Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A War On Christmas?

UPDATE 2 - From the Press Briefing at the White House:

Q: Scott, you very graciously answered seven questions from two reporters, and I have a mere three-part question. First, at the National Christmas Tree lighting last week the President said, "Each year we gather here to celebrate the season of hope and joy, and to remember the story of one humble life that lifted the sights of humanity. Santa, thanks for coming." And the question: Will the President apologize to Christians offended by his referring to Jesus as Santa?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President meant exactly what he said, Les."

UPDATE: First, what the heck is a MegaChurch (outside of a Japanese anime series) and second, why would they close on Christmas Sunday?
Now on to the rest of today's post .....

A comment last week on the Very Unscientific Survey noted the current effort to remove the word Christmas from our language. So I did some checking - seems the White House is in on it.

Even using the word Christmas and Winter together are, apparently, wrong.

Maybe the real issue is this ever-evolving (or if you prefer, Intelligently Designed) use of the word War. There's the Culture War, the Cola War, the non-War against non-insurgents in Iraq and the Axis of Evil, the Diet War, the Red-State, Blue-State War, the obesity War, the anti-War, the pro-War .... I'm dizzy, lemme sit down for a moment.

Whew. (And thanks to all those, by the way, who took time to take that survey. I promise to ask fewer questions next time.)

Perhaps the American mind is jes' gettin' a little paranoid. Any viewpoint contrary to your own is reason enough to invoke War. I'm more than a little tired of it. It's like a bunch of whining children in the playroom - "Are too!!" "Am not!!" "Uh-huh!" Nuh-uh!" "Waaaaaaaa ......."

Somebody changes these diapers, give them a cookie and some coloring books and lets see if the rest of us can reclaim some normalcy.


  1. The problem is, we have reliable intelligence that Christmas has weapons of mass destruction. Not only that, but we also have very credible reports that Christmas helped fund the 9-11 terrorists. We have exhausted diplomatic means. Christmas refuses to allow our weapons inspectors in. War on Christmas!

    I'm sure it will be a cakewalk.

  2. Well, I figure some chucklehead comments need to be taken head on, and Joe, you know that I'm crazy enough to do it.

    I'm challenging Kingarthur to an intellectual fist fight.

    1. You gave Bush a 5 rating with the caveat: he has let the war in Iraq maxamize to much of his focus and other issues are suffering

    Being Grand PooBah of the U.S. of A is pretty much a multi-tasking job. If Ol' Dubya can't figure out how to get his war on and run the country, he shouldn't be allowed to hold the highest office in the land. His lack of focus on other "issues" has nothing to do with the war; it has everything to do with the kind of man he is. He's the kind of man that would get this country into a pointless war because as long as folks are focussed on the big bad old terrorists, they might not notice that they don't have jobs, or healthcare, or clean water and air, or decent educations . His and his administration's true colors flapped at the top of the flagpole with Katrina. Giving this man a score of 5 out of 10 is downright miopic.

    2. In question #6 you complain that "the media does not publish all of the good progress that our troops have acheieved in Iraq." Maybe if you did some reading and viewing outside your normal mode of research (Fox News, the Knoxville paper, and one blog--no offense Joe), you'd find there are plenty of stories about our men and women over in Iraq. The trouble is this: those stories are human interest stories more and not news. I'm sorry if the truth about war doesn't give you the warm fuzzy that you'd get if you heard about a Marine handing toys and candy out to kids. You can read Travis' bog (http://www.travisiniraq.blogspot.com/) and get a first-hand account of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I'd like to know from you what "progress" you are referring to. Because in all my research and for all the good our troops do, I can only see that we are fighting a losing battle.

    3. In question 7 you speak about the "movement to do away with the word Christmas." As Joe pointed out, even the Bush family doesn't use the word Christmas on their Christmas card. And the Biblical quote they use isn't even from the New Testement. Heads up: this "War on Christmas" DOES NOT EXIST. The whole rumor was regurgitated by that lying pus-sac, Bull O'Really, with his "Christmas Under Siege" segments as just another pin to stick in the liberal voodoo doll he carries around with him. He got that doll from The John Birch Society, who started this campaign back in 1959! There is a great article on this in Salon (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/11/21/christmas/index.html)
    How the secular humanist grinch didn't steal Christmas: The right-wing crusade against the liberal "war on Christmas" is great for rallying the troops. Too bad the war doesn't exist.

