It’s only November First and already every fifth commercial on television is some kind of Christmas theme. Some of the neighbors already have cheesey lazar lights and excessive blow up law orinments out. Several local radio stations have already switched over to holiday music. There’s already a couple of cable channels that are well into their sappy holiday fare.
Cue the supposed “War on Christmas” banter any moment while I’m listening to the Salvation Arm collection bell ring. A giant Christmas Tree is going to be lit up in Roc Plaza and again in DC and in most major town squares coast-to-coast.
Only according to Conservative, Republican talking heads could there be a so-called culture war on a holiday that is as utterly pervasive as Christmas has become. To quote Matt Greoning, “In America there’s someone willing to pretend to be offended by Everything.”
Of course, the cultural warriors fighting to save Christmas are ignorant fucks who don’t even know what version of Christmas they really want to be fighting for. How do I mean?
Well, if it was about actually putting the Christ back in Christmas they would have to eschew the overt Capitalistic bastardization the cultural holiday has become. But these Red Meat loving ‘Murikans would never relinquish their blind infatuation with their idealized, utopian market driven Capitalism.
If it were about a full embracing of the American Cultural phenomom of Christmas it would mean they would have to acknowledge the lack of a need for Christ at all at this point since most of the holiday has been highly secularized for centuries to begin with and that no two denominations of Christianity treat the birth the same way liturgically.
It’s not though. It never has been about coming to terms with their own in-conflict images of themselves. Rather, it’s about trying to oppress those that are different than them in any and every way possible.
This coming from a group of people who are so overly represented in Government that the incoming 115th Congress is most likely going going to identify at over 90% Christian. No joke, if the Pew Research estimates are correct, that’s nearly the same as it was in the 1960s. Interestingly enough, the percentage of the population identifying as Christian right now is wavering around 70% which is a precipitous drop from the 60s. Of the Christians entering office, the majority of them identify as Protestant and a majority of those Protestants identify as Evangelical. The number of Evangelicals in office outpaces the number identifying in society as a whole.
And, it’s not just the 115th Congress that’s a misrepresentation of American religious diversity. The Supreme Court as well as the overall Federal Appelate appear to be over-representing Christians. A look at many State level legislatures and the theme generally continues overall. This, of course, easily coincides with the Republican political party dominance of each of these areas of government too.
Christians often bring Canonical Law arguments into Secular lawmaking. Many laws, or attempts at legislation, within the greater view of the Culture Wars such as family matters of marriage, divorse and adoption, women’s healthcare like abortion and birth control, and more are often based on Christian Biblical ideas even when the science and factual history fully discredits many of the talking points being used by the Conservative Right. Christians have led the way to adding “God” to everything from the “Pledge” to being included on money. Despite the 1st Amendment’s separation of Church and State clauses Christianity is given a great deal of deference over other religions and substantially over that of non-believers (of which Atheists and Secularists are pretty substancial in modern society)
Nope, as part of suffering through their faith they have artificially convinced themselves that their beliefs are under attack. Beliefs, mind you, that are rarely conforming with one another from denomination to denomination and sometimes not even conforming from sectarian structure to adherents themselves which is where this silly “Sincerely Held Beliefs” idea comes from in that an individual can call upon their own interpretation of “faith” outside of any organized doctrine and have that belief, legit to any formal branch of Christianity or not, be applied to Secular Law. If an Atheist tried to pull the utter shit that most Christians pulled in terms of cramming their beliefs down society’s throat they’d be hanged, literally and figuratively.
But, back to Christmas and the hypocracy of the Religious Right’s stance about there being some so-called War on their holiday.
This is a country where an acceptable presentation of Christmas good will is the pie-in-the-sky idea of buying oneself a 50,000$ Lexus wrapped in an oversized ribbon as a gift. Yep. Nothing says I care about preserving a holy day like aspiring to the excess of a personal vehicle that costs almost as much as what the median household income across the country is.
The holy day, of course, hasn’t been holy since God knows when. What most of these Conservative Culture Warriors long for is something like the classic cultural Tudor Christmas immortalized by Washington Irving and Charles Dickens and the like. While those old timey tales have some underlying moral epiphanies about being humble and giving they rarely focus on the liturgical aspects.
Then again, most of what is considered Conservative Christianity in the twenty-teens didn’t even exist as religion in the first place when those Tudor stories were being crafted. Evangelical beliefs are so modern that some of them only gained mass appeal in the post-war years. Ironically, the same time as a number of other religious and spiritual beliefs also