Tuesday, December 06, 2005

'Ho-ho---' on second thought, 'bah humbug!'

The (crass) commercialization of Christmas continues…and now it turns out… religious conservatives are all for it.

The American Family Association (slogan: helping keep American families together… as long as no one is gay, lesbian, liberal or has had an abortion) started a boycott of Target for not using the words "Merry Christmas" in its advertising.

The Catholic League (slogan: we keep higher standards, except for pedophilic priests) boycotted Wal-Mart (let’s be honest… who HASN’T boycotted Wal-Mart before) in part over the way its Web site treated searches for “Christmas.” Huh?

Fox News tool Bill “wanna see my microphone” O'Reilly, whom started a “Christmas Under Siege” (see the movie, starring Steven Seagal as Bill O’Reilly, this winter) campaign last year, has a chart on his Web site of stores that use the phrase “Happy Holidays.” The site also has a poll that asks, “Will you shop at stores that do not say ‘Merry Christmas’?”

The campaign is being hyped on Fox and conservative talk radio as a battle to rescues the “true” meaning of Christmas.

Christmas remains omnipresent.

There is also something pigheaded about wasting so much energy on stores that use the word ‘Holiday’ rather than ‘Christmas’ when, around the world, Christians are being persecuted and/or jailed for discussing the Bible (as is the case in Saudi Arabia) or downright slaughtered (like in Sudan). Don’t you think the Christian right should be fighting and arguing for these people rather than the fact that Wal-Mart of Target are using the “proper” wording in their Holiday, oops sorry, Christmas campaigns? (Proper words? Have we suddenly become China?)

These self-proclaimed Christmas defenders (that has TV series written all over it, doesn’t it? '“Christmas Defenders” starring Gerald McRaney and Della Reese, this spring on NBC') are rewriting history as well, claiming that the “traditional” American Christmas is under attack by “professional atheists” and “Christian haters”, at least according to another Fox News boob, John Gibson. But what exactly is a ‘traditional American Christmas’?

America has a convoluted history with Christmas at best as we as a country have taken bits and pieces of other countries’ Christmas traditions over the years. Not all the Christmas traditions that the Christian Right is defending are religious-related… or if they are, they are not all ‘Christian’-related.

What the boycotters (isn’t that what Michael Jackson was accused of?) are doing is not defending America's Christmas traditions, but rather creating a version of the holiday that fits a certain political agenda that, miraculously (can you sense the sarcasm?), is linked to Conservatives and Republicans. They aren’t just tolerating commercialization - they're downright demanding it.

Further investigation also shows that this group is rewriting Christmas history on another key point: non-Christians' objection to having the holiday forced on them. The religious right is insisting this is a new phenomenon - a “liberal plot,” as Mr. Gibson put it. (whoa… wait a minute, Republicans rewriting history to accommodate their own views… they wouldn’t do that, would they? That would be unscrupulous)

It does not, however, appear to be catching on with the public. That may be because most Americans do not recognize this commercialized, mean-spirited Christmas as their own but rather one created by the powers that be.

Does the religious right and other conservatives really think that people are going to forget Christmas? Or forget what the origins of Christmas are? Or forget what (in some religions) the true meaning of Christmas is??

To that I say to them; "Get a f****** clue." Christmas has been around for over 2000 years and, despite attempts by others (Hitler, Lenin, etc) has never disappeared, never lessened, and has never been forgotten. The only thing that can truly harm the meaning of Christmas is the crass commercialization and overdramatizing by certain individuals and/or groups. You know what, to get a good understanding of what the Christmas holiday means, try watching this Holiday Special on ABC tonight.

And here’s another thought: no one should be forced to say ‘Christmas’ rather than ‘Holiday’, likewise, no one should be forced to say ‘Holiday’ rather than ‘Christmas’. If one wants to say ‘Chriskwanzakkah’ they should be able to, if one wants to say Happy Kwanchristakkah, they should be able to… last time I checked (though that could change in the blink of an eye with Commander Cuckoo-Bananas in charge) we were living in the United States of America where one has the freedom to speak freely with no risk of retaliation, submission, or attack.

I guess that’s changing…

No comments: