War on Christmas

Carnival of the Godless
Dear Fox News pundits and assorted wingnuts,

I assume that this year, as has become tradition, you will once again be talking up the War On Christmas™. Since I am a liberal godless atheist who supports both separation of church and state and the ACLU, presumably this makes us enemies in this war.

So I thought I’d let you know how I plan to wage war on Christmas.

Oh, I know, giving information to the enemy is usually treasonous, but Christmas is the season for giving, so what the hey. Pull up a yule log and I’ll tell you all my plans. I won’t even make you eggnog-board me.

The overall strategy will be to secularize Christmas. Instead of mounting a full frontal assault on Christmas, subvert it by turning it from a religious holiday into a secular one. I won’t be going to church or praying (though since I already don’t do those things, this doesn’t really count for the War On Christmas™).

Instead, I’ll put up a Christmas tree, a pagan symbol of the rebirth of nature and the lenthening of the days. It will be topped by a star instead of an angel, because at the after-Christmas sale at the garden center a few years ago stars were 50% off, while the only angels they had left were both expensive and tacky. And instead of hanging crosses and Jesuses on the tree, I’ll be decorating with glass balls, tinsel, and ornaments that have been given to me by friends and relatives over the years, and which hold sentimental value.

Instead of celebrating the birth of the savior, I’ll be scolding the cats as they compete to see who can knock down the most ornaments, eat the most tinsel, and chew up the most ribbon.

Instead of watching Christmas services on TBN, I’ll be watching secular films like A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and James Bond movies (don’t ask).

In true scab fashion, I’ll be doing my Christmas shopping at stores that say “Happy Holidays”. And also stores that say “Merry Christmas”. Because frankly, I don’t really care what they say. I normally assume that retailers are in it for the money, and that they’d gladly say “Joyous Solstice” and hire people to dress up as the Flying Spaghetti Monster and let kids sit on their lap if it would increase sales. But most importantly I can’t be bothered to check anyone’s list before going shopping. I have better things to do with my time.

And since Jesus is not the “reason for the season” to me, I won’t just be celebrating a corrupt, secularized version of Christmas. I’ll be getting together with friends for the solstice, and perhaps even a Festivus party.

You have, of course, played right into our hands by promoting the commercial aspects of Christmas. If you were truly concerned about Christmas losing its meaning, you would follow in the footsteps of Charles Schulz and decry the fact that stores are pushing Christmas as a commercial event, and not a religious commemoration of Jesus. The more children grow up associating Christmas with presents instead of mass, the more secular the holiday will become.

Your defeat is imminent. You cannot prevail against forces you have helped unleash and cannot hope to control. Now, would you like some cookies and a hot toddy?

(Update, Dec. 6: Sent to BillDo.)
(Update, Dec. 10: Sent to BillO.)
(Update, Dec. 13: Sent to CitizenLink, a Focus on the Family side project.)

10 thoughts on “War on Christmas

  1. What always puzzles me is that many Christians actually believe that Christ was born on Dec. 25, even though there are no Biblical references to such. Many lack knowledge of the Pagan holiday and just assume Dec. 25th is THEIR day….just as they assume the US is a Christian-only country.

    Christmas should not be a national holiday…no more than declaring Hanukkah a national holiday, or Kwanza for that matter.

  2. Mark:

    even though there are no Biblical references to such.

    And even in the face of well-known textual evidence to the contrary. And I don’t mean things like the passing reference to how the flocks had just been sheared, or the harvest brought in, or whatever it was. I mean, shepherds sleeping outdoors? In December?

    Christmas should not be a national holiday

    Meh. Arguably yes, though I suspect that if you brought the matter to court the judge would say that the right time to complain was when Christmas was first made a federal holiday, and that by now it’s become part of the natural culture, just as courts said about the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas capitol lawin in Austin.

    Secondly, maybe I’m just a slacker, but I like holidays. If you want to change the federal holiday from Christmas to Generic End-of-Year Holiday, that works for me, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of me celebrating Christmas the way I want.

    Thirdly, given the above, perhaps the best approach is to continue secularizing Christmas. After all, Halloween isn’t restricted to just those who worship the Celtic gods. These days it’s all about costumes and candy.

    Perhaps in the future, more and more non-Christians will celebrate Christmas (or, by the year 3001, Ecksmas, if you believe Futurama). And some future version of Jack Chick or Adnan Oktar will be sending out spittle-flecked tracts telling Muslim or Scientologist or Pastafarian families that they shouldn’t be celebrating a holiday with roots in Christian mythology.

  3. While I know that you are completely serious about the points that you make, I did like the humorous twist on it (especially the Festivus reference, I just saw that episode again the other day). You make some great points, and as a Christian (who understands that Jesus most likely was not born on December 25th) I respect your postion. You are absolutely right. Christians continue to add fuel to the fire themselves regarding how Christmas is celebrated.

    Regardless of what you do this time of year, I wish you the best. I have seriously enjoyed talking with you over at my blog. I am certainly not going to tell you (or anyone else that does not hold my beliefs) how you should ‘celebrate’ (if at all) this time of year. But for me this season represents a time of sharing love, peace, and hope. So please accept my wishes for you to have a great one regardles of how you celebrate…

  4. Instead of watching Christmas services on TBN, I’ll be watching secular films like A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and James Bond movies (don’t ask).

    I’m a Christian, and I’ll be doing the same. I loathe televised church services. Something about the camera makes all the rough points in the presentation all the more obvious. Especially the singing, in a wide variety of keys. I suppose televised church services are useful for shut-ins, but I really hope I never decline to the point where that’s all I can get.

    All in all, I think the “war on Christmas” thing is pretty silly. It’s mainly people who enjoy being righteously indignant finding something to be offended about and then taking it to its logical extreme. So power to you! Ridicule is, in my opinion, the only useful response to the fundies in this case. 😉

  5. I think the “war on Christmas” thing is pretty silly.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much the point of this piece. As Dan pointed out about the tone, I’m treating the War on Christmas™ with all the seriousness it deserves.

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