Wednesday, December 02, 2009

War on Christmas?

I have a friend on Facebook with whom I went to high school. She and I are very different politically, and today she sent me a virtual button that read 'You can say Merry Christmas to me.' I will admit I'm a bit testy this season, due to it being the first year since my mom passed away and all, but it did touch a nerve that has been getting increasingly more raw with every holiday season. I have nothing against Christmas. It gets me lots of time off, new toys, an excuse to visit family and friends, and I kinda like Christmas music. But what has been getting me more and more steamed is the conceit that some Christians have that they own December, and anyone saying 'Happy Holidays' is essentially saying 'fuck Christmas'. Well, a quick internet search shows that December is filled with non-Christmas holidays. Here are a few of them:
AIDS Awareness Day
Rosa Parks Day
International Day of Disabled Persons
Volunteer Day
St. Nicholas Day
Civil Aviation Day
Human Rights Day
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Ice Cream and Violins Day
St. Lucy Day
Bill of Rights Day
Forefathers' Day
Maritime Day
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
New Year's Eve

And that's not including the dozens, probably hundreds of state, county, and city level observances. So I ask you, Right Wing, which of these holidays threatens Christmas so? And before you tell me that the US was founded by Christians, which is a fact I do not dispute, these Christians were also slave owners and genocides, so does that mean we bring back the block and smallpox blankets? As I said, I have no problem with Christmas, and I have yet to either be upset by, or see anyone else get upset by the phrase 'Merry Christmas'. What I have seen people object to is the use of public funds for Christmas decorations but not for Hannuka or Kwanzaa, or any other holiday trappings and I can't say that I can find fault in that. Some Christians need to learn that you aren't the only people in this country, and 'Happy Holidays' is an expression of tolerance and inclusion. And while we're on the subject, December 25th was co-opted by the early church as Christmas because many of the earlier religions celebrated the solstice in late December, so they wisely adopted the holly, and evergreen tree, and yule log of those pagan rites into Christmas. Most historians believe, based on the Biblical texts, that Christ was born sometime around June, July, or August. So wish me a Merry Christmas if you wish, and I will smile and return the greeting. But if someone wishes you Happy Holidays, how's about you emulate your Lord and Saviour, and accept it as the heartfelt expression of inclusion and fellowship that it is. And trust me, Hannity, Limbaugh, Olberman and their ilk count on you to get all fired up by their rhetoric for no other reason than to boost ratings. There is no war on Christmas. There is only a war on common sense and freedom of religion.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Rick!
It was always my understanding that Jesus was a tolerant, cool, patient, "love you" kinda guy... so why wouldn't Christians who follow...Christ...want to do and be like him????

On a personal note...this season is gonna be a bitch, my friend.
Kyle's Mom passed two years ago and it still feels empty. Jsut hearing Elvis' Blue Christmas curts to the core.
But don't just try and get through it...feel what you feel (sadness is allowed Whitgar)...but attempt to make some fun...not every flippin minute...but just here and there...if not for your self, then for your family, it's okay to enjoy other things without her and maybe, just maybe, your Mom would enjoy hearing you laugh through the "time space continuum".

Anyway...get a monster dammit!

Anonymous said...

Well done, sir. This one is getting shared with my Sunday School class this week.

Here's how I handle the "nation founded by Christians" comment: You mean the Christians who were fleeing religious persecution at the hands of other Christians?
So, who do you represent, my fellow Christians? The persecutors or those who risked everything in the name of tolerance?

I only wish I could say that such questions are truly heard and taken to heart.

Marius said...

Kathy:Thanks, Boo. You make my eyes leak.

GAB: Feel free to take out the F-bomb if you wish. ;-)

Duke said...

AMEN! Brother!

flurrious said...

Now I want to find a "Happy Bill of Rights Day!" card to send to Hannity and Limbaugh. Preferably one that says, "It's not just the Second Amendment anymore!"

MEK said...

Great post Rick. Great comments too.

I personally don't accept any greeting unless they're accompanied by expensive gifts ;-)

Alysoun said...

PReach it, Brother!

Purple Pigeon said...

I think I'm going to stop all this Christmas nonsense altogether and focus my time and effort on celebrating Ice cream and Violin Day!

Marius said...

Well said, Pigey. We need buttons that just say HICVD! :-)

weathereye said...

We have Civil Aviation Day here in Canada, too, but we celebrate it earlier.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully stated, Marius!!!! And I agree whole-heartedly! Wish me Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza or anything you like. . . just do it with the love that this season is supposed to inspire and leave all that other "mess" elsewhere. And to all of you, I wish you very simply love, peace and joy, now and always.

blah said...

Right on...