The “war on christmas” is not actually real, many people are cluing into this. Now that’s not to say there isn’t a trend toward political correctness and a general “war” on individuality that goes on in the business world, making employees (especially in retail) generic to appeal to a broader customer base – that is real, but it is also omni-directional and affects everyone from christians to atheists, muslims, hindus, people with tattoos and piercings, unusual hair styles and so on, all of whom will get fired or reprimanded if they express themselves in an individual way in many work environments. That is real, and is often called the “war on christmas” as though it only effects white conservative christians and is somehow a result of minorities ganging up on them to take away their rights, as though that were even possible.
But that’s not what I’m even talking about. I’m talking about how the largely fictional and skewed “war on christmas” is used to actually erode the first amendment to the constitution, namely the part about church-state separation. In addition to being enraged at phrases like happy holidays, the “warriors” fighting this fictionalized struggle with atheists and other minorities (who aren’t fighting on the other side) often suggest that a tree being called a “holiday” tree instead of a christmas tree (in order to circumvent the first amendment’s clause against the government promoting or opposing any religious belief and use public funds to illegally promote a christian holiday) is deeply offensive. Not because it’s illegal or because it violates the civil rights of minorities (don’t be silly), but because it doesn’t do it flagrantly enough. No we want to call it a jesus tree. We want to rub minorities’ faces in our use of their tax dollars (which advocate our god, also in violation of their first amendment rights) to promote our religion. Because we, like sociopaths, think the rules are very good rules, but should only protect us and restrict everyone else. Because this is a christian nation, and everyone else is just visiting.
I’m honestly not trying to bring anyone’s mood down this close to christmas, but I got into it about this with someone on their blog and it kind of pissed me off. I’m going to assume that anyone who doesn’t want to read this has stopped reading and is drinking eggnog by now.
So anyway this guy posted this well-circulated diatribe by ben stein about the “war on christmas” bashing atheists and such. And I posted the link to the blog I did about it last year and let him know that stein was full of shit and that the diatribe actually outright lies in several places.
So the following exchange takes place:
“you may be surprised by this, but if you read other things on my blog, you will find I’m fairly liberal. . . so while this particular post is a bit more conservative than I would normally be, I actually agree with the general message. Granted, I should have read the end of it a little better before I posted it (that’s a bit negative and self-righteous for my taste). . . but I liked the first part. It’s not that I’m saying that we should bring God into public schools (that’s what PRIVATE schools are for!) or the workplace (everyone has their own beliefs and no one should be pressured one way or the other). But it’s sad to me how everyone seems to be pushing God OUT of EVERYTHING, just to push Him out, whether it’s going to affect them or not. It’s hard for me to put into words why this struck me the way it did. Some of it hit home, for example, I would like to be able to say “Merry Christmas” on my “holiday cards” and not get blasted for it. People are more accepting of others and appreciative of a well-intentioned blessing than some may believe. On another note, I would like to take my students caroling at a CHRISTMAS Tree Lighting Ceremony and not be asked to keep the songs secular (which did happen this year). . . let’s face it. . . CHRIST is supposed to be the primary part of Christmas and it IS a CHRISTMAS tree. . .and the majority of music in the US is based on the European tradition, which is primarily sacred music. . . . and who do you think would come to a ceremony like this? Even if Aetheists or Jewish citizens attended, I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they are attending and what the tree is for. . . it’s not like anyone is forced to go. . . I’m rambling. . . sorry. It’s been a rough December. . . So while some of this IS negative, there are parts I appreciate. Do I think all of the supposed “facts” provided are true? Absolutely not – it goes a little overboard and I’m not a TOTAL idiot (maybe just a little one ). Does some of the general message hit home with me? Yes. So, hate Ben Stein or not, to me, it’s not about the person writing it, there is SOME truth to the message and whether or not you agree, I will still say that I appreciate your post and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Thanks! If you’d like to keep chatting about it, I’m happy to continue!”
