Thursday, December 5, 2013

A month before Christmas

Here we are, the first week of December, and already my first 'woe is me' Christmas email. You know the type... they claim that Christmas is being stolen (oh the irony), and their rights being taken away. They're wrong, of course. But why let something silly like facts get in the way? Let's take a look...

M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S
(YOUR FIRST CHRISTMAS CARD)  
 
Cleverly done!!!  
  Oh great... an email calling itself clever. Not off to a good start...
'Twas a month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
Why the PC Police
Had taken away
The reason for Christmas -
No one could say. 
The 'PC Police' took away the the Earth's axial tilt? How the heck did they manage that? Oh, wait... You don't mean the real reason for the season. You mean the one made up by your religion. Also, the 'Christmas issue' is not a PC issue at all. But more on that later.

Not a Christian praying? Have you gone out on a Sunday in America? Every church I pass by looks packed. So I'm guessing there's plenty of praying going on in there. Also, there are plenty of Christians that say they are going to pray for me...

Christians not taking a stand? I'm guessing you haven't been watching much Fox 'News'. They are regularly taking stands against issues that don't even exist. 
The children were told
By their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men
And Angels and things. 
Huh? No one said that you can't mention those things. Just that the schools can't promote only those things. The First Amendment means that schools can't legally promote Christmas and only Christmas. If they want to talk Christmas, they have to give equal time to other religions as well. But no one is telling the kids what they can and can't say. If the kids want to talk to each other about angels and wise men during lunch, they are more then welcome to do so.  
It might hurt peoples' feelings,
The teachers would say
December 25th is
Just a 'holiday.'
The reason schools can't focus on Christmas and only Christmas has nothing to do with hurting anyone's feelings. The reason they can't is a little thing called the United States Constitution. Perhaps you've heard of it?

And December 25th is just a holiday. Actually it's many holidays, and one holiday at the same time. You see, what we not call Christmas is actually a conglomeration of many Pagan traditions that have been stolen, renamed and claimed as Christian. The truth is that very little of Christmas is Christian at all.
Yet the shoppers were ready
With cash, checks and credit -
Pushing folks down to the floor
Just to get it!
Yup, it's a commercial wet dream for business. The Black Friday stuff is a disgusting display, I'll give you that.
CDs from Madonna,
An X-BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing,
Something quite odd!
Madonna?! How old is this email? Is she still relevant? 
Retailers promoted
Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books
By Franken & Fonda.
Um... What? I've been around for a while now, and I've never walked into a store to see Ramadan or Kwanzaa displays. And why would Ramadan even be included in a Christmas email? Do you even know what Ramadan is? It is the ninth month in the Islamic calender. A holy month celebrated by way of fasting. Due to the difference in calenders, Ramadan started June 28th this year (2014). So it's hardly a 'competitor' to Christmas this year. In fact, Ramadan hasn't overlapped with Christmas since 1999 and 2000, and won't again until 2031.

Books by Franken and Fonda? Best I can tell, Al Franken hasn't published a book since 2005, and Jane Fonda hasn't been published since 2011. Tell me again how there's some active ploy to get their books sold...
As Targets were hanging
Their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas 
Was nowhere to be found. 
What?! Has the person who wrote this ever been to a Target? My local Target started putting Christmas decorations up for sale in September. And it wasn't much longer before the before the Christmas displays hit the store full force. And what if they did have a problem with 'Christmas trees'? The Puritans banned them in the United States until 1681 due to the celebration's pagan origin.

Christmas is nowhere to be found at Lowe's? I'm guessing you've never gone to a Lowe's during the festive season or been on their website, because it is definitely very present in sore and on their homepage. 
At K-Mart and Staples
And Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas,
It won't touch your ears.
Same with K-Mart. It's right there in their stores and website as well. I don't usually shop at JC Penney's or Sears, so I can't comment on their in-store displays, but their web pages are currently touting their 'cyber deals' and generic holiday messages. Staples... same as Sears and Penney's. But office supplies is pretty much the last thing I think of when I think 'Christmas'.

But the claim that 'Christmas' won't touch your ears, in these stores is a straight lie. In years past, when I've walked through these stores, Christmas music was all they played on the radio. And when I've walked by them in the mall this year, I'm sure I've heard the familiar Christmas tunes on the radio. So tell me, why does it matter that the signs in some of these stores read 'Happy Holidays', when all of them they all play almost exclusively Christmas music?
Inclusive, sensitive,
Di-ver-is-ty
Are words that were used
To intimidate me.
Come again? How are those words used to intimidate anyone out of having Christmas? If you're talking about Christmas not being allowed to rule over schools, that's the law at work. So stop trying to blame the victim when you're no longer allowed to force your beliefs on everyone.

