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?