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The War on Christmas Is a Myth

The “War on Christmas” is a myth

Hello, everyone.

Well, this past Thursday (11/22/12) was Turkey Day, or Thanksgiving, if you must. So what’s next? As if you need a clue! Indeed, Daily Kos gives you a great clue. From today (11/24/12):

Yes! It’s that time of year—the time when all good Christians put up the lights, pick out a tree, and whine for a month and a half straight about how goddamn persecuted they’re going to be any minute now, just you wait. Pat Robertson, take it away:

‘It’s, well, Christmas all over again. The Grinch is trying to steal our holiday. It’s been so beautiful, the nation comes together, we sing Christmas carols, we give gifts to each other, we have lighted trees, and it’s just a beautiful thing. Atheists don’t like our happiness, they don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable, so they want you to be miserable. So they want to steal your holiday away from you.’”

Actually my greatest joy has come from the atheist community. The source of all of the grief I’ve known in my life has been the Evangelical community.

Yep, it’s time for the annual Evangelical whine about the so-called “War on Christmas.” Here is a sampling of comments from across the Net.

From Media Matters:

The Fake “War On Christmas” Campaign Begins

Research November 11, 2011 1:19 PM EST ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

This week, the right-wing media began its annual fake “War on Christmas” campaign, freaking out about a bogus Obama “Christmas tree tax.” Here’s what to expect from right-wing media during the next six weeks.

Here is an item from Alsip, Illinois:

Lawsuit threat means Alsip Christmas tradition gets crossed off

BY STEVE METSCH, Southtownstar.com

To avoid what could be a costly lawsuit, the village of Alsip will break with tradition and not erect a cross on its water tower near the Tri-State Tollway this holiday season.

The cross had been a fixture since the 1970s, Mayor Patrick Kitching said Monday. But after the Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., advised Kitching it would file a lawsuit demanding removal of the cross, citing separation of church and state, Kitching decided to not wage a losing and likely costly legal battle.

Other municipalities have been brought to suit regarding the very same issue and have lost. We have chosen not to waste taxpayer dollars to fight a losing battle in court.”

In Santa Monica, California, the city council passed an ordinance banning Xmas displays of any type from public land. A website called Laist posted an article about the ban. Here are some responses from the comment section of the blog, to an obvious Christian’s response to a non-believer’s comment:

Mbouffant says: “No, a victory for the First Amendment & the Constitution. If the 13 area churches want nativity scenes, they no doubt have plenty of tax-free property they can display them on to their hearts’ content.”

Pj Crepeau says: “If you don’t like the ruling, Erik, you can beg your magical, invisible friend to make everything better with his special poofy powers.

Or you can just cry to mommy.”

My Ocean says: “How is prohibiting religion on state land “intolerance and bigotry”? Again, there’s no state religion, so no religious scenes should be on state land. There’s plenty of private land where one can put their nativity scenes.”

I can say from my own experience that Erik’s magical, invisible friend may indeed have poofy powers, but those poofy powers do NOT include the ability to heal anyone with an eyesight problem.

On the “Examiner.com” website, which I believe is located in San Francisco, there is this:

The American Family Association (AFA)released its’ 2012 “Naughty or Nice List” Monday, which ranks national retail companies’ efforts to promote the true spirit of Christmas. 14 companies have been cited as being “naughty” for refusing to use the word “Christmas” or its symbols in any of its advertising or promotions. Among the companies that refuse to acknowledge Christmas are Barnes and Noble, Family Dollar, The Gap, Old Navy, and Radio Shack.

Three of the companies have been so stridently anti-Christmas – The Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic – that AFA is recommending a two month boycott to protest their position on the use of “Christmas.” All three companies are owned by the same San Francisco-based Gap, Inc.”

Now just what WAS it that Paul said in I Corinthians 13? Oh! Oh yes! I remember now. Verse 11: “…but when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”

From AlterNet, there is this:

‘War on Christmas’ Nonsense is a War on Secularists

Beneath the laughable charge is a poisonous suggestion that ‘our way of life’ is threatened by foreigners.”

That is a lot of it. And yet, the vast majority of these “foreigners” are from CATHOLIC countries. And Catholics are VERY deep into this “Jesus” jazz.

And finally, also from the Examiner.com website, we have this:

The “War on Christmas” is a myth.

NOVEMBER 28, 2011

BY WILLIAM HAMBY

There is, of course, no such thing as the “War on Christmas.” There is, however, an outcry against favoritism, and retailers have recognized the value of inclusiveness. When the stock boy at Best Buy says “Happy Holidays,” he is reflecting a corporate strategy of appealing to the largest demographic possible.

