The so-called Christian right’s belligerence in trying to force everybody to SAY “Christmas” (as in “Merry Christmas”- as against “Happy Holidays”) is so offensive and irrational that it almost leaves me speechless.
Almost, but not quite.
This is a CLASSIC case of straining a gnat out of the soup and not noticing the camel standing in it! The gnat is the word “Christ” – or the word “holidays”. The camel is the arrogant self-righteousness and lovelessness – the hate. It does turn out to be hate, you know. It’s a classic case of total, deeply rooted, blinding hypocrisy!
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
BUT ONLY IF
- they pretend to be Christian
- they pretend to be YOUR KIND of Christian, with your favored obsessions
- they pretend, along with you, that rudeness to non-Christian neighbors is a Christian virtue
- they pretend, along with you, that the Constitution and the Founders were eager to enforce a particular faith, or a particular sectarian aspect of that faith.
What’s wrong with wishing that everyone I meet have a truly happy holiday season – and expressing that wish in speech and in writing? There’s nothing wrong with that! But there’s a lot wrong with making it another shallow, artificial, and brutal dividing line between righteous “us” and evil “them”.
I know, lots of “good people” have jumped or fallen onto this bandwagon without thinking about how superficial and dishonest it is. But it’s still baloney, no matter how thin you slice it.
Sadly, there is another reason behind this, besides just shallowness and lovelessness. This is a deliberate sowing of anger and self-righteousness serving the political agenda of the sowers – Dobson, O’Reilly, and others. I’m sorry, but that is what is really going on.
But even those who can’t see the manipulation in it all should be able to discern the moral corruption in it, and then opt out of this sham battle.
Happy Holidays Everyone!!
Update. Dec 16, 3:25 pm
This is a far cry from good poetry! My apologies.
But it does show that rightist belligerence and arrogance on this â€œChristmas War” thing is perhaps fairly commonly felt. This came to me compliments of the Baptist Center for Ethics. The author is communications specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Missouri .
‘Twas The Fight Over Christmas’
By BRIAN KAYLOR
I saw their faces that with anger did seethe,
And I guessed there could not be much joy beneath;
I ran back inside as they continued yelling,
To find the One who meant more than all the selling.
I searched and searched but He was not in the mall,
But I did find a “God loves you” bouncy ball;
Jesus perfume and a Jesus bobble-head,
Through buying is not how salvation does work,
So why fight for wording and look like a jerk?
If we tell of His birth, who cares what stores say?
The message is our job, so focused let’s stay;
At stores you will only receive religion-lite,
Thus “Holidays” is fine, so please stop the dumb fight!
Well said, Martin. Thanks for weighing in on the discussion.
HBK, there are some hard but precise words. Of course, as a European, I do not know anything of the â€œWho said whatâ€? and â€œwhereâ€? â€˜s in this debate, but I think, I yet know completely whatâ€™s going on. Rightist Christians have lent their name for the re-election of the despicable political agenda of a sorrily unfit president, and at the latest from that deed onwards they sense their prayers rebound from the ceilings of their assembly halls. So they thirst for outlining moral watersheds wherewith to reassure themselves of the importance and holiness of their mission to speak up in the general public.
Iâ€™ve made some similiar experiences. For some twenty years, ever since my childhood, I was trying to define what â€œtrue Christianityâ€? is, in order to then preach it to everybody. Sometimes, it was about refuting Darwinism and convincing my teachers of the errors in the historical-critical method of exegesis and biblical history. Later I theorized on whether Christians have to be conservative, or rather warn of conservatismâ€™s prejudices, and now Iâ€™m much concerned with understanding by what means we can truly portray the biblical nexus between faith and morality.
I will not admit by these words that I misspent my youth, pursuing only the mirage of Christianity, but thereâ€™s definitely a point in saying that I consistently lacked experience in practicing it. And so, I think Iâ€™m privy to the state of soul which brings forth the spirit to strain verbal gnats. Earlier ago, I queried my conscience about whether it is correct to wish â€œbon appetitâ€? or if it had to be a â€œblessed mealâ€? (rather outdated now, but still a stock phrase in German); and even now I keep wondering when a letter or e-mail should be finished by some references to God, or just by some nice wishes or greetings of my own. All this comes from not knowing very well how to translate oneâ€™s faith into deeds â€“ and from placing a religious proviso before the commandment of love of neighbors. You end up imagining people were focused on watching if or if not you will muster up the courage for that valiant act of testimony as lies in clinging to Christian expressions at spots where secular wordings have supplanted them. And finally you even think it needs some â€œcoming-outâ€? in order to fulfill your Christian duty to bear witness to the Lord. All this is nonsense, it needs only one thing: thankfulness, – wilfull obedience and humility of spirit.
With this in mind: I greet you wishing me some Happy Holidays, and I answer at the face-value of my words: Merry Christmas to you all.
I agree with Larry 100%!! This whole “War on Christmas” is despicable and the Pharisees on the right are ruining the holidays for everyone. What difference would it make if I said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” when they virtually mean the same thing?!? I believe this phony “Christmas War” is a Weapon of Mass Distraction meant to draw attention away from the misdeeds of the Bush Administration. Either that, or those on the religious right have way too much time on their hands. If they were focused on following Christ and ministering to the needy (like they should be) they wouldn’t have time for these silly shenanigans!!!
Good one… almost Orwellian, ignorance of the past.
also, lest i build a house on mere philosophy:
Romans 14:5-6, 10-13, 21:
5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:
â€œ As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.â€?
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brotherâ€™s way.
21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
I think you can freely substitute “neighbor” for “brother” and it applies to everything towards unbelievers as well as believers. i think that one of the few things that offends an unbeliever is the outgoing foolishness of believers.