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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Fake War On Christmas

by capper

In his most recent column for the misnamed Waukesha Freeman, Owen Robinson continues to hype the faux War on Christmas.

This is something the right wing feels they need to hype every year. The chief complaint is that some Freedom From Religion type of group protests governmental facilities used to promote the holiday. I have yet to hear of any of these groups that want to keep people from celebrating their religious beliefs in their homes or churches, just not using taxpayer funded facilities.

Owen's other complaint are the stores that chose to be inclusive of all of their customers, using the phrase "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" as opposed to the exclusive, Christians only "Merry Christmas."

Nick Schweitzer does a pretty good job at refuting Owen assertions. He gives a history of this so called war, and then makes this excellent point:
Should a Jewish clerk be forced to say Merry Christmas to his/her customers? We seem hell bent on allowing Catholic pharmacists the right to not only refuse to give out birth control, but not even forward the prescription onto another pharmacy, so why should a Jewish or atheist clerk be forced to acknowledge your religion? And more importantly, why do you have the need to have others acknowledge it? I mean, it's nice when they do, and Owen tells a nice story of being wished Merry Christmas by a waitress. But he's not just talking about those random well wishes in the spirit of the season. He's also suggesting that the lack of those wishes constitutes a war on the season itself!
To paraphrase Nick's last paragraph, it appears that those asserting that there is a war is satisfied with the right to celebrate their holiday, but are demanding that others acknowledge and follow in line, at least for the season. In other words, they are asking for the equivalent of Affirmative Action for their religion, even though they are in the majority in this country.

I don't see anyone wanting to end the national day of celebration of Christmas. And trust me, outside of vital services like hospitals, firefighters, police and the such, the only places open from Christmas Eve afternoon to the day after Christmas are gas stations and movie theaters, and not all of those are either. However, I don't recall ever getting off of work, with pay, for Yom Kippur or Channukah. The banks don't close for Tet or Samhain.

If you practice any of these other religions, and you want to have the day to celebrate or worship in your fashion, you have to use your own vacation time, and the rest of the world carries on. However, if you are atheist or a non-Christian, and you want to do your grocery shopping or banking or whatever on December 25th, well, you're just SOL, fella.

I wonder how loudly the Christians would scream if they were required to use their own vacation time to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. The outrage would be deafening, to be sure. But if someone of another religion, or an atheist, would wish to have those equal rights to their beliefs (or nonbeliefs), well, that would be just absurd to them, or they would feel threatened by it.

There is no War on Christmas. At best, it could only be called a War for Equal Standing, which is what I thought this country was supposed to be all about.

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