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my annual anti-war-on-Christmas rant

easter, who must secretly have the same extended family I do, reminded me that it's this time of year when we get facebook statuses and email forwards from the isolationists reminding us that Christmas is about CHRIST and anyone who tries to water it down by saying "Happy Holidays!" or not putting a nativity scene on their desk at work is a HEATHEN. No, worse, a POLITICALLY CORRECT heathen!

In fact I think I'll write a special entry later this week on the "PC police" label that the right slaps on people who disagree with them... but let's just talk about Christmas first.

When it comes to Christians living a hard life, Jon Stewart put it wonderfully:
"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe - dare I dream it? - maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively."

If a cashier telling you "Happy Holidays" is the most persecuted you've ever been, I hate to tell you this, but your life isn't that hard. You're just making shit up to act persecuted.

I don't fault Christians for feeling like the sacredness of their holiday has been lost in the shuffle a bit. Christmas is watered down, is celebrated by people who don't care to appreciate it's real meaning. It's viewed by corporate America as a category on a balance sheet. That all sucks.

But all that is our fault, people. We wanted Christmas to be hung from the shopping mall ceiling. We wanted so many nativity sets on display that they needed to be cranked out in chinese factories. We wanted it everywhere, we've got it everywhere, and now we're surprised that we lost control of it.

You don't get both! You can't mass-produce Christmas and have everyone get the true meaning of it. In the same light, you can't force kids to pray in school and have them all magically believe in Jesus. That just isn't how public consumption works. It corrupts, it spreads thin, it loses its meaning, and you have to deal with the fact that all that fell apart because you were a lazy asshole.

Seriously, Christians. Stop doing two things:

1) Blaming the loss of your holiday on corporate America, when you were the one who thought corporate America should market it to the masses in the first place.

2) Acting like your life is hard because Target didn't get your pagan-stolen color theme right.

If you really wanted Christmas to mean something you'd pay lots of attention to how it's celebrated in your house, and family, and the needy people around you.

You'd be finding joy, not looking for things to complain about on facebook.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, times a thousand. Thank you.

Also, I hope your family can at least spell.
Dec. 3rd, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
This this this this this!
Dec. 3rd, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
Oh I wish I could share this on Facebook.

The thing is, I *am* a Christian, but I've long known that "Christmas" is not a Christian celebration anymore. If I want to celebrate the "Christ" in Christmas, I do so by going to church on Christmas Eve.

Adding on to this, as a public school teacher, is my irritation at the religious sects that don't celebrate Christmas at all, or any other holiday (including birthdays). They make it very difficult for me to do cute little decorating projects with my students, and not only for Christmas. I had one mother completely derail my wonderful Halloween pumpkin project, so no one in the class could do it because she didn't want her son doing it.

Seriously, the concept of "live and let live" is totally lost on a lot of people.
Dec. 3rd, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
do it for the other kids anyway, and let him read a book. :P

(yeah I know it's more complicated than that)
Dec. 3rd, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
Every time a customer pointedly replies to my 'happy holidays' with a forceful 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' (the you-godless-whore part is merely implied, after all, these are nice people), I want to say, "Not all of us celebrate Christmas. Me, I celebrate Solstice. My friend Anna? She has eight wonderful days of eating too much during Hannukah. My friend Olivia? She's all about Yule. And a lot of people don't give a crap about what time of year people decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus, they're just in it for the presents and the booze. So, happy holidays. Have fun at church."

Of course, I don't start saying 'happy holidays' until significantly later in the month. Right now I'm still on 'have a great day', or, if the customer is particularly nice, 'Have a good weekend.'
Dec. 4th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
Wasn't JFK a Catholic? Are we counting that? Are they kind of the same thing? Please no one hit me.

As far as I'm concerned, Christians lost control of "their" holiday a long time ago. At my house, Christmas has always happened on Christmas Eve, and no decorations ever went up until Christmas Eve. We did an Advent wreath though, every Sunday we'd light a candle on it. Which, now that I'm thinking about it, is kind of a strangely Jewish thing to do.

Anyhow, yeah, the super-early Christmas thing and overexposure because of it is something I'm really tired of. Our tree is up, but not decorated, as Pete comes from a Still-Digesting-The-Turkey,Please-Pass-Me-An-Ornament family, and at my house, nothing happened until Christmas Eve. For my mother, the product of a post-WWII Germany single mother, the tree WAS the present, and that was very exciting for her, and as a result, me.
Dec. 5th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
Just in case you were serious, 'Catholic' is a strict subset of 'Christian'. :)
Dec. 4th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Also, on the holiday subject, it bothers me when people say "enjoy your holiday" at Thanksgiving. Like it's something that not everyone celebrates. During "the holidays", it makes more sense, tho.
Dec. 4th, 2011 05:54 am (UTC)
What about Canadians? :p
Dec. 5th, 2011 10:07 am (UTC)
I ignore Thanksgiving most years, or try damned hard to anyway (the failing being my irritation at nothing being open). This year I visited the family in Oregon, but I still worked more those two days than the entire rest of the week.
Dec. 4th, 2011 09:36 am (UTC)
Dec. 5th, 2011 10:04 am (UTC)
There's a third thing: stop shoving your (appropriated) "holiday" down my (and everyone else's) throat. As the quote goes, religion is like a penis...
Dec. 7th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)

If only this fit into an FB status update. :(

Dec. 12th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe - dare I dream it? - maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively."

I wish I could post this on FB. I would get canned.
Jesse Crockett
Jun. 6th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Seriously, Christians...
I admit I'm a lazy asshole, to the fair extent, but do you mean "fellow Christians"?
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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