Thursday, December 15, 2005

Should I Say It? Should I Say It?

It's dangerous to be a Christian these days. There's no doubt you have to worry constantly about being persecuted, or arrested, or killed for your beliefs... that is, you have to worry if you're a Christian in North Korea, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Burma, or numerous other countries around the world. But here in the U.S. of A., you really don't see too much of that sort of thing. Unless of course your first name is "John" and your last name is "Gibson."

Note the subtitle: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought

Intended outcome of liberal plot.

I guess that doesn't have to be your first and last name. It could be "Bill" and "O'Reilly," etc. Anyhow, the boys at Fox have been going on and on about the War on Christmas. (Here's a good Israpundit post on the topic.) They've even got Jackie Mason (!) in on the act. And wherever Jackie Mason leads, the House of Representatives will follow. My view on this is not that this phenomenon is an outgrowth of Christian thought (or any other kind of actual thought for that matter), but of us-vs.-them populism, plain and simple, of the sort that Huey Long fantasized about. You don't see Martin Marty or Stanley Hauerwas or Carl F.H. Henry bitching about any of this. (OK, CFHH died in 2003, but still...) I remember when conservatives used to rightly lambaste the lefties for their whiny embraces of victimization. In recent years, the social right has co-opted the leftists' "I'm a victim, wah wah waaaaaah" strategy and taken it to new heights.

One of the ideas here is that combatants in the WfC (War for Christmas) are supposed to go into retail outlets and do their Christmas shopping only at stores where they say things like "Merry Christmas" instead of the generic "Happy Holidays." So, let's see how this might go...

  1. Minimum-wage single mom (MWSM) got laid off this summer and is trying to make ends meet at crappy December retail job.
  2. Crappy December retail job multiplies her normal stress tenfold.
  3. One-size-fits-all corporate consultants decree that "Happy Holidays" is part of the pre-arranged script for dealing with customers.
  4. Single mom's Christian friend (SMCF) offers to help with watching kid, maybe invites them over for Christmas Eve, etc.
  5. Bigmouth WfC Christian (or maybe just a social conservative who has no real interest in Christianity) walks into retail outlet, is greeted with approved script by MWSM, who is masking tremendous stress from the hand she has been dealt, but is also grateful for SMCF's kindness and is thinking about further investigating her worldview.
  6. WfC bigmouth responds to retail script with O'Reilly/Gibson script and makes a BFD over the percieved slight of the "Happy Holidays" greeting in earshot of MWSM's supervisor. Weasel supervisor chews out MWSM for "making" the customer leave the store.
  7. WfC bigmouth feels smug; Sobbing MWSM decides to never have anything to do with Christianity again.
  8. Law of unintended consequences reigns supreme.

I say all of this to lead into the following. Ready? FuckChristmas dot org has one of the best responses to Fox-style silliness as I have read in quite some while. NSFW for language, as you might guess. Excerpt: But you boys at FOX still freak out every year about how everyone's out to get your special trees. This is really the most important thing you have to talk about? Whether Target says Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Here’s a brainstorm: there’s a fucking war on. Our soldiers are out there dying while you guys do your 14th live feed of the day from WalMart to show us what good little consumers we are. What Would Jesus Do? He’d jump over that newsdesk and kick your ass for that shit. Are you sure you want to hang your journalism credentials on a story about what some guy calls a tree?

Comments welcome. Merry Christmas.


Blogger getalife said...

As an innocent holiday shopper who was present at one of these idiotic rehearsed diatribes, I just want to confirm the negative image of Christians I was left with as an intolerant White Christian Female went off on a Bed Bath and Beyond clerk. Thank you for this post, public discourse is needed. That, and to place all the fundamentalists of any religion on one of the moons of Jupiter where they can settle it for once and for all. (Oh, wait, us rational types would have to come up with the technology to do this...can't have that now.) And yes, I am a Spinal Tap fan, what of it? I may not have had the Devil at my last holiday gathering, but judging from the amount of children present, it certainly was hell...

11:32 AM  
Blogger S said...

Thank you for that breath of fresh air! I am currently living in the bowels of the South and have to deal with that almost daily!

10:25 PM  

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