Sunday, November 25, 2007

The War on Christmas

It is Christmas time again, which means joy to some, pain for others and indignant complaints from the liberal far-left who feel every time their all-too-sensitive ears hear the word Christ, they must fear for the safety of every man, woman and child who is being unfairly oppressed by religion. Yes, the stores fill up with blissful shoppers, specials start to appear on TV crammed with Christmasy goodness and sugary happy endings while a tiny percentage of "Americans" rev up the fight to abolish Christmas and all that it stands for. Apparently, Christ is offensive. He offends peoples liberties and prevents them from worshiping their own religions (or no religion at all), and the axiom that helped found this great nation—Freedom of Religion—has been bastardized and metamorphosed into becoming Freedom from Religion.

Heaven help you if you try to celebrate Christmas within its original intentions, going to church, placing a nativity scene on your front lawn or by praying because you’ll undoubtedly offend someone…or that’s what they’ll have you believe. Don’t mention Christ. Don’t mention the Nativity. Don’t mention the three wise Kings who followed a star to witness the birth of Jesus, Lord Savor to several billion people on this planet. And you sure as hell better not plaster a cheesy smile on your face, wearing your best looking sweater with Santa embroidered on it and walk up to some random person to wish them a very Merry Christmas. Some people don’t believe in Christmas and they don’t celebrate it, don’t you know…and they want the rest of the world to share their sentiments…and oh no, we must not offend them by a happy gesture toward the good faith of mankind.

Instead, say Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays, because, by God, that includes us all… or does it? If you don’t believe in God, does that mean you don’t celebrate Christmas? If you’re Jehovah’s Witness (and they’re 1.3 million strong in the U.S.) and don’t celebrate any holiday, including their own birthday, does that mean they can’t encounter anything that is related Christmas? If you don’t like what you’re watching, change the channel and realize that other people are enjoying it.

What holiday can someone celebrate this time of year besides Christmas? What else is there? There’s Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, an eight-day Jewish holiday beginning on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may fall anytime from late November to late December. It celebrates the re-kindling of the Temple menorah at the time of the Maccabee rebellion. Hanukkah, from the Hebrew word for "dedication" or "consecration", marks the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the forces of Antiochus IV and commemorates the "miracle of the container of oil." According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.

Then there’s Ramadan, a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when the Qur'an was revealed. The name “Ramadan” is taken from the name of this month, which happens to be December, I guess; the word itself derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground, and shortness of rations. It is considered the most venerated and blessed month of the Islamic year. Prayers, sawm (fasting), charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.

Lastly (I left off the weirdos that celebrate Winter Solstice as a religious holiday), we have Kwanzaa, a festive, non-religious celebration, founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, during which African Americans celebrate and reflect upon their rich heritage. It begins December 26 and lasts for seven days, which is not even during Christmas! Each day focuses on one of seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith (which looks to me like nine).

None of these other “holidays” have to do with Christmas at all, but I respect the fact that they mean something to the people that observe them, so I’m prepared to give them the room that they deserve.

But what room do they deserve? Exactly, how much space on the American conscious should they be allowed to barge in on a Christian holiday? We’ll get to that.

When is the last time someone complained about Kwanzaa or Ramadan, saying that they’re religiously oppressed if they have to acknowledge their existence? You haven’t and if you did, you’d would be forced by society’s politically correct atmosphere to label that person a racist. Why? Because Kwanzaa, though made up and is based on nothing but an idea to unify black people, is a black-inspired celebration, and Ramadan is for the Muslims, and if you disagree with Kwanzaa or Ramadan, you my friend are a racist and relegated to the lowest position on the totem pole of respect.

But really, who celebrates these holidays/celebrations? You’d be surprised how few people are taking over control of this the holiest of days in a majority of religions here in this country. For starters, let’s cut Kwanzaa completely out of the argument. For one, it isn’t a real holiday, it has nothing to do with religion and is a completely fabricated “celebration” designed to perpetuate racial segregation in our society (as are all race-based “holidays”… Cinco de Mayo). Additionally, I’m sure that, of the black population in this country, roughly 39 million of them (or about 13 percent of the country’s people), a minuscule and equally negligible percentage of them celebrate Kwanzaa only and not Christmas at all. So, that leaves Ramadan and Hanukkah….and the atheists, of course, but we’ll get to them later.

According to Islam101.com, there are approximately five million Muslims in the U.S., which is about 1.6 percent of the population. Of this group, let’s assume that they all celebrate Ramadan to some extent as a worst-case scenario for my argument but that of those five million people, half observe a traditional (albeit traditional here is defined in the most capitalistic of ways of buying and exchanging gifts only) Christmas, leaving only 0.08 percent that don’t celebrate Christmas at all.

According to Wikipedia, there are about eight million Jewish people currently living in the U.S., which equates to only 2.8 percent of Americans, and it is probably safe to assume they all celebrate Hanukkah rather than Christmas.

