Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas to all, and to...well...wait...

Have you missed me? Yeah, I didn't think so. I figured it wouldn't be bad to at least give you something for the 'holiday season'. Admittedly, the hustle and bustle has snagged even me, but like you care. You want mindless musings to read and I will attempt to be your supplier.

Today's topic, suggested by some guy named Rick, is, "What's the deal with Christmas?" Ok, I'm probably paraphrasing, but stick with me..."tis the season."
As with the Red and Blue state delimiter, the country seems divided. Or maybe it's just sliding. After reading an article bemusing the fact that some store employees seemed to be down right stymied by you wishing them a "Merry Christmas!" as you finish up a purchase by my hero James Lileks, it struck me that this country seems to be slowing going in a direction I'm not particularly fond of. We now seem to be two days away from "The Holiday That Will Not be Named."

See, the problem is Christianity is oppressive. Love and peace and all that jazz shouldn't be forced on others. And saying Christ or Jesus or--God forbid-- Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost might cause someone with no or, at least, a tenuous religious affiliation to actually consider their standing with God (if he actually exists) and what ramifications that could have on their life and post-life experience. This in the modern world is unacceptable. You see America...we have a Constitution...with a Bill of Rights...containing a First Amendment. That one, the first one, gives me the right to go through life with out ever hearing or even viewing any possible representation of a Christian deity. What? That's not so? Tell this guy
Yeah, that's right. A principal actually told a seventh grader wearing a Santa costume, "This a holiday party, not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to this school that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that." So which religion is anti-Santa again? Exactly.

See Santa is a symbol of Christmas. Christmas is, or at least was, a Christian holiday. THEREFORE, according to the strained logic of overly sensitive junior high principals and others of his ilk, Christmas--not just the real story, or even the word, but any miniscule representation-- is a hair short of proselytizing. Of course, my next question might be what's so wrong with proselytizing, but I'm pretty sure the first amendment doesn't cover such things.

Yes, it's all ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous are the Christians boycotting stores that use the abbreviated X-mas, but almost. See, Christians realize that businesses-- because of fear of litigation or losing patrons or just the general climate of the day-- no longer use the word Christmas. Don't put up mangers scenes. Don't play silent Night over the p.a. A slope they don't want to go down. So they're touchy. Then you've got guys like that principal, which makes them think they're more than justified. Where are we gonna end up? I don't know.

As a microcosm of this argument, read the Lilek's column above if you haven't. Then read this guy's response. Then read Lilek's rebuttal. We are going somewhere. It makes me uncomfortable, and shouldn't you be uncomfortable in a world where "Merry Christmas" is on it's way to becoming invective?

Oh well....

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