This Will Fix Everything

Santa Jesus is Comin’ To Town:

Merry Hyatt has found allies in her quest to put an initiative on the ballot next yearrequiring public schools to play Christmas carols.

who moved to Redding four months ago, said she joined the Redding Tea
Party Patriots and recruited several members to help her collect the
433,971 signatures needed by March 29.

Hyatt said she has
partnered with a couple of churches in Redding and one in Wildomar in
Southern California to collect signatures. All the signature pages must
be turned in together to the Shasta County registrar, she said.

initiative would require schools to provide children the opportunity to
listen to or perform Christmas carols, and would subject the schools to
litigation if the rule isn’t followed.

Schools currently are
allowed to offer Christmas music as long as it is used for academic
purposes rather than devotional purposes and isn’t used to promote a
particular religious belief, according to an analysis by the California
Legislative Analyst’s Office.

“Bottom line is Christmas is about
Christmas,” said Erin Ryan, president of the Redding Tea Party
Patriots. “That’s why we have it. It’s not about winter solstice or
Kwanzaa. It’s like, ‘wow you guys, it’s called Christmas for a reason.’

Totally. Like, gag my holiday with a spoon.

But this is the truly sad part:

Hyatt, a substitute teacher who moved to Redding from Riverside, said
her motivation for the initiative was to help restore children’s moral
compasses by inviting Jesus to school Christmas parties.

“He’s the prince of peace; he’s the only one who can get these kids to stop being so violent,” she said in November.

No word on which kids, but I assume the kids of a friend of a friend, or some kids she saw on TV, since we all know from watching caterwauling parents on television that this generation is headed completely to hell and kids are the worst they’ve ever been and it’s all the fault of liberals taking God out of the schools.

It’s sad to me, that sentiment, because it really speaks to the hopelessness a lot of people feel about the direction of the world and the amount of impact they think their lives can have. The world is in fact burning down, as much as it ever is, which is a lot. There’s a lot of stuff about not only the current teenage generation but the one coming up and the one just past that is fucked up, and again, twas ever thus, but we see it all now. People don’t have enough to eat, don’t have clean water, don’t have a warm place to sleep. Kids get beat up and shot on the way to school and then when they get there, there’s a hole in the roof.

It’s not that she’s mistaken about there being some kind of horrendous crisis. My quarrel lies solely with her prescription for a solution. She’s pretending Christmas carols are going to fix this. She has no idea what’s going to fix this, and I have to at least minimally commend her for trying to come up with a solution, even if I think it’s the cheapest of cheap outs. Fear and sadness and confusion, though, don’t get you a pass for trying
to make other people miserable so you can feel like you’re doing

My real problem with putting all our problems onto God’s shoulders isn’t even so much that my agnostic tendencies get in the way, it’s that it’s ineffective. Cosmic Boyfriend Jesus is not gonna show up and cure anger, hatred, violence and death, not to mention the enduring habit of treating the poor like less than dogs. She’s forgetting that Jesus, no matter which vaguely historical account or mystical fortune-teller’s tale you believe, tried that before, and the people he was trying to help nailed him to a tree for it. He was like, “Fucketh this,” at the end, “Dad, why are people such bitches?” Jesus didn’t have the answer to this eternal question either. He’s had a couple millennia since to ponder, but I think if he’d come up with a better response before now he’d have sent us an e-mail.

This Christmas carol nonsense is so transparently desperate I almost feel bad bagging on it, because hello, it’s not like I have a solution either. Kids are violent, people suck, everybody does dumb shit all the time and then along comes Hitler and you just want to throw a couple of choruses of O Come All Ye Faithful at it, what’s the harm? The harm is always the harm with shit like this, that it takes time away from doing real work. You want to bring Jesus to the classroom, you do it your own self, with some reading lessons or assistance with an afterschool program. You want your Christianity to be an example for the country? Stop humping Frosty the Snowman’s jock and go feed somebody who doesn’t have any food. The illusion of a solution is immeasurably worse than no solution at all.