    I think there are people sick of Christmas displays going up before Halloween. I think the consumerism associated with the holiday rampant. And I think if most people would do a little fact-checking research, they'd find that the way we celebrate Christmas is a reletively modern practice. Here are some links:

    And some choice quotes from New-Life (http://www.new-life.net/chrtms15.htm)
    Origins and Early Traditions
    Christmas wasn't celebrated by the early church until the fourth century. In the fourth century, the church decided to try to redeem a Roman pagan winter solstice festival: the festival of Saturnalia. This December holiday was considered the "birthday of the unconquered sun." Romans danced in the streets with gifts under their arms and greenery atop their heads.

    ... and The Christmas Tree
    In the United States, the Christmas tree was initially not well accepted by the northern half of America. They frowned upon the pagan roots of the tree custom. However, Southerners readily adapted the tradition into their homes, decorating a tree on Christmas Eve and celebrating for 12 days. Today, the popularity of the Christmas tree continues around much of the world. (Holy, Reindeer, and Colored Lights by Edna Barth.)

    ... and from CVC.org (http://www.cvc.org/christmas/index.htm#histxmas)
    Christmas was declared a Federal Holiday in America on June 26, 1870 under the government headed by President Ulysses S. Grant during the period of reconstruction following the American Civil War. Thus, it is untrue that Christmas has always been a Federal holiday.

    ... and from Ben Best (http://www.benbest.com/history/xmas.html) [This site has GREAT facts and figures]
    Celebration of birthdays -- even including that of Christ -- was rejected as a pagan tradition by most Christians during the first three hundred years of Christianity, but the matter became increasingly controversial. The third century Christian writer Tertullian supported observance of Christ's birthday, but condemned the inclusion of Saturnalia customs such as exchanging of gifts and decorating homes with evergreens. Chapter 10 of the Book of Jeremiah begins by condemning the heathen practice of cutting a tree from the forest to "deck it with silver and gold".

    Modern Jehovah's Witnesses and other fundamentalists still regard Christmas to be an un-Christian pagan holiday, which they do not celebrate.

    ... and from an article by By Arlene Wright-Correll (http://www.phancypages.com/newsletter/Znewsletter2249.htm)
    In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. For awhile Christmas was outlawed. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

    The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

    During the early 19th century, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city's first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.
    In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving's mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday

    bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving's fictitious celebrants enjoyed "ancient customs," including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving's book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended—in fact, many historians say that Irving's account actually "invented" tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.

    So before you jump on the "War against Christmas" bandwagon, do your research!

  3. i thought for sure the cookies and coloring books would help keep it calm.

  4. Not even with preschoolers man. You can't give us sugar! And coloring books just get my ADHD riled up.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. And, as an added bonus...

    I appreciate and love the work our troops are do. But I don't for one minute believe the Administration has them fighting for our freedom. A look at the Patriot Act will give you a clue as to just how much freedom we've lost.

    I am so very thankful that my friend Adam W. came home from Iraq in one piece a few weeks back. Others aren't as lucky. In fact, a lot more troops than we know of run out of luck on a daily basis

    From Brian Harring, Domestic Intelligence Reporter
    U.S. Military Personnel who died in German hospitals or en route to German hospitals have not previously been counted [in the official death toll]. They total about 6,210 as of 1 January, 2005. The ongoing, underreporting of the dead in Iraq, is not accurate. The DoD is deliberately reducing the figures. A review of many foreign news sites show that actual deaths are far higher than the newly reduced ones. Iraqi civilian casualties are never reported but International Red Cross, Red Crescent and UN figures indicate that as of 1 January 2005, the numbers are just under 100,000.

    So please King A., please tell me about all this progress. Please tell the children, wives, husbands, mother, fathers, sisters and brothers of the dead about all this progress.

    And I wish you chicken-hawks would quit turning everything into a "War" on something.
    Mr. Powell asked me why I thought it was that it has become so popular to declare War or accuse others of declaring War on everything from drugs to Christmas. I told him it's all about PR and HYPE. It's like putting tits on a can of Spam.

