Catholic and Enjoying It!
Mark Shea's Blog: So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!
The global war on Christians does.
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Is the ‘War on Christmas’ overblown? Yes. But it is connected. The ‘get Christian elements out of our society’ and the ‘what Global war on Christians?’ approach are linked. Again, I know it’s a bit overblown. But I can’t miss the connections either.
Every time a retail clerk says “happy holidays”, a Syrian Christian dies somewhere!
Yeah, and therefore it’s perfectly fine to use the “n” word. Never hurt nobody.
C’mon. You don’t have to agree with Dave G. to recognize that words mean things. They both reveal and determine the attitudes we take.
I’ve begun to like the lukewarm “Season’s Greetings” just so the liturgically-anal-retentive part of me can silently think, “Yes. happy Advent greetings to you.”
Mwa, ha, ha.
I disagree. The greeting: Season’s Greetings, or Happy Holidays is not a war on Christmas, must less a War on Christians. The screeds of the Moral Majority set, who, one must not forget rejected Catholic abbreviations of Xmas, were for decades a burden. I reject that Evangelical assessment immediately and do not need to shove Merry Christmas in the face of my Jewish and Hindu colleagues. Such an evaluation of the meaning of the intensity and the formulation of the words is exclusively an Evangelical commentary who, we must remember, have only faith and words, no sacraments, no deeds.
Keeping Christ in Christmas means something very different than feeling incensed that I was wished Happy Holidays. Such is part of the perpetual greivance machine the political Evangelical, who perpetuates the neverending culture war. May it be waged forever, Amen.
A few things. Nothing at all wrong with any of the things you say. A store that says ‘Happy Holidays’ or choosing not to say Christmas out of regard for non-Christians who we know are non-Christian is no problem (though I’m a little surprised at the growing tendency to think that self-censorship is the answer to diversity). That’s not what started the ‘War on Christmas’ (and for the record, I’m no fan of ‘War on…’ terminology). What started it was several years ago when various organizations/businesses began forbidding employees from using the C-word. Even while they shamelessly exploited the holiday. In addition to being what old time liberals of the 70s and 80s era would call censorship, it’s also intellectual dishonesty. If you don’t want the word, don’t use the holiday. Pick a different holiday.
Plus, of course, we have the inconsistency (dare we say, hypocrisy) of those who have no problem saying Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Ramadan, or anything else. But won’t say His name. Those are trends. And yes, they point to bigger problems.
I’m not one who thinks that waiting until after the horse gets out is the smarter way. I don’t think that it’s a vast conspiracy. But I do think it is the result of a changing cultural narrative, one that helped lay the groundwork for a society that said ‘yeah, I don’t see a problem with the HHS mandate.’ To me, they’re all related and pointing in the same direction.
Protestants have spent the past 500 years taking the Mass out of Christmas and are now shocked that others are removing the Christ.
Ah yes, that classic Internet Catholic approach of ‘why solve a problem when I can blame Protestants instead.’ The good news is that a growing number of non-Fundamentalist Protestants are figuring out that the old fights don’t work today. The sad news is there are still so many Catholics who haven’t figured that one out yet.
Maybe the problem with the term “War on Christmas” is that it gives the impression of a unified, concerted effort to ban the world “Christmas” and generally keep Christ out of the “winter holiday season.” I don’t believe that’s the case. I think what we have are a few pushy atheist groups complaining about local Nativity scenes, some store managers afraid of offending customers, teachers/principals who want to be “multicultural,” etc. They aren’t all in cahoots, though; it’s scattered around the country.
Some are certainly motivated by hatred of Christianity, while others are just afraid of being “offensive” or not celebrating diversity enough. Of course, the very implication that one of the major traditional feasts of Christianity is “offensive” could also be remotely related to a hatred of Christianity, but that may not even be conscious on the part of a store owner.
About a decade ago, I noticed that my town had begun calling our local Christmas tree a “holiday tree.” I knew it had always been called a Christmas tree back when I was growing up and went to the tree lightings. Yet here was a flier announcing the annual lighting of the “holiday tree and Hanukkah menorah” (they have them one beside the other every year).
I turned to my mother and, half jokingly, quipped, “If they’re going to call it a ‘holiday tree’ then why not call the menorah a ‘holiday candelabra’?” I was more bemused than offended; if they’re not going to name what holiday the tree stands for then why name the holiday the menorah stands for? Why not just melt it all into a nice, non-offensive generic “holiday”?
Wouldn’t you know it, my mom went right ahead and asked that very question at the next town meeting (she went to those regularly as she was very involved in the community, God rest her soul). I was not at the meeting, but afterward she told me about it and I said, “Mom, I didn’t mean for you to actually SAY that!” She said that she didn’t get a real answer except that that’s what they were now calling it. She also said that the pastor of the local parish seemed amused by her question (maybe he wondered that himself?).
As a postscript, they did eventually go back to calling it a “Christmas tree.” I don’t know whether my mom’s question had anything to do with that, though it’s fun to think that it might have. One thing I do know is that it was asked in a non-offensive manner. I think it’s better to handle these things charitably, not assuming the worst of people who may not have an animus against Christmas or Christianity after all. Assuming that they are all “enemies” of Christmas and at “war” with it may not be helpful.
The global war on Christians does matter much more than the War on Christmas here in America, true of course. But to say it does not matter at all is kind of ridiculous.
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