Face it: The war on Christmas is lost.
When did it end? Well, there won’t be any official declaration of surrender from churches, so it’s hard to pin down. There will be no C.E. Day (Christmas Ends.) But, in my mind, the war was decided this year. This year almost every major department story put up its red-and-green decorations the day after Halloween; most marketers had expunged references to the Christian feast in their generic ads; “Cyber Monday” became a definitive addition to the lexicon as one more day to consume, and several years had passed since “Black Friday” became not simply a day to shop for bargains, but a time when Americans expect stories of shoppers being trampled (sometimes to death) at 4 a.m.
The rest of Fr. Martin S.J.’s post references dealing with the commercialism of Christmas and there is much I agree with there. As for the War on Christmas being over – I say not so fast.
What happened with Major retailers who switched to talking about holiday gifts, etc is that there was an outcry against the banning of the word Christmas and the associated Political Correctness. Many retailers responded to the so-called Christmas Wars and backtracked to some extent. The problem is that the underlying assumptions that brought this on in the first place are still there.
Retailers wised up because it was hitting their pocketbook. Unfortunately government entities have not signed a truce on Christmas. Whether it is local governments or public schools this attitude is firmly in place. The changing of Tulsa’s “Christmas Parade of Lights” to “Holiday Parade of Lights” is a typical example. The banning of Christmas nativity scenes and other Christian symbols is still going on. Boca Raton bought and displays Menorah’s, but refuses to do the same for Nativity scenes. They even argue the Menorah is a secular symbol despite an appeals court ruling that it was a religious symbol. Public schools are even worse and have not only not issued a cease fire on this “war”, but have renewed the battles.
The workplace is also an area where this “war” has continued. Companies so worried about complaints from non-Christians about creating a “hostile workplace” is that they surrender ahead of time and just make a blanket policy about decorations and the naming of parties. So that one person might not be offended, the majority are allowed to be offended. There is massive cowardice in surrendering to political correctness and the worries about lawsuits. Though considering how some courts have ruled, unfortunately it can be a valid concern.
In some ways the egalitarian of Americans can be applauded as a well-meaning effort to appeal to and include everyone. The reality though is that it creates thin-skinned people easily offended by the beliefs of others. Multiculturalism quickly descends into playing favorites with some segments and diminishing other. So we get celebration of Muslim Holy Days and Happy Holidays for Christmas and the atheists who case out government buildings looking for a star or an Angel on a Christmas tree such as the one in Sonama that got such decorations removed because they so offended him. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Survival of the whiniest. Anybody so bothered and upset by either the display of religious belief or the display of lack of religious belief needs an actual version of tolerance training. I just don’t get this – as an atheist and thorough going secularist displays of religious belief whether I lived in the U.S. or Japan never bothered me other than the wish for their enlightenment. I felt no need to stuff out such displays, especially considering that life was short and then that’s it – so why waste time in such an effort.
In other news Calif. Judge OK’d Seinfeld’s ‘Festivus’ as Legitimate Religion, Ordered Special Meals for Inmate
I have yet to hear anybody saying Merry Christmas to me this year, how is your mileage?
I have had several “Merry Christmas” greetings, and a lot of “have a nice holiday’. I usually respond with “Merry Christmas” if I am not sure of the person’s faith; if I know the person to be Roman Catholic I wish them a “Blessed Advent Season”, and Eastern Christians get “Blessed Nativity Fast.”
As a pharmacist at the VA I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Since it’s a federal holiday and I’m in a federal institution I have no problem with it. I have gotten a few ‘Blessed Christmas’ from some patients. Mostly Happy Holidays.
Are you not part of the “All” that I said Merry Christmas to?
I hear ya! But Victor, I thought that “IT” was an imaginary greeting just like your so called movie that I can’t find, no matter where I look! 🙂
Again, me, myself and I must apologize for sinner vic because he made “IT” all UP again and “IT” is too long of a story to explain here even with a long comment. 🙂
Anyway! At least during the last few years I’ve been quietly checking out businesses and the likes to see how many do really wish people a Merry Christmas and I hate to say “IT” but “IT” seems less and less do every year but like you, I’m trying to think positive. I think that by the next two years or so, “IT” is going to blow wide open with more and more Christians wishing each other a Merry Christmas will eventually take place without any fighting. Go Figure!
