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Best War on Christmas Post Ever

JT has written the perfect post about the mythical “War on Christmas.” Having written about the subject many times, I only wish I had thought to express the proper response to the whole thing as well as he has.

Oh goodie!  FAUX News is beginning its annual tradition of displaying their utter contempt for niceness by claiming victimhood when somebody wishes them well.  They are informing me, once again, that when I take time out of my day to convey that I hope the holidays are good to someone instead of telling them to go directly to hell ( do not pass go, die in a fire) or some other truly negative alternative, that I am actually insulting them in some way.  This is how the deeply faithful are going to score points with god – this is the extent of their martyrdom: to spit kindness back in somebody’s face before weeping about how put upon they are.  They’ve somehow convinced themselves that expressing kindness amounts to a war against them.  There’s not really much left to say here other than “What a bunch of assholes.”

While the atheists and other religious folk are celebrating the idea of world peace and good will toward their fellow men and women, these Christians (and there are a LOT of them) have decided that the Prince of Peace Boss on the Cross wants more us-vs-them in the world.  The demand that we eschew the other winter traditions around us and kowtow to a cabal of Christian whiners amounts to the opposite of spreading good cheer – it’s insisting that we cannot enjoy the holidays unless we enjoy them their way.  I’ve seen two year-olds throw more justifiable tantrums.

Brilliant. Unfortunately, he double spaced after sentences and I therefore must hate him.

Comments

  1. marcus says

    Hated him already. He is just too intelligent, nice, and apparently young. I just can’t take that kind of crap.

  2. joeina2 says

    We’ve spent years learning. We must be given time to unlearn. (But hey, single spaced in this reply. Progress!)

  3. marcus says

    … and as far I’m concerned “Happy Fucking Holidays” just does not express the same sentiment as “Merry Fucking Christmas” but that’s just me.

  4. regexp says

    I for one am disgusted over the war on double spaces!

    (not really – just amused how worked up people get over spaces – let alone Christmas)

    Happy Holidays!

    (i double spaced after the exclamation point)

  5. says

    Whatcha got against double spaces? Those of us whose first keyboard was a (manual) typewriter were taught double spacing. It’s a hard habit to break, even if modern word processors using proportional fonts have rendered it unnecessary, as they will do whatever the hell they want with the text.

  6. sqlrob says

    Unfortunately, he double spaced after sentences and I therefore must hate him.

    Deep Rifts!!111!!!

  7. jacobfromlost says

    …”the same sentiment as “Merry Fucking Christmas” but that’s just me.”

    One holiday season when I was in college, when classes were a struggle, when walking across campus in the snow a foot deep was a pain, and when a couple family members were in the hospital…

    …I looked up as I walked through the snow and saw painted on a dorm window “Merry Fucking Christmas”.

    That was the single most powerful holiday greeting I’ve ever had, and I took comfort in it for the week or so it was unnoticed by anyone in authority. Ultimately one day it was just a smear of green and red paint because, I’m sure, it makes those in authority uncomfortable when people start expressing genuine discontent. What will they do next? Start protesting all the wrongs being done to them?

  8. Randomfactor says

    When, oh when, will we bispatuals be accorded OUR place in the sun? Preferably with a nice white wine?

  9. says

    A more serious problem is the war on my birthday. Every year on my birthday I wish everyone else a happy birthday. Many people think it’s rather strange and self-centered that I do this, but I refuse to stop. They can make war on my birthday all they want, but I’m going to continue to wish them all a happy birthday on my birthday.

  10. otrame says

    Double spacing is a damned hard habit to break, but I thought it was a failure of us old people who learned to type on a typewriter. Our editor at work finally gave up and just ran through every report with Find/Replace to get rid of them.

  11. troll says

    I tried single spacing an email to a coworker. It looked rubbish, so I went back and double-spaced it all.

  12. LightningRose says

    And a Happy Unbirthday to Dr X, unless I’ve got the date wrong, in which case he can sit and twirl. ;)

  13. dingojack says

    Ed – Happy………..fuckin’…………holidays…………!!!!
    Suck_______it_______up________loser.
    @@_______Dingo. *
    —-
    Isn’t the whole point of the ‘suicide season’ to make everyone as miserable as humanly possible via rigidly enforced rules of happiness?

    *There would have been multiple spaces, but for the ‘rules’

  14. Michael Heath says

    I too like JT’s primary point. However . . .

    JT writes:

    This is how the deeply faithful are going to score points with god . . .