    Them: Have some Spam.
    Us: But I don't like Spam.
    Them: You don't like Spam? Well... how about Spam with BOOBIES??!!!
    Us: Oh YES!! Mmmm. Gimme some Spam! More Spam! Can't get enough of that Spam!

  7. kingarthur2:27 AM

    kingarthur responds,
    I notice that out of ten questions you only disagree with me on three answers, to that I say this.............A little more left ,a little more left , that's it, one more step left please, that's it...smile now, GOTCHA!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. thanks King A. and The Ed. so much for ignoring all the sarcasm on this post and having your own little War.

    Do you make little "kaboom" sounds when you type?

    Please tell me who wins - Oh Wait!! I don't care.

  9. I like how King A totally ingores that he got really blasted by the E on those three, to just be happy he didn't get blasted on the others, ha! Why to go E!!

  10. As long as people think in terms of Left and Right this country will suffer from narrow-minded party loyalists and keep us
    shackled in chains of ignorance.
    Defending the actions of the current administration in D.C. requires a certain blindness which I will never subscribe to - as Thomas Jefferson once said:
    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty."

  11. "Outside ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is
    a field. I'll meet you there."
    ~ Rumi

  12. "The Truth has no left or right side."
    -The Editor

    And Joe, don't By God me, By God! I gave you Spam with titties afterall...

  13. I by whatted who with why?

  14. Joe, you might want to close your eyes and plug your ears for a sec...

    You write: I notice that out of ten questions you only disagree with me on three answers. Are you implying then that I agree with you on the other seven? Well, let's look at them.
    #1 & #2. We both choose Healthcare as a priority, but I add that Education is a very close second while you say "Education is a bottomless pit that wastes money." Hmmm. Doesn't look like we're quite on the same page there.
    #3.One of the ten questions I disagree with you on in my comment
    #4. I list Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and Jack Abramoff. You list Harold Ford,Scooter Libby,Coffie Annon. Not the same people. Now, although I will concede that Abromoff isn't so much a politician as a "friend" to politicians, niether is Scooter Libby (didn't get elected into his position, did he?). And at least I spelled all the names correctly ... Kofi Annan. Oh yeah, and it's John Ford, Harold's uncle, who is under investigation, not Harold.
    #5 Covered that in my comment: i.e., Maybe if you did some reading and viewing outside your normal mode of research (Fox News, the Knoxville paper, and one blog--no offense Joe), you'd find there are plenty of stories about our men and women over in Iraq. But for clarity... I answer "All of the Above" (Television, Internet, Radio, Newspapers, Friends, Blogs, etc etc) as to where I get most of my news/information. You list 3: TV (Fox News),Newspaper (knox. Sentinel), Blog (cup Of Joe). Again, although we both read Joe's blog, it can hardly be discerned that we get our information from the same sources.
    #6. Talked about that in my comment.
    #7. Talked about that in my comment
    #8. I couldn't think of anything offhand and you answered Meet the Fockers, a movie I have not seen. I couldn't decide on my favorite movie this year. So I guess we don't agree here either.
    #9. I list White Stripes and you list Eric Clapton... um... am I missing something here?
    #10. I list Waldorf Salad and you list Turkey and Dressing.

    Just because I didn't take on EVERY question (I can hardly argue the point of what your favorite food is), doesn't mean I was in agreement with you on only 3 out of 10. And even that number isn't correct since I took you to task on 4 out of the 10.

    I call you out and you call me names.
    Can you back up your opinions with anything approaching fact?
    Can you put all the facts together to come to a greater truth?
    But you can call me names and say, "Gottcha!"
    Of the two of us, only one of us has been gotten. And it isn't me.

  15. Kingarthur7:28 PM

    Ms. Editor
    This was an unscientific survey, with unscientific answers. Honestly ,I don't care what your answers were, my answers were not in response to your's. I have not called you any names other than Ms. Editor, If that offends you, change your moniker.Please ,do us both a favor and don't respond, you are why to anal for unscientific surveys.

  16. ..."why to anal"
    Is that like Y2K?

    Wow! And now the anonymous poster is asking The Editor for favors...?
    Tee hee hee