War On Christmas Taking A Break?

Fighting words

Happy Holidays.

In years past, that pleasantry was fightin’ words on the Fox News frontlines. Instant throwdown, and you would be accused of being a warrior in the War on Christmas. This nonsense started sometime in the mid-Aughts, and the origins of it can be traced to a single book and a single jackass.

If you don’t want to click on the link, I’ll give you two hints on the jackass: Bill and O’Reilly. Remember him?

The War on Christmas has raged most years, but it seems to have lost a bit of its appeal among right-wingers recently. This year, I feel like the War on Christmas stuff is nearly non-existent. Perhaps it is because Professional Big Loser Donald Trump declared victory last year, taking credit for winning the war.

My own theory is that they no longer feel the need to code their dislike of The Other by declaring Christian holidays are under attack. Attacking trans people and declaring themselves big fans of white supremacists seem to be more of their jam lately. Maybe they feel that the War on Christmas is small potatoes.

Regardless, the war was never real. People who want to celebrate Christmas can absolutely do so. But it is really about, like most right-wing things, forcing everyone to do what they want. We also have Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, etc. people in this country, not just the pushiest Christians. “Happy holidays” is about being inclusive, and they just do not like that stuff. It is not domination, which is their goal.

And the idea of the “true meaning of Christmas” is really nothing new. As a kid in the 1970s, I remember some Christians getting bent out of shape over the use of Xmas instead of Christmas. It’s taking Christ out of the holiday, they would rail. This, of course, is not what is happening with Xmas, because the letter “X” has long been a symbol for Christ. That controversy was/is pretty stupid too.

Overcommercialization of Christmas concerns are likely more legitimate, and those are pretty old as well. In fact, the beloved Peanuts classic television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is pretty much 30 minutes of anti-commercialism. That was released 57 years ago, by the way, in 1965. Charlie Brown was not going to let his capitalism-focused dog ruin his holiday.

My own personal belief is to celebrate what you want on Dec. 25. Go to midnight mass, visit a Chinese restaurant, eat KFC, hang out with friends, or whatever. I find lecturing people on how to celebrate as ponderous as the ghost of Marley’s chains. My nightmare is to be stuck in a corner at a holiday party between Sam Harris and Bill O’Reilly arguing about whether Christmas is a pagan holiday.

There are no good wars. Especially fake ones over what is supposed to be a fun and happy time. So, enjoy the season (or ignore it) in the way you see fit.

In other words, happy holidays.

The last word goes to the great Vince Guaraldi. This and “Skating” are my two favorite tracks on that particular classic album.


4 thoughts on “War On Christmas Taking A Break?

  1. War on real people is so much more fun than war on a holiday widely celebrated. If you don’t like it (Xmas), go to work.

  2. And a Very Happy Birthday to the Woke Brown Palestinian Radicla! (We’re having both a Yule and Xmas meal this year. You left Pagans out of your list of others. The figure of Jesus was supposedly born while shepherds were out in the fields. Which they would not be in December. But the Romans had Saturnalia and both the Germanic and Celtic religions observed Yule. Which is probably why they picked December, to co-opt those observances.

  3. Many monotheists insist upon creating their Creator’s nature in their own fallible and too-often angry, vengeful image; for example, proclaiming via publicized protests that “God hates ______”, etcetera. And many monotheists insist that God is on their ‘side’, while condemning this or that identifiable populace [e.g. Palestine and Israel]. While I don’t hold much faith in scriptural teachings, I do give credence to the Biblical claim (Jeremiah 17:9) that base corporeal human nature is “desperately wicked”.

    Personally, I, a believer in Christ’s miracles, like to picture Jesus enjoying a very healthy belly-shaking laugh over a good [albeit clean] joke with his disciples, now and then. Imagine the divine with a good, open sense of humor!

    In the case of right-wing ‘Christians’, they likely find inconvenient, if not plainly annoying, trying to reconcile the conspicuous inconsistency in the fundamental nature of the New Testament’s Jesus with the wrathful, vengeful and even jealous nature of the Old Testament’s Creator.

    Often being the most vocal, they make very bad examples of Christ’s fundamental message, especially to the young and impressionable. It’s largely why I place a higher standard on those in public life who claim to be Christian yet behave nothing like Christ nor his basic teachings.

    Really, what would Christ have said about ‘Christians’ who, for example, seemingly unconditionally support Herschel-endorser D. Trump, a kazillionaire who has done nothing that remotely resembles Christ-like conduct?

    I’m talking about Jesus through his teachings and practices, not pragmatism, politics or conservative/liberal goals. Can anyone seriously imagine Jesus rolling his eyes at the likes of Trump and his grotesque ideology/extremism, and then sigh, ‘Oh well, I’m against everything the man stands for, but what can you do when you dislike even more some of what his political competition stands for’?

    Ironically, Christ’s teachings/practices largely reflect(ed) the primary component of socialism — do not hoard morbidly superfluous wealth in the midst of poverty. He clearly would not tolerate the accumulation of tens of billions of dollars by individual people — especially while so many others go hungry and homeless.

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