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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The War on the War on Christmas -- From Morning Holt with Jim Geraghty

Hanukkah ends in another two nights. Kwanzaa doesn't start until December 26 and goes on until January 1.
So from Thursday night to December 25, that one big holiday with the manger and the tree and most of the best songs has the calendar to itself. This year, every time somebody says "Happy Holidays," we all know what they really meant to say, but they're too afraid of some hyperactive ninny making a federal case over it.
Let's stipulate that it's overwrought to call a cultural de-emphasis of Christmas in December a "war", and that an actual, killing-people war on Christians is all too real in too many corners of the globe -- Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Colombia, Algeria, and other countries. Let's stipulate that no one here in America faces as much persecution as a non-Muslim in Saudi Arabia. And let's stipulate that some folks who complain the loudest about the "war on Christmas' are out to make a quick buck.
Having said all that, it is pretty grating that December will still be dominated by commercial messages of "Happy Holidays," that my son's preschool has a "holiday tree," and that if you say "Merry Christmas" in a crowd of strangers, there's always that chance that some busybody with a worldview more delicate than a FabergĂ© egg might decree that you've oppressed them by making a declaration associated with Christianity. Look, if your belief in a different religion or lack of belief is so delicate that it can't withstand a greeting marking a holiday you don't celebrate… then I think life is too hard for you. Stay in bed. God forbid I mention "Advent." Look! Purple and pink candles! Run!
Has anybody ever complained about being told, "Happy Hanukkah"? Passover? Eid? Diwali? If a Wiccan told you, "Happy Solstice!" would you immediately run to a courthouse or a television camera, for fear that their greeting gave you witch cooties?
[I'll spare you the extremely profane, Dennis Miller-esque version of this rant, since it tends to alienate the folks most aligned with my stop-throwing-tantrums-about-public-expressions-of-Christianity viewpoint.] Life is tough. Wear a cup.
In that light . . . come on, U.S. Postal Service:

We've got a menorah labeled "Hanukkah," the candles and celebrants labeled "Kwanzaa" . . . and a gingerbread house. Thankfully, the Postal Service does offer more religiously-themed Christmas stamps, but it's hard not to look at the above display and conclude that somebody thought one religious holiday and one cultural holiday were okay to display and specifically name, but another had to be . . . well, if not whitewashed, frosting-washed.
Sure, some of this represents Christians adopting the same loud proclamations of victimhood that are so insufferable coming from reality TV stars, professional athletes, and Oprah guests. But there are some people in American society who really do want to see Christianity shuttered away into the attic and driven from the public square. A couple of them are pretty open about it. Earlier this year, Slate's Matt Yglesias declared, "I take an old-school Jacobin-style line that religion should be stamped out." (The Jacobins implemented the Reign of Terror in France, imprisoning priests and looting churches.) It's pretty hard to contemplate a viewpoint that is more at odds with America or this country's laws, Constitution, and values going all the way back to Plymouth Rock, and yet almost no one reacted much to Yglesias's declaration. Perhaps he's conditioned everyone to expect these sorts of statements from him.
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