Christmas For Sarah, And A Cookie For You

Jolly old Saint Nicholas
Lean your ear this way
Sarah has a book to sell
Coming out today!

Christmas eve is coming soon
Under grave attack!
Baby Jesus, do not cry—
Sarah’s got Your back!

Sarah takes on atheists;
Shows them who is boss
Good-bye “Happy Holidays”
Hello, public cross!

Sarah will remind us all
What Christmastime is for:
Peace, and Love, and Brotherhood…
And manufactured war!

Santa is the enemy
Jesus is the lord
Sarah’s book is fifteen bucks—
Easy to afford

Christmas is commercialized
Everywhere you look—
Sarah is the antidote…
Better buy the book!

[Read more…]

It’s Christmas. Officially. Already. (No, Really; I’m Not Making This Up.)

There once was a time, so the old fogeys say
There was no “Christmas Season”, just one Christmas day
There are history books into which we could delve
That say Christmas expanded—its days numbered twelve
It doesn’t seem strange now, to most of us living,
But Christmas, for some, begins right at Thanksgiving,
And the very next day is the day to start shopping,
For over a month, if you can, without stopping

This year, Venezuela, for best or for worst,
Declared Christmas began this past Friday
, the first.
It’s officially Christmas—start decking the halls,
Make some punch and some fruitcake, and head for the malls
Where you’ll get Silent Night and Away in the Mangered,
Because everyone knows Christmastime is endangered…
When “The War Against Christmas” gets bloody and hot,
Just remember, this year, which side fired the first shot.

Via NPR (at above link):

Perhaps Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is taking a hint from big U.S. retailers: For the sake of happiness, Maduro said, he declared an early beginning to the Christmas season.

“Today, on this first day of November, we decided to declare the arrival of Christmas, because we want happiness for all people,” Maduro said.

Now, I forget–will Fox approve because Yay, more Christmas!? Or is this part of the commercialization of, secularization of, and thus destruction of Real Christmas? It’s getting hard to tell these days–like the Civil War, it’s brother against brother, Santa against Jesus, Three French Hens against Three Wise Men, redeeming mankind and saving souls against redeeming coupons and saving money.

All I know is, if I can get my damned cover art to work, this blog will be your one stop for all your Christmas and Cephalopodmas shopping needs.

Sarah, Rick, And Bill Report For Duty In The War Against Christmas

Dateline: Late June, 2013

Once again, the War On Christmas sees the atheists attack,
But there’s something different this year—this year Christ is fighting back!
Let the godless and their minions rant and rave and do their worst,
Cos our strategies are changing—yes, we’re even striking first!

There’s a book that’s set for launching, and it’s just what you’d expect,
Sarah Palin taking aim at the politically correct.
So it’s festive and it’s jolly; it’s tradition, meant to please,
With first amendment platitudes in pidgin legalese

And in Texas, there’s a notion, and Rick Perry says it’s his,
Making “Merry Christmas” legal which it… um… already is
But this pandering to Christians, even minuscule amounts
Makes the martyrs feel much better, and of course that’s all that counts.

Now I hear that Bill O’Reilly wonders where religion went,
When it’s tough to be a Christian (in the 80-plus percent)
Bill-O wants a Christian country, so it’s worth our fighting for
Which explains the man’s obsession with a six-month Christmas War

Here, it’s summer—barely summer—and the sun is beating down
And there’s no sign yet of Christmas in our sleepy little town
In the churches, stores, and neighborhoods, if Christmastime you seek,
Then you’re just a little early… Christmas season starts next week.

The war on Christmas gets earlier every year! I swear, though, it’s not my fault. This time, it’s a Christmas troika–Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Bill O’Reilly are harnessed up and pulling their sleigh through… the heat and humidity of summer.

The War On Christmas, In Convenient Poll Form

Over at The Blaze (don’t judge me!), my “war against christmas” verses (collection at link) failed to even get a mention in their round-up of this season’s war. But billboards and banners and nativity scenes and humanlight (which I had not heard of) and the sort did. More importantly, there is a poll! “Who won the war on Christmas?” Don’t they know? There are no winners, only survivors. Sadly, that’s not an option.

The war against christmas is finally over;
The church-bells are solemnly tolling.
So bury the bodies ‘neath acres of clover
And start the traditional polling.