    Christianism clearly distinguishes itself among other major American groups by believing and promoting infantile beliefs; however atheists can also act in a juvenile manner. I perceive this as punching one’s group in the face when atheists stoop to purposefully employing incorrect grammatical errors – i.e., it’s God, not god. You’d think atheists fear they might magically conjure up a god merely by correctly capitalizing a proper noun.

    I find such behavior even more annoying than when the religious capitalize pronouns and God/god incorrectly. More so because we can be confident those Christians who do so are most likely uncontrollably infantile whereas atheists know better. That has me perceiving such behavior as a minor self-inflicted failure in character.

    JT writes:

    . . . when I take time out of my day to convey that I hope the holidays are good to someone instead of telling them to go directly to hell ( do not pass go, die in a fire) or some other truly negative alternative, that I am actually insulting them in some way. [...] There’s not really much left to say here other than “What a bunch of assholes.”

    Well no, actually there’s a lot left to be said. A predominant absurdity we need to point out is that there is far more Christian-friendly and even Christian-centric media content sold, broadcast, and consumed now than the supposed halcyon 1950s and early-1960s. That’s given the rise of cable TV, the Internet, music and video services like Netflix, Pandora, and iTunes coupled to personal electronic devices, and a far larger Christian media industry producing songs, movies, books, etc. Plus we still see Christmas-time favorites from the 50s and 60s broadcast far more now than we did even then when they were fresh and new.

    Therefore the only logical inference is that Christianists aren’t mad about the volume of content, but instead angry they can’t better control what we all consume. This motivation is similar to their demanding we follow their supposed morality when it comes to gay marriage as one of many examples. I find that a bit ironic because I continue to spend hours listening to and enjoying Christian-centric Christmas songs mixed in with secular Christmas and holiday-themed songs. Jewell’s Christmas album from a few years back remains my favorite.

    Ed writes:

    Unfortunately, [JT] double spaced after sentences and I therefore must hate him.

    I continue to rebel against Ed’s style preferences by adding my own add’l space between paragraphs. I concede his preference on spaces after a period given I didn’t even notice my double-space was being reduced until it was pointed out.

  15. wscott says

    OTOH, a co-worker of mine recently wished an employee Merry Christmas, at which point the employee spat that he was an atheist and stormed off before she could apologize. He has now filed a grievance against her. I really thought such stories were apocryphal. Just proves you don’t have to be a fundamentalist to be an asshole.
    [single-spaced for your reading pleasure]

  16. anandine says

    Ed, have you used word processors this long and not learned to make a macro that will eliminate double spaces after periods with a single keystroke? (Okay, alt-something is sort of a double keystroke.) Open a file; run your macro; be happy. You can also have it eliminate double paragraphs and anything else that strikes your stylistic fancy. As Aristotle said, It is better to write a macro than to curse the double space.

  17. dingojack says

    Michael -s till in hangin’ ’round that river in Egypt I see.
    The name of the god christians believe in would be capitalised if were a proper noun (ie: a noun describing a real thing or concept), as it is not, capitalise (or not), to taste.
    :) Dingo

  18. autumnrook says

    @15 I refuse to capitalize “god” for the same reason I refuse to capitalize “human”. It’s an adjective. Just because the Christians have decided to use their god’s description as a title doesn’t make it proper grammar, any more than the common texting techniques used today make “u r kewl” correct spelling. If I talk about the Christian God specifically, then it becomes a title and I’ll capitalize it. I’ll also capitalize Yahweh, Allah, Odin, Zeus and Xenu. The descriptor “god” doesn’t get that distinction.

  19. LightningRose says

    autumnrook, the way I word it is, the word “god” is a job description, not a proper name.

  20. wscott says

    I refuse to capitalize “god” for the same reason I refuse to capitalize “human”. It’s an adjective.

    Um…human can be either a noun or an adjective depending on use. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/human
    As for god/God, you are correct that when one is referring to gods in general it should not be capitalized. But when most people write God, they are referring to their personal version of God. In fact, that’s kinda the whole point of writing God vs. god – it’s a way of signaling to the reader that you are talking about “the one true God.” This is true whether you regard God as a name or a title; it’s still a proper noun. And the fact that I believe God to be a fictional character doesn’t change the usage – we capitalize Hamlet and Santa Claus for the same reason.
    So while your point is valid when discussing comparative religions, in common usage your distinction between “god” and “the ______* God” is somewhat artificial.
    * insert Christian, Jewish, etc

  21. wscott says

    I wrote:

    …it’s a way of signaling to the reader that you are talking about “the one true God.”

    Poor phrasing on my part. Whether or not you believe God is “true” is irrelevant, grammatically speaking. I meant that people capitalize God to show they are referring to a specific, individual monotheistic version of God.