At this time, I believe that most Christians are praying to find the strength to not hold any hate in their heart cause that would be just as wrong and how do I know? Jesus tells me so and I, me and myself agree that He and His Angels certainly do not need our back UP NET to defend what The Holy Trinity knows is right in HIS HEART of HEARTS if you know what I mean.
To be fair, I have noticed that our Country radio Station does play a lot of Christmas music and I must say that “IT” does warm the heart.
As you probably know, sinner vic could go on and on, on fire but I’ll just let him say that he did tease a few stores by wishing them a Merry Christmas but “IT” was clear to me that management must have advised their staff, for whatever reason that only “Happy Holidays” and the likes was acceptable and I won’t give out the names cause I would hate to see you and/or me getting sewed this time of the year. 🙂
Ok! Just one more sinner vic! Go on! You don’t say? You
teased some of the folks from Time Horton and asked in so many words how he or she would feel if someone wished him or her a happy birthday and then asked what their name was. After I wished this young person a Merry Christmas, he or she
replied with a smile in a convincing matter when no body was looking, Ya! I see what you mean. 🙂
I better stop NOW Jeff but not before wishing you a “Merry Christmas.”
God Bless Peace
At the Staples in Westminster, MD, they wish a “Merry Christmas”. Of course, that’s the culture in Carroll County, MD. Maryland is a “blue state”, but Carroll County is about as RED as you can get. The County Commissioners put up a CHRISTMAS tree and sang CHRISTMAS songs. The war is not over yet!
Not just a Merry Christmas, but from my house to yours, A Most Blessed Feast of the Nativity!
Many have pointed out that Christians are the only PC scapegoats. All others are off limits.
Like my local school district. Jewish children may take all of Holy Week off, but Christians can only skip school on Good Friday. Muslims may wear their traditional garb at work and be allowed time on the clock to use areas set aside for their prayers, Christians may not wear anything that will identify their religion and must abide strictly with company dress codes.
My friend from Kenya has asked me why Americans are celebrating Kwanzaa. He says in his country they don’t celebrate it because they are too busy with the harvest at this time.
Oh, and a rabbi I know has no problem with Merry Christmas, generally responding, “And the same to you.”
“Multiculturalism quickly descends into playing favorites with some segments and diminishing other.”
The implicit maxim of multiculturalism is that no culture is superior to another. This is of course contradictory because a culture that embraces multiculturalism must be better than one that doesn’t. Otherwise, why bother pestering everyone about multiculturalism? So since a multicultural-embracing society is the superior one, where do we find examples? Really only in the West. Specifically America and Europe. Places with mostly white people. So there you have it–white people are better because they embrace multiculturalism, ergo multiculturalism=racism.
How many masses in your parish are taking place on Christmas Day? How many masses are taking place on Christmas Eve? How many people will be at the mass on Christmas Day? I didn’t know there was a “battle” for Christmas, but the fairie priesties stole it (and the Christ Child) a long time ago when we weren’t looking (think back to before Vatican II). Most protestant churches ar having no Christmas Day services at all this year. No worshippers to hear the last Gospel or celebrate the baby Jesus’ birthday = the end of Christmas. Now we have abortions, sterilizations and starvations in Catholic hospitals, nuns leading the charge to pass death panel and abortion health care, Catholic univerisites leading the charge to have genderless dorm rooms and the repeal of DADT w/the help of your Catholic Senators Murkowski, Collins & Snowe for our national Christmas present. And a very Gay Christmas to you! I’ve given my last dime to the Catholic church until they start cleaning every filthy sodomite out. And it starts at the top w/Weakland, Mahoney, McCarrick and every other bishop and cardinal who has spoken in favor of homosexuality or been caught practicing it defrocked. It is time to clean out the temple before we end up like the Jews in 70 AD.
Several years ago when my parents and I visited my eldest sister’s family in Southern California she asked me to buy some greeting cards at the local grocers’ as a favor. Imagine my surprise when she saw with dismay they said “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” and explained to me not all her friends are Christians or observe Christmas. I understood her concernt but it was the first time I experienced it. As the Philippines has a sizable Muslim minority, they have no problems being greeted with Merry Christmas; it must be said that in concession to them a few Muslim events have become holidays here as well, such as the end of Ramadan.
Jeff, Thx for this post!! I thought the same thing (only less charitably than “not so fast”) when I read what Fr Martin said. Geez.
I have YET to have one salesperson (or anyone else for that matter) wish me Happy Holidays. Everyone says, “Merry Christmas”. Period. Of course, I live in the South…last bastion of sanity in the USA…so I guess my experience isn’t universal.