I *Told* You I Have The Best Commenters…

As a public service for those who read the posts, but don’t look at comments, I want to show off some of the songwriting abilities of commenters “badgersdaughter” and “zekehoskin”. I had invited readers to contribute their own verses to “What did you do in the war (against Christmas)?“…

From badgersdaughter:

I sent my love to the War Against Christmas,
I sent my love to the War!
It’s been cold, it’s been hard;
He maxed out our last card–
And we’ve never been maxed out before!
‘Next the half-set-up tree
I weep one bitter plea:
Will he come home to help with decor?
I sent my love to the War Against Christmas,
When will he return from the War?

and

Mother, I’m off to the War Against Christmas–
Mother, I’m off to the War!
Oh Mother, don’t cry–
With the angels I fly;
“God and country”, my duty I swore:
But I’m weary and sick,
For old General Nick
Left a coal in our esprit-de-corps.
Mother, I’m off to the War Against Christmas,
Mother, I’m off to the War!

And from zekehoskin:

Are you still fighting the War Against Christmas?
Are you still fighting the War?
Are you sticking your neck
Out for President Beck
And the faith that – by law – we adore?
The Earth is still young,
All the atheists hung*
And history’s really a bore –
Are you still fighting the War Against Christmas?
Are you still fighting the War?

* All right, hanged. I’m boasting.

See what wonderful stuff you miss when you don’t read the comments?

What Did You Do In The War (Against Christmas)?

I don’t have time for this… but this song jumped into my skull earlier today, and I couldn’t focus until I chased it out. So here it is. It does have a tune, but it’s a very simple one and I suspect you can come up with a better one on your own (it’s in 6/8 time, about 130 bpm, for mine.)

The context, of course, is the classic song–there are both pro and anti war versions–of the little kid asking “what did you do in the war?” (In my generation, that always ended “daddy” or “grandpa”, but no longer.) I figure, if the war against christmas was a real war, it needed its own version of this song.

What did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?
Did you ever get shot
By Fox news on the spot
As you battled the crowds at the store?
Did you tell all the elves
Who were stocking the shelves
They’d forgotten what Christmas is for?
Oh, what did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?

How I remember the War Against Christmas!
How I remember the War!
When me and m’pal Davey
Signed up with Old Navy
And guarded the dressing room door!
We were there at the front
Like a couple of grunts
When the shoppers invaded the floor!
Oh, how I remember the War Against Christmas!
How I remember the War!

Let’s shed a tear for the War Against Christmas
Let’s shed a tear for the War!
We all know the cost
Of the memories lost
Of the simpler Christmas of yore
Now Christmas is here
Nearly half of the year
And it’s looking to take even more
Let’s shed a tear for the War Against Christmas
Let’s shed a tear for the war

What did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?
Did you stand up and fight
For your Christmastime right
For nativity scenes by the shore?
Though you knew you would lose
Did you faithfully choose
The establishment clause to ignore?
Oh, what did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?

I swear I had a dozen more verses going through my head as I walked Cuttledog, but this is enough to get it out of my system. As always, feel free to add verses in the comments!

Christmas VS Christmas

Over at The Zingularity, they’ve discovered who the real enemy is in the War On Christmas. And it’s not the atheists (although we are still the ones on the propaganda posters)! The real enemy of Christmas is… Christmas! The Christmas that shows up in stores just before Halloween and lasts halfway through January, the Christmas favored by Lucy Van Pelt, the Santa Claus Christmas, the “peace, love, and happiness” Christmas? Evil, through and through. Christmas should be a solemn occasion, as befits the meaning–the birth of the ultimate human sacrifice.

Fox News, to be consistent (but why start now?), should refuse any and all Christmas advertising that aids and abets that first kind of Christmas. Fox should refuse to air any Christmas specials (other than perhaps live coverage of church services on Christmas day itself) that cheapen and commercialize this most solemn of holy days.

I warned them about this, years ago:

From the Cape of Good Hope to the Newfoundland islands,
The sands of Iran to the Panama isthmus;
From Outback Australia to Inverness Highlands
It’s time to take arms in the War Against Christmas!

