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War on Christmas
11-30-2009, 10:16 PM (This post was last modified: 11-30-2009 10:16 PM by MerryAtheist.)
Post: #1
War on Christmas
Before the Annual War on Christmas heats up, I'd like to offer the following from my blog:

"Merry Christmas. There, I said it."

Christmas is awesome. I have no problem with all the “Merry Christmas’s” the carols, the festivities, even the religious observances (though I am no longer a believer). Frankly, it’s a pretty dreary time of the year - long nights, cloudy, cold and foggy days - and we need an excuse to be cheerful and happy at Winter Solstice time (which was the original “reason for the season” after all).

So the Yuletide has got a fair bit of religion stuck in there. So what? It was there before Christianity came along, and will likely be there long after Christianity passes away (considering the track record of the thousands of religions that have graced humanity’s consciousness, such a passing has a high probability). Religion is nothing new. And it doesn’t bother me in the least because I am the one who decides if religion means anything to me, not anyone else.

That said, there are three things that really bug me about Christmas time.

1. Christmas movies and specials on TV. I grew up watching The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman. That was it, and it seemed sufficient. Do I really need to see the Very Special Ugly Betty Christmas, or the 358th E.R. Christmas Episode? Is my Christmas season incomplete without the crew from CSI searching for the Santa killer? But those are just the regular shows cashing in on the seasonal attitude, I guess they can be forgiven. The real dreck comes from the likes of Connie Selleca, Steve Gutenberg et al in those saccharin-sweet Christmas movies. You know the ones where a cute and cuddly orphan or lovely young widow or [insert your favorite character stereotype here] finds (A) a parental unit, (B) love, or © their lost sense of childlike wonder as a result of a magical encounter with (A) an angel, (B) a meaningful talisman from their past, or © an old guy that looks like Santa. Each of these movies should be followed by a lengthy and thorough teeth-brushing, because the overwhelming sweetness will cause immediate cavities within minutes of exposure.

2. Christians who complain about the “War on Christmas”. Look, I understand exactly how you feel. I felt the same way when they cancelled “The Man Show”. I remember thinking to myself, “Self, what does America have against girls on trampolines? Why am I being persecuted simply for my love of potty humor and cold beer? This is a slippery slope, I tell you! Soon we’ll all be wearing dresses, and not just because they make us feel pretty.” Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah - Christians and Christmas. Do you really think a major Christian holiday is seriously in danger in a country so utterly dominated by Christians? In a country where politicians of both major parties feel obligated to publicly announce their fidelity to Christian doctrine in order to get elected, do you really think Christmas will soon be legislated out of existence? The truth as I see it is that the “holiness” of Christmas is best expressed within the respectful embrace of churches. Once it enters into the secular (read “public”) arena, any aura of holiness is gone just like Grandma being run over by a reindeer. If you seriously insist on taking your religion public, don’t expect the public to automatically take your religion seriously.

3. Fellow atheists complaining about Christmas (and religion) being “shoved down their throats”. Like I said above, I am the only one who decides what is important to me. No one else. Nobody can force me to accept religious doctrine if I don’t want to do so. So calm down, my atheist brothers and sisters; we aren’t being persecuted (at least not any more than usual). If anyone wants to wish me “Merry Christmas” they may do so. I will gladly return the favor; it matters not whether I accept the Christian myth because the “wishing of happiness and joy” upon my fellow human is something I am glad to do and have done to me. The great benefit of this attitude is that it allows me to freely partake of all this culture has to offer, accepting what seems right and ignoring what does not without rancor or acrimony; I’d much rather have a good time in a dreary time of year than come off sounding like some intolerant, antagonistic boob. There are far too many of those already (on both sides).

This is one atheist hoping everyone has a very Merry and Holy (if that's your thing) Christmas.

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11-30-2009, 11:16 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2009 10:37 AM by StarStuff.)
Post: #2
RE: War on Christmas
The War on Christmas doesn't exist. It's just Christians with a persecution complex looking for reasons to take offense. And Fox News giving them a megaphone.

Enjoy your holiday of choice in your manner of choice. And don't flip out just because somebody doesn't greet you exactly how you want to be greeted.
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12-01-2009, 12:11 PM
Post: #3
RE: War on Christmas
That rant made me laugh, but I agree totally!

