Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The War on Christmas

As millions of Americans gather with family and friends this week to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the mystery of the Incarnation, political conservatives hope you'll remember one important message:

Liberals are waging a War on Christmas!

Obviously, if your political and economic fortunes depend on preventing working folks from acting to better their own lives, you need to come up with plenty of things to keep them distracted. You can make elections about sex 'n guns; you can set poor whites against poor blacks and vice versa; and you can invent foreign threats from almost random Third World countries. But I guess every now and then you have to throw out some totally bizarre, freak-show fantasies--you know, just to mix things up.

Our friends at Fox News have been talking up a "War on Christmas," as part of a larger assault against Christianity itself, 
since at least 2004. Bill O'Reilly boldly casts himself as champion of the people, fighting to save the holiday against "the far left," "the loony left," "the Kool-Aid secular progressive ACLU America-haters." In 2004, O'Reilly began a recurring segment on his show called "Christmas Under Siege." In 2005, one of the other Fox crazies, John Gibson, published a book called, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.

The evidence offered that "liberals" are waging war against our favorite holiday usually falls into one of two categories: 1) Employees at retail stores saying "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," or 2) A small town somewhere deciding not to allow a religious display at a public building. That's the "war." 

I guess by now we are used to the manufactured, never-ending culture war, where big-money talking heads on TV dress up as everymen to take on a mostly mythical "liberal elite." Sometimes we should just laugh it off. But if we are really interested in "defending" Christianity against concerted attacks, let's focus on real stories of religious persecution instead of made-up ones. Let's change our dog-eat-dog culture, where we mask plain old greed as "success." Let's love our neighbors as ourselves, even when that involves resources and money. It's radical, but so is following Christ. 


X said...

RE: 1) Employees at retail stores saying "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas"

These assholes claiming there's a war on Christmas can't even fathom the fact that not everyone celebrates Christmas. You don't assume that everyone shopping at your store is Christian and blanket all customers with a "merry Christmas"! There are a lot of holidays around this time of year celebrated by a diverse population. Why not encompass them all with a more neutral "happy holidays"? Logically, it would be better for business. But then you have this group of people who believe America is a unified Christian establishment which is being invaded by foreign "third world", inferior religions. These people are brainwashed with a warped sense of the world. It's in their cognitive DNA.

Scott said...

I was under the assumption that since we elected a Muslim for president, we Christians lost the war on Christmas.

Amy said...

LOL Scott! I for one am a committed "Merry Christmas" sayer. But I don't get all bent out of shape when someone says "Happy Holidays". Can we all get over ourselves, please, and take a Christmas chill pill? (Or a holiday/seasonal chill pill.)

I say Amen, Dave! I so agree. There is so many more real and valid assaults on Christians and Christianity in the world today. I don't think Jesus is threatened by some courthouse not putting a Nativity scene on their front steps. Let's keep the spirit of what He came for alive, not just the plastic baby in a manger.

Camp Papa said...

The whole idea of a "war on Christmas" is as big a red herring as "protecting the sanctity" of marriage. When you can be married by a notary public, we are no longer talking about sanctity, and when celebrating the birth of our Lord becomes a function of municipal government the real meaning of the Incarnation is guranteed to be lost. My prescription for the celebration of the birth of Christ is to confound the conservatives by taking Jesus seriously. Love your neighbor and understand the implication of doing so.

Amy said...

Yes!! But I'll add, for fairness' sake, that "conservatives" are not a monolithic bloc, and I know many who do just that. But I hear what you're sayin'.


Mark said...

It's not liberals are destroying Christmas that I'm worried about. There isn't anything left to destroy.





or anything here:


Better Than Machines said...

Amy, I've been poppin' Christmas chill pills all day! Santa anticipation is killing me.

X said...