Dec 20

The “War on Christmas” Myth

‘Tis the Season to be Silly—

It’s predictable that the paranoid and media-focused fundamentalist Christians roll out this silliness each year at about this time. Much like Winnie the Pooh, a bear with very little brain but not nearly as lovable, Sarah Palin is a human and the poster child for nonsensical inanity. She and Rush Limbaugh bloviate to the far corners of cloud-cuckoo land about the “War on Christmas.” They ring Pavlov’s bell, and the true believers respond as expected.

So what is The War on Christmas about? Too many fundamentalist Christians believe that America (and perhaps some European countries) is removing Christmas and Jesus the Christ from the culture. As they seem to see it, such phrases as “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” are evidence of a conspiracy. Let’s look at some facts.

  •  America is not a Christian nation. One of the founding fathers, John Adams, explicitly stated this in writing.
  •  The First Amendment to the Constitution states that all religions and none are to be protected. The fundamentalist Christians seem to fail to realize that the First Amendment protects their rights, too.
  •  Assuming, arguendo, that the biblical Jesus actually existed in the flesh, there is no doubt that Jesus was not born at Christmas. Best estimates by biblical scholars conclude that he was born sometime between April and late September.
  •  Early Christians “borrowed” the Winter Solstice celebration from the pagans that predated Christianity in order to assure the success of the new religion.
  •  Both the Jewish Hanukkah and the African-American Kwanzaa, a harvest celebration, occur at the same time of year. Agnostics and atheists both eschew religious holidays (except for the time off…if they get time off).
  •  Commercial interests such as Macy’s or The Gap and many others sell to people of all religious faiths and none, so a Christmas greeting favoring just one faith excludes people of other belief systems. The small gap between the Christian, Jewish and African-American holidays would require an expensive and foolish change of advertising messages during the holiday season. It just isn’t practical from a business standpoint not to mention the discrimination involved.

So, there is no War on Christmas, just an effort to get America to climb aboard the fundamentalist Christian political bandwagon.

Happy Holidays, one and all!

6 comments

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  1. All those facts not withstanding, Mr. Bay, you failed to mention one other point that the Right is hammering on lately. And, that’s their perceived fact that Santa Clause is White. They’ve gone to great lengths to promote this ‘fact’ even though the jolly old boy is a mythical figure. Perhaps based on a real historical figure, but morphed into the caricature that we know today primarily by the Coca Cola company in the 1920’s and 30’s. Read more here….http://www.coca-colacompany.com/holidays/the-true-history-of-the-modern-day-santa-claus
    Yes, Coca Cola depicted Santa as white to be sure, but I find the Right’s insistence that we not forget this fact as comical. I also find it interesting that they focus on this when, after all, Christmas is really a celebration of the birth of Jesus and Santa Clause, as we know him today, has nothing to do with that. Was Jesus White? Some scholars say no!
    Now let’s look at the commercial side. We have a Hobby Lobby store here in Colorado Springs. A Christian Family owned hobby and craft supply store…NOT opened on Sundays. They actually started putting up the Christmas crap in late August…. AUGUST! So let’s honor the birth of Christ, but let’s start in August, so the fat White guy can get a running start.

      • Don Bay on December 22, 2013 at 16:24
        Author

      Thanks for expanding on my simple facts. Is there no end to this Christmas nonsense? Let’s just enjoy the holidays.

  2. Every time someone says something along the lines of, “People have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas,” I have to bite my tongue to keep from yelling, “No, they haven’t! They’re celebrating it exactly the way it was meant to be!” Christmas was ripped off from the pagans, and the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice was/is heavy on partying and gift-giving and lights and music to counteract the darkest day of the year. The modern celebration of Christmas is right in line with that.

    And Sarah Palin… Really, can’t she just go away? Please?

      • Don Bay on December 22, 2013 at 16:21
        Author

      I’ll drink to that and also regarding Sarah!

    • lionel burt on December 24, 2013 at 05:40

    Bravo!

  3. I am glad to be alive.

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