The U.S. War on Christmas?

#1
This may earn me a trip to the ARRSE Hole...but in light of the kerfuffle over the crucifix, and the fact that some people brought this recent U.S. news up in discussion, here's one lefty Jewish columnist's take on de-Christmasing Christmas which I quite liked.

December 6, 2005
latimes.com

Joel Stein: Oy to the world

THERE IS A grave concern, on news shows and Op-Ed pages, that we are about to lose Christmas. Though no one outside the media is at all interested, I figure jumping in will make my editors think I'm smart.

The debate began with the printing of Fox News anchor John Gibson's book, "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought," which is ranked 285th on Amazon.com Although I did not actually read the book, I can gather from the pithy title that it must be quite a read. Seriously, the guy couldn't even afford an editor for the title?

Gibson is upset that people are afraid to express true Christmas spirit because of unrelenting liberal pressure to take religion out of government, politics and public places. In fact, Gibson and fellow Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly are so upset that they have organized a boycott of Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears and Costco for using the phrase "Happy Holidays" in their ads instead of "Merry Christmas." I'm guessing those places also stopped selling Brylcreem.

Jerry Falwell is supporting the catchy-named "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign" that has lawyers ready to sue anyone who won't let them do Christmas wherever they want. The Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign newspaper ads tell you to call "if you are facing persecution for celebrating Christmas." I'm thinking too much time spent studying Jesus can give you a persecution complex.

As a Jew, I don't care that much about Christmas. It's hard to celebrate someone's birth when you supposedly killed the guy. It would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger giving gifts for Tookie Day.

We Jews find it a little embarrassing that adults can still make such a big fuss over Christmas. To us, Jesus was just a cool guy everyone liked because he died young. And even 16-year-old girls eventually take down their James Dean posters.

Still, I agree with Gibson to this extent: Christmas is a Christian holiday, and trying to eliminate the religious aspect is insulting. There's nothing more annoying than people telling me I should get a tree and string lights in front of my house because these aren't religious symbols. Or telling me that kids get off school for "winter break," presumably so they can worship winter. It's an infuriating inability to see through the eyes of the other.

Telling me to enjoy "season's greetings" is a condescending way of trying to pressure me into something I'm not part of. It's one thing to be subjected to someone's metaphysics. It's another to be wordy about it.

I get that I live in a Christian nation. And I'm fine with it. I like you guys. I think it's adorable that you ring giant, white pipe cleaners around streetlights and make everything taste like peppermint and thought the world was going to end when the calendar went to three zeros in a row. It's like living with children.

I'm grateful that our Constitution separates religion from our law and our non-Kansas schools. But that doesn't mean the culture of a country with a higher percentage of Christians than Israel has Jews isn't going to be all into the Jesus thing. That's why Christmas is a national holiday and Yom Kippur isn't. And that's why Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand put out Christmas albums.

Last Thursday, a group called Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, where founding member Jackie Mason spoke out against the war on Christmas. He basically argued that if people can't say "Merry Christmas," then he won't be allowed to wish people an "Exceptional Purim." That one doesn't translate from Yiddish well.

So please, go nuts with your celebration, with your lying to children about where presents come from and your beverages made from raw eggs and your desperate use of greenery to get women to kiss you.

No, there's no war on Christmas. But this attempt to be inclusive by tamping down on the Christ birth stuff, while well intentioned, is just making us non-Christians feel worse. All I want from you is to admit — whether you're religious or not — that these customs are inexorably tied in to the birth of your savior. Then I'll be happy to celebrate your culture with you, if you want me to. Because it beats my people trying to persuade me to whoop it up over a story about an extra-long-lasting candle and a toy that's so obviously just a badly made top.
 
#2
Amusing, an interesting viewpoint, and one of my seasonal peeves. The other one being that the Winter Holiday Celebration (i.e. Hannukah, Kwanzaa, anything-but-Christams) seems to start in November in these parts.

NTM
 
#3
He's going to upset a lot of fellow Jews with that piece.

Many of my Jewish friends who are business and shop owners much like the Christmas season.

Some even merrily have a 'Hannukah bush' in their living room, completely decorated.

Joel Stein would have been better off to give this no attention at all.
 
#4
California_Tanker said:
Amusing, an interesting viewpoint, and one of my seasonal peeves. The other one being that the Winter Holiday Celebration (i.e. Hannukah, Kwanzaa, anything-but-Christams) seems to start in November in these parts.

NTM
Heh. Well, when you don't really have seasons, you can pretty much start the winter holidays whenever you want. (The leaves do turn brown and fall off in California, but it's usually in mid-June.)

That being said, my experience is a bit different. I lived in the most non-Christian stronghold in Southern California for a long time and they didn't mind Christmas trees, creches or anything else...for the above reasons, I imagine. The old Jewish couples in the building all would wish me a Merry Christmas (because I presumably look like a Christian) and my Israelite friends had a huge Christmas Eve party for their Gentile friends who weren't able to make it home by December 24th.

OK, so we didn't go to Mass together but they did give me a ride to and fro as I was completely whacked on Mexican eggnog by 11 PM. Now that's diversity. :)
 
#5
RCSignals said:
He's going to upset a lot of fellow Jews with that piece.
You might be right. I hope, though, that for every incoherent email the Times gets from the Diversity Police, they get one of support from someone sensible. Thereby avoiding the sack. :roll:
 
#6
That prick, Bill O'Reilly has got in on the act:

All over the country, Christmas is taking flak. In Denver this past weekend, no religious floats were permitted in the holiday parade there. In New York City, Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg unveiled the "holiday tree," and no Christian Christmas symbols are allowed in the public schools. Federated Department Stores -- that's Macy's -- have done away with the Christmas greeting "Merry Christmas."
The irony of it was that up until 2 days ago, Fox News was selling tree decorations with O'Reilly's mug and logo on them, with "Happy Holidays" written on the opposite side! :lol:

I've been back to the site, and they've switched to calling them "Christmas and Chanukkah" decorations, not holiday decorations. They now have the O'Reilly factor logo on one side and the Fox News logo on the other- no holiday message of any description.

This brings up two questions:

1.) When are they launching the Sean Hannity Menorah?

2.) Who the fcuk is sad/batshit crazy enough to buy and display such artifacts?
 
#7
California_Tanker said:
Amusing, an interesting viewpoint, and one of my seasonal peeves. The other one being that the Winter Holiday Celebration (i.e. Hannukah, Kwanzaa, anything-but-Christams) seems to start in November in these parts.

NTM
I think you've stumbled onto something here.

[tinfoil hat] By calling the holiday season, no-one has an excuse not to run out and start buying stuff. Greetings card manufacturers only have to print one type of Happy Holiday card and benefit from economies of scale.[/tinfoil hat]
 
#8
With the obvious exception of Cali Tanky and Tankies Yank, who we know to have taste (they post on this board AND they both have something to do with tanks - good skills), I can think of quite a few people in the ole' US of A who would buy such tack. I would be surprised if you couldn't, crab!! After all, most people in southern CA are more loopy than a box of frogs, aren't they!
 
#9
CarpeDiem said:
With the obvious exception of Cali Tanky and Tankies Yank, who we know to have taste (they post on this board AND they both have something to do with tanks - good skills), I can think of quite a few people in the ole' US of A who would buy such tack. I would be surprised if you couldn't, crab!! After all, most people in southern CA are more loopy than a box of frogs, aren't they!
Funnily enough, not that many people North of the Orange Curtain and West of The Valley of the Dirt People are very big fans of the shithead. (Although there may be a few in Simi Valley and Chatsworth- Reagan must have had a reason to put his library there.) I went to the site originally with the intention of buying one, just for its irony value, but couldn't bring myself to give the cnuts any of my hard-earned cash.
 
#10
TankiesYank said:
This may earn me a trip to the ARRSE Hole...but in light of the kerfuffle over the crucifix, and the fact that some people brought this recent U.S. news up in discussion, here's one lefty Jewish columnist's take on de-Christmasing Christmas which I quite liked.

