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5 Wars More Important Than The War on Christmas

5 Wars More Important Than The War on Christmas

“Do not say ‘Happy Holidays’ to the people coming in, we say ‘Merry Christmas’ around here.” That was my dad, a couple Decembers ago, taking a stand, unironically, for the biggest, most over-the-top holiday of the Western World. You’d think it was dying like Tinkerbell because people weren’t clapping their hands hard enough.

For my dad, basically unreligious and a political independent, it’s not so much a question of fundamental Christianity versus liberal atheists as common sense versus political correctness. To him, “The War on Christmas” is people telling him what holiday greeting to use and he doesn’t like it. For some American conservatives, however, there’s a full-blown conspiracy against Jesus, under the guise of the first amendment.

There’s too much to unpack there for one article, but let’s put things in perspective by considering some wars that really matter. In no particular order, because who wants to figure out rankings for these?

1) The War on Women: it’s not just a tag or catch-phrase. There is a major resurgence of old-school, even Biblical misogyny rearing its ugly head in the United States today. One one side are ordinary women trying to enjoy some of the freedoms a previous generation has managed to dig out for their gender, while moving a little closer to equality themselves. On the other side are men who publicly malign rape survivors and think female employees should take sexual comments as a compliment.

2) The War on the Poor: Occupy continues. Though the ultra-rich and their political allies characterize the people with all the money as job creators, Warren Buffett, bless his heart, assures us this is a lie. When all the world’s money ends up sitting, inert, in Scrooge McDuck’s pile, the economy will eventually grind to a halt. As the income gap continues to widen, the process gains more and more momentum, to the point where different economic groups look more like immobile castes than socially-mobile classes.

Even slowing this process seems akin to pushing two tectonic plates back together, and achieving actual income equity without a socialist revolution à la Stalinist Russia even less likely (and we all remember how that worked out). Add in that the political and economic juggernauts of our society have a personal interest in maintaining the status quo. But it’s an important battle, and ultimately better for not 99 but 100 percent of us, at least in the long run.

3) The War on Science: The phrase comes from a book by science advocate, Chris Mooney, and is a Bush-era title. Unfortunately, the siege did not end with Obama’s inaugaration. Attacks on public science education by fundamental Christians and budgetary pot-shots at basic research by grandstanding politicians have one thing in common: the mistaken belief that science is an ideology or conspiracy when it’s simply a collection of the most accurate, proven methods for figuring out how the world really works.

A dozen centuries ago, the Nation of Islam was a centre for scholarship and knowledge in the Old World. Then a certain caliph took power and forced the religion to become insular and distrustful of outside scholarship and innovation of all kinds, retreating to the Koran. Soon the world left them behind. Falling away from our enlightenment heritage will ultimately ruin us. The short-sighted, the extreme, they cannot be allowed to marginalize our most critical human tool: systematic and clear thinking.

4) The War on the Environment: This might also be called the war on accountability, where big companies and the politicians in their pockets try to strip every last dollar from the Earth they can. They battle against legal protections for the resources they exploit. They battle against providing reparations for the damage they cause. Ultimately, the goal isn’t to actually destroy the world we’re living in. That’s just an incidental result of wanting to make as much money as possible at everybody else’s expense. That’s cold comfort as the world’s climate destabilizes and species after species disappears.

5) Every physical war ever: I could have started with this and the article would have been over before it began. But the so-called War on Christmas is a spiritual and political war. A war of ideas and words and emotions. Sometimes those kinds of wars are important, and I’ve given four previous examples of them. The War on Christmas isn’t one.

Real wars have real consequences. The War on Christmas is built on hypocrisy and a complete misunderstanding of several constitutional amendments. And what’s at stake is a slight decrease in the number of plastic Baby Jesus figures. Whatever the result, the world will continue to turn.

 

Related stories:

Dispatches From The War On Women

Occupy Wall Street Leads Way in Sandy Relief

The Environmental Movement Doesn’t Resemble the Obama Coalition

 

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Photo credit: CrazyPhunk

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265 comments

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12:58PM PST on Dec 30, 2012

Jesus, whoever he was, cannot have been born in December. The bible never mentions a date for the alleged birth and just imagine sheperds being out in the temperatures we're talking about here. The reason x-tianity chose December for this "holiday" is that there has been celebrations going on for thousands of years before this alleged event, around this date. winter Solstice is one, the Vikings excessive binging on food and alcohol and several other cultural and ritualistic celebrations around this time of year. And, please, do not forget about the changed calendar. The Gregorian replaced the Julian and in the process a few years disappeared along with days and months. For instance, the October revolution in Russia actually took place November 7, but Russia hadn't adapted to modern times and still used the Julian calendar.
So stop this nonsense about war on x-mas. There is none to begin with, as stated above. Instead celebrate that the light is returning and that there will be Spring in less than 3 months!

8:26AM PST on Dec 29, 2012

Oh, Sarah, thanks for that. You made me laugh out loud. I suspect some people won't appreciate your irony and would actually agree with you.

3:41AM PST on Dec 29, 2012

The war on Christmas is more important because Jesus came to die for our sins, to be whipped for our healing.

There is no war on women here in the US. It was made up by the Democrats to win elections.

There is no war on the poor because we spend billions of dollars to try to help them and there are more poor now than when we started welfare and food stamps. We need to start giving them a hand up instead of a hand out.

2:50PM PST on Dec 22, 2012

JA, My feelings about 'Jesus Camp' are nearly identical to yours. It's not about the Jesus I know…

Susan, 'I'm happy to admit that I speak on' Jesus 'whenever the article is appropriate for it.' Does it trouble you that logically we might both be wrong, but we can't both be right?

8:18AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

It was in theatrical release...and it's one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen! But...it's all in the name of Jesus, so it's considered "good works."

(I've just bitten my tongue.)

6:08AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

ooooh Pam.... I just googled it... I don't think I could stomach sitting through something like that! I can feel my stomach churning at the thought. I can't stand the idea of children being harmed and this looks like it'd be too heinous.

6:04AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

Exactly David G! It's classic brainwashing, the only difference is it's a widely accepted practice. If anyone ever did that kind of thing to a person without there being some kind of "afterlife" connotation it'd be considered torture.

Thanks Susan A for the star! I appreciate it, and your comments as well.


Pam W. I've never seen the show "Jesus Camp" never even heard of it... do tell?

7:40AM PST on Dec 21, 2012

(Ever seen "Jesus Camp?" One of the most terrifying examples of child abuse I've ever seen. And...it's LEGAL!)

7:13AM PST on Dec 21, 2012

You cannot currently send a star to JACarlton because you have done so within the last week. Actually, JA, you've hit the nail on the head. I totally agree with you. I call it child abuse.

5:29AM PST on Dec 21, 2012

JA - I think that you make a very good point. Part of many brainwashing processes involve breaking down the individual's sense of self worth so that they abdicate all responsibility for themselves and cease to question authority. This seems to me to be self evident in many of those people who have the strongest religious belief. They are taught from an early age that they are worthless and wicked, nothing they do will be good enough, they are not worthy of any joy they receive so they should feel guilty. Whether a religious cult is small, like the Davidians, or large like Catholicism or Islam, making people feel guilty and bad about themselves, teaching them that their lot in life is one chosen by a higher power and they will be rewarded in a next life - all of these provide an effective control mechanism for obedience, self sacrifice and parting the faithful from their money. Its sad because of the waste and scary because of what people will do in the name of their gods seems to have no limit in atrocity.

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