Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I Declare a Dumb War!

According to John Gibson and Bill O’Reilly but most especially John Gibson the US is engaged in a WAR ON CHRISTMAS
Apparently this WAR ON CHRISTMAS threatens the US like no other war the US has ever known because the WAR ON CHRISTMAS is being fought from WITHIN!
On the front lines of this war stand O’Reilly and Gibson. Actually O’Reilly isn’t so much on the front lines as back in HQ, issuing orders such as "boycott Sears!" and "buy my mugs and loofahs!"
Gibson however has decided on a more active approach in warning us all of a vast lefty liberal secularist army intent on destroying Christmasâ and thus America, simply because that’s what liberals want, more than anything else in the world.
Channeling the spirit of a perverted Paul Revere, Gibson has mounted his high horse and galloped off into the night yelling "THE SECULARISTS ARE COMING, THE SECULARISTS ARE COMING!" to all who will listen by writing a book called ( approximately) "The War On Christmas And Why It Is Worse Than You Think".

As a practicing secular liberal I must say I’m a bit miffed at not having been clued-in on the WAR ON CHRISTMAS . I regularly get e-mails from "Friends of Hillary" and "Move-On" and even Michael Moore once in a while but apparently all that doesn’t even qualify me as a simple camp-follower to the vast lefty liberal progressive secular army that has been amassed to destroy Christmas . Despite my adoration of Janeanne Garofolo I guess I’m just not that hard-core.
Yet despite this obvious snub from the lefty intellectual elite, I’m still keen to join this vast army of anti-Christmasites so that together we can crush the dangerous notion of "peace on earth and goodwill to all men" once and for all.
Perhaps my being overlooked as a potential stormtrooper in the WAR ON CHRISTMAS is simply a result of the inherent lefty-liberal fault of bad organization; it is entirely possible that someone forgot to mail my invitation.

In order to shake off my obviously clerical error-driven 4F rating and to prove myself worthy as a frontline liberal elitist secular America-hating defeatist, I chose to go independently behind enemy lines and infiltrate the ranks of the Pro-Christmasites in the hope of gaining valuable intelligence to serve our WAR ON CHRISTMAS.
Cleverly disguised as an Internet "user" I penetrated a target-rich environment which I will call "Amazon" and acquired my subject, codenamed "Review". What I uncovered raises more answers than questions.

In reviewing John Gibson’s book about the "War On Christmas", Julie Wood of DeatsVille Alabama (boasting approximately TWELVE streets, half of which are dead-ends, yet still having Internet connectivity) offered the following:
Quote: " How very sad that people feel they must bash this book due to what they perceive to be grammatical errors, yet their (sic) very own review contained spelling and/or grammar errors! The point is NOT to find grammatical errors, it IS to see that in America, there is a great falling away from what our wonderful country was founded upon - belief in the God who made us. Although this falling away was predicted in the Bible millions of years ago (emphasis added), it is comforting to know that there are those of us, like Mr. Gibson, who are not afraid to stand up for the tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ. I commend Mr. Gibson for taking a stand, and I pray that others will follow his lead".

Oh Julie! How very sad that you can’t tell the difference between "perceived" grammatical errors and actual grammatical errors, such as you yourself have provided. And FYI Julie, America WASN’T founded on a belief in God, but rather in rejecting the imposition of intransigent religion on public life.
As to the Bible predicting a "falling away" MILLIONS of years ago, you’d have a hard time explaining that particular belief to your fundamentalist leaders whose calendars begin 4004 B.C. The term "millions" simply isn’t in their vocabulary, and it shouldn’t be in yours either. Methinks you are a false Christian and a blasphemer!

With a "review " entitled "Get a life, losers", reviewer ‘Freethinker’—"not afraid of diversity of political thought" writes:
Quote: "Here's a revolutionary thought-how about all you hate-filled, closed-minded intolerant liberals quit writing reviews for a book you haven't even read???? Go to Michael Moore's website if you want to spew hate. This forum is for people who READ!!! Is this how you form your beliefs, through blind ideology, without even examining the evidence???

Whereas "riceburner117" with a review entitled "whats wrong with all you liberals" offers the following
Quote: "Ok, let me start off by saying that I'm 15 and probably have more sense than most liberals out there. Any one who says that this book doesn't preach the truth is blind. Have you noticed how Coca-Cola didn't put Santa on their cans this year? Have you noticed that most stores aren't allowed to say "Merry Christmas" because it might offend some minority that no one has ever heard of? People dont understand that we are the silent majority. We dont stick up for ourselves. Even our schools marquee's don't say Merry Christmas, it's "have a happy holiday" or "have fun on winter break". That I know of, we have one Jewish kid in our school. I talked to him, and he said that he's even part Christian. It makes me sick, and the Liberals who are so blind by their own ego's, beleive that it's propaganda set out their by the Republicans. We should start sticking up for ourselves, and if you dont like it, you can move over with your French buddies and riot in the streets".