Yes, the wall to wall Kwanza and Hanukkah displays that are replacing all the Christmas displays in stores must be rather intimidating. Oh wait... There aren't any! Walk into just about any store and it's Christmas displays and Christmas music. So some say 'Happy Holidays'... so what? When I was a young Christian, I had no issue. I felt it was a lumping together of the two very close holidays of Christmas and New Year's. 'Happy Holidays' certainly is easier to say at the check stand than 'Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year'.

But even now, as an atheist, I don't get deeply offended when someone wishes me a merry Christmas, and correct them in a sanctimonious tone that they should be wishing me a happy Winter Solstice. And why would I? The holiday season has already been though so many different names. Who cares what you call it? Just enjoy it how you'd personally like. The person ringing up your purchases doesn't know if you are Christian or Jewish, so they may say 'Happy Holidays'. Basically, they're saying 'whichever holiday you celebrate, have a great one'. And what's so wrong with that? If you just so happen to celebrate Christmas, they are still wishing you a good Christmas, even if they didn't use those words.
Now Daschle, Now Darden,
Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer...on Rather,
On Kerry, on Clinton!  
Oh boy... And now the pointing of political fingers. And this email must really be old, because they didn't blame Obama for something for a change. While I don't care for many on that list, I find it telling that they're basically saying, "Yeah, you know all those politicians and pundits that (according to this email) support the following of the law? We're not them." Thanks for telling us that the conservatives are basically saying, "Piss on the law. We're above the law."


At the top of the Senate,
There arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus ,
In all public matter.
Actually, no. The Constitution gives two options for religious displays on government property. Allow none, are allow equal space to all. That means that you can't have only a nativity scene at the court house. You either need to move it to private land, or allow other displays alongside. There's no conspiracy to single-out and eliminate Jesus, just the proper application of the law. The problem is that many Christians demand exclusivity that isn't allowed by the law.

And we spoke not a word,
As they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak
Of salvation and grace.
No... not even close. People can have all the Jesus they want, they can put up lights, a tree, sing carols, etc. No one is trying to take that away. The Constitution also provides freedom of religion, and all are still free to worship the religion of their choosing. No one is forbidden to speak about Jesus or Christianity. Anyone who has spent a day or two in America should be readily aware of that fact...
The true gift of Christmas
Was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season,
Stopped before it started.
What? Are you telling me again that someone changed the tilt of the Earth and I somehow didn't notice? And if you mean the religious reason for the season, which one? Christmas is but the latest name tacked onto this December holiday.
So as you celebrate
'Winter Break'
Under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks,
Listen to me.
Winter Break? That sounds nice. The only time I get off that time of year is by way of vacation days. I'd gladly take some time off. Oh, and schools can't call it Christmas break anymore because of the First Amendment. How dare they do something controversial tike following the law.

Dream tree? Never heard that name before. But I get the feeling that this email is becoming deliberately mocking. And for the record, my wife and I put up a tree every year despite not being Christian, and are not the least bit bothered by doing so. After all, the Christmas tree isn't even Christian at all.

Starbucks... I'll pass. I don't drink that swill, or any coffee for that matter. Give me my English Breakfast Tea any day with a bit of honey and a dash of milk. Now that hits the spot.
Choose your words carefully,
Choose what you say.
Shout M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S ,
Not Happy Holiday!
I will think about what I say, but I doubt I'll be saying Merry Christmas since I'm not a Christian. However, like some Christians, I won't get all pissy because someone greeted me using different words than I would have used, even though the intent was the same. Newsflash Christians, you do not own Christmas, and you never really have. And while you do have the right to celebrate Christmas, you don't have the right to make everyone else celebrate it as well, and on your terms no less... 
Please, all Christians join together and wish everyone you meet
M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S !
 
Christ is the reason for the Christ-mas Season!

If you agree, please forward.  If not, simply delete. 
 Um, maybe someone was confused when they sent me this, but I'm not a Christian. However, it pretty sad that I apparently know more about 'their' holiday than they do. Christ is not the reason for the season in the slightest. If there was a Jesus, he would have been born in Summer or early Autumn, not on December 25th. That date was chosen to hijack much older Pagan celebrations that already took place at that time of the year. And those celebrations largely point to one true reason for the season... The tilt of the Earth. The Winter Solstice marks when the days stop getting shorter and the sun will start to raise higher and higher above the horizon. The rebirth of the Sun, if you will.

So no, I will not pass this errant and deceptive email on. Instead I shall pass along this corrected version. Better to spread facts than lies. And ignoring lies is sometimes not much better than spreading them. So Christians that got this into my inbox, enjoy!


-Brain Hulk

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