Monday, December 20, 2004

Have Yourself an Ugly Little Christmas

"And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge."

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

I consider myself fortunate to attend a Church that avoids politics or at the very least avoids telling us what we should think about politics. I have a number of family and friends who attend Evangelical churches where the pastor is expected to deliver a sermon as full of political oratory a lessons from the Bible. One of the more depressing aspects of political Christianity is the every increasing propaganda of Christian persecution. This is not to say that there are not Christians in the world who are persecuted for their faith, there most certainly are. However, the hot trend now is for Conservative Christians right here is Red State Jesus Land - the good old USA - to claim that they are being persecuted right here at home. That's right, the same people who now own the White House, the House of Representatives, the US Senate and soon the Supreme court are being persecuted. Are they being shot at? Rounded up and put into camps? No, the issue is far worse, the crime that threatens the existence of American Christianity is the phrase "Happy Holidays."

It seems that American Christians are being persecuted every time they hear the phrase Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas. In other words, you had better start saying Merry Christmas, or else. Focus on the Family has a whole web page devoted to the issue. The Los Angeles Times also had a good article on this new found form Christian propaganda.

I happen to be a Christian and I believe that there are certain holidays that should be celebrated and Christmas is one of them. That is my choice. I have a number of family and friends who do not believe in God and they celebrate the Holidays in a secular way and that is their choice, I see no need to force them to recognize and celebrate a God they do not believe in. So why claim that their greeting of "Happy Holidays" is a form of religious persecution (what a stretch)? Because when I claim that I am being persecuted it gives me the right to hate my persecutors and spread all sorts of nasty misinformation about who these people are and what they believe. It means I don't have to listen to them, indeed, if I claim I am being persecuted it gives me the right to be angry and to attack my persecutors. The fact that this is the exact opposite of what my God teaches is not the issue, the issue is power and anger and hatred are powerful motivators.

As for me? While I am a Christian and choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus I will be greeting family and friends with "Happy Holidays" so that I can stand with those who are really being persecuted.

Happy Holidays to all!


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