Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Special Holiday "Public Announcements"


I have a special request for you:

Stop. Please. Just stop. 

Every year around this time it seems like some of my fellow Christians engage in the same ritual Annual Mass Persecution Complex. They believe that, just because some stores, businesses, and people are throwing around the phrase "Happy Holidays" (or even the abbreviated "Merry X-Mas"), that their rights to express their love of Christmas, and by extension their religion, are being increasingly curtailed.

Every year it's the same litany of complaints: "We 're not allowed to say 'Merry Christmas' because it's not 'politically correct'! We have to say 'Happy Holidays' now!" "Our school can't have a Christmas tree; we have to have a "holiday tree!" And the ever-popular "There's a war on Christmas!"

It's a belief that gets reinforced by the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and various Jessica-Simpson-lookalike Fox News anchors.

And it's also complete bullshit.

First of all, the idea that kids aren't allowed to celebrate Christmas in school couldn't be further from the truth. Take it from a guy whose schoolteacher wife has spent the last week busting her ass getting things ready for her class's Christmas party this Friday, after which we're spending the evening at a faculty Christmas party. Not exactly the anti-Christmas sentiment Fox News depicts.

Second, the whole point of saying "Happy Holidays" is that there really are multiple holidays during the time frame. For starters, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day follow Christmas Eve and Christmas Day one week later. Also, and here's the important part, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Some celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, for example, depending on their religious beliefs. The whole damn point of saying "Happy Holidays" is not to exclude Christians, but to include both them and everybody else.

But the "War On Christmas" believers don't get that. To hear these people talk, you'd think Christians were some kind of persecuted minority group, as opposed to the dominant freaking religion in America. They act like hearing "Happy Holidays" is the same as getting thrown to the lions. They see the inclusion of other groups as the oppression of theirs.

If you're one of these folks, I have one thing to say to you:

You want to talk about feeling "religious persecution"? Try being Muslim-American.

Try sitting through the 2008 presidential election cycle where mere alleged membership in your religion is deemed a disqualifier for the presidency by much of the general public.

Try having had only two members of any of the United States government's three branches with your faith. Ever.

Try being one of those Muslim Congressmen having to witness their fellow House member, Peter King, launch a committee putting your entire faith on trial and claiming it's been "radicalized". (Hint: you'd likely react the way Rep. Keith Ellison did.)

Try seeing a famous comic and movie creator like Frank Miller release a shitty graphic novel misrepresenting your entire religion and stereotyping it by the worst elements in it.

Try seeing a major advertiser like Lowe's (whom I'm now boycotting) fold like a cheap card table to pressure from basement-dwelling bigots who are out to stop a TV show for the "unforgivable transgression" of merely showing people of your faith in a positive light.

Oh, and have I mentioned last year's "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy? How many of you folks pissing and moaning about "Happy Holidays" were the same ones who railed against the construction of an Islamic center, which happened to include a mosque in it, on a site a few blocks away from Ground Zero, claiming its very construction was an affront to the memories of those who died in the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11? I'm guessing quite a few of you. (By the way, did you know that, prior to 9/11, there were two buildings directly on Ground Zero that also had mosques in them? You know what those buildings were called? The Twin Towers.)

Still feeling oppressed and put-upon by "Happy Holidays" and "Merry X-Mas"? Here's the world's smallest violin!

Do you have any idea how whiny you sound? Not only to Muslims and people of other faiths but even to your fellow Christians like myself? If not, you should.

Ginning up this whole holiday persecution complex when your religion is practically the default in America doesn't make you look like sympathetic victims. Quite the opposite. It makes you look like poor winners.

And nobody likes a poor winner.

Make it stop.


At 10:24 AM , Blogger LilCajunSheWolf said...

I love you.

A Pagan-Native American

At 12:53 PM , Blogger SallyP said...

It IS complete and utter bull-shit. And they know that of course, but heck, ratings are ratings. All the foofaraw about the Governor of Rhode Island calling it a "Holiday Tree" and having hysterics...All the greenery is part of a PAGAN celebration that was coopted by the Christians! Up until the mid 19th century we didn't even HAVE Christmas trees, and it was only because Prince Albert introduced it to England when he married Queen Victoria, and we in America thought it was snazzy.

Heck, the Puritans, OUTLAWED Christmas! It's one of the reasons they left England in the first place!



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