“You’ve been “blasted” for sending out christmas cards? I’ve never heard of this actually happening to anyone. As for religion in the workplace, that is a restriction that applies equally to everyone – or do you think an atheist cashier could tell you there is no god and not most likely get fired or otherwise reprimanded? As for it being called a holiday tree, the government isn’t allowed to use tax dollars to support or oppose any religion and they flagrantly do so anyway with christian beliefs and holidays, using millions upon millions of tax dollars for religious decorations and events and get around the first amendment by calling it a “holiday” tree and pretending it’s neutral. So you’re pissed that the government is actively promoting your religion with my tax dollars and giving christianity special treatment not given to any other religious group and doesn’t flaunt the fact on top of it? Imagine if our situations were reversed and the government used millions of christians’ tax dollars to promote an islamic tradition and muslims were angry because they couldn’t explicitly mention allah in the invitation to the ceremony. You’re already pissing and shitting on the constitution, what more do you want? And the tree doesn’t have anything to do with jesus, it’s a german tradition. And christmas is just yule, a pagan holiday that christians hijacked.”
“Wow. Thank you for proving my point. I was looking at having a friendly conversation about these things, there really is no need to get so emotional or angry over it. I’m not. I don’t appreciate your language on my blog, nor do I appreciate the attack after I spent significant time just trying to explain myself in a non-confrontational, polite way. I don’t know you, so I really don’t have an obligation to explain myself. I was just hoping for a fun conversation about these things, not a total attack on Christianity. I would like to politely request that you not post on my wall again unless you can discuss things politely. I’d rather not have to take the time out of my day to block you. Merry Christmas.”
“The only thing in my comment you might’ve found offensive was a) using the word shit, or b) giving facts about christmas. There are no bad words, the context makes something good or bad, and clearly I was not insult you personally when I said “shit”. As far as the latter, while many religious people find facts offensive, this makes little sense to me either. So I’m not really sure what you’re so offended about. I apologize if I came across as rude, but saying christians are being somehow persecuted if they can’t use my money to promote their views is offensive to me. Merry christmas to you too though, for what it’s worth. Though given the context you may have been saying that as a dig. And how did I “prove” your point? You were met with mild hostility for advocating the views in this diatribe and bashing atheists, not for saying merry christmas or putting up a christmas tree which no atheist I’ve ever met finds offensive. Hell my avatar has a santa cap.”
Then for the rest I’ll just give my in-line response (which quotes his next response):
“A) I appreciate your response and the
apology; B) it was the tone of the message, not necessarily the full
content (other than you saying I was pissing and shitting on the
constitution – that was nice);”
Christians in america are, as a matter of fact, pissing and shitting on the constitution, and it isn’t nice.
“C) I’m sorry but I interpreted your
hostility as more than mild – it was unneccessarily harsh and rude. . .”
Yeah well I’m not responsible for your interpretation. I was speaking matter-of-factly, there is no “tone” on the internet, it is mostly read into something by the reader. What, if anything, did I actually say that offended you? Or did merely disagreeing with you offend you?
“D) I appreciate the santa cap on your avatar “
Someone on xanga made it for me – it turned out very nice. [Edit: Thanks again seedsower, and very good job.]
the Merry Christmas was not meant as a dig – it was genuine, despite
your obvious hostility toward me for no good reason than a silly blog
Actually I wasn’t hostile toward you, I took issue with what you are advocating – the bullying of atheists and non-christians under the guise of self-defense. You are literally saying I have no reason to be offended just because you posted a blog bashing and vilifying atheists for things we don’t actually do while advocating violating our first amendment rights. If I did a blog attacking christians by saying that all priests are pedophiles or something and saying we must “fight back” against that fictional threat by violating their civil rights, would you be upset? Might you have a vague “tone” that was slightly on edge?
You spread bile and hatred against atheists and then act as though an atheist taking issue with it (calmly and rationally and without resorting to a single personal attack or insult whatsoever by the way) is somehow offensive.
Christians almost universally refuse to vote for atheists freezing 1/4 of america out of public office entirely, use our tax dollars to promote their religion and vilify anyone who stands up for the rights christians routinely enjoy as evil, rude and un-patriotic and all we have to do to make you feel “persecuted” is exist and not agree with you.
You don’t like my tone? Boo fucking hoo.
“As it is, this will be my last response to you. Please don’t
post again. As we obviously don’t see eye to eye this is just a waste of
time. You have your beliefs and I have mine. I’d rather just leave it
Yes, because listening and thinking is too much to ask of a man of god – and caring? Forget about it.
“Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you may or may not celebrate.”
You know I was until someone posted a hateful diatribe vilifying me and advocating the violation of my civil rights and then told me I was a bad person because I didn’t fellate them enough while commenting on it.
Sorry if this is a drag to anyone, just pisses me off.