My weapons are mistletoe, Christmas trees, holly,
A yule-log, and caroling out in the snow;
Sleigh-rides and snowball-fights, eggnog and Jolly
Old Santa Claus, laughing his loud “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

We’ll make them forget all the Truth of the season—
The sacrifice planned by a god up above—
And have them believing some bastardized reason
Like giving, or kindness, or caring or love!

I’ll cruelly and callously help out a stranger
Who’s down on his luck or has suffered some loss,
I won’t even speak of the babe in the manger
Whom God sent to Earth to get nailed to a cross;

When the winds of December conspire to freeze us
I’ll help collect sweaters and coats for the poor,
Neglecting to make any mention of Jesus,
Whose torture is really what Christmas is for.

My hatred of Christmas will focus my labors
On weaving an atheist fabric of lies—
For instance, I’m giving to all of my neighbors
Gift baskets, cookies, and fruitcakes and pies!

I’ll say “Merry Christmas!” I’ll say “Season’s Greetings!”
I’ll say “Happy Holidays—Joyous Noel!”
Intending of course, that with each of these meetings
The Truth About Christmas can just go to hell.

The truth is that Christmas is not about presents
It’s no time for songs, It’s not time to be nice
It’s not time for feasting on turkeys or pheasants—
It’s sin, and redemption by blood sacrifice.

No time to be jolly; no time to be merry
It’s time to be solemn, and grim, and devout!
The heathens might find it depressing or scary
But that is what Christmas is truly about.

Yes, Jesus is really the ultimate reason
And Christmas is really redemption and sin;
The war against Christmas is early this season—
For God’s sake, let’s hope that the atheists win!

As most of us know (except, of course, the people who need to the most), the beginnings of Christmas in America (home of The War On Christmas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fox News) were not festive in the least. The Puritans had better, purer things to do on December 25th (for a couple of decades in the 1600’s, Boston even had a law prohibiting the celebration of Christmas!); a Christmas holiday as we know it did not begin until the 1800’s. Interestingly, celebrating Christmas (as opposed to observing it) spread with the notion of Santa, “The Night Before Christmas”, and commercial connections to stores and products, not with the story of the birth of god’s human sacrifice.

Those who wish a return to the traditional values of Christmas, away from the secularization, are welcome to stay inside, draw their curtains tight and stick their noses in their bibles. I will expect them to show up at work on the 25th (as, indeed, Congress did in 1789, the first Christmas under our constitution). Myself, I will gladly take the opportunity to celebrate with Cuttlefamily and friends. We will probably feast, and may even sing–such decadence would surely have been frowned upon, even fined, by the founders of our Christian Nation (TM).

Good.

Bill O’Reilly Does The Same Damn Thing He Always Does…

Seriously, I had to check the calendar. Billo had American Atheists president David Silverman on, and… Oh, go see for yourself. Or, frankly, don’t. You already know the dance. The steps are the same, the music is the same, the dancers are the same… only the date has changed.

Dammit, if Billo can do it, so can I. (consults random number generator…)

‘Twas the night before Christmas; the Christians all hunkered
In basements of buildings they’d armored and bunkered.
They huddled in silence; they huddled in fear,
With thoughts that the atheists soon would draw near

The War Against Christmas had started on Fox—
Just a couple of fools on the idiot-box
Who were looking for noise to give ratings a boost—
But lately, those chickens have come home to roost:

Believers are frightened; they’re panicked; they’re scared,
And not one among them will go unprepared;
They’ve heard that the atheists roam, Christmas night,
So Christians stay hidden, and safe out of sight.

It’s serious business, the whole Christmas season,
When people of faith fend off people of reason—
At least, that’s the story you hear on TV,
So the basement’s the place meant for children to be

There’ll be no “Silent Night”, or “Away in the Manger”
The godless might hear it! Consider the danger!
And then, they’d attack—Why, they’ve done it for years,
With that vile “Season’s Greetings!” invading the ears!

“Happy Holidays!” may seem inclusive and nice,
But it just isn’t Christmas, unless it’s got Christ;
Those words are no less than a form of assault!
So it’s war (and it’s clearly the atheists’ fault!)

(Plus, it’s unpatriotic, and now it’s high time
We made non-Christian greetings a federal crime!
The clear, true intent of our great founding fathers—
Which someone should check, although nobody bothers)

The elders remember an earlier time,
When a bottle of Coke only cost you a dime,
Each Christmas the snowfall was brilliant and white
And there wasn’t an atheist heathen in sight!