  22. autumnrook says

    @wscott It’s not even a matter of believing that any particular god is true or not. When I reference god, I’m not talking about one particular god, but belief in any god, because they’re all wrong. I’m pretty sure many atheists are doing the same thing. That’s why, if I’m going to attack a specific god, I’ll either use the god’s proper name or the religious specification as a title. So for me to say, “I don’t believe in God,” is incorrect grammatically because saying that is akin to saying, “I don’t like Tacos.”

  23. autumnrook says

    @wscott, also, good point on the noun thing as I wasn’t thinking along those lines, though again, it is just as general a term and is not capitalized unless it’s beginning a sentence or used as part of a title, such as The Human Cannonball.

  24. says

    I went through a long phase where I said “Merry Decemberween” because, from my point of view, Bill O’Reilly stole “Merry Christmas” from the public and repurposed the good will statement to be a bigoted epithet and dog whistle. I didn’t want to be mistaken for one of those bigots by saying it.

    So, bottom line, JT and I apparently went through similar thought processes.

  25. wscott says

    @ autumnrook: Right, it depends on how you mean it. “A” god is a job description (as LightningRose said), therefore a common noun, therefore not capitalized. “The God” is a unique title, therefore a proper noun, therefore capitalized. So if you mean to say “I don’t believe in a god” or “any gods” then you don’t need to capitalize it. But if you’re saying “I don’t believe in your God” or “the God you’re talking about” then I would say capitalize it. [/grammernazi]

  26. autumnrook says

    @wscott, So let’s look at how JT used it:

    This is how the deeply faithful are going to score points with god – this is the extent of their martyrdom: to spit kindness back in somebody’s face before weeping about how put upon they are.”

    Since he’s mostly speaking to Christians, your rule could be construed as correct, unless you account for the fact that every Christian denomination that celebrates Christmas tends to believe in a slightly different god. In that case, my interpretation is correct. I really believe that the capitalization of just a random instance of the word “god” in any sentence should be left up to the writer, and in my case, it will rarely be capitalized.

  27. Abby Normal says

    JT creates a great frame and expresses it nicely here. I’ve never had anyone get irked at me for wishing them a happy holiday. But if they do I hope I can express myself half as well.

    Regarding God vs. god, I’m pretty comfortable with my choices. Sometimes I use it as a proper name and capitalize it, other times I use it as a general class and don’t. I more often struggle with when to capitalize the word “bible.” If there were a bunch of different types of bibles, (KJV, Birdwatcher’s, C++ Programmers, etc.) it’s pretty clear that “The bibles are on the shelf,” would be correct. But, what if they’re all versions of the Christian holy book, should I then capitalize it? What if they’re all KJV? Does it change if they’re all The SAT Study Bible?

  28. Michael Heath says

    autumnrook says:

    I refuse to capitalize “god” for the same reason I refuse to capitalize “human”. It’s an adjective. Just because the Christians have decided to use their god’s description as a title . . .

    They’re not using it as a title but instead a name, including in the context I criticized where JT did the same. Whether this character exists or not is irrelevant to the applicable rule of grammar. Thanks for so vividly illustrating my point regarding how childish the non-theist side can be on this matter.

  29. Michael Heath says

    autumnrook writes:

    If I talk about the Christian God specifically, then it becomes a title and I’ll capitalize it. I’ll also capitalize Yahweh, Allah, Odin, Zeus and Xenu. The descriptor “god” doesn’t get that distinction.

    Here it’s “Christian god”, not “Christian God”. I concede my attack on your character in my prior post and instead deploy my criticism on your grammar skills. Given I was a B- student in English that’s probably a harsher indictment.

  30. Michael Heath says

    autumnrook writes:

    “I don’t believe in God,” is incorrect grammatically because saying that is akin to saying, “I don’t like Tacos.”

    Uh no. “I don’t believe in God” is correct. You could also write I don’t believe in a god.

  31. Michael Heath says

    wscott writes:

    But if you’re saying “I don’t believe in your God” or “the God you’re talking about” then I would say capitalize it.

    I disagree, in both cases its inappropriate to capitalize because you’re not using the term as a proper noun.

  32. says

    I should just like to point out that while I don’t use double spaces after sentences, my APA word template autocorrects them in for me. Sounds ridiculous, but I failed to achieve 100% on a paper in College Research and Writing, because I single spaced – that being the *only* reason. But as my instructor pointed out, that might well be the decision factor if a peer reviewer is on the fence about your work.

    MLA doesn’t require double spaces as far as I know, but I think we all know about “those” people.

