Monday, December 05, 2005

Tis the season to be folly!

The midnight temperature in Lafayette, Louisiana is currently 38 degrees, which can only mean one thing: it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! At least on the windows of the department stores.

Oops, did I say "Christmas?" I'm not supposed to say that anymore! At least that's what the Jesus Police claims. All of this hoopla about "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas" could have happened ONLY in 2005. Well, okay, it's been around for quite some time, but this year it's taken on unprecedented proportions. And it's all because of the God Squad.

Yes, religious right, it's all YOUR fault! Why? For making this perennial non-issue into a big national deal. There wouldn't be such a rush to change things or to be inclusive in the first place if it weren't for your self-righteous hijacking of the Christian religion. The people who wish to genericize holiday greetings are only trying to bring people together. There are so many holidays around this time of year that it only seems appropriate (particularly in mixed company) to say "Happy Holidays" instead of rifling off anything and everything that might be appropriate. So the pro-holiday crowd only wants to bridge the wide chasm that has opened between Christians and those of other faiths. This chasm has widened mainly because YOUR narrow neocon mindset insists on being so obnoxious about your supposed Christianity (which is very different than the one I know) that you turn any reference to Jesus into a nauseating reminder of everything that's wrong with this country at the moment.

Jesus was about peace and good will toward man, not about being a "foot soldier," "prayer warrior" or whatever other execrable term you people use to justify hate and war in the name of God and George W. Bush.

The reason so many liberals are sick of the flag and the pledge of allegiance isn't because they hate America; it's because we hate what those symbols have come to represent. Politicians wave the flag and out "under-God" each other to the point where our national symbols have all the patrotic value of a Happy Meal. While no political party or ideology is entirely innocent of this, the neocons of the 21st century have brought it up to an absurd level. Such is the case with "Merry Christmas." Come on, guys! No one's fighting for Christmas (or any other, uh, holiday) to be stricken from the public memory; it's just that, in this day and age, religious identification has become an even touchier issue than in the recent past. All "Happy Holidays" does is acknowledge that people celebrate life in slightly different ways. If anything, we're remembering Christmas just as much, along with everything else that might be special to people. What's wrong with that? Say whatever you like. Likewise, so will we.

If anything, the measures you decry as taking hold are ridiculous enough to make anyone revert back to tradition. Is "holiday tree" stupid? Yes; saying that is every bit as dumb as saying, "holiday menorah" or "the month of Haladan." We know what these things are and what they represent. Even I say "Christmas tree," because that's what it is.

All of this is a moot point anyway, because only a complete idiot would argue that "holiday" is a secular word in the first place. "Holiday" means HOLY DAY, for Christ's sake! If anyone really is trying to remove religious significance from the multitude of celebrations that center around the winter solstice, they could at least take a cue from the reworking of "womyn" and change the offending letter. Might I suggest, "Joliday"? How perfectly generic!

Happy Jolidays! Does that sound dumb? Well, not any dumber than this whole debate in the first place.


Nick said...

This post is fine with me. Just tell Michael Newdow (however you spell it) to drop his dumb lawsuits (hell, he isn't even a real dad for his child), and much of the gripes from the religious right should fade off.

bayoustjohndavid said...

This is slightly off point, but I believe the Walmart episode with the Catholic League was this year's first big war on Christmas story. So has anyone asked the Catholic league how getting some guy fired in time for Christmas was a victory for Christian values?

Murph said...

Of course, no one complains about how a holy day such as Christmas has been coopted by commercialism. They want it to be "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" so long as they still get those new slippers.

Nick, your argument about Michael Newdow is very passive. Doesn't someone with strong religious beliefs pursue them regardless of what other people do or say? I know I do (I'm Catholic, btw). I would bring up the war and say this statement sounds an awful lot like "as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down", but I'll go with the hurricane and say that your Michael Newdow argument utilizes the same logic as "We will help them when we see them start to help themselves."

Phillip said...

o'reilly et. al. only conjure up this illusory anti-christmas war because all else is going so poorly for them (same reason they run campaigns based on abortion, homosexuality, etc. -- they're incompetant in regards to everything that actually matters).

so they basically take these RARE instances where people overreact to the "christ" in christmas and then... overreact to counter them?

Neil Shakespeare said...

I like that "Joliday" thing. Or better yet, "Jolieday", so instead of Jesus it could remind us all of Angelina, which I'm quite sure means something to do with angels, so that part works out. Besides, every day IS a Jolieday on TV. Seems she's always somewhere on the news. So let's just change Merry Christmas to Jolie Pittmas and have done with it.

Zachary said...

I'm wish Neil. But I also like the Colbert Reports suggestion of putting Jesus back in Xmas and calling it Jesusmas.

Judy Gex said...

I suppose it would be folly to point out to the Jesus Squad that December 25th was the birthdate of Mithras, and that the holiday was in part derived from pagan solstice celebrations. And Easter is a pagan fertility rite..... but who's really concerned with those pesky details?

Great post, Ian!