Monday, December 12, 2005

Jesus wept!

(cross-posted at Distance)

I'm not religious but I've always loved Christmas --- the food, the lights, the tree, the music, the whole thing. Now the right wing pricks have gone and made it a cause in their goddamned culture war and I can't enjoy it anymore. One sniff of fruitcake and a picture of Bill O'Reilly enters my mind. I'm instantly nauseated.

Everywhere I go, even here in the very heart of godless secular humanism, the People's Republic of Santa Monica, there are carolers on the sidewalk (singing songs like "Oh Holy Night" no less) "Merry Christmas" is written on store windows, decorated trees and twinkling lights are all over the place. And all I can think is "what in the hell are these wingnuts going on about? Christmas is everywhere! Are they nuts???" And then the pure, simple, childlike enjoyment I usually feel for the holiday just slips away.

I resent the hell out of these wingnut bastards turning Christmas into a political football. Is nothing sacred to these people?

Amen! Preach it, Brother Digby!

I'd like to ignore this phony war-on-Christmas horseshit, but it's everywhere. Infesting the pages of my local papers, as lemming-like O'Reilly followers and AFA members write indignant letters to complain about the campaign to "take Christmas away" from them. Legions of them patrol the malls, looking for an excuse to take offense. If O'Reilly, Don and Tim Wildmon and John Gibson had any decency they'd be ashamed at what they're doing: Taking a season for celebrating peace and good will and turning it into a season of belligerence, combativeness, and rage. Very Christ-like of you, fellas.

The Sun News dutifully sent a pair of its crackerjack reporters out in the trenches to report on this ginned-up controversy:

Forget jolly.

'Tis the time to make much ado about what to call the season.

A debate is playing out locally and nationally on radio and TV call-in shows, online message boards and newspaper editorial pages about the word "Christmas" being included or excluded in retail advertising, the White House holiday card, parades, tree lighting ceremonies and seasonal salutations.

For some, the exclusion of "Christmas" is an effort to dismiss the traditional celebration of a majority of the nation. Believers of other faiths and nonreligious folks see phrases such as "Happy Holidays" as more inclusive and respectful of all beliefs.

Advocacy groups are campaigning to steer shoppers away from retailers and products not using "Christmas" in advertisements.

The American Family Association's Web site, www.afa.net, urges shoppers to boycott companies on its list that have excluded the word "Christmas" from their retail ads, TV commercials and in-store promotions.

The Rev. Mitchell Livingston, pastor of Foundations Forever International Church in Little River, signed a petition on the Web site and has called the corporate offices of major retailers to voice his displeasure.

"[Some businesses] are trying to appease everyone, and that's fine with me," Livingston said. "But don't take my Christmas away from me. I don't care if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, but I do."

You can have his Christmas when you pry it from his cold dead fingers!

The Rev. Windy Price, pastor at Atlantic Beach Christian Methodist Episcopal Mission Church, doesn't let political correctness get in her way when she shops.

"When I go into stores and they tell me 'happy holiday' or 'season greetings,' I always say 'Merry Christmas,'" Price said.

"I don't care what they say, I refuse to be moved."

Go ahead, burn her at the stake, secularists! This courageous woman will laugh and sing Christmas carols in the flames!

Surfside Beach hosted a Christmas parade Saturday. Town officials have not discussed changing the name of parade or other events, said Town Administrator Clyde Merryman. "It concerns me deeply that we're trying to do away with a lot of traditions in our country," Merryman said.

"This is the Christmas season in our country. I'm very firmly in support that this is the Christmas season in the United States. That in no way should this be demeaning to personal friends of mine who are of the Muslim or Jewish faith."

Like you have any.

And the letters sections of the papers have become, even more than usual, a wellspring of dumb-assery:

I am saddened by the removal of "Christ" from Christmas throughout this great country.

We are 85 percent Christian, yet more and more we see stores eliminating the word "Christmas" from their signs and displays and replacing it with "holiday." I know of only a couple of stores still calling this wonderful time of year Christmas: J.C. Penney and Dillards. They will get all of my shopping dollars this year.

Most of the well-known discount stores have eliminated "Christ" from Christmas (political correctness out of control). One has forbidden The Salvation Army from its entrance. How awful.

If my devout Christian Grandpa Stanton, who passed away 50 years ago, were alive today, he would think he was in a foreign country instead of the good old U.S.A. [In 1897, The New York Sun] made a famous statement to a child, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." Today, a more profound and true statement might be said, "Yes, Virginia, there really is Christ in Christmas." God bless you all.
Myrtle Beach

So much dumb-assery that The State had to create a separate page to hold it all. Samples:

We have all been told to be politically correct about everything we say and do these days. The retail giants are removing Christmas from their stores; it is now a “holiday” time of year. Lowe’s is selling holiday trees!

I read through the huge amount of sale papers after Thanksgiving, and every large business is killing Christmas. Target is one of the worst ones, but thankfully a graphic artist was able to slip in one little ad for “Christmas Kids.”

Have the majority of us just decided to let others handle the fight? Let’s put “Christ” back in Christmas. We are letting a few make the decisions for the majority.

I read an advertisement in your paper for people to buy “holiday trees” this year instead of Christmas trees. I get confused when I read this kind of advertisement because I do not know which “holiday” they are talking about.

[That's because you're a moron, sir. With all due respect.]

Should I buy a Labor Day holiday tree or a Memorial Day holiday tree or one for another holiday? I never used to have this problem; for 60 years, I always bought a Christmas tree this time of year.

[Consult your physician.]

So, it looks like I will search in your newspaper for a business that sells Christmas trees and purchase one there. I will take it home and get out the old Christmas tree decorations and proceed to for another year have a beautiful Christmas tree that is worthy of being part of the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ.

I suppose the people who just buy “holiday trees” will have it as part of their celebration, but what are they celebrating this time of year? Confusing isn’t it?

[Only if you're, well, a moron.]

Oh well. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Bob Somerby says, it just doesn't get any dumber than this. I'd like to think that was true. But I have the feeling it's going to get a lot dumber, and a lot uglier, before it's over.


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