Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Politically Correct Holiday...Or Else


I recently read a well-crafted holiday post by a fellow blogger -- FTS -- regarding the Christmas Holiday and the attempts by some fringe, way-out-of-the-mainstream groups to dilute it to the point of public exclusion. Or, in the mocking words of one local radio talk show host, "if it saves even one person from being offended, wouldn't it be worth it?"

Psshaw.

It moved me to dig deep into my archives, and retrieve my own thoughts on the efforts of a small but very loud minority to politicize and exorcise Christmas from the general public view.

I originally wrote and ran this column in December 1996, in the small town newspaper I wrote for at that time. Considering the fact that the majority of readers served by this paper at that time were Democrats, it was a wonder to me then and since that I wasn't run out of town, but I digress.

In the column, I speculated on the kind of holiday season we'd all 'enjoy', if we were to be 'saved' from our insensitive selves by the cultural-diversity-at-any-price, politically correct liberal activists and their judicial allies.

With no further adieu, enjoy reading and pondering what might have been (or yet may, if the activists win):

http://www.outofthinair.homestead.com/Xmas96.html

18 Comments:

Blogger FTS said...

*APPLAUSE*

Thank you for the mention, sir. We may the last bastion of non-politically correct thinkers, but never will I deny what Christmas is.

Well done.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving. :)

24 November, 2005 09:08  
Blogger Karen said...

Both you and FTS wrote great pieces. I will never deny what Christmas is either and will say Merry Christmas to anyone, I don't care who they are. Christmas is more than a holiday, there's so much meaning to it and I refuse to let political correctness stop me from saying it and celebrating.

25 November, 2005 10:39  
Anonymous Tom said...

I'd like to know when anyone tried to stop you from saying Merry Christmas, or singing Christmas carols, or any other aspect of enjoying and celebrating the Christmas season. I'd like you to give one concrete example -- name names -- that doesn't involve either government funding or a marketing department not wanting to offend potential non-Christian customers.

The idea that liberals are somehow trying to intrude on individuals' rights to celebrate their religion is conservative mythology.

Give me one example of government stopping individuals from practicing their Christian faith (again, that doesn't involve government funding or support) that was upheld by a court of law and I'll appologize to you on the front page of my very own blog.

27 November, 2005 18:27  
Anonymous Monique said...

Ha ha HA!! That article was so funny! I loved it!

And thanks for visting my blog. Much appreciated.

28 November, 2005 10:04  
Blogger Monica said...

I love it when people have the courage to stand up AGAINST politically correct...especially when being PC is WRONG.

Thanks for another great post and I loved the article you linked as well.

28 November, 2005 13:13  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Tom: you don't read and comprehend terribly well, do you? My parody column addressed what Christmas would come to resemble if liberals got control of government; that, they don't currently have.

You want concrete examples of liberals trying to impinge the rights of others to celebrate Christmas? You need look no further than the City and County of Denver, and the annual effort by atheists and liberal activists to get rid of the Nativity scene at the City and County building. Moreover, if I wished to waste the time on you, I'd dig up the various school districts where any kind of Christmas celebration has been diluted to avoid offending non-Christians.

But thanks for showing your humorless ignorance, Tom. My readers will enjoy it.

28 November, 2005 13:17  
Blogger FTS said...

Hmmm... seems *someone* is offended, no? ;)

28 November, 2005 13:29  
Blogger michelle said...

Tom is anything BUT humorless.

I live in Boulder and I love all the X-mas lights and stuff but a nativity scene in the center of town makes me want to hurl. They'd look great in front of your own land but unless we will start allow Muslim or Morman, etc. scenes too, I think they have no place on public land.

28 November, 2005 17:09  
Anonymous Tom said...

Displays on government ground and in school aren't individual; they're sanctioned by the government. The government isn't allowed to sanction a religion.

Years ago there was a controversy about the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe. Conservatives thought the work pornographic and didn't want the NEA, a government agency, to pay for it. Libs went nuts, calling the lack of support censorship. It wasn't. Conservatives, then, understood that a lack of government support wasn't oppression.

