Saturday, December 6, 2008

WAR on Christmas

I ran across this recently:
War on Christmas

I am always troubled by being told some how I am fighting a war on someone else's holiday by encouraging inclusion in my approach to December. As a kid there was a season, starting with Thanksgiving and going through New Year's Day that was simply called The Holidays. On Thanksgiving Day WPIX showed March of the Wooden Soldiers and that marked the start of a time when everyone seemed to enjoy the spirit of the holiday. Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas filled the community and all seemed to have the same power for sharing joy. The few Jews in my hometown would celebrate Hanukah in the proper time and people respected and enjoyed the moment.

But today when someone says Happy Holidays there are those right wing nuts who think it is an assault on American values. There are those who think it is an affront to all that is good. Inclusion is what this country is about, but not to the right wing. They fear the ideas of others. It is a challenge to their weak minded faith, much like the existence of Jews in the Middle Ages was a challenge to the corrupt church, so they killed the Jews whenever they could. Today it is more about marginalizing the anyone who doesn't think like they do, making them some how Anti-American. That is comical to me.

I believe the true war on Christmas comes from consumerism. Christmas to Christians is about the birth of Jesus, the savior, the changer of destiny. How could a religious tradition that holds that so dear allow it to become about 1/2 off sales at Target?

I think the fictional war on Christmas is being fought only from those of little faith trying to cover their ears and sing when anyone brings up the rich diversity of our nation. Sad, because in a highly homogeneous society in 1973 we understood that while there were those who were "other", they had a place at the table. Too bad someone is trying to pull away the chair.

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