Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013: War of Christmas

War on Christmas... I'm sorry, but I laugh a little every time I hear that term. The notion that there's a war on Christmas is as absurd as it is untrue. But that doesn't stop Fox 'News' and, most often, Bill
Wait... Is this news, or SNL?
O'Reilly from speaking of this nonsense. Let's look at a few of the silly claims and statements made...
As you know, there are some Americans who are offended by any reference to Jesus Christ and that's what the USA celebrates on December 25th, the birth of the baby Jesus.
Actually, Christian Americans are the ones who celebrate the birth of Jesus on September 25th. And some people celebrate the birth of the other deities said to have been born that same day. Some extend their recognition of the Winter Solstice a few days. And some just celebrate a non-Christian Christmas and use it as a great time to get friends and family together.

Not celebrating a Christian Christmas does not mean that you are offended by references to Jesus. It just means that you aren't Christian. And remember, the Secular version of Christmas is what is honored as a US holiday. There's this little thing called the Constitution. Perhaps you've heard of it? And that's the key point. I am an atheist, but I am not offended in the slightest by references to Jesus. I don't believe, but you can sing about Jesus all you want. I'm not upset at all... that is until someone tries to merge religion and the rule of law... something that actually breaks the law.

Oh but it's called Christmas! So? We still call Thursday, Thursday. Does that mean we all pay service to Thor once a week?
The ACLU began attacking the Christmas holiday. They demanded, demanded the word "Christmas" be removed from advertising and public displays and many people caved in to that. So now we have the happy holiday syndrome.
 I would say that's dishonest, but it's actually closer to a lie. No one demanded that Christmas be
removed from advertising. Every business and citizen has the right to say or write 'Christmas' if they want. The only thing that was and is fought, is Christmas used in government displays... Well, to a point. Picture a courthouse with a nativity scene displayed. If that is all that they have displayed, or allow displayed, that's a violation on the Establishment Clause. They can not allow only a Christian display on government property. To stay within the law they must either remove the exclusive display, or allow an inclusive one that allows equal displayed to other 'religious groups'.

The nativity is okay, so long as they allow a menorah and solstice placard beside it as well. That way, the government is not playing favorites (which would be against the law). And for the record, it would be equally illegal if for some reason a city hall were to allow only an atheist display and reject all others.
What is interesting this year is that Hanukkah will be over on Thursday. So there are no more holidays between then and Christmas Day it's just Christmas if you want to invoke happy. Bad news for the secular progressives.
 Wow, for someone that like to pride himself on his history, Bill is being pretty daft here. Perhaps deliberately so. 'Happy Holidays' is not a new term at all, and far older than his supposed war on Christmas. It actually dates back to around the 1890's. 'Happy Holidays' was traditionally used as a short-hand for 'Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's'... Christmas and New Year's. Two holidays. Plural. In fact, that's what I meant when I as a young Christian would say 'Happy Holidays'. Or was a somehow a Christian waging a war on Christmas in my elementary years?

Then businesses started using 'Happy Holidays' in the 1970's. No, not because they were pressured or forced to. They did this because it was good for business. The term could also be inclusive of far more than just Christmas and New Years. Instead of advertising to Christians and only Christians, they decided to market to everyone. And you know what? It was good for business! What does Bill O'Reilly hate capitalism?

The original 'nefarious' meaning of Happy Holidays
Finally, some say Happy Holidays simply because they don't know what the person they are greeting celebrates. If they know you're Christian, they'll say Merry Christmas. But If they don't know, why not use the handy stand-by of Happy Holidays? It's not a slight to Christianity. Christmas is one of the holidays of 'Happy Holidays' after-all. So if you're a Christian and some one greets you with the somehow controversial 'Happy Holidays', just remember that they are actually saying 'Have a great __________ (insert whatever you're celebrating)!' So they are still wishing you a Happy Christmas. They are not slighting Christmas. It's not like they said 'Happy anything but Christmas'. That one
actually would be rude.
And then there is Macy's, a company that I generally like because it supports Wounded Warriors. But this year they're touting Santa Claus who will help you, quote, "With your holiday wish list." So here is my question to Macy's. What holiday is Santa celebrating?
 I hate to break this one to you Bill, but there is no Santa Claus. He's not celebrating anything. And if he was real he wouldn't be celebrating Christmas. As synonymous as Santa is with Christmas now, he's actually not a Christian original. Like many things 'Christmas', he isn't from Christian, but from Pagan origins. In fact the earliest inspiration for jolly old St. Nick comes from the Norse all-father, Odin.
The most aggressive is the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which routinely threatens to sue small towns and school districts if they dare utter the word "Christmas" or allow choirs to sing carols in public schools.
 Sigh... Not if the say 'Christmas'. Just if they give Christianity and only Christianity a platform. And carols are just fine. Plenty are pretty secular as they are. And you can include the religious ones as well. You just have to throw in some other songs as well. Sing a Jewish, Kwanza and Solstice song and there's no breach of the law.
The irony is that nobody is bothering the atheists. They are free to celebrate whatever they want to celebrate. They are free not to believe and they are free to snicker at anybody who does believe. That's not good enough for these people. They want to banish any mention of Jesus in the public square. They are the oppressors.
What? You can't see me, but I'm wearing my dumbfounded face right now. We are the oppressors?
 President George H. W. Bush said that he didn't consider atheist's to be patriots. Believers often tell me and others to leave the country or threaten me with Hell. Yet I'm not trying to revoke their right to believe and practice what they want. How is respecting the religious liberty of Christians and other creeds oppressive? Really, please tell me.

We're not trying to force our religion ( well, lack thereof) into law like many Christians. We're not trying to tell others what they can and can't do with their own bodies, like many a Christian. Yet O'Reilly calls us oppressors? Come again?

Yes, we are free to snicker at believers. And you know what? Believers are free to snicker at us. Yes, we are also free to celebrate whatever we want this holiday season. You know who else is? Every single believer! No one is trying to take Christmas away from Christians. Our Secular government actually guarantees the right for all to celebrate their respective religious holidays. But if some had their way, and set up a Christian theocracy, there would be oppression because Christmas and only Christmas would be allowed. A Christian version of the dreaded sharia law.

And no one is trying to banish all mentions of Jesus. The only thing being fought is the illegal propping of one religion above all others by a government institution. In the USA it's usually Christianity breaking that rule. But if it were Islam, Wicca or even atheism, the fight would be the same. The government needs to stay neutral in the theological sphere.  Plain and simple.
The Christmas spirit people are just upholding a nice tradition. So why are we allowing anti-Christmas madness
Um... not saying 'Merry Christmas' isn't anti-Christmas. Hell, I'm an atheist that celebrates a secular
Christmas, Pagan roots and all. I don't care that the present name of the holiday is named for a religion I am not a member. It's still a nice time of year for fun, sharing, getting together and being merry. And that's all true no matter what you call it. What's not to like?

-Brain Hulk

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