December 6, 2005
latimes.com

Joel Stein: Oy to the world

THERE IS A grave concern, on news shows and Op-Ed pages, that we are about to lose Christmas. Though no one outside the media is at all interested, I figure jumping in will make my editors think I'm smart.

The debate began with the printing of Fox News anchor John Gibson's book, "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought," which is ranked 285th on Amazon.com Although I did not actually read the book, I can gather from the pithy title that it must be quite a read. Seriously, the guy couldn't even afford an editor for the title?

Gibson is upset that people are afraid to express true Christmas spirit because of unrelenting liberal pressure to take religion out of government, politics and public places. In fact, Gibson and fellow Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly are so upset that they have organized a boycott of Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears and Costco for using the phrase "Happy Holidays" in their ads instead of "Merry Christmas." I'm guessing those places also stopped selling Brylcreem.

Jerry Falwell is supporting the catchy-named "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign" that has lawyers ready to sue anyone who won't let them do Christmas wherever they want. The Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign newspaper ads tell you to call "if you are facing persecution for celebrating Christmas." I'm thinking too much time spent studying Jesus can give you a persecution complex.

As a Jew, I don't care that much about Christmas. It's hard to celebrate someone's birth when you supposedly killed the guy. It would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger giving gifts for Tookie Day.

We Jews find it a little embarrassing that adults can still make such a big fuss over Christmas. To us, Jesus was just a cool guy everyone liked because he died young. And even 16-year-old girls eventually take down their James Dean posters.

Still, I agree with Gibson to this extent: Christmas is a Christian holiday, and trying to eliminate the religious aspect is insulting. There's nothing more annoying than people telling me I should get a tree and string lights in front of my house because these aren't religious symbols. Or telling me that kids get off school for "winter break," presumably so they can worship winter. It's an infuriating inability to see through the eyes of the other.

Telling me to enjoy "season's greetings" is a condescending way of trying to pressure me into something I'm not part of. It's one thing to be subjected to someone's metaphysics. It's another to be wordy about it.

I get that I live in a Christian nation. And I'm fine with it. I like you guys. I think it's adorable that you ring giant, white pipe cleaners around streetlights and make everything taste like peppermint and thought the world was going to end when the calendar went to three zeros in a row. It's like living with children.

I'm grateful that our Constitution separates religion from our law and our non-Kansas schools. But that doesn't mean the culture of a country with a higher percentage of Christians than Israel has Jews isn't going to be all into the Jesus thing. That's why Christmas is a national holiday and Yom Kippur isn't. And that's why Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand put out Christmas albums.

Last Thursday, a group called Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, where founding member Jackie Mason spoke out against the war on Christmas. He basically argued that if people can't say "Merry Christmas," then he won't be allowed to wish people an "Exceptional Purim." That one doesn't translate from Yiddish well.

So please, go nuts with your celebration, with your lying to children about where presents come from and your beverages made from raw eggs and your desperate use of greenery to get women to kiss you.

No, there's no war on Christmas. But this attempt to be inclusive by tamping down on the Christ birth stuff, while well intentioned, is just making us non-Christians feel worse. All I want from you is to admit — whether you're religious or not — that these customs are inexorably tied in to the birth of your savior. Then I'll be happy to celebrate your culture with you, if you want me to. Because it beats my people trying to persuade me to whoop it up over a story about an extra-long-lasting candle and a toy that's so obviously just a badly made top.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177905,00.html
 
#11
"A tidal wave of hate" (Gibson)! Schmucks. Is it just me or are people getting rather bored these days and looking for a fight? Why don't all these pundits just join the Marines and do some real fighting?

What's wrong with Christmas? Christians celebrate their savior; Muslims celebrate the last prophet before The Big One; and Jews can join in and rest safe in the knowledge that this is the only time anyone else is ever going to celebrate a Jew.

PLUS, Hanukkah falls on December 26 this year, so it's double the joy for everyone!
My wife gets to celebrate the birth of the Lord's (alleged) son, I get to toast Judaism's favourite bachelor, and then a day later I celebrate The Hebrew Hammer's rededication of the Temple (shame we didn't bring enough party supplies) as part of a minor holiday that The Powers That Be decided to elevate in import in order to give Jews something to celebrate around Christmas time. Wonderful! One big piss up!