Now you've forgotten. Now you insist that the inability of the government to support your religion -- my religion, too, by the way -- is some great infringement of your rights. It isn't, and your anger and self-dramatizing bitterness is ridiculous.

Why are you mad? Is your faith so weak that a lack of government subsidy and endorsement threatens it? Or do you perhaps enjoy being a victim, a courageous member of an oppressed minority speaking in bold terms of freedom that is not threatened.

On the other hand, maybe you're a theocrat, in which case maybe you should propose a change in the First Amendment.

The Constitution is unambiguous: No law respecting the establishment of a religion. The language of the First Amendment is echoed in every state constitution. It's not there to suppress religion. It's there to protect it, it guarantee that faith is a matter of personal conscience rather than political give-and-take.

One might imagine that a person of faith would respect that. Christianity is, of course, a religion that is entirely about faith and conscience.

So I go back to my original offer: One example of liberals or anyone else in this country, with the approval of the courts, suppressing a personal Christian religious celebration or practice. The only one I can think of is Mormon polygamy. You going to defend that?

Oh, and try to do it without resorting to calling names. The stark contrast with my humorless ignorance will highlight the keen precision of your argument.

29 November, 2005 05:11  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Of no great surprise, Tom clings to the liberal straw man that "separation of church and state" means that a high school graduate, at commencement, cannot thank God before the assembly, short of causing the school district and ACLU to have an apoplexy; that a student survivor of Columbine can't put a Christian cross on a memorial tile, because, in Tom's world, this means the government is pushing Christianity at the expense of all other religions.

It's a false and idiotic argument, and not one I'll get into further, as it goes deeper and longer than I care to engage.

Bottom line: Tom reads the same column y'all did, and Tom writes the two aforementioned diatribes. It strongly suggests to me that Tom is and remains a humorless liberal. He's free to be so.

29 November, 2005 12:42  
Blogger Monica said...

Tom, I can give you an example of "Give me one example of government stopping individuals from practicing their Christian faith". I worked on a military installation and was told we can NOT wish the children in the center Merry Christmas because it includes Christ and that insults people who don't believe in Christ.
My younger son said a prayer at his basketball game and was verbally attacked by a man who's son was on the opposite team.
There IS separation of church and state...and yet our forefathers came here to escape the very thing that's being instilled in us today: so Tom, please speak your views...you have that right, after all, MY son and many before him fought in wars for you to have that right.
As for MY rights? Merry Christmas, Tom, and God bless you.

30 November, 2005 07:59  
Blogger Monica said...

oh, and Michelle? the next time you feel like hurling over a nativity scene? I really feel for you. I'll keep you in my thoughts, after all, Jesus didn't discriminate when he grew out of the manger, he died for ALL of us, whether we worship him or not.

30 November, 2005 08:03  
Anonymous Tom said...

Monica, the man who verbally assaulted your son for praying was an illiberal jackass. He wasn't government harrassing your son's faith; he was an individual violating your son's privacy. If I'd have been there, I'd have dumped my drink on him for you. The world is filled with boors of all sorts. I was at a baseball game once, and during the 7th Inning Stretch everyone stood up to sing "God Bless America." When it was over, the park played Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be An American." I sat down, and the proud American next me accused me of being unpatriotic because I didn't stand for Lee Greenwood. Lee Greenwood! When I went back to teaching my son how to score the game, he pulled me up by may hair. It would not occur to me to condemn all conservatives because of one drunken lout. nor would I use it as an example of government repression.

As for your military experience, the military is a government institution and should be neutral on issues of faith.

That said, I spent ten years traveling the world making military documentaries, during which I spent a significant amount of time on American bases. I never noticed a shortage of Christmas celebration and acknowledgement on base, and the residential areas were festively decorated with symbols both Christian and secular. Base operations stayed neutral, though people seemed free to decorate their desk how they liked and to wish each other Merry Christmas if the wanted to.

The offer still stands: Government oppression of private, non-governmental religious expression by Christians, upheld by the courts.

It wouldn't surprise me, by the way, if someone could find an example. If you look hard enough it's hard not to find one of anything. But the idea that Christians and Christian expression are horribly oppressed in this country is ridiculous.

