Monday, October 16, 2006

The "war" on Christmas

This past week I received two troubling e-mails. The first was a link to the lunacy-on-parade website that is Gary Randall's right wing, stir-up-the-Republicans-lovefest that is the Faith and Freedom Network. They were deeply disturbed that Christmas was again under attack and they wanted to rally up the base to sign a petition and send it to Costco and Walmart and Sears and whoever to tell them to "Just Say Christmas".

Right on the heels of that I got my friendly newsletter from my good pal Jerry Falwell telling me how I could join their cause to help save Christmas. Apparently this is the fourth year of their 'movement'. And imagine my shock when I read how Falwell last year was interviewed on ABC about this (I could have swore that the liberal media was always against good ol' Jerry and his cohorts).

Here is where I have some problems with all this:

1) As a nation, we are supposedly already in a war (or two or more depending on exactly where you draw the lines between 'terrorism', 'Iraq', 'drugs', 'Afghanistan', and more). But I sure wouldn't want to look in face of a veteran returning from Iraq with no legs or a widow of one who died in Baghdad and pretend that some Walmart employee greeting me with a "Happy Holidays" is the same kind of thing that they went through.

2) Why is it so offensive that people who are employees of secular businesses use non-specific language? It's not like we're walking into our church and our pastor is greeting us with "Seasons Greetings" and not "Merry Christmas" because he doesn't want to possibly offend a non-Christmas celebrator. We don't freak out if we go into McDonald's on Easter Sunday and they ask "Would you like fries with that?" instead of shouting "He is Risen!", do we?

3) I do agree that if specifically religious aspects of the Christmas holiday are banned from public sectors (like a nativity or the word "Christmas" for example) than it is fair if other religious (or whatever) holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanza and whatever also be banned for the same reason. But even if they aren't, is this really what Christmas should be about for Christians? The celebration of the birth of our savior should really be defined but what the signs say on the aisles at Target? Is the virgin birth seriously damaged because the local library wants to call it a Holiday Tree instead of a Christmas Tree? I don't understand the Christian fascination with seeking out ways to pretend to be a martyr or a victim when it does nothing to actually promote the Kingdom at all.