(Plus, and this is really what gets me: Talk about making God over in your own image. Were you asleep in Purpose Driven Jesus Class when they talked about grace and mercy? Your version of God is such a needy, narcissistic prick that he would let little kids starve and die because they didn’t sing the right songs for him? Really? And that’s a dude you want me to worship? I think I’ll stick with nasty old hippie J-man, thank you, because your God sounds like a jackass.)


13 thoughts on “This Will Fix Everything

  1. We all seem to make “God” in our image. If we are wealthy, we make “God” adore success. If we are Caucasian, we make “God” lily white. If we enjoy singing sappy hymns, we make “God” enjoy listening to them. But, most important of all, if we despise those who aren’t exactly like us, so does “God”. Strange species, huh?

  2. The text of the proposition defines “Christmas Music” as “works whose subject matter relates to the celebration of the Christmas holiday or to the season during which that holiday is observed.”
    So if that means the teacher plays Chuck Berry’s “Run Run Rudolph” the last five minutes before the kids head out the door for vacation, I’m all for it. “Oh Holy Night”, not so much.
    (There is also an ‘opt out’ if parents don’t want their kids in on any religious aspects.)

  3. The world is in fact burning down, as much as it ever is, which is a lot.
    you can really turn a phrase, lady.

  4. Your version of God is such a needy, narcissistic prick that he would let little kids starve and die because they didn’t sing the right songs for him?
    The same “vision” of God justifies “His” slamming of a hurricane into New Orleans to avenge “sin.” Except that, well, God’s aim was a little off and the hurricane sideswiped New Orleans but slammed into Mississippi. Oops.

  5. I always sort of thought one of the take aways from the Jesus/God lesson was that we should be on the look out for him/it/she in other people, the school janitor or cafeteria lady or that ADHD kid that yanks our chain every 2 seconds.

  6. Jesus talked a lot about how we treat each other, but Christmas carols usually don’t include Jesus’ message at all. Most are theologically suspect and almost all of them are from a European-North American, northern hemisphere perspective. Let me tell you, it feels quite silly to sing about the “bleak mid-winter” living in the tropics!
    If we’re going to allow Xmas carols in school, we should allow songs from all the holiday traditions at this time of year. That’s not going to happen, and our Christian Teacher certainly isn’t interested in such an idea.

  7. I think the issue is not that she wants to celebrate Jesus as part of re-setting people’s moral compasses — a fool’s errand to me since I don’t think most people struggle with what’s right and what’s wrong: it’s usually pretty clear. The problem is her unspoken agenda, which is make herself feel better by hating on someone else. It worked for the non-slave owning whites who fought and died to protect the wealth of their social “betters,” and I’m afraid it will work for whoever successfully directs this hatred this time around.

  8. Dumb Question: Will they be singing about the baby Jesus or about Grandma getting run over by a reindeer and Frosty the Red-Nosed Elf.
    Not to mention, that there was a study done – the idea was to show differences in hymns sung based on theological differences between the denominations. Howeer, once they started counting, they found that the different churches sang the very same hymns (don’t you just hate that null hypothesis). People sang the hymns because they were familiar, they liked the tune, etc.
    On a tangent, when by a Starbucks yesterday and they had a “Question of the Week”. This week it was the difference between their Christmas Blend and their Holiday Blend #3 (or something like that). I really wanted to walk up and opine that the Holiday Blend was part of the war on Christmas – however, it was also a blend that the Jews and Arabs could drink. But I didn’t think the kid behind the counter would get my sense of humor.

  9. Stop humping Frosty the Snowman’s jock and go feed somebody who doesn’t have any food.
    Keep em coming like this and I’ll have to attribute you in next Sunday’s sermon.
    Also, coffee makes a lovely addition to my keyboard and monitor. Thanks for that 🙂

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