Monday, December 12, 2005

Guest Blog: The War Over Christmas

Of all the bologna propogated by right-wing bloviators, none is sillier than their contention that there is a war being waged in the U.S. between soulless left-wing athiests against Christians over the very heart and soul of Christmas. My son, Cassidy Mullen, who blogs at and like his old man has a strong opinion or two about things, sees through all the tinsel in this perceptive essay:

When it comes to Christmas, a holiday that I celebrate, a lot of people are angry. The gist of these people's arguments is that Christmas is being slowly destroyed by what has to be some hidden liberal agenda that Michael Moore is directing.

That has to be it?

But all kidding aside, that essentially is the argument you keep hearing more and more. Whether it is Bill O'Reilly lying about footage from the Daily Show that would somehow prove that there is, well, something going on, or a half-wit writing a letter to the editor claiming that the Christian people of the world are under assault when she probably has never met someone of a different cloth her whole life, these arguments are all the same. How? They are all from the same side.

Seriously, has there been one major figure (no silly fringe groups, please) who has said something akin to, "Yes, I think we should get rid of 'Merry Christmas' in all shapes and forms because Christ is evil and I want all mention of his name erased?"

Of course not; there is no "War on Christmas." It's a war with no enemy. It's just another example of those on the right wing attempting to "fight back" against an non-existent enemy. Just like the idea that the left wants to turn all of your kids into gays and that people like me want to get rid of religion. It's just not true. But the 'wingers don't care. So long as it helps get them those few extra votes from people that they scare just enough, they will keep doing it. Pretty soon there will be a "War on Easter."

Returning to the present, isn't Christmas a religious holiday anyway? I'm no biblical scholar, but I don't think there was any mention of the purchase of an iPod at Best Buy in the Bible. So why is anyone mad at all about some kid at the register angry about getting a "Happy Holidays?"

A few reasons:

(1.) Like I said before, one of the right's most perverse (and successful) strategies is to scare people to their side. These people always think they are under attack about something, whether it is gays, guns, religion, big government, evolution, or who knows what the f*ck they'll come up with next. People see O'Riley on TV and think, "you know, there is a war on Christianity!" And the dominoes begin to fall from there.

(2.) A lot of people probably see this whole "Happy Holidays" thing as a result of the country becoming less devout. (Notice I didn't use that favorite talking-point of the right, "secular.") Most of these people go to church every week, but they don't like the present trend of "part-time Christians." They don't really like that these people never show up to church save Christmas and Easter, but still celebrate Christmas. And I can kind of see where they are coming from. I used to date someone who showed up to church maybe five times a year but still wanted me to become a Catholic. I thought of this as pretty ridiculous, so, yeah, I can see where these people might have a grievance.

However, they are not mad because of some fake "War on Christmas." Please notice the difference.

I would also like to add that Christmas more or less is becoming an American holiday. Not that Christmas should be celebrated by everyone, but that a lot of people who never go to church celebrate it because, well, it's the only federal holiday that is also religious.

(3.) No one likes to be inclusive. It's human nature. You have to learn to be inclusive; basically make it a habit.

With that, I'd like to leave you with a quote from Jon Stewart, during his response to O'Reilly's idiocy:

"Mr. O'Reilly also objects, obviously, to the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" as anti-Christian, although, for some people, there is also a -- a celebration of the New Year. So Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays, so there is a plural, which in the English language necessitates the use of the letter "s." Now, I suppose you could say "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year," but you probably have (expletive) to do.

No comments: