CNN by some guy named Roland Martin. Obviously, he perceives some concerted attack on Christmas by…well, he’s never clear about that other than categorizing the enemies of Christmas as “politically correct idiots”.

Let’s see, there is an entire retail industry Dependant on the giving of gifts as part of Christmas. I’m no expert, but I don’t believe gift giving is a huge part of the December holiday observances of Muslims or Jews. Of course, the giving of gifts and the whole Santa thing is completely unrelated to supposed reason for celebrating Christmas, and to his credit, Martin points out that this should be curtailed.

But what is wrong with stores putting up Season’s Greetings signs. Good heavens, I’m sure they want to attract all the customers they can, not just Christian customers. And what’s wrong with my sending out cards that say Happy Holidays. Some of those go to Jewish friends and some to other non-Christian friends. As a member of humanity, I owe them the respect of not forcing my beliefs on them.

So to Mr. Martin (and Bill O’Reilley who thinks he single=handedly defeated the enemies of Christmas last year) and all the others with little else to do but conjure up some imagined war on Christmas, let me offer my point of view (as if you could stop me anyway).

First, the God I worship as a Christian does not really need me on the ramparts defending him or his son. He’s so much bigger than that. He created this infinite universe (through an evolutionary process by the way), so think my saying Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas most likely won’t have a very significant impact on him/her.

Second, and I’ve done some biblical study on this for a Sunday School class I taught, Jesus would most likely be appalled that we were “celebrating” him anyway. He never expected the focus to be on him, as he perceived himself as only the person a new message from God. Not to diminish the importance of Jesus as savior for those so inclined, but Jesus himself was clear that focus was on God, and not him.

Third, Martin and others always try to get themselves off the hook of bigotry by saying we should respect those non-Christians around us, but the in the same article seem to be saying that I should be wishing Jews, Muslims, Wiccans,, a Merry Christmas. I suspect he’d be offended if a Muslim friend wished him a Rousing Ramadan.

I use all the holiday greetings at various times, and try to be sensitive and respectful of the differences in the people around me. I owe them that. And despite being a Christian, I have the intelligence to be able to extrapolate the wishes offered by the store clerk who says “Happy Holidays” to mean they are wishing me a Merry Christmas, and the Jewish person behind a Happy Hanukkah all at the same time. It’s not a real stretch, and I have never ever felt my sensibilities threatened. I’m sorry the beliefs of Mr. Martin and the others are so weak they can’t go a day during December without being reminded it’s “Christmas” for Christians.

This Week's Stupid Is As Stupid Does

 Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on This Week's Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Dec 022005

It appears that, along with Bill O’Reilly, the Right Wingnut organization, American Family Association, is threatening boycotts and complaining because some companies are using "Happy Holidays" in their advertising instead of "Merry Christmas." I mean why should we acknowledge Hanukkah, after all Judaism isn’t a real religion. (Said rhetorically).

Get a grip. Here’s what I don’t understand. I could care less about whether or not someone says Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. I don’t go to the store to get grated. I do appreciate any greeting at all, but don’t care what it is so long as it is polite.

If these goof-balls really gave a shit about observing the holiday, the real issue would be forcing these stores to actually close in observance of the holiday so their employees can enjoy one day off each year. This has long been an issue with me. I mean really, is the U.S. economy in such dire straits that retail establishments can’t take two days out of 365 to be closed? (Thanksgiving Day and Christmas).

So, maybe I’m a bit of a wingnut too, but if this group wants me to support their boycott, make the issue something is meaningful.