Happy Holidays (Sorry)


Today is Thanksgiving, and you know what that means: only a month left of Christmas shopping before we start all over again for next year. Notice we were very careful to call it “Christmas” instead of, oh, “some unspecified festive occasion falling one week before New Year’s Day”? That’s because another thing you can always count on at this time of year is the punditocracy getting on a soapbox to rant about how there’s a “war on Christmas” being waged.

It’s not enough that businesses start decorating with Santas and snowflakes almost as soon as the Fourth of July has passed, or that we have a bona fide holiday – oops – Christmas shopping season that begins the day after Thanksgiving, or that around Halloween, retail establishments start bombarding customers’ ears with Christmas carols, or that there are Christmas clubs to plan your shopping a year in advance, or that there are round-the-clock Christmas movies at least throughout December.

No, if you hear somebody say “Happy Holidays”, it’s a sure sign that practitioners of that nasty intolerant political correctness are waging a war on Christmas, and want to outlaw it altogether. And we should boycott businesses and force people to say “Merry Christmas”, the way Amurrcan freedom demands.

The harbingers of this holiday holocaust (Oops. Sorry, but “Christmas holocaust” just didn’t have the same alliterative appeal; I hope this won’t be too many points against me.) are invariably people with a political agenda; specifically, they are proponents of the extreme right-wing, or at least they always have been to date. Which isn’t surprising, because this faction is aligned with extreme fundamentalists, with whom they share the common bond of a persecution complex. And their propagandists know that to mobilize the troops, you need to convince them of two things at the same time: (1) Christians in America are an overwhelming majority whose every whim ought to be mandated into law, and (2) Christians in America are an oppressed minority in danger of being persecuted into extinction.

An astounding number of people have no problem holding both of these beliefs at the same time. As a result, the “War on Christmas” meme continues to sell year after year after year. It’s become as much a part of hol- of Christmas tradition as mistletoe, eggnog, Hollywood blockbusters and nativity scenes in inappropriate places.

So brace yourself for at least another month of it. In the meantime, here’s hoping that today and all of your holidays will be happy.

Oops. Are we waging a war on Thanksgiving here?


  1. I do sometimes think my fellow liberals and those darn atheists are much too picky about minimizing publically displayed Christmas themes and banning them–at least I have heard that such rules are overly protective and unfair. But the anger expressed by those on the religious right really does seem to involve a sort of persecution complex among people of faith (faith which only they, as Christians, can righteously claim). they complain about not being allowed to distribute their own theological beliefs when and where they want! But aside from a few occasions when “non-christians,” may be exaggerating the required extent of remaining neutral in public venues, fundamentalist Christians have really never been told that, they cannot (excuse my bluntness),think and worship in any way they damn well please! But the problem is that they would rather conduct their own form of religious services anywhere they desire, no matter how many other living, breathing, human beings with different spiritual beliefs might be offended or infringed upon.

    The importances of separating Church and State is paramount if we want America to be a place that truly welcomes diversity, and champions freedom from governmental and/or religious theological dogma. In the meantime, fundamentalists are NOT BEING TOLD to close-up their churches, nor are they being forced to listen to the opinions of the many various other sects and denominations, that are also prevalent in this country. They just don’t seem to have the necessary empathy that could allow them to put themselves in the other guys shoes—even it their own beliefs were never denied in private venues, or deliberately ignored— even as they try to grant organizations that agree with their own beliefs, the absolute power to run the show.

    The ACLU itself, has often been called to task, for persecuting those who supposedly want only the freedom to worship in America without considering the many other American who may want to have their own freedoms protected and their right advance their own set of beliefs. But if we understand the way our immigrants, including our own ancestors, have been denied the right to basic human dignity—we cannot get away with allowing only our own ideas to dominate others. We really have no excuse but to understand and honor others religious beliefs if we expect the same in return

    “Christian values” may largely deny the rights of many other diverse ethnic and religious groups, that sometimes are not even allowed to fully share their 1st Amendment rights. So we need to use some empathy, before seeking to run the show by judging the other faiths we encounter, exclusively from our own perspectives. The way may be narrow and hard, but our own minds don’t need to be narrow in order to worship the divine, or to question it as we please!

    As much as those on the religious right may disagree, none of us here has any freedoms at all, if only one religion, or ethnic group is allowed to dominate. Enforcing the laws that govern public venues by asking that those venues strive to remain neutral, is not a means of repression nor the expression of bias—such precautions are merely prudent ways to keep all of our freedoms alive, while respecting the rights, even of those who disagree with our own biases!

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