Monday, December 20, 2004
Conservative commentators, predominantly led by the lying loudmouths on Fox News, have a new hobby: promoting the myth that "liberals" and "social progressives" are relentlessly attacking Christmas. As usual, they have distorted their "evidence" so far beyond anything that really happened that only severely brainwashed Bush-drones could possibly believe any of it.
For a look at the incidents that "prove" this "War on Christmas," the Fox News Web site has provided a round-up entitled "Humbug! Christmas Steeped in Conroversy."
My favorite is the department store in North Carolina that encourages employees to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." The horror! It's just like the early days of Christianity when Christians were tortured and executed for their beliefs!
"Spiritual grinches in our nation are accelerating their war against Christmas as never before," said Jerry Falwell on December 11, with unusual restraint.
"What we are witnessing here are hate crimes against Christianity," wrote Pat Buchanan in a December 13 column.
Saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" is a "hate crime" against Christianity? Mr. Buchanan, excuse me for doubting your sincerity AND your devotion to Christianity when you make laughable statements like that.
The only people who believe that Christmas is under attack are people who think that things are true just because they are repeated over and over again. You know who I mean. Bush voters.
The Republican War on the Truth has simply added a new weapon to its arsenal in the attack on "liberals" and secular humanists: a fictitious "War on Christmas" that they have concocted based on a few wildly-distorted incidents and outright lies.
(For analysis of this ludicrous campaign, check "Media Matters for America.")
How un-Christian of these self-righteous partisans to exploit this day that is supposed to be so sacred to them! Would Jesus approve of their lies and their invective in his name? Are they trying to impress non-believers with their lies and their shouting? Do Falwell, O'Reilly, Hannity, etc. expect anyone to see the light and accept Jesus as their personal saviour based on the extreme self-righteousness and unbridled hostility they exhibit toward people who are also Christians?
Shall we note that these self-appointed "guardians of Christmas" could be accused of blatant self-promotion? Of wearing their "superior morality" as a prominent badge on each holier-than-thou chest? Are they perhaps lacking a little humility as they pretend to speak for Jesus in the manner of how his birthday should be celebrated?
Shall we consult the Bible to discover what Jesus says about shameless promotion of extreme piety on the part of his worshippers?
(Yes, we shall. I am one believer who thinks that the words of Jesus are at least a little more important that the words of the charlatans who have hi-jacked the New Testament for their own questionable purposes.)
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogue and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, "They have their reward."
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, "They have their reward."
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
- Matthew 6:1-6:6 (All Bible quotes are from the King James version.)
And who would believe this fantasy that Christmas is under attack by "social progressives"? Instead of just accepting these lies just because they are repeated on the Lying Conservative Media, Americans should just go outside and look for themselves: there is no lack of Christmas-themed distractions anywhere. Restaurants, stores and elevators play Christmas music non-stop. The commercialization of Christmas, and the economic exploitation of the birth of Jesus, continues at an even-faster pace every year. The Christmas programming spews forth more and more product and the Christmas advertising doesn't stop until the faithful are ready for a good healthy puke after months of overindulgence. Santa, reindeer, elves, presents, trees, ornaments, TV parodies of "It's a Wonderful Life," the horn of plenty, angels, fruitcake, stockings, buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell.
And somewhere in there, I wish someone would take a little time to explain that some people in this country think that Christmas has more to do with the birth of Jesus than with advertising or sales or cynical jockeying for political advantage.
Christmas is under attack? No, Christmas is doing all the attacking! It is a cliche that the Christmas deluge begins earlier every year. This year I was heartily sick of it long before Thanksgiving. I swear, if I ever hear Anne Murray's "Good King Wenceslas," I will hunt her down and kill her.
Even if someone is attacking Christmas, I say, "So what?" In its current form, Christmas should be attacked, heartily and often. Grossly over-commercialized and advertised, this day - December 25, allegedly the commemoration of the birthday of the Prince of Peace - has become a vulgar celebration of conspicuous consumption, vanity and crass commercialism. At this time of year, Christians should be at their best. But no, it brings out the worst in us as we consume, consume, consume. And this year is even worse as the self-righteous commentators see a way to create a new controversy, a new way to further divide an already troubled nation with an imaginary "War on Christmas."
How does Jesus feel about such a mingling of the sacred and the commercial? Unlike lying hypocritical television preachers, I don't claim that Jesus speaks directly to me. Fortunately, we have a handy, little document known as the New Testament that we can use for guidance without the dubious interpretive skills of wealthy and deceitful television personalities. (The red-letter edition makes it even easier to find the things that Jesus actually said!)
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.
And said unto them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.'"
- Matthew 21:12-21:13
So, stop it, guys! You have embarrassed real Christians long enough with your hatred and your selective readings and your self-interested interpretations! Falwell and Buchanan and the rest should be ashamed of themselves for their cynical exploitation of Christmas for vulgar political purposes. Even without your questionable "help," Christmas has been horribly compromised anyway. And even so, no one is attacking it.
But they have no shame, they are liars and hypocrites, and the only "Jesus" they know and worship is a very strange and small-minded, little deity they have crafted through a series of twisted and not-particularly-clever rationalizations to support their divisive and greedy politics. They have hi-jacked Christianity and kidnapped Jesus, and genuine believers in the words of Jesus should denounce them as false prophets.
And, as Good Christians, even the Christians who can think for themselves without the help of George W. Bush, Bill O'Reilly, and Jerry Falwell, we know what Jesus said about false prophets:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"
And then will I profess unto them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
- Matthew 7:15 - 7:23
These men - Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly - are doing the work of the devil by making Christians look nasty, intolerant and stupid. And they are helping the terrorists by further dividing the country with lies and trivia, merely to demonize a mythical "liberal" movement that they have created for consumption by a gullible public.
When they try to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus will say to them:
"I never knew you."
Jesus ain't no dummy. You ain't gonna be able to fool him.
They have their reward.
(Next: An actual investigative look at the words of Jesus to find the part where he says it is righteous to hate persons of the gay persuasion!)