Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Culture Wars and The War on Christmas

Never mention the birth of Jesus
in certain company
They'll tell you it's 'bout Santa
and the stuff beneath the tree

So it's that time of the year again: time for the folks who like to fan the flames of controversy to start going on about the secular War on Christmas. A favorite target in recent years has been the retail industry.

They say he talks to reindeer
calls them out by their name
Yeah, he talks to reindeer
calls them out by their name

Why, you may ask? Not for the reason that religious radicals used to cite to rail against retailers at Christmas: the commercialization of Christmas. Why don't those retailers realize that Christmas isn't about stuff that you buy in stores? Christmas has nothing to do with sales! Don't use the Birth of Christ as an excuse to get people to spend money on material things!

Yeah, he don't miss nothin'
knows if you're naughty or nice
So if you're thinking of bein' naughty
You know, you'd better think twice

No, they seem to have conceded that point. Christmas is about retail sales, and, by God, those retailers - those same retailers who just a few years ago were condemned as blasphemers for commercializing Christmas - had better make sure they honor the religious foundations of their sales by selling stuff in Jesus's name!

Wears a suit that's red as blood now
has a beard that's white as snow
His eyes have a little twinkle
and his nose has a certain glow

The Culture Wars aren't about sex. They aren't about religion. They're not even about politics. They're about power. Control. Who calls the music, and who dances the dance. Religion, "morality", politics, these are all just tools, a means to an end.

The War on Christmas is really about who controls Christmas: the secularists, with Santa Claus and Christmas sales and the all-inclusive "Happy Holidays", or the religious groups with commemorating the birth of Christ and their "Merry Christmas or else" attitude?

So we see retailers threatened with boycotts for not putting Christ's name into their sales flyers and for not using the proper greeting at their doors. We see homeowners threatened with fines for displaying Christmas decorations that incorporate a message of peace. Who controls Christmas?

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men, now
are just a bunch of words.
'Cause when neighbors hate their neighbors
Peace on Earth is just absurd.

(to the tune of "She Talks to Angels" by the Black Crowes)

1 comment:

Super G said...

Sadly true.

"Culture Wars" should be shortened to "Cult Wars." How often to we see one side claiming only it has the "truth." If you apply logic that contradicts their positions, then you're facts can't be right or you can't apply to those facts to this case. Any attempt to add shades of gray to their us-versus-them interpretation of the world may be met with anger.

Intolerance and absolutism maintain control. It is sadly all about maintaining power through transparent psychological strategies.

If you want to ratchet it up, starting talking about how other people are just asking for it --- it being some kind of attack. Action will follow the language.

I'll have to say I found myself wondering over Thanksgiving weekend if the forces of intolerance and ignorance will win sometime in the future. I don't know the answer, but I fear that my children's children will be held hostage by whatever cult turns out the most kids - especially if they are turned away from education and fed a diet of hate and intolerance.