Monday, December 12, 2005

I've been following the idiocy of the recent outrage over the White House cards and tree with my usual slack-jawed dumbfoundedness. Christian conservatives just seem to have too much time on their hands and I'm shocked at the dearth of goodwill. Petty, selfish meanness seems to be their only common language.

The so-called "War on Christmas" is just another bamboozle being lead by the same group of extremists who are fighting gay marriage. It's the politics of exclusion. They must have all had hand painted signs up on their tree houses as kids saying "NO (fill in the blank with your most hated gender/race/sexual orientation/creed) ALLOWED".

So they are boycotting stores offering "Seasons Greetings" and "Happy Holidays", expressing outrage over the inclusive White House holiday card, and have bullied the White House into changing the name of the Holiday tree back to the Christmas tree.

We all know the prominent role the Christmas tree has in the Bible. I love the part where Jesus plugs in the Nazareth Mall's stately douglas fir tree then goes on to kick some serious Samaritan ass.

This recent nit-picking battle of the Culture Wars just seems to illustrate, once again, how completely irrelevant Christ-like behavior is to the religious right. Let's remember that there didn't seem to be a marginalized group in his neighborhood that Christ didn't include and befriend. Samaritans, lepers, whores, tax collectors...he spoke up for all these people. I can't believe that he would look on favorably upon the direction the church he founded has taken.

Christianity's success is based on inclusion. One of the earliest debates of the church revolved around whether to allow gentiles, i.e. non-Jews, to participate as Christians. The early church decided to allow the gentiles in without them first becoming Jews. I'd hazard a guess that if the debate had gone the other way and adult circumcision was a prerequisite to becoming a Christian that Christianity would now be small paragraph in the history books. So, in a way, the big selling point early on was "no weinie whacking".

There is no denying that Christmas has been a huge success as a holiday. It's success is largely due to the secular elements, the lights, the presents, the tree, the songs, Santa. The "spirit" of Christmas is one of giving, sharing, enjoying family and friends. These are things that people of all faiths enjoy. I see nothing bad in opening the big mid-winter festival to all. It's not just about Christ. It's about "Peace and Goodwill towards ALL."

So Happy Holidays, Season Greetings, a joyous Christmahanukwanzakah to everyone. Don't let those Grinches, the Christian right, spoil the holidays with their exclusive boy's club.

Everyone has a place at this table.

1 Comment:

  1. Anthony said...
    ...As (what appears to be) a kindred vision, my girlfriend and I are looking east (from Memphis) to find a "place in the deep woods" to do our art,organic farming, and, as you say: "ignore our gualifications to do otherwise". So keep on posting as a compass reading to the rest of us out there.... thanks !

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