In fact, this is the perfect year to start celebrating Chrismukkah, or even Festivus. Haven't convinced the missus about this yet.

Just don't do Jewmas. You don't want to get food poisoning on such an important day.
 
#12
Biggest laugh is that Jesus was born in April - early church moved it to winter to fit in with us Pagans doing our winter seasonal festivals.

Bah humbug
 
#13
Good spot. Here's the correction from the latimes.com website:

Christmas: A Dec. 6 column by Joel Stein said that Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson had "organized a boycott" of stores that used the phrase "Happy Holidays" rather than the phrase "Merry Christmas." While it is true that the two have criticized these stores, and O'Reilly has posted a list of them on his website, they have not called for a boycott.
Correction duly noted, but I don't think it counters the article, as it's ultimately an opinion piece. And since Mr. Gibson has helpfully summarized the contents of the book on the front cover, I don't think Stein had to conjecture too much...

Edited because: Rhabdo...heh. :lol:
 
#15
Rhabdo said:
If you think that's "funny", check out this. 8O
That's a p!ss-take. Right? Right??? 8O
 
#17
TankiesYank said:
Good spot. Here's the correction from the latimes.com website:

Christmas: A Dec. 6 column by Joel Stein said that Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson had "organized a boycott" of stores that used the phrase "Happy Holidays" rather than the phrase "Merry Christmas." While it is true that the two have criticized these stores, and O'Reilly has posted a list of them on his website, they have not called for a boycott.
Correction duly noted, but I don't think it counters the article, as it's ultimately an opinion piece. And since Mr. Gibson has helpfully summarized the contents of the book on the front cover, I don't think Stein had to conjecture too much...

Edited because: Rhabdo...heh. :lol:
It wasn't an attempt to counter that particular article; the man is intitled to his own opinion. But it is an example of how the media attempts to get slight digs in to discredit someone else.

On the surface the whole issue is just a bunch of non-sense and I think by "peeling back the onion" so to speak, you get at the heart of the matter. I think the folks in the press, on both sides of the fence, may sometimes over play it a bit. And I think that once you start to dig in you will find (IMHO only) there are just a small handful of folks i.e the ACLU, that will continue to fan the flames. I truly believe that the majority of folks from any religion have no issues with any of this.

The press will take the actions of one person (i.e the individual that wanted the pledge removed) and sell it as a "big push", folks from both sides then jump on the waggon and wa-la you have another battle on the front in the culture war.

Cindy Sheenhan comes to mind (don't want to raise the dead on this issue) but once you peeled back the layers of crap you found out what was really going on

Same with the issue a few years back in regards to Ebonics; just a couple of folks mentioned it and you soon had lines drawn in the sand and bayonets fixed.

Both sides of the press are necessary evils......Shoot! I have more to add but I have to jet...15 miler

V/R
MTAB
 
#19
PsyWar.Org said:
TankiesYank said:
Rhabdo said:
If you think that's "funny", check out this. 8O
That's a p!ss-take. Right? Right??? 8O
Combat69 is a British Neo-Nazi nutters group. I believe their "Führer" is currently doing jail time.
I think you mean COMBAT 18. "COMBAT 69" sounds more like a lesbian version of "FIGHT CLUB"


Sorry. :oops: I see now where COMBAT 69 came from
 
#20
galgenberg said:
PsyWar.Org said:
TankiesYank said:
Rhabdo said:
If you think that's "funny", check out this. 8O
That's a p!ss-take. Right? Right??? 8O
Combat69 is a British Neo-Nazi nutters group. I believe their "Führer" is currently doing jail time.
I think you mean COMBAT 18. "COMBAT 69" sounds more like a lesbian version of "FIGHT CLUB"


Sorry. :oops: I see now where COMBAT 69 came from
COMBAT 18 was the main Neo Nazi group in Britain but they have all these little satelite groups. COMBAT 69 is probably just one Billy No Mates Nazi wannabe.
 

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