November 2013

Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin warn of the “War on Christmas”. They see a conspiracy by non-believers to wrest away that sacred celebration of the birth of the savior from its exalted and holy place in American cultural life. In their profit-driven paranoia they see Atheists plotting to rip Christ from Christmas and drive a stake through the soul of America.

Bill O'Reilly - pinhead on Fox News.

Bill O’Reilly – pinhead on Fox News.

An America which – in their fevered revisionist imagination – was founded as a Christian nation by a group of evangelical fundamentalists.

They are mistaken. Atheists are not waging a war on Christmas. Atheists are like gun owners – the vast majority just want to be left alone, but there is a small minority who are ever vigilant to the slightest injury to their sacred amendment – the first for Atheists, the second for gun owners.

The difference is that unlike the gun crazies, whose activism has driven the gun agenda to the extreme, fundamentalist non-believers have done little to diminish the sanctity of Christmas. For that we must blame consumerism. For every crèche contested by the activist Atheist, a hundred have been quashed by Christmas’s most visible face – Santa.

Mall Santa - the man who kicked Christ out of Christmas.

Mall Santa – the man who kicked Christ out of Christmas.

Jesus may be the reason for the season, but it is the jolly old elf who inspires parents to break open the pocketbooks. After all, on whose lap do kids sit when they pour out their acquisitive little hearts?

It is not just Christmas. We have just celebrated a Thanksgiving that saw an increasing number of retailers opening earlier and earlier. It used to be – at least for 24 hours – that stores were closed. But that ship has sailed – ironically, as Thanksgiving celebrates a ship arriving. A ship of Puritans, who would have been horrified by the excesses of some of today’s Thanksgiving revelers. Thanksgiving celebrates – with an orgy of spending – a people who valued thrift.

Beyond Thanksgiving, every other national holiday that has also sunk into a morass of buying. Memorial Day – a day to remember those killed in battle – is the biggest shopping day of the spring. Veterans Day – a day to honor those who have served in the military – is now just a sign post on the road to Black Friday.

Is this how we should honor  the birth of the United States?

Is this how we should honor the birth of the United States?

The Fourth of July, America’s birthday – once only celebrated with flags and parades – is now a call to the mall.

Columbus Day – recognizing the European discovery of the Americas – is now the day to buy a coat.

President’s day has lost its ties to Washington’s birthday. It is now a way station on the shopper’s journey from the New Year’ sales, to the orgy of consumption honoring the holiest day in the Christian calendar, Easter.

It is not fair to blame merchants for this reduction of celebration – religious and national – to a shopping spree. Yes, retailers have become increasingly sophisticated in driving traffic through their doors – actual and virtual. But it is the the consumer – as a willing accomplice – that completes the equation. If we did not buy they would not sell.

So do not blame the Atheists for the “War on Christmas” or a war on any other holiday. We have met the enemy and he is us.

 

 

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Really? 11.27.13 – Chutzpah. Conservatives Enlist Ghandi and Martin Luther King. A Libertarian Calls Pope Francis a Ranter. And Donohue Says That Name Calling is Worse Than Child Rape.

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The Tea Party implies that Ghandi would have been a fan. The Tea Party claims it is 130 million strong and growing. But it enjoys the support of only 22% of Americans. If everyone of those 22% over 14 – let us agree that people under 14 are not independent thinkers – that leaves just […]

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Really? – 11.15.13 – The Sarah Palin Edition.

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Lies Conservatives Tell About Abortion & Contraception – with Two Hypocrisies Thrown In.

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