Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: December 2010 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Friday, December 10, 2010

The War on the War on Christmas

It's that time of year again. Time for snow to fall, LED mini-light nets to go up on houses, and neo-conservatives to begin caroling about how the lefties, communists, socialists, gays, and Jews are trying to take the Christ out of Christmas. The first salvos have been fired, naturally by Fox News. Apparently, a school in Florida has outlawed red and green in their Christmas decorations .

Never mind that it's a story based on one parent's opinion, and that Fox didn't solicit the school's input. Because we all know that the school is a madrassa beholden to a politically correct liberal leftist agenda. Needless to say, the story was foundless, and Fox News has since printed a retraction.

Fox News notwithstanding, I can only assume that the hungry have been fed, the sick have been healed, and the homeless have been sheltered, since churches are crusading about how they're greeted at places of business. Take the case of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, who have posted on the web their annual Naughty and Nice list.

Now, a naughty and nice list is okay, as far as it goes. if a business chooses to be inclusive by trying to appeal to other than Christians-only, then you have a right to not give them your consumer dollars. But when a church bases their naughty/nice list solely on submissions from the internet, it opens the way for abuse.

The FBC in Dallas basically gives businesses a red (naughty) or green (nice) background to comments it receives. What's to stop a dissatisfied customer from adding a business to the naughty list because an associate didn't "look right" to him or her? Or from those Dogless Libruls from lying about whether someone who could have been on the nice list by claiming they, horror of horrors, wished them a Happy Holidays instead of a Merry Christmas?

What I find amusing is that, even though over 75% of Americans associate themselves with the Christian failth, so many followers of that faith see themselves as a victimized minority. My opinion is that if you're strong enough in your faith, you shouldn't have a problem with businesses including non-Christians in their holiday greetings.

Of course, everyone knows that nothing on the internet can be taken at face value, and this is apparent in the statement by the American Family Association, which states that Staples issued a press release saying ""We use the term Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. We do this because it does not offend any other religions and to remain politically correct." However, a simple Google search shows that Staples sells plenty of goods labeled clearly as Christmas items. Sure, they also sell holiday cards, but their largest customer base is businesses, and businesses tend to send generic holiday cards so as not to offend their non-Christian customers.

It all boils down to this: businesses tend to cater to the general public, not specific consumers. If your feelings are hurt because someone who wants to sell you something wants to sell to others besides you, then you should take your business elsewhere.

It doesn't mean that they are trying to bring down your way of life, or that they are attacking your beliefs, or that they are trying to impede your right to free speech. It just means that they want to appeal to a larger segment of the buying public. Your rights have not been violated, and you have the right to shop elsewhere. Please do so, just don't whine about how "political correctness" is infringing on your right to worship as you wish.

If you really want to put Christ back in Christmas, you need to throw out all the lights, trees, decorations, Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty, and get back to the real "reason for the season". Never mind that the actual "season" would have been in the spring or early summer, rather than during the winter soltice. Just keep in mind that all of the trappings that are associated with Christmas are based upon pagan rituals, and if you really want to get back to the roots of the celebration, abandon all the trappings of the holiday and follow Jesus' teachings on feeding the hungry, healing the sick, etc. rather than how your feelings are being hurt by the marketplace by hawking their wares to anyone other than you.

The pilgrims didn't celebrate Christmas because they considered it a hedonistic holiday. The Founding Fathers didn't celebrate Christmas, other than to perhaps participate in the drunken debaucherie.

It wasn't until 1870 that Christmas was actually recognized as a holiday in the United States. In the 1850s the American media portrayed Christmas as a personal family tradition, and this is the image that I suspect most anti-Happy Holidaysers want to idealize as Christmas. However, in the early 20th century the media changed tactics and commercialized it into what it is today - an opportunity to sell product to the masses that they don't really need and/or can't afford. And that is the Christmas that pastor Jeffress and his ilk are trying to preserve by pressuring businesses to cater to their ideology and no one elses.

As far as political correctness goes, ABC didn't think Charles Shultz's A Charlie Brown Christmas would go over well because it quoted Scripture on the real meaning of Christmas back in 1965, yet that cartoon continues to air every year, including this year. So much for the PC main stream media - today's argument didn't hold water 45 years ago, and it still doesn't make sense today.

So, Happy Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, and Mele Kalikimaka to all, and to all a Gute Nacht.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Geography lesson for the day: