Tuesday, December 22, 2009

War on Christmas? Bah humbug ...

The new column is online and ready for your approval ...

There is no "War on Christmas"

I don't wear my religion on my sleeve, but I am a religious person. I'm a Christian. I believe in the almighty God and his son Jesus Christ. I attempt to practice Christian values, including the celebration of the birth of Christ, which we call Christmas.

I put this out there to stave off any hate mail which might refer to me as a “Godless commie” or whatever. Hate mail is welcome, but don't write it under false pretenses, okay?

The “War on Christmas” is a farce. It doesn't exist. It's propaganda put out by certain nutjobs in the media – mostly radio - in order for them to have something to talk about in what is typically a slow news month.

One particular nutjob has been lamenting the war on Christmas for years, saying that retailers across the United States were forcing their workers to say “seasons greetings” or “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas” in order to further the "legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage."

No, really. That's a direct quote from Bill O'Reilly, the self proclaimed culture warrior.

When I'm out shopping or whatever, I tend to say “Merry Christmas” to people I come across. It's my holiday and that's my way to share the Christmas spirit. If someone returns the favor and wishes me a Merry Christmas, I think that's great. If I get a “happy holidays” back, I think that's okay, too. Also appropriate, “Happy Hannakuh,” and “Happy Kwanzaa.”

Last week, I went to a Festivus party put on by my friends at WNYMedia.net. They wanted to have a holiday party, but wanted a twist. Festivus, for those of you who don't know is a holiday invented by the show Seinfeld. There's a pole instead of a tree, feats of strength and the airing of grievances. It's cute.

I don't assume that everyone has the same religion as me. And I don't object to religious tolerance, which is why many people say “happy holidays” over “Merry Christmas.”

A couple days ago, a friend of mine attempted to convey a similar message on Facebook. She was heralded by some and lambasted by others. The most telling comment, though was, “It's called the Christmas season,” to which my friend commented, “not if you're Jewish.”

How true.

When you order a drink for a friend, you don't just assume that they want the same thing you're drinking do you? If you're unsure of their beverage habits, you ask them … then order what it is they asked for, right? And if they're not drinking what you're drinking, you don't assume that it's some left-wing conspiracy against Coke, do you?

See, I just have problems with conspiracy theories in general. The concept that the board of directors of any major retailer sit around and come up with ideas to kill Christianity is absolutely absurd. Its much more likely that they sit around and come up with ideas to be more inclusive so they can make more money.

More inclusive means more generic. More generic means “happy holidays.”

So if you're going to lob conspiratorial accusations at the major retailers for creating “holiday” ads instead of “Christmas” ones, do so on the grounds that they're just trying to make more money.

And if you're opposed to corporations making more money, who's the commie now?

Merry Christmas to those I love. This means you.