    There are actually interesting parallels between this phenom and the war on Christmas – brilliant even. But I can’t begin to reasonably address them all now…

  33. tmscott says

    …how JT used it:

    “This is how the deeply faithful are going to score points with god – this is the extent of their martyrdom: to spit kindness back in somebody’s face before weeping about how put upon they are.”

    Since in this case, the word is used as a proper noun, it should have been capitalized. If on the other hand, he had written, “…to score points with [their] god…”, then it would have been used as a pronoun, and lower case would be appropriate.

    Just my 2¢

  34. jakc says

    Hemingway double-spaced. Faulkner double-spaced. Fitzgerald double-spaced. If it was good enough for those writers, it’s good enough for you.

  35. wscott says

    @ autumnrock #28:

    unless you account for the fact that every Christian denomination that celebrates Christmas tends to believe in a slightly different god.

    I think most Christians would say they all worship the same God, even if they disagree over the best way to worship/obey him.

    @ Michael Heath #33: You’re right. I intended to use proper noun examples, but botched it.

  36. Doug Little says

    Well the double spacers had Steve Jobs on board (Have to double space after a period to get the Auto Caps to work for the first letter in the next sentence when texting on my iPhone, so there’s that. Also noticed that the iPhone does not auto correct god when you use a lower case g, win.

  37. Abby Normal says

    wscott writes:

    But if you’re saying “I don’t believe in your God” or “the God you’re talking about” then I would say capitalize it.

    Michael Heath replies:

    I disagree, in both cases its inappropriate to capitalize because you’re not using the term as a proper noun.

    I think they could go either way, particularly the first one. Replace God with Batman to see what I’m getting at. Or:
    “I don’t care for the Adam West Batman.”
    “I don’t care for the Christian God.”

  38. lofgren says

    God is not a name. Capitalizing it is an exception to all other rules of capitalization, made as courtesy because god is oh so big, so truly enormous and super special. I don’t think that god is particularly special, so I don’t capitalize it. There are other stupid rules of grammar that I don’t feel the need to follow. For example, I end sentences with prepositions, and I have even been known to split an infinitive. I will not be contained by your rules!

  39. dingojack says

    Consider these two sentences:
    I don’t believe in Batman” and “I don’t believe in captain“.
    Would you capitalise ‘captain’? *
    Dingo
    —-
    * setting aside how nonsensical the sentence sounds (woo hoo, unintentional assonance!) Or perhaps assinine assonance?

    Need more 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)- dione, stat!

  40. Abby Normal says

    “I don’t believe in captain,” isn’t grammatically correct even without capitalization. It would be captains. But even if it was correct it wouldn’t address my point, which was that you can’t tell from the rest of the sentence whether or not the subject is a proper noun or not. So both capitalizing and not capitalizing could be correct depending on the intent of the author.

  41. dingojack says

    Abby – correct! A job or genus desriptor is not a reason to captialise per se.
    “The god Zeus” or “the horse Phar Lap”, not “the God Zeus” or “the Horse Phar Lap”.
    So if I would write: “I dislike Phar Lap. I particularly fear that horse”. (note the word ‘horse’ is not capitalised because it isn’t a proper noun, but ‘Phar Lap’ is because it is the name of a horse*).
    Dingo
    —-
    * a very dead one, so I won’t flog it :)

  42. The Christian Cynic says

    My inner English teacher is sobbing inconsolably. “God” is an adjective? And “God is not a name”? We have gone terribly wrong somewhere.

    Doug Little:

    Well the double spacers had Steve Jobs on board (Have to double space after a period to get the Auto Caps to work for the first letter in the next sentence when texting on my iPhone, so there’s that.

    Try that again sometime and note how many spaces follow the period after you hit space twice. (Hint: It’s not two, at least not on my iPad. I’m making a presumption of consistency.)

    Abby: Actually, Dingo’s example would be grammatical if it were capitalized and referred to a person (e.g. “I don’t believe in Captain; he’s too damned obsessed with that whale”). If it weren’t capitalized, it would either require an article (“I don’t believe in the captain”) or need to be plural, as you suggested (although I think it would be a rather odd sentence but nonetheless a grammatical one).

    This whole thread does make me feel a little better for my students, however, who routinely confuse when they should be referring to a common noun (“My mom brought me to the high school”) or a proper noun (“Mom also attended Eastside High School”).

    lofgren: You’re right to break those rules, as they’re nonsensical rules that no one should ever worry about.

  43. Michael Heath says

    Too many live blog posts to keep up. I wish I had stayed current on this over all the rest which continue to get posts because of the below concession:

    I was a total dick to autumnrook @ 30 & 31. My sincerest apologies.

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