There is a war against Christmas. It's being waged mostly by the people who claim there is a war against Christmas. The AFA or, American Family Association runs a website, naughty and nice, that helps good Christians buy their Christmas presents from pro-Christmas companies. Companies that say merry Christmas in their ads get a green light. Companies that use Christmas in some of their ads get a yellow light and companies that use the term, happy holidays instead of mentioning Christmas, get a red light. No surprise that the AFA is at the top of the green light list with their on line store.
Isn't this beautiful? This year when you buy a present for the holiday named after a man who forsake all worldly possessions, you can do so at companies completely using his name to sell you stuff! Way to miss your own point that the message of Christmas is being drowned out by commerce.
Then again, maybe it was always this way. Even the three wise man showed up to Jesus's birth with gifts. Two of them had to be pissed when they found out that one of them bought gold when the other two had incense and body oil. Actually, for wise men, I can't think of three worse gifts for a baby. Maybe the term "wise men" was the first instance of the bible trying to be sarcastic. Maybe it's also the answer to Jesus and his selfless ways, too. Of course he could preach love, tolerance and embrace poverty when he had been given gold as a baby. Jesus was just another trust fund kid preaching against capitalism. Dirty hippy!
How did the modern republican party get to claim Jesus anyway? Seriously. How do fat old white dudes on their third marriage and a voting record against any humane public service for the least among us get to say anything as stupid as, there is a war against Christmas, when their entire public service has been a war against any of Jesus's teachings? If you are wearing a two thousand dollar gold cross around your neck, you don't get it.
Rick Perry released a YouTube ad where he starts out saying he isn't embarrassed to be a Christian. Why would anyone? I mean, Jesus was a man who preached love and tolerance. But then Rick follows that statement up with this nugget of compassionate genius "You don't have to be in the pew every Sunday to see that something is wrong with our country when gays can openly serve in the military but our children can't openly celebrate Christmas."
What. The. Fuck?
Singling out people for the way they are is in the Bible, but it was the Romans. I'm pretty sure that Jesus would be totally cool with gay people. Why? Because they are persecuted people. I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be for the military. Why? Because he was for peace. Why are conservatives so afraid of gays? If gay people are so terrifying to them then we should just have an all gay military. Since the countries we invade seem to be as homophobic as the generals in the military, this should make them surrender before we send the "boys" in. And, we don't have to call it an invasion or regime change. We simply call it redecorating.
By the way, can someone show me the kids who, in their own homes with their own parents, aren't being allowed to openly celebrate Christmas? Is Obama sending secret service agents out to bust kids who were found to have a few ounces of tinsel on them? Give me a break!
Are you telling me FOX NEWS would embrace Jesus if he showed up again? I'm sure they would rush to the side of a long haired, middle eastern guy wearing sandals and giving away free health care as he talks about the evils of money. Are you kidding me? They would charge him for the cost of wood before they crucified him again for being against every single concept their hate filled little world is built upon while telling us how much they love him but not his lifestyle. Its what they say about gays all the time, right?
Happy holidays, merry Christmas and whatever. If you are buying presents on a AFA approved website, you aren't a good Christian. A good capitalist, sure. Part of why happy holidays has become the greeting of choice is the ever changing demographics of America. We are, after all, a melting pot. There are plenty of people who don't celebrate Christmas. As much as FOX NEWS wants you to believe this was a nation founded by Christians on Christians ideals, it's a nation of laws that specifically put in place a separation of church and state. Google it, for Christ sake!
Most of the founding fathers were Deists, too. That's a whole other blog. Point is, happy holidays isn't a war against one religions holiday it is an acknowledgement that other people have other beliefs, too. Then again, what can you expect when most paintings, statues and images of Jesus are of a white guy who looks more at home in a early 90's band?
When I was a kid growing up in the Midwest, you would see manger scenes everywhere. In front of banks, DMV's, police stations and movie theaters. They are still very popular in the Midwest. Out here, in California, you don't see them too often. I took a friend who is Indian to a Christmas lights display. These are very common out here. Basically, a park covers every bush, tree and shrub in lights. You drive through with the lights off on your car listening to Christmas music. Its drive through, Christmas!
They have candy canes, elves, Santa clause, reindeer and almost every variation on the Christmas theme you can imagine made with lights. She saw four snowmen, made up of lights wrapped around steel mesh, standing between two trees. "Is that a manger scene?" she asked half joking. How would she know? She has only heard about them. It's now become a running joke between us. We will be driving, she will point to a group of people and ask, "is that a manger scene?" I will look. "ah, no. That's a bus stop."
I have to admit that when I see a news story about a manger scene being removed, it makes me a little sad. Not because of any religious issues, I'm smart enough to know that the founding fathers viewed religion as a corrosive element in any free thinking society, but because it makes me think of being a kid. That's when Christmas had the power to mean something. Not because it was the birth of Jesus or I was going to get presents, it was, for lack of a more cynical description, the holiday cheer. People were nicer, lights hung everywhere and my family was together. If Christmas means anything in our culture right now it means black Sunday, cyber Monday and half off. That, truly is sad. Buying a present on credit for someone you feel you are obligated to buy something for at a pre-approved Christmas friendly website is about as far from holiday cheer as you can get. What modern Christians seem to be confused about most seems obvious to me; you can't chase profits and claim to follow the words of prophets at the same time. Considering the only time your boy Jesus lost his temper was about money, just whose side do you think he's on in this age of protesting?