What can I say? If these are the defenders of Christmas then our lefty-liberal progressive tree-hugging fag-embracing godless treasonous communist forces are assured of victory in our glorious WAR ON CHRISTMAS!

I just have a few questions: Who is in charge? When do we charge? How much can we charge? And once we succeed in destroying Christmas, do we still get presents?


Kent Rogers said...

Sorry for the news, but you're a moron. This country was founded by conservative christians. Yes they also founded it with the idea of Religious freedom, but how is Christmas going against the 1st amendment/ Religious freedom?? We dont force people to celebrate Christmas! But not allowing people to publicly celebrate a religious holiday DOES violate rights granted to them in the 1st Amendmend. So thats an enormous hypocrisy on the left.

Christmas is a national holiday. People need to quit trying to change that. Liberals like you are cancer to this country. Your whole political outlook involves tearing down and destroying American tradition. You can hate America and all it stands for all you want, but quit trying to change it.

What would it be like if Christians immigrated into other countries and tried to prevent the citizens from practicing their religion??? What if a bunch of Americans in this day and age moved to muslim nations and tried to prevent people from celebrating Ramadan? Do you think their citizens would stand for it? Absolutely not. But I'm sure in that case you'd just say that people were defending their culture.

Thats what Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson are trying to do, defend America and our culture from people who are trying to destroy it.

5th Estate said...

Thanks for dropping by and posting your comment Mr. Rogers.

Though you seem to have your mind pretty well made up about me (and several million other fellow US citizens) it think it behooves me to more clearly articulate my views and understanding of this “War on Christmas” subject, and also out of common courtesy to respond to your contribution to my humble blog:

I’ll start with a summary and then address some of the surrounding points you have made:

The central charge of O’Reilly and Gibson’s self proclaimed war on the so-called “War On Christmas” has consistently been that businesses have been using the expression “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry “Christmas”
This they claim is clear evidence of the secularization of Christmas, by liberals. Christmas is but ONE day, not the stretch of weeks between Halloween and December 25th. That’s what has become known as the “The Holiday Season” promoted by businesses (plenty of which I’m sure are owned and run by Christians), NOT by some vast conspiracy of loony liberals.
In fact O’Reilly himself was offering O’Reilly and Fox branded “Holiday Ornaments” on his website for several days until this was pointed out to him after his latest “War on Christmas” rant. He has since replaced “Holiday“ with “Christmas” because otherwise he’d continue to look like a hypocrite, wouldn’t he?

Now I don’t celebrate Christmas by going to church because I don’t subscribe to a religion. I do however find the abiding and traditional Christmas message of “Peace on earth and goodwill to all men“ well worth acknowledging and better yet putting into practice, even if only for one day. I understand that message, along with Christ’s teachings such as forgiveness, kindness to strangers, turning the other cheek, loving one’s brother and so on are pretty central to the Christian faith.
Are you a Christian? It sounds like you are, but then would a Christian call a fellow being a moron and a cancer? That doesn’t sound very Christian to me. Perhaps you worship Gibson and O’Reilly rather than Christ—thanks to the 1st Amendment you are allowed to do that and not only am I not allowed to stop you, I wouldn’t because it’s your choice as an American.

Now let me answer or at least explore, some of your specific (and not so specific) questions and claims:

Firstly you ask “how is Christmas going against the 1st amendment/ Religious freedom??”
The question is rather bizarrely constructed but I take it you think that I think that celebrating Christmas is somehow prevented by the 1st Amendment, and that it is inconsistent with the separation of Church and State?
That makes no sense whatsoever, so let’s have a look at the 1st Amendment shall we?

“Congress shall make no law respecting [meaning ‘in respect to’] an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

It’s pretty clear to me at least that 1st Amendment a) disallows the establishment of an official and mandated religion and b) allows everyone to practice any religion in public and without legal constraint.
So the celebration of Christmas is utterly consistent with the Ist Amendment and nowhere in my post did I specifically express or imply that it wasn’t.

Secondly you claim that “not allowing people to publicly celebrate a religious holiday DOES violate rights granted to them in the 1st Amendment.”
You would be correct, but ONLY if the public celebration of a religious holiday were to be specifically banned BY LAW. No such law exists, no such law has been proposed and such a law would indeed be unconstitutional.
The ONLY constraint on the celebration of Christmas (or Christianity in general) in public is with regard to its sanctioning and promotion by government to the exclusion of other religions. Government buildings and organizations are obliged, consistent with the Ist Amendment to recognize other religious holidays coincident to Christian holidays (or indeed vice versa,), OR NOT AT ALL, again consistent with disallowing the establishment of ANY official, state mandated religion.

