Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not a moment too soon ...

It's been such wonderful weather lately - I was wearing shorts and t-shirts just last week before the temperature took a turn for the colder. Halloween is almost upon us, then the election (don't forget to vote!), then I'll teach a Saturday for Duke TIP, then the Graduate Student Symposium when Dr. Robert M. Hazen comes to talk about his origins of life research, then Thanksgiving, then our big choir concert, then finals, then some gift shopping, and finally a little christmas time with family. And right on time (about 2 weeks before Halloween) Rev. Donald Wildmon is starting his 'fight' to take back christmas!

That's right, we can't even get to "trick or treat" before we have to hear conservative wingnuts complain about the infamous and imaginary 'attack-on-christmas' propaganda. Rob Boston said it best in his blog entry:

Some stores, aware that not all of their customers celebrate Christmas, use a generic greeting. No one is trying to offend you or ruin your holiday. In fact, if you are really bothered by the type of holiday greeting you receive from a drug-store clerk in December, I'd like to suggest that you need to ask Santa to bring you a life.

Does anyone seriously think Christmas is under assault in the United States? Retailers certainly don't. In fact, they are starting to panic. Worried that the economic downturn might reduce spending this year, retailers are looking for ways to boost Christmas spirit - and sales. I imagine big corporations will instruct their employees to use any greeting possible if it will encourage more buying.

And therein lies the problem. Wildmon and his obsessive Religious Right pals continue to fixate on the use of the phrase "Merry Christmas," as if store workers' by-rote repetition of it will somehow cause Americans to infuse the holiday with more religious meaning. (It reminds me of how the Religious Right persists in believing that 30 seconds of watered-down, generic prayer in public school every day will make kids more devout.) Wildmon is looking at the business community to make Christmas more religious - the business community!

The 'Rev.' Wildmon is from the American Family Association. To fight back against the war on christmas they employed the use of ... buttons! Indeed, there are buttons and glossy stickers of all different sizes (and different prices for that matter) that you can buy to push back against the evil-doers who might be inclined to say 'happy holidays' instead of 'merry christmas' to be more inclusive of strangers they might meet.

In the words of the 'Rev.':
It's hard to believe that there are companies and individuals who want to ban "Merry Christmas" and replace it with "Holiday Greetings" because, they say, they don't want to offend anyone.
It gets better:
Christians can take a stand and proclaim to our communities that Christmas is not just a winter holiday focused on materialism, but a "holy day" when we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We can do it in a gentle and effective way by wearing the “It’s OK to say Merry Christmasbutton.
But fighting back isn't free:
Purchase enough buttons for each member of your church and enough Glossy Stickers for each family to have one to go on their automobile. Urge your fellow members to wear their buttons and display the Glossy Stickers during the entire Christmas season.

If you are unable to sponsor your church yourself, ask your Sunday School class to make it a class project. You can even order buttons and Glossy Stickers to share with co-workers, children in Christian schools, customers, etc.
And for any of you nay-sayers who think that asking big-business to stop being so inclusive of everyone by wearing buttons won't work:
Some might think simply wearing a button or displaying a Glossy Sticker is a small thing, but God can use small things to make a big point, and to create opportunities to share the Good News. And what a great time to do that at Christmas!
That's right, is there anything god, zeus, athena, thor, apollo, ra, purple spaghetti monster, etc. can't do?

In response to their button, I'd like to offer my own:

1 comment:

flixthecat85 said...

hahaha. nice button.

christmas was created from a pagan holiday...a lot of people tend to forget that...or have selective memory =). jesus was supposed to actually have been born in april.