Those on the right swear it exists, those on the left mock it and them mercilessly, yes it's time to give season's greetings to the happy holiday tradition of fighting the War on Christmas. Today I hope to strap on some body armor and my kevlar and embed myself in the trenches, to ride along in the HMMWV's, to hunker down in the foxhole journalist-style (or at least curious observer-style) and find out what all the hubbub is about.
But where do I start? I could go right to the top, the supreme commander of the noble and righteous Corps de Christo, Bill O'Reilly. But really, I'd be as likely to get a response from O'Reilly as I would from Gen. Abizaid. Really to be honest O'Reilly creeps me out. From his horribly embarassing Loofa episode *shiver* to the new threats to "bring horror" to those who wishes someone happy holidays. I tried a google search but apparently this war on christmas (or at least the war on the war on christmas) was started sometime around the end of Thanksgiving (you know, the war on the war on Christmas starts earlier and earlier these days, pretty soon we'll be bringing horror on people by Halloween!). Any google searches were painfully out of date so striking up a conversation with the front line grunts in the war would be about as worthwhile as trying to access the supreme commander himself.
Enter Technorati. With the miracle of technorati I can a list of blogs that are discussing a given topic in order of freshness. Sweet! Finally I get to try to discuss this with someone who is right there on the front lines, someone who has the topic right there in the front of his or her brain. So who did technorati lead me to? A little blog (judging by the small number of comments - not that mine is huge or anything) called Small But Disorganized
. If you read the link you'll find that the anonymous blogger is really into the christmas thing. The site is red and green, the title image is an image of a wal-mart-esque lighted natvity scene with the words "Merry Christmas!" prominently displayed over it. The link in particular is about a fantasy of going out and bringing all the "secular fundamentalists" to their knees by running up to each and every one of them in a department store (where we all congregate obviously) and wishing a very stern "Merry Christmas." I've found my front line warrior, time to engage.
My first line of questioning? Just who in the world are these people who are offended by the term Merry Christmas? Can you point me to them? If not, where did you learn about them? Here's what I wrote...
Ain't technorati grand? You're the first person on this side of the issue that I came across and I just thought I'd strike up a conversation about this whole war on christmas thing.
Just out of curiosity, who are these people that are offended by people wishing them a Merry Christmas? I'm an atheist, most of my friends are atheists, lots are Christian, some are Jewish, and a couple are Hindu [EDIT: I've met a couple of people who are Hindu, I can't really say that I know if they're offended or use the term Merry Christmas but the rest stands...]. None of us are at all upset by the phrase "merry christmas". In fact, I can't think of a single one of us who hasn't wished someone a merry christmas.
Now I know that Bill O'Reilly has insisted that there is some big secret legion of anti-Christmas / anti-Christian warriors out there that are driven by the one single solitary goal of ridding the US of Christianity and free will in general. But O'Reilly is insane. First of all, you should never trust anyone that tells you that any group of atheists could get together and organize anything let alone a massive country-wide conspiracy involving a massive media machine. Second, despite what everyone says, not only do we atheists not believe in God, we don't care who does.
But maybe I just haven't gotten my invitation. In which case, I'm pissed.
So anyhow, do you have some kind of link to an example of a "secular fundamentalist" who has taken offense at the term Merry Christmas? I would definitely like to hop on over to their blog (assuming they're a blogger, but really who isn't these days?) and ask them a similar series of questions. If you've got no example then I must ask where did you get the idea that there is a war on christmas at all?
I'll post this comment over at my blog (see, everyone's got a blog these days) and I've subscribed to these comments. I really am curious about all of this. Hopefully you can enlighten me a bit.
Here's hoping that we get a dialog going.