Oh, sure. There are the occasional internet campaigns and billboard ads calling attention to the Pagan origins of Christmas. (That’s all true. There’s hardly anything Christians didn’t borrow from older traditions.) And sometimes, there are actions by non-believers to try to remove Christian symbols from public and government space. As far as these actions go, there is certainly a non-Christian element that advocates for keeping the religious aspects of the holiday season personal and private….”

And so on.

Now WHAT exactly IS this stupid, moronic “War on Christmas” crap about, anyway? Basically, it is about two things – the Evangelicals’ insistance on putting their nativity scenes on public land, and the opposition to using the phrases “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” in place of “Merry Christmas!” That’s all it comes down to. We will examine each of them now.

First, “Happy Holidays.” I have heard this term throughout my life. When I was a boy, I usually presumed it to mean the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Back then, Evangelicals were pretty neat people. They weren’t as mean, vicious, vindictive, angry, full of hate, and toxic like they are now. We all said “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings,” and no one wanted to consign us to Hell. We simply celebrated “Jesus’” birthday with the understanding that others didn’t believe the way that we did. And that was OK.

But just try that now! The Evangelicals will carve you on a platter if you do!

And what about the “Holidays” in “Happy Holidays?” They still include The Three. But there are others that are celebrated in the same stretch of time. There is Hanukkah, which is celebrated by the Jews. There is Kwanzaa, which is celebrated by the Blacks. And there is Yule, a winter solstice holiday celebrated by Wiccans and Pagans. So from the fourth Thursday in November until January 2, there are SIX holidays that are celebrated! And some churches celebrate Epiphany on January 6 instead of Christmas.

So which holiday is legitimate? ALL OF THEM ARE!! Thanksgiving is a holiday established by presidential declaration. Christmas is the date when we celebrate the birth of Jesus and a variety of other virgin-born, killed-and-resurrected “saviors.” New Years celebrates the start of a new calendar year. Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E. It is also called the Festival of Lights. Kwanzaa celebrates the principles of Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. And Yule is celebrated as the birth – or resurrection – of the sun after the three days after the winter solstice, when the sun begins its journey north in the sky.

Gosh, that business about “resurrection after three days’ burial” sure has a familiar ring about it!!

So with all six of the holidays being legitimate, what is so special about Christmas that it should take precedence over the others? Not one single thing!! There is no special merit to be found in Christmas that is not found in the other holidays. Thanksgiving is unique to the US. Every country celebrates the start of the new year in its own way. Hanukkah belongs to the Jews. Kwanzaa in essence belongs to the Blacks. And Yule is the property of the Wiccans and neopagans. There is not one thing that makes Christmas stand out above the rest of them.

Second, there is the matter of “a nativity scene on every corner.” Two of the commenters regarding the situation in Santa Monica said it well:

Mbouffant says: “No, a victory for the First Amendment & the Constitution. If the 13 area churches want nativity scenes, they no doubt have plenty of tax-free property they can display them on to their hearts’ content.”

My Ocean says: “How is prohibiting religion on state land “intolerance and bigotry”? Again, there’s no state religion, so no religious scenes should be on state land. There’s plenty of private land where one can put their nativity scenes.”

Both gentlemen are absolutely right. I have no problem with churches setting up manger scenes on their lawns, in their parking lots, or in their sanctuaries. However, doing so on public land is a totally different matter. Do churches pay taxes? No – at least not on the portions of property that are used for worship and education. That being the case, what gives them the right to take over public land and demand that their displays be the only ones allowed? Nothing that I can find.

Back about 10 years ago, Carol and I watched the Parade of Lights in Denver on one of the local TV stations. It was a bitter cold night, and the TV commentators were bundled up like Eskimos. That day, several Evangelical churches had gone into court and sought an injunction forcing the removal of a display put up by the Freedom From Religion group on the lawn of the City and County Building – public land, in other words. One of the TV commentators made an extremely wise statement: “Given how cold it is out here tonight, those churches would be doing a far better – and more humanitarian – service if they would provide cups of hot coffee or hot chocolate to the crowd watching the parade, rather than going into court to deprive people of their constitutional right to freedom of speech.” How true, and how wise.

So those of us who no longer buy into the yarn about Erik’s magical invisible friend can pop up a bag or 2 of Act II popcorn, unscrew the cap of a 2-liter of Coke, and sit back and enjoy the fun while the Evangelicals waltz from court to court while striving to deprive people of the right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution..

In closing, possibly the best comment that could be made is this one:

Pj Crepeau says: “If you don’t like the ruling, Erik, you can beg your magical, invisible friend to make everything better with his special poofy powers.

Or you can just cry to mommy.”

How true indeed!!

Everyone have a great day today. And by the way, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Bill

 

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November 25, 2012 - Posted by | Miscellaneous, Religion | ,

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