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Meditation 1263
Not really "Keeping the Christ in Christmas";
Rather it's "Putting the ME! ME! ME! in Christmas"

by: John Tyrrell

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It seems the rhetoric on the so-called " War on Christmas" has been toned down significantly this year. I think we can thank Joshua Feuerstein for this - his ridiculous attack on Starbucks' red cups exposed just how empty the claims of a war on Christmas are. And those who have promoted the idea of such a war in the past are probably concerned as being made to look as ignorant as Feuerstein.

Of course, there is no war - it's just part of the right-wing Christian persecution complex.

But there are still those Christians who are fighting their phantom war. Which brings us to Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner (an elected position). On Wednesday, he posted the following on Facebook:

And to support his preference for a Merry Christmas, he his post included an image of a drug store sign supporting the Christ in Christmas:

For today's Christian warriors fighting for Jesus in the war on Christmas, it is so important that stores have the Christianly correct* Christmas signage - unlike the earlier generation of Christian warriors who steadfastly opposed the commercialization of Christmas in their fight against the war on Christmas.

But the image was used to support Miller's superficial view that saying "Merry Christmas" is essential to keeping the Christ in Christmas, whereas saying Happy Holidays somehow fails to keep the Holy in Holidays.

Of course Sid's post accumulated several thousand comments wishing him Happy Holidays, Happy Saturnalia, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, and numerous other variations. It also collected quite a few comments in support of his view that anything other than a Merry Christmas was an insult because it ignored Christ.

But does Miller's threat of minor violence in support of his views really indicate a desire to keep the Christ in Christmas? Or is it really all about Miller? Let's just look at his words again.

If one more person says Happy Holidays to me I just might slap them. Either tell me Merry Christmas or just don’t say anything.

The way I read it, Sid Miller's words are not about Christ or Christmas at all. They are all about Sid and what others are allowed to say to him. The religious opinions of others are irrelevant to him. What others might consider to be polite is irrelevant to him. What others see as the reason for the season is irrelevant to him. For Sid, it's me! me! me!

And the same goes for pretty much everyone else who demands of everyone else Christianly correct greetings - if you look closely at what they are demanding, it is all about them; and not the Christian aspects of 25 December.**

Scrooge reformed. The Grinch reformed. So I suppose there is a chance that Sid Miller and his ilk might also find the true Christmas spirit someday. But I suspect that this time next year, we'll still find him and many others fighting against an imaginary war on Christmas.

I wish you all (even Sid) a merry holiday season - whatever you want to call it.


* as opposed to politically correct - an accusation frequently incorrectly leveled at those who say "Happy Holidays" - a term with usage which long predates the idea of political correctness.

** And if you are one of those who takes offence at someone innocently wishing you a Merry Christmas, I have to say, you are making it all about you - and not about atheism / agnosticism / disbelief.

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