01 December, 2005 07:34  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Tom continues to abysmally miss the point of the column with staggering sanctimony and liberal ill-humor. But he's right on one point: anyone can find any example of something they don't like when they look hard enough. Tom's continued snivelling about the subject is proof positive of that.

01 December, 2005 09:09  
Blogger Monica said...

Skunk,

My affinity for your blog is proven in that I return to it again and again. My suggestion to those who don't care for it may be too simplistic to absorb but it's simply this: there are a multitude of blogs out there to read; I don't return to the ones I don't like. :)

Merry Christmas, my special friend, and may God bless you. :)

01 December, 2005 11:51  
Anonymous Tom said...

Your adept use of logical argument impresses me no end, and gifted writer and reader that you are you surely understand that this has been a give-and-take heavy with subtext.

From my perspective, the entire argument about Christmas has very little to do with the holiday itself. Instead, it is a kind of performance-art piece that demonstrates the conservative movement is spent.

The conservative argument against liberals has long been that liberals deal in feelings and conservatives deal in ideas. That was true, ten years ago. Newt Gingrich, whatever else he may be, is an idea man, and when he was running the show conservatism was lousy with ideas.

Over on the other side, there were entrenched power hogs like Dan Rostenkowsi, pulling emotional strings in order to manipulate the masses and preserve their own power.

But in vivid illustration of the Zen principle that you become what you oppose, the whole conservative movement has devolved into a movement that has abandoned ideas in favor of feelings. Small government? Gone. Fiscal responsibility? Gone. Federalism? Gone. Rule of law? Going fast.

All that's left for the party and movement is getting true believers emotionally pumped-up about stuff that either doesn't matter or isn't true. Like, for example, the orchestrated movement to convince people like you that liberals use the government to persecute Christians.

A quick mind such of yours surely must grasp two things: First, liberals don't hold sufficient government power to oppress anyone. Second, Christians aren't oppressed. Christian symbolism and institutions and practices are everywhere, especially at this time of the year.

Confronted with those two obvious facts, your response is not Gingrichian (Gingrichesque?). You don't argue ideas or facts. Instead, you default to the Gospel of Rove: You attack. I'm ignorant. I'm sniveling. I can't read. I'm humorless.

I asked for one example of government oppression that would justify your and your commentors' unthinking acceptance of the idea that government action by liberals is a threat to Christmas. You'd think, given how obvious you believe this nightmarish oppression to be, you could come up with one single example.

But you don't. I think that proves my larger point, illustrating that the conservative movement of ideas has ended, leaving behind a shell as intellectually empty as old-line liberalism.

It's been fun. Merry Christmas.

01 December, 2005 11:58  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

And your chum Michelle thought I was long-winded?

Tom insists upon missing the point of the column. I can only assume, from his extended diatribes, that his inability to grasp the humor is embedded in his narrow, misguided ideological victim mentality.

His basic premise was, is, and remains fatally and factually flawed, dubious, and not worth my time to collect and spell out examples he demands, while suggesting such examples don't exist.

I find it amusing that he thinks I should be as impressed with his personal opinions as he is. If he were someone who mattered, perhaps they would. Add to his list of flawed premises, one more: Tom and his opinions don't rise to that level with me.

But Tom can and will feel free to post his nonsense at leisure.

Merry Christmas to you, too.

01 December, 2005 12:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While other retails are bringing Christmas back this year, Best Buy has banned Merry Christmas in their Christmas ads (check this out):
http://www.afa.net/petitions/email/bestbuy_11102006.html

So I wondered what it would be like if Best Buy were an Inn, back in Bethlehem when Jesus was born, and I wrote this song in protest:

Best Buy Inn
Words and music by Dr. BLT ©2006
http://www.drblt.net/music/BestBI.mp3

Find my corresponding blog entry here:
http://people.bakersfield.com/home/Blog/blognroll/2759

(also posted at my other blog sites: Bakotopia.com and myspace.com)

Find the song with two other Christmas songs of mine here at:

Art of the Mix
http://www.artofthemix.org/FindAMix/Getcontents.asp?strMixId=108515
Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Bruce (aka Dr. BLT)

24 November, 2006 11:22  

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