Happy Christmas. It's a shame people take life so seriously sometimes.
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12-01-2009, 02:20 PM
Post: #4
RE: War on Christmas
(11-30-2009 11:16 PM)Geoffrey Taucer Wrote:  The War on Christmas doesn't exist. It's just Christians with a persecution complex looking for reasons to take offense. And Fox News giving them a megaphone.

Not always. An [unspecified ethnic group] family in my neighborhood does religiously oriented Christmas decorations on and around their house BIG TIME. Big Grin A few years ago, some teachers from the public school across the street complained several times to the owner that the school children should not be subjected to this "overtly religious display" visible from the school. (I hasten to add that this is NOT the policy of New York City government and that the school principal was not involved. This seemed to be just a few overzealous individuals.)

A few days later, 'Uncle' [unspecified ethnic first name starting with a V] from New Jersey showed up at the school asking about these teachers. Not another word about the decorations was ever uttered again by anyone from the school.

Not exactly the Christmas spirit, but more effective than threading the byzantine labyrinth of NYC bureaucracy. And no polarizing publicity.
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12-01-2009, 02:42 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2009 02:43 PM by MerryAtheist.)
Post: #5
RE: War on Christmas
Was it Big [slang for kitty] or Paulie Walnuts?

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12-01-2009, 02:45 PM
Post: #6
RE: War on Christmas
(12-01-2009 02:42 PM)MerryAtheist Wrote:  Was it Big [slang for kitty] or Paulie Walnuts?

Um........what?
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12-01-2009, 07:42 PM
Post: #7
RE: War on Christmas
(12-01-2009 02:45 PM)Parousia Wrote:  
(12-01-2009 02:42 PM)MerryAtheist Wrote:  Was it Big [slang for kitty] or Paulie Walnuts?

Um........what?

They were a couple goombahs from The Sopranos.

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12-01-2009, 07:49 PM
Post: #8
RE: War on Christmas
(12-01-2009 07:42 PM)MerryAtheist Wrote:  They were a couple goombahs from The Sopranos.

No, but you got the idea. The 'V' name was of course the first name of the title character from a very famous (and much quoted) movie in that same genre.

But we are getting away from Christmas. Rolleyes
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12-05-2009, 07:10 PM
Post: #9
RE: War on Christmas
(11-30-2009 10:16 PM)MerryAtheist Wrote:  Before the Annual War on Christmas heats up, I'd like to offer the following from my blog:

"Merry Christmas. There, I said it."

Christmas is awesome. I have no problem with all the “Merry Christmas’s” the carols, the festivities, even the religious observances (though I am no longer a believer). .....................
This is one atheist hoping everyone has a very Merry and Holy (if that's your thing) Christmas.

Merry Atheist,

Outstanding Essay, I agree completely.

I like Bill O'Reilly when he is going after corrupt judges, but his crusade against "secularists" who he imagines are trying to shut down Christmas is really annoying and paranoid on his part. I would love to debate him as to what he thinks Christian "traditional values" are, but he is taller and much louder than me, so he would probably win the debate, at least on his show. Wink
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12-05-2009, 11:25 PM
Post: #10
RE: War on Christmas
(12-05-2009 07:10 PM)rm10 Wrote:  Merry Atheist,

Outstanding Essay, I agree completely.

I like Bill O'Reilly when he is going after corrupt judges, but his crusade against "secularists" who he imagines are trying to shut down Christmas is really annoying and paranoid on his part. I would love to debate him as to what he thinks Christian "traditional values" are, but he is taller and much louder than me, so he would probably win the debate, at least on his show. Wink

Thanks!

Today my wife and I undertook our annual tradition of visiting a local tree farm and cutting a Christmas tree for our home. I tend to grumble a little bit about her stringent tree requirements, but I do enjoy the smell, and when it's all decorated, it reminds me of many happy family times. How can anyone object to that?

By the way, I used to enjoy Bill O'Reilly too (especially during the Clinton years), but his schtick has worn thin with me, and his outrage often seems manufactured. Incidentally, Rush Limbaugh has referred to Bill O'Reilly as "Ted Baxter", which I think is hilarious and spot on. If you don't know who Ted Baxter is (and depending on your age, you may not) Google the name along with The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

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