Views on politics and current events

Monday, December 18, 2006

The War Against Christmas...BAH HUMBUG!

The things associated with the holidays such as Christmas trees, lights, decorations, gifts, has been added to. Every year the 'War Against Christmas' crowd comes forth. I get emails like the following:

Dear Family & Friends,

This is a reminder that it is time to send those Christmas cards (NOT "season's greetings" or "happy holidays" but a Christmas card!) to the ACLU. Maybe this will remind them that this country was founded on Christain (sic) principles by Christain (sic) people, and that the silent majority is speaking out regarding OUR RIGHTS. It won't take long or cost very much, and who knows? It might get someone's attention!

Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

So my random thoughts about the War On Christmas:

  • The ACLU has also defended the rights of Christians. Some examples can be read here, and the Internet has many more. While I do not agree with every case the ACLU takes on, for me it is a sign that our country is healthy that such an organization exists. The 'War Against The ACLU' is prompted by those who do not know the full story about what the ACLU stands for.
  • Protesting the ACLU in this manner is another indication that in this country, we all have the right to peacefully protest. But it seems to me that the spirit of the holiday, which some Christians feel is so in jeopardy, might be better served by sending Christmas cards to others that may not get any. Shut-ins, folks in nursing homes, hospitals. At the very least for every card sent to the ACLU there could be a card sent to someone all alone for the holidays.
  • For those who insist that this country was founded on Christian principles, I ask whose Christian principles? Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.? With countless denominations and non-denominations that profess that they are Christian, there is a multitude of differences in belief. Perhaps a slightly better case could be made that the founding fathers believed in God, but even that is tenuous. I offer no examples. Those that wish to investigate can do so through many avenues, but I have a feeling those that are promoting the myth that this country is based on Christian values won't bother.
  • There is no one actively engaged in denying a Christian their right to express their beliefs. There is always much ado made over the displaying of nativity scenes on public and government property, for example. Whether this is truly a case of separation of church and state can be argued, and has been argued on both sides. But at least where I live, most of the decorations I see in people's yards and on their houses do not reflect any religious part of the holiday. If a person is so adamant about a nativity scene being rightly displayed at city hall, I would think there would be one in their yard also. The 'right' that many seem to think is being denied them is actually their preference for what they want.
  • There is no one denying a Christian's personal right to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. If a business makes the decision to use 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas', it is a decision made by the ones in charge. By all means a Christian can protest those decisions, but that decision has nothing to do with any perceived 'War On Christmas', and the Christian has the right to respond with a 'Merry Christmas' to whomever and wherever they want. Also, if an employee in a business is ordered to say 'Happy Holidays', is it a violation of their rights, or a condition of employment like any other company policy?
  • The term 'silent majority' is a misnomer. The evidence that Christmas is just as much a secular holiday as a religious one is obvious. Whether a person sees it as secular or religious is a matter of their own choice.
  • Some Christians lament the lack of observance for the 'reason for the season'. Of course that is their right. But I offer the Christmas season of 2005 up for an example. Christmas day fell on Sunday. Some churches, including fundamentalists where I live offered up no services that morning. It's a time for family, opening gifts, very few would attend services, the excuses were many. Christmas and Easter are the two most important Christian holidays, and it is incredible that because the 'birthday' of the one that the entire church is built on happens to fall on a Sunday, that services would be cancelled.
  • And a word for the extremists that want to eliminate any influence of religion on society: Ain't gonna happen. Religion, like it or not, in one form or another will always be a part of society. We can make sure that a certain religious belief does not become a weapon against ones that do not believe the same. To my mind, that is the purpose of the separation of church and state.
  • This is purely nit-picking, but I could not resist. Whomever wrote the email sent to me, if their objective is to promote the rights of Christians, really should learn how to spell CHRISTIAN.
So the War On Christmas is but another myth put forth by ones that wish us all to believe as they do, to toe the line. People like Bill O'Reilly, the king of the no-spin zone. Christmas has become a secular as well as a religious holiday. Whether someone wishes me Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Ramadan, whatever, they are wishing me well. I am not about to scold them for not saying specifically what I wish to hear. Honestly wishing someone well is becoming a rare thing. Far be it from me to complain when it happens to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Beggerow,
Happy New Year to you and your family!
I hope with all my heart that you'll never have to take a job you don't want.
Tatyana Zaitseva

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