Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The imagined war.

It's that time of year again. The annual happening where the Fox (faux?) news Christians scream that there is a war on Christmas. That's right, they've created a 'war' that is just as make believe as their favored mythology. You know the story, Christians voicing outrage when people don't defy the Constitution and proclaim Christianity and everything attached to it as the unquestioned official religion of our nation. Fake controversy after another, it's always proclaimed that there is an all out war on Christmas.

One of the cases this year concerns holiday displays in Santa Monica. They have a tradition there where there are 'stalls' that are given out to groups to decorate. For years they were always Christmas displays of nativity scenes and other sorts. The way it worked was that groups could enter, and then the 'winners' would be randomly selected out of a hat. No problems there, but last year is when the 'problems' started. In 2011, atheist groups also started entering their groups into the pool. As luck would have it, the majority of the slots chosen were atheist groups. So in the place of the many nativity scenes were secular messages and Solstice displays. Even though the slots were selected the same way they always had been, the local churches were outraged that they no longer enjoyed the monopoly they once enjoyed. They complained until they were blue in the mouth. And after that didn't force the city to overturn their fair and random selection procedure is when the vandalism started. After that ordeal, after the complaints, after the vandalism that needed to be fixed and due to budget reasons, they simply decided not to do the displays at all this year. Cue the outraged church groups. Since they didn't offer the display space this year, they claimed it was an example of the 'war of Christmas'. Sorry, but no. If it was a war on Christmas, they would still do the displays but disallow Christians from taking part. Little do they realize, that had they not raised such a fuss and abstained from vandalizing the displays they didn't like, then the city may have offered the displays again this year as well. But when you have a persecution complex, it's probably not tough to see how they missed that.

Another example is when a government building displays a nativity scene and nothing else. Often, a group will sue and the result will often be that they must also allow other displays or have no displays at all. Following that, other displays would be posted alongside the nativity. Often, one will be an atheistic message, or Solstice display. But then Christian groups will claim that not allowing the nativity to stand all by itself is somehow an example of this supposed war of Christmas. No, it's an upholding of the Constitution. What would be a war on Christmas would be if they said everything but a nativity was allowed.

I also have to hear that we are trying to git rid of Christmas or stop others from celebrating Christmas. Outrageous! The only problem I and others have is when Christians try to force their beliefs and force Christmas as the only holiday and that if you don't celebrate it, you are a terrible person. Well... that and when there are obvious violations of the Constitution at play. Personally, I fell that everyone should celebrate whatever holidays they see fit. I'm an atheist, so I am supposedly 'out to destroy Christmas'. Wrong! I always have and still do celebrate Christmas. Not in a religious way of course, but a secular way. At the root of it all, Christmas is just a re-branded collection of older traditions. I celebrate for the Solstice, but more so for my family, friends and all of us getting together. There is no war on Christmas. Only zealots with throwing their toys from the pram because they can't force everyone into doing as they want.

-BH

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