It’s mildly ironic that on Christmas Day I can find little joyous news to pass on the members of The Watch mailing list. That’s the way it goes when the Grinch is in charge, I guess. I haven’t come across a lot of people who have the Christmas spirit this year. There are a lot of reasons.
Many people have bought into the Conservative propaganda campaign regarding the mythical “War on Christmas” and feel like they’re under siege by some ghostly force. I’ve heard people say “no one’s going to tell me I can’t say ‘Merry Christmas!’” but when you asked them who has told them that they can’t, there’s never anyone that they can point to. I can only imagine what a damper this would be on someone’s general good will if they thought someone was trying to stamp out their Christmas traditions. I think perhaps the “War on Christmas” crowd’s scheming has backfired this year. Rather than rallying support for the Conservatives and the Republicans as it has in past years, now it has largely demoralized a large part of the American public.
President Bush has added to this, as well. A lot of Conservatives have stopped just short of proclaiming him Christ and celebrating the return of the Saviour. Of late, of course, George W. Bush has proven that he’s anything but the spiritual leader they’ve built him up to be. Very little of what Bush stands for can be supported by the Christian Bible, and in fact Jesus Christ’s own words contradict the agenda of Bush and the Republicans. So when Americans watch as their president is caught in scandal after scandal, supporting the use of terror, spying on American citizens, pushing for the expansion of the Patriot Act to allow for even more spying on American citizens, defending legislation that would allow his rich buddies in the oil industry to rape the Arctic National Refuge in Alaska, and lately being caught spying specifically on Muslims mosques in the United States, is is any real wonder why even the Bush faithful are feeling like they’ve lost their way?
In spite of the best efforts of the Bush Administration and the Republicans, I have tried hard to feel some small part of the Christmas spirit this year. No one has told me that I can’t say Merry Christmas, even though Bill O’Reilly and his ilk insist that those people are out there. In fact, these idiots seem to assume that the only people who use the phrase “Merry Christmas” are Christian Republicans. I could just say Republicans, because most of them believe that a true Christian could be nothing other than a Republican. If you are a Democrat or a member of one of the lesser political parties, you have rejected the basic tenets of the Christian faith. I suppose you’re supposed to be the ones who are trying to stop everyone else from saying “Merry Christmas.”
The only end to all this that I can see if that the Neo-Conservatives are trying to recast Christmas itself as a Conservative religious observation that is not open to the rest of the country. That would make sense when one considers that for most Neo-Conservatives, politics is their religion. Maybe we’ve made them feel left out because for the majority of Americans celebrating Christmas doesn’t include strapping on our jackboots and marching off to some lively Conservative tune seeking to oppress the beliefs and opinions of our neighbors. I’m sorry, guys. I watched a lot of war movies when I was growing up. What the Neo-Conservatives are up to doesn’t remind me of the Allies fighting for all that is good and right in World War II. In fact, if you look at their use of propaganda, they have many similarities to the opposite side of that conflict. But I suppose the unblinking quest for power pretty much looks the same no matter how you dress it up or how many good, decent people you fool in the process.
I’ve been making a point of saying “Merry Christmas” to people this year. Put simply, I refuse to allow the Conservatives to claim that I, who am an American who strongly disagrees with nearly everything they stand for, am an enemy of Christians by claiming that people like me are the ones who are waging some phantasmic war on the Christmas holiday; a holiday which I’ve celebrated since I was a child, and which my family has continued to celebrate in spite of the fact that I broke with the traditional Christian religion decades ago.
My objections to the Neo-Conservative agenda has nothing to do with Christmas. As much as they might like to portray this as religious differences, my objections to their insanity come from the life and teachings of the person they claim to worhip and follow. Since I can see little, if any, evidence of the teachings of Jesus Christ in the works of the Neo-Conservatives, the Republicans or the Religious Right, how dare these people proclaim themselves the moral guardians of Christmas?
Christmas is supposed to be a time when we can all come together. It’s a season and a holiday which brings to most minds warm memories of family and expressions of love. To that end I want to wish everyone on this list a Merry Christmas. I don’t care if you believe in Jesus Christ. I don’t care if you celebrate Christmas. It’s a nice sentiment. You should just accept well-wishes for what they are, and not get hung up on the specific wording. Take it however you want to. Merry Christmas. Happy Yule. Bright Yuletide Blessings. Happy Kwanzza. Happy Hannukah. In short, have a Merry Merry and a Happy Happy!
If anyone has been offended by this post, well, get over it. Whether you celebrate the birth of the Christian Saviour Jesus Christ or you just like to get together and hang out with your family, let’s stop the bickering for one day at least. Believe me, there will be plenty to worry about tomorrow.
To all on this list, I wish you Bright Blessings. Walk in light and peace. Be happy.
– Wicasta Lovelace