Faux Controversy: Holiday Season

Here I just point out the misconceptions, misperceptions, and the inane notion by some that Christian culture is somehow threatened by being inclusive, diverse, and hospitable to those who are different.

The War on Christmas

And yet again the hue and cry of the right wingers is out again over the supposed “War on Christmas”. Funny how the rest of the year their happy as clams but come December suddenly the evil world is out to destroy their beliefs. (If your beliefs can be so easily destroyed perhaps you truly don’t believe in them in the first place.) And yet again they trot out the same old complaints:

Public schools increasingly call Christmas vacation something like “winter break.”

Winter break is more accurate given a number of religious and secular celebrations occur during this time (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Years, etc.,) . But then a number of rightwing religious extremists don’t want to admit that Christmas came about by assimilating pagan holidays in order to placate their converts.

Students and teachers are discouraged or prohibited from wishing each other “Merry Christmas,” preferring “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” instead.

I’ve never, ever seen a prohibition or discouragement over how one expresses the season. Most people I know have always said Happy Holidays simply because the understand the season has different connotations for different people, even amongst Christians. But then the right wing extremists also don’t want people to realize that their kindred spirits in the past (i.e. Puritans) have tried to get Christmas banned on the grounds that it’s pagan. What about Jehovah’s Witnesses, regardless of public opinion are Christian, reject all holidays as pagan?

Christmas trees are either banned or called “winter trees.”

Again I’ve never seen Christmas trees banned personally, though yes there have been stories in the news about such banning. But have you also noted that these tree banning are usually extremely rare events and often decried even by those who normally oppose religious intrusion into secular life. Side note: according to the bible the practice of modern day Christmas trees is that of non-Christians and viewed as wrong.

Public-school Christmas programs, er, pardon me, “winter programs,” go heavy on “Frosty the Snowman” and “Deck the Halls,” but the traditional Christmas carols are censored.

Again, have never seen it but read about it. Again when noted, it is extremely rare event and often reconsidered when the local people at the school how ridiculous the decision is.

Retail store employees are instructed to wish their customers “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” rather than “Merry Christmas.”

Phft. Get real. So being inclusive of all people, and Christian sects as well, is somehow anti-Christian.

Retail catalogs tout their goods as perfect for “the season” but avoid mentioning Christ or Christmas.

If they are not selling Christian inspired goods or religious paraphernalia why should they mention either Christ or Christmas. This is just the old attacking business for appealing to as many customers as possible.

Christmas cards, if I may call them that, wish our friends the “joys of the season” but commonly omit the “Reason for the season.”

Again, Christianity assimilated pagan beliefs. Even Christian scholars agree Christ was not born in December, so the “reason of the season” argument is invalid.

Public buildings such as city halls, fire and police departments, etc., feature holiday displays with holly, reindeer, and candy canes, but no manger scenes and no Baby Jesus.

While I could care less about holiday displays again it comes down to the season not only being unique to Christianity. Many such places choose the more secular elements understanding that visitors and workers at these areas are not necessarily Christian, and even being Christian may not agree with religious symbols being used.

These practices are far from universal. But they are increasing, and they are part of a concerted drive to cleanse the public arena from any and all vestiges of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

And here the argument is shown to be fake by bringing in “Judeo-“. Their argument is to defend Christianity, which is definitely not Jewish in origin aside from Jesus being born of Jewish parents.

The author then goes on a tear about how to, in essence, punish stores for not being Christian enough. So much for tolerance. Two example of the same intolerance these extremists claim they are facing:

Choose your Christmas cards carefully, concentrating on the message.
Don’t buy cards that just use that bubbleheaded phrase “Seasons
Greetings,” no matter how attractive they may be. And to have greater
effect, tell the store manager why you’re not buying those cards.

Why is the phrase bubbleheaded? Because it’s not Christian? That makes me think the author himself is “bubbleheaded” and lacking in the same good Christian morals he claims to be living by.

At gatherings where Christmas songs are sung, to the extent that you have a voice, urge the singing of the traditional carols. And if those carols are sung, I wouldn’t object to a mix that includes nontraditional songs like “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” or even (gaahh!) “Please, Santa Baby.”

Perhaps “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” is not a traditional song for the article’s author, but in my family (most being Methodist) it is considered a traditional song. This just highlights the differences even between Christian sects over what is and is not “traditionally” Christmas. “Please, Santa Baby” is just plain drivel to me, but I’m certain there is someone out there that considers it traditional as well.

Now there are a number of genuine complaints Christians could make particularly one generated by the equally extremist Atheist groups out there that target banning Christian symbols and traditions but do not target Jewish, Pagan, or other religious entities. That is equally wrong and egregious as Christians trying to impose their beliefs into secular life. It”s also wrong, in my opinion, for groups to use the holiday season to denigrate Christianity as some have done by taking out adds and displays that in effect mock religion in general and Christians in particular.

The fact is the United States is a multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian nation. There is always going to be someone who claims their culture, ethnicity, or religion is somehow threatened by others. What makes such claims unbelievable is when the group claiming they are threatened, in this case Christianity, in fact the majority, as most U.S. citizens claim Christianity as their religion.

This “War” nonsense just comes of as Christian extremists stirring up trouble when their are greater concerns that would be better served, especially in this poor economic time, by these supposedly good Christian people: feeding and clothing the poor, comforting and aiding the ill and invalid, assisting the unemployed and dispossessed, et. al, rather than ranting and raving over trivialities like a greeting card or how a business chooses to conduct themselves.

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