Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Holidays and Happy Christmas

It's December, and the "wholly-oppressive" holiday of Christmas is once again upon us. No, really. Christmas is oppressive. Just ask the Jews, Muslims, and (insert label for Kwanzaa-celebrants here) how advertisements for "Christmas presents" and "Christmas trees" are slaps-in-faces of their proverbial religions.

Um, yeah...

It is true that Christmas, in its "pure" (and I hate to use that term) form is primarily a Christian holiday, but it is equally true that Christmas, in its progressive American form, was well on its way to becoming a simple non-secular way of celebrating one's family and friends in the twilight of yet another year gone by.

In fact, I'd have been willing to bet that in another few decades, Christmas in America would pretty much damn near entirely been celebrated as, what I'd like to term, an "agnostic holiday."

But then, as often does when an ACLU-type attitude goes horribly wrong, those "free religious practitioners" of other similarly-timed religious holidays decided to politicize the matter, devolving the holiday into what seems to be a vehement Christian defense of Jesus' purported birthday (which, hate to break it to you, it is most certainly not Jesus' birthday).

No, I'm not criticizing religion. Hell, I'm not even criticizing the ACLU. What I am criticizing are people's attitudes that "my beliefs are more important than your beliefs" to the point where they are essentially saying, "I don't care if I am an American; I'm a different, and better, type of American than you."

And I fucking hate that.

I wrote a similar piece two years ago, and instead of wasting time on a retread, you can go read it here.

But, the thesis remains the same. Christmas, for a while, was much more an "American" holiday than it was a Christian holiday. And, as an American (albeit an agnostic one), I completely preferred it that way. I never took any offense to someone wishing me a Merry Christmas, just like I never took any offense to someone wishing me a Happy Hanukkah (or Chanukah... depending on whether you prefer Anglicization or not). In fact, I thought it was totally cool that people just sort of got into the spirit, and left the religo-specific labels for their own living rooms.

But, no, "political correctness" had to fuck things up and foment yet another fundamental divide between people for no other reason than to foment another fundamental divide.

It's Christmas, people... a time to get along, be happy, and support one another, regardless of personal beliefs. Not only that, it's American Christmas, which many (if not most) were associating with Jesus less and less every year.

And it's a sad irony that "Christmas opponents" are reversing that trend.

We've all seen what fundamentalism can do to the world. With a few glaring and horrifying exceptions, America has largely been a moderate country, with moderate cultures and moderate beliefs. And, for most of the past 236 years, it's paid off rather well.

So why are we bringing fundamentalist "fuck the other guy" attitudes into our giving season?



Anonymous said...

On an individualistic basis, I agree with you. I appreciate someone wishing me a Merry Christmas, even though I'm a Buddhist. I like Christmas trees and don't care if they're a Christian tradition borrowed from Pagan Winter Solstice celebrations.

Do Christmas trees belong at an airport or any other government place? If its tax payers dollars putting them there, no, definitely not. If they were donated, then stick them up for all I care.

If people indicate they are offended, however, then they should be taken down in public arenas. Some people can become touchy due to the numerous Christian overtones we have in this country year round. I can understand their point of view even if I don't fully share it.

Posted by Introspective Prophesier on December 14, 2008 - Sunday - 3:33 AM

Baino said...


PattiKen said...

If you think that fundamentalist "fuck the other guy" attitude is limited to our giving season, you haven't been paying attention. And I know that's not true.

For me, it's because of.

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