Is anyone being arrested for celebrating Christmas? No, they aren’t. The decorations are going up all across America, Christmas presents are being bought and Christmas trees are being decorated, so where is the evidence of Christmas being “disallowed” in anyway?

Christmas is indeed a national holiday and because it is the only truly national religious holiday that makes Christmas appear to be “official”, it appears to be inconsistent with the notion of the ”separation of Church and State” and suggests the government is ergo Christian and Christianity therefore the “official” religion.

However whilst Christmas is officially recognized its observation is not mandatory but optional and therefore it IS in accordance with the separation of Church and State, consistent with the 1st amendment and constitutionally permissible. Ergo Christianity is NOT an official religion and therefore the United States is NOT officially a Christian nation—it just has a lot of Christians in it. Those who would seek to make the US officially Christian would actually be “going against” the constitution of the United States, which would seem to be a bit un-American, don’t you think?.

Lastly you claim: ”This country was founded by conservative christians. Yes they also founded it with the idea of Religious freedom...”

You seem to be mixing up the Puritan Pilgrims with the”Founding Fathers” here. The Pilgrims were indeed conservative Christians who left England after the resurgence of Catholicism under Charles II. The Pilgrims founded a colony, not a country. America didn’t spring up full blown the moment they landed at Plymouth Rock. And here’s some news for you…the pilgrims were so conservative that THEY DIDN’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS! To them the notion of taking a holiday and making merry in the name of Jesus was tantamount to blasphemy. Nor did they espouse religious freedom—they simply dismissed all but their own form.

The United States of America was founded by the thirteen colonies after a war against Great Britain over—no, not religious freedom, but over taxation and representation. The authors of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were all very learned men and most of them were Deists which meant they believed in a God but did not subscribe to any specific form of organized Christian worship.

And along with the specific instructions about the prevention of an established official religion containedin the 1st Amendment it is made clear in Article 11 of the "Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," (generally known as the Treaty of Tripoli)"

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

This treaty was endorsed by the President John Adams who was also of course a “Founding Father”, it was approved by the Senate on June 7, 1797, ratifed and signed into law on June 10th 1797 without contention, and it was published in The Philadelphia Gazette on 17 June 1797.

There is no record of Philadelphians rioting in the streets upon the public disclosure that the “Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” nor anywhere else for that matter.

Well, that was fun! Educational too, don’t you think?

As I am NOT engaged in a “War on Christmas” I plan to have a very merry one and if O'Reilly and Gobson would just shut up about perhaps you too can enjoy your Christmas in peace, instead of joining Gibson and O'Reilly and going to war.

DOn't be a stranger!

Red Tory said...

Heh. A moron and a cancer… very Christian sentiments indeed. It’s a shame that so many folks like O’Reilly, Gibson and Mr. Rogers above are so woefully misinformed about the Constitution as well as the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers. Perhaps they snoozed through their History and Civics classes.

Personally, I think blowhards like O’Reilly and Gibson cynically use the issue as a cudgel to vent their almost non-stop anger at liberals and in particular organizations such as the ACLU. Once you brush away the tinsel and scratch beneath the thin veneer of their hateful, phony-baloney outrage, there doesn’t seem to be much else in the way of a conclusion to draw from it. To them, it’s an assault on Christianity an attempt to push it out of the public square and the first step on the slippery slope to gay marriage, legalized drugs, euthanasia, man on dog sex, and so on. Ridiculous, I know. But this is the perception of many of these folks.

What they also fail to realize (or willfully ignore) is that the trend to “Happy Holidays” and "Seasons Greetings" was actually driven by businesses and commercial retailers starting in the 50’s and 60’s. This wasn’t some loony leftist plot to secularize Christmas, but simply good business practice insofar as it had the broadest, most inoffensive appeal to people of all faiths (as well as those with no faith). And, as you correctly pointed out Christmas was not celebrated by many of Mr. Rogers’ “conservative Christian” religious sects who actually found it blasphemous. The holiday itself only really took off as a by-product of American mass-marketing at the turn of the last century, so all this stuff about tradition is complete malarkey.

I’m what would be considered a “secular progressive” (for lack of a better term) and I happen to like Christmas, although I wish it was a good deal less frantic and commercialized.

As for the quotes from the reviews of Gibson’s book… Hilarious!

Parklife said...

Where did it all go wrong? I could be off on this one.. but, wasnt it JFK that had to fend off accusations that the Pope would be running the country if he were elected? Fifty years later and the opposite has happened. How nutty..

I hope you saw the Hirsh story in the New Yorker. Its getting ample play from all the dems. out there.

"Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that "God put me here" to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that "he's the man," the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reelection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose."


Nice to see that GW

Elderta said...

Kent is 18 and a patriot. Yippee!

About Me

I'm a patriot. I love God, America, Guns and Girls. I consider myself to be moderate but my disposition towards liberals aligns me on the side of the conservatives.