Folks visited neighbors; they caroled with friends;
They hand-crafted gifts out of old odds and ends;
They knew that the joys of the season would last…
But now, such delights are a thing of the past.

There are rifles to oil; there is ammo to check;
There’s a radio, straining to tune in Glen Beck;
No time to sing carols, or even say prayers,
With the danger that some may be caught unawares!

A war—manufactured, but war nonetheless—
Could kill hundreds, or thousands, it’s anyone’s guess;
They’re under attack, and that is the reason
They’re locked and they’re loaded, the whole Christmas season!

***

The atheists, meanwhile, are feasting and singing;
Our stockings are hung and our sleigh-bells are ringing—
Though Jesus had nothing to do with a sleigh,
We’re all unbelievers, and so it’s ok!

With holly, and eggnog, and mistletoe kisses,
We’ll watch “It’s a wonderful life” (just like this is)
With family and friends—with the people who love us—
With no one beneath us, nor no one above us

We’ll celebrate all the things Christmas is for,
Like giving, and loving, not hatred or war
And we’ll say to the world (cos we’ve got every right):
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

(yes, I linked to this in my very most recent post. Complain to Billo–if he can put himself on autopilot, so can I)

More On The War On Christmas

The latest silliness from Pat Robertson and from Bill O’Reilly has been making the rounds–Lawrence O’Donnell offers a simple counter-example (video at link) to the claim of the bitter, hateful atheist who wants everybody to be miserable at Christmas the end of December. That counter-example?

Ricky Gervais.

In a 2010 article in the Wall Street Journal, Gervais answers questions about atheism; the last question asked is “How do you plan on celebrating Christmas?”

Eating and drinking too much with friends and family. Celebrating life and remembering those that did, but can no longer.

They are not looking down on me but they live in my mind and heart more than they ever did probably. Some, I was lucky enough to bump into on this planet of six billion people. Others shared much of my genetic material. One selflessly did her best for me all my life. That’s what mums do though. They do it for no other reason than love. Not for reward. Not for recognition. They create you. From nothing. Miracle? They do those every day. No big deal. They are not worshiped. They would give their life without the promise of heaven. They teach you everything they know yet they are not declared prophets. And you only have one.

I am crying as I write this.

His full answer is beautiful. Go read it.

Related posts:

The Night Before (The War On) Christmas. A scary story, but with a happy ending.

(The War On) The War On The War On The War On Christmas You know, in case you feel like denying that there is such a war.

The War Against Christmas Comes Early One of my favorites, contrasting the solemn observation of Christmas in early America with the modern celebration.

An Atheist’s Christmas Answers the question “why would an atheist want to celebrate Christmas?” Another favorite.

An Atheist Christmas Card Just a wee bit snarky. Mostly sweet. Historically accurate.

Another Atheist Christmas Card Weapons-grade glurge, but I’ve already had some people tell me this one is their favorite.

‘Tis The Season Last year’s earlier offering. It’s actually a song, if only I were a singer.

The War On Christmas, Explained Blunt, for those who are unclear on the concept. Not terribly poetic, though.

It’s Tough To Be Christian (When Christmastime Comes) A lament. It’s always nice to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

This Means War! (on Christmas) A brief explanation of the War.

In Which I Agree With The Pope… A Little

Away in a manger, no crib for his bed
The pope says believers are being misled
The stars in the sky look down where he lay
The pope says it didn’t quite happen this way

The cattle are lowing; the poor baby wakes
The pope says the story is full of mistakes
I love thee Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
But even the pope knows the story’s a lie

Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay
The stories are bogus; what more can one say?
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
Their number is zero… you really aren’t there

Yeah, the pope has a new book out-volume three of his biography of Jesus. This one, “Jesus of Nazareth–The Infancy Narratives” (conveniently out in time for Christmas sales) would appear to be yet another salvo fired in the war against Christmas. That’s right, against. All those nativity scenes in Santa Monica and elsewhere? Yeah, not so much.

According to the pope’s research, there is also no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger were actually present.

He also debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols.

I can’t wait until Bill O’Reilly attacks him for being a grinch.