December 12, 2006

War on the Christmas--updated

Tony had a nice post on the subject this morning. As I noted on his site, this is the most cynical manipulation I have seen. It is a way to stir up the "culture wars" over nothing. Nothing at all.

If you read Stephen Nissenbaum's Battle for Christmas, you discover that the Puritans banned Christmas because they knew it didn't actually reflect the birth of Christ. Not only that, but they feared (and knew) that it was a good excuse for drinking and carousing. In the 1830s after the invented traditions of Santa and the Christmas tree, Americans were deeply concerned about the commercialization of the season and worried that the kids might be too selfish.

This period has always been an interesting mix of the sacred, the profane, the pagan and the crass. Conservatives who try to take ownership of Christmas--just as they claim the flag--are poorly informed. Whipping up cultural divides instead of trying to find something that connects us--that is unconscionable. Of course, we are talking about John Gibson and Billo.


Update: this is pretty funny.
American Prospect Online - No Holy Night: " “Christmas is under attack in such a sustained and strategized manner that there is, no doubt, a war on Christmas,” wrote Gibson, who then detailed the horrors of retailers who forced their employees to wish customers “Happy Holidays.” Gibson pinned the blame for such atrocities on “a cabal of secularists, so-called humanists, trial lawyers, cultural relativists, and liberal, guilt-wracked Christians” whose attacks on Christmas are to be the start of “a revolution against Christianity” itself.

Remember, we liberals have managed this much influence in opposition to the country’s most popular holiday while being completely shut out of power in Washington. Imagine what we can do now that Democrats own the whole legislative branch.

Though an outright ban of Christmas would likely run afoul of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion, there are several laws Democrats could enact to make celebrating Christmas more difficult, if not altogether impossible. Here are some modest proposals: 1.) A 1,000 percent sales tax on wrapping paper and mistletoe, revenues from which will fund a commune of gay Wiccan avant garde cellists. 2.) We ban the sale of all Christmas records except for Terry Bradshaw Sings Christmas Songs for the Whole Family and the non-religious holiday music composed by the gay Wiccan cellists. We also ban television networks from showing such beloved classics as It’s a Wonderful Life and The Christmas Story. The only holiday movies allowed on the air will be The Santa Clause 3 and Jingle All the Way. 3.) To get some bipartisan support from Republicans (in addition to the support of the Governator for suggestion number 2), we pass a bill allowing the timber industry cut down every evergreen tree in the country. We can also placate energy lobbyists by purchasing lumps of coal in bulk to give as presents to underprivileged children."

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