What a real war on Christmas would look like

December 30, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More

Many conservative commentators claim that there is a “war” on Christmas. I don’t agree, for the reasons cited by Alex DiBranco at Alternet.

Reading the Alternet article caused me wonder what a real war on Christmas would look like. A real war would involve governments and individuals invading private residences and churches to shut down Christmas celebrations, religious services and even discussions about the meaning of Christmas. A real war on Christmas would involve a systematic vandalizing of the Christmas decorations that are ubiquitous at this time of year.  I have not yet read of anything like that happening in the United States.  A real war on Christmas would involve amending federal law so that Christmas Day is no longer a legal holiday.

It is a stunning fact, however that those who claim to believe that Jesus was “divine” rarely talk about Jesus except when they attend their churches. They do say “Merry Christmas”  to everyone in hearing range, but they rarely discuss their religious beliefs in public at any time of the year, even at Christmas, allegedly one of the holiest of holy days. Instead, 99% of their “Christmas” discussions are about shopping for goods and services, attending parties, football, entertaining others, preparing food, visiting with friends and family and traveling.  Based on the actions of most Americans, 99% of “Christmas” is not about Jesus, and that’s the way they like it based on their willing participation in many decades of non-religious Christmas activities.  Based on the above observations, the real “War on Christmas” is being conducted by purported Christians, most of whom believe in belief in God rather than actually believe in God.  I’m not criticizing them for celebrating, only for claiming that Christmas is about Jesus when any diligent Martian anthropologist who visited Earth would quickly conclude otherwise.  Those Martian scientists would also wonder why a society that fervently believed in the love of Jesus so intensely celebrated war, spying and hatred of Muslim neighbors.

I suspect that it is out of frustration regarding their own religious doubts that conservatives (or more accurately, the conservative media) howl that governments, merchants and non-Christians should publicly espouse pre-packaged Christian religious beliefs.  It makes Christmas Apologists feel holy to force others to give verbal homage to unsubstantiated stories by uttering “Merry Christmas!”   As usual, it is easier to fight for a cause than to actually believe in it.

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Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Mike M. says:

    Erich,

    So true – really spot on. This can all be captured in one word: Hypocrisy.

    But I can come up with many others: insincerity, phoniness, programmed behavior, hypnotic state, cognitive conditioning/imprint, laziness, inattention, somnambulism, arrested development, social conformity, group-think, auto-pilot, unexamined habit, etc.

    Yes, I suspect not many people truly believe–but rather believe that they should believe. And those who realize this would be among the less severe cases, because it suggests at least a spark of awareness.

  2. I think conservatism, almost by definition, values a nostalgic view of traditions, and bemoans their decline. It matters not that these traditions are vaguely religious, except that it lends support to their argument in favor of them because religion is also a declining tradition for which they hold much nostalgia. All the arguments about the gradual destruction of civilization are really just moaning for the good old days that never existed anyway.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler (1870 – 1937)

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