Looking at atheistempire.com, they claim that approximately 0.9 percent of the U.S. population is either atheist (they don’t believe in God) or agnostic (they don’t believe in anything they can’t see, touch, etc.). Wow, that’s less than a million people in this country who could possibly not celebrate Christmas or be offended somehow by the religious connotations on which Christmas is based. However, do you know anyone who is atheist, and if you do, have you ever bought them a Christmas present and have them throw it away, or have you ever wished them a Merry Christmas only to get back a lecture about how Jesus couldn’t have been born to a God that doesn’t exist? No, of course not. They probably returned your Merry Christmas wishes with equal aplomb.

But what about the rest of the population? Why is the War on Christmas such a big deal, and why is it, once again, the majority catering to the minority in this country? There are several reasons. For starters, let’s add up the folks in this country who could rather do without Christmas. Of the estimated 300 million people in the U.S., five million are Ramadan-celebrating Muslims (we’ll assume all of them don’t celebrate Christmas, even though we know that is not possible), eight million are lighting the Menorah and 900,000 atheists on December 25th are probably watching their fellow libs on Fox News. That is only roughly 14 million people that don’t enjoy the Christmas holiday, or about 4.6 percent of the population.

Four-point-six! That’s it. These are the people that are beginning to take control of Christmas, wrapping their fingers around its neck and strangling it into X-mas and “happy holidays” and “seasons greetings.” So, why do the rest of us, the other 95.4 percent of the people in this country, have to cater to those that celebrate Ramadan or Hanukkah or no holiday at all? Why are we forced to care when they don’t seem to care about Christmas and are, in fact, bent on destroying it? Am I adverse to Muslims celebrating holidays in the month of December or Jewish people having themselves eight crazy nights? No, of course not, but since neither Hanukkah nor Ramadan is a holiday that is Christmas-equivalent, why is it grouped with Christmas-related holidays? We have Christmas. You have Hanukkah or Ramadan. Leave Christmas alone and respect the fact that it is a holiday that means something to us, us the majority of the people in this country, us that makes the laws, us that vote, us that pay the taxes, us that define the culture of America… us that’s 95 percent strong.

What does it mean the 95 percent of us. The result was that a few years ago (in the late 1990s), differing factions started the War on Christmas, a despicable battle to remove the religious connotations from the holiday, fought by the same people that brought you the secularization of the church, flag burning as an element of free speech and the removal of prayer in school or religious symbols in our government. You can’t say Merry Christmas randomly to strangers because what if they don’t celebrate Christmas, never mind that they’re carrying bags of freshly purchased gifts and never mind that they feel an odd sense of warmth on the morning of the 25th or that they feel closer to their families and humankind as a whole? Instead, say season’s greetings or happy holidays because you might deny them their human right to be free of religion. That’s like gay people being offended if I were to wish them a happy honeymoon….sure, it doesn’t apply to them, but who cares. It’s a nice gesture, so don’t be a jerk about it; some people that are in the countries that traditionally celebrate Ramadan and/or Hanukkah are getting the equivalent of a punch in the face on their holiday.

Last week, the Liberty Council, an organization that advances “religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family” came out with their list of companies that use the word “Christmas” in their advertisement and stores and those companies that don’t (Click Here to see it). Essentially, what it comes down to is this: a company generalizes the holiday to make more money, they hedge their bets and cover all the bases. Saying “happy holidays” instead of Christmas includes most everyone in this country, but it is a thin veil over their attempt to placate the masses into thinking that the best medicine for this country is a politically correct environment where differences in cultures and religious bases are washed over, homogenized and put on an equal plain. The can’t think of any other way of doing it besides lumping them all together. If pissing off 95 percent of the population in favor of pleasing the other five, then go ahead, business as usual.

However, the Liberty Council provided me with a list of companies I will not shop at this season, or at all, and I urge you to do the same. Pretty soon, our Christmas trees will be called holiday shrubs, Christmas cards will be greeting gestures, and “Miracle on 34th Street” will just be another movie about a fat guy with multiple personalities.

I blame schools, teachers and principals for altering the minds of impressionable kids for the sake of cultural equality (do you think Christmas gets the same parity in schools in Tehran?) and for downplaying the meaning of Christmas just to rename it a “holiday” (the same goes for Halloween…call it what it is and let kids be kids). I blame businesses, companies and advertising for broadcasting the simplest message of consumerism to the largest number of people that may buy what they’re selling in spite of how many people actually are offended by the lack of Christ in Christmas but feel like they can’t say something for fear of upsetting someone of a different culture. I blame the government for cowtowing to the squeaky wheel or special interests groups in the effort to not leave anyone out of anything…when this country was founded on leaving people out of things and making sure that it represents the majority for the good of the common person.

Most of all, I blame myself (and you) for allowing it to happen, for not looking someone in the eye and telling them that a mere holiday is Columbus Day or Memorial Day but that this is Christmas… call it what it is.

So, Merry Christmas, and if that offends you, go to hell.

1 comment:

IAA said...

Um, I sorta agree with you since Christmas is a religious event for Christianity, and no one should alter another religion unless they're willing to alter their own. The only fault I found in your post was that Ramadan isn't in December. Muslims follow a lunar calendar similar to that of the Chinese and Hindus. The dates for Ramadan moves up by about ten days every solar year. In a few years time, Ramadan will be in the summer. :p Nonetheless, still a good post.

 

web site tracking
Sierra Trading Post