Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas--or whatever

I was awakened around 3:30 this morning, either by the dog wanting to go out or Thea wanting to not have a stuffy nose so she could go back to sleep. Either way, while taking Beaker out, I checked e-mail and Facebook on my iPod Touch, and amidst all the unremarkable well-wishes were also "Merry CHRISTmas" and "It's Merry Christmas NOT Happy Holidays" and a couple others along similar lines.

This has to be the most bullshit controversy in the history of bullshit controversies.

The supposed issue is over the secularization of Christmas. "Holidays," of course, means "holy days." So it's not secularizing Christmas, it's just acknowledging that there are many possible holy days that someone might be celebrating. Granted, most people don't necessarily think "holy days" when they say "holidays"--they think "day off" maybe or "something people celebrate," and we do use "holiday" to refer to things like New Year's Eve / New Year's Day, which I doubt most of us think of as sacred days.

But anyway, my point is that it seems to me that the commentators pushing this "war on Christmas" or "just say no to Happy Holidays" agenda are really in the business of stirring up controversy for the sake of getting people angry so that they'll donate money and support particular political agendas. And what they're playing off of seems to be the desire by some Christians not to live in a pluralistic society, to be surrounded only by other Christians and not to acknowledge, if possible, that other belief systems even exist, except perhaps as an "other" to be feared and hated or, at the very least, mistrusted.

Ultimately, if Christians want to "fight" against the "secularization" of Christmas, then they should start by doing so in their own homes. Dont' buy so much crap. Focus on prayer and kindness, peace and joy and brotherhood and all that. If other people want to celebrate Christmas in their own way--even a completely secular way--why is it anyone else's business, anyway? Opt out of the Christmas you don't want, opt into the Christmas you do: why isn't it as easy as that?

On that note, I'll close. Here's hoping you had the Christmas you wanted and that your holiday season has been a good one, whatever and however you choose to celebrate (or not).

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