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Dec 12 2011

We shall wage the War on Christmas in the polls

Every year, the American Patriarchy Association puts out its hit list of naughty commercial retailers: the sole criterion is whether they use the word “Christmas” in their advertizing. And it’s not how you’d think! If the business commercializes Christ and invokes Jesus’ name to get you to buy soda pop or racy lingerie, then it’s good and listed as FOR Christmas. If it uses heathenish slogans like “Happy Holidays”, then it’s wicked and offensive.

Don’t ask me to explain Christians. They’re a weird and hypocritical lot.

So anyway, here’s a poll. Apparently, the patriarchal zealots think I should boycott Barnes & Noble because the bookstore doesn’t praise Jesus enough.

Would you boycott a store because it won’t mention “Christmas”?

No, “Happy Holidays” is inclusive of everyone’s beliefs. 54.16%
Yes, because “Jesus is the reason for the season”. 30.17%
Don’t care either way. I’m all about the sales. 15.67%

87 comments

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  1. 1
    greame

    Handy list they have there. Maybe we should boycott the stores that are using “Christmas”. But then, that would be petty wouldn’t it?

  2. 2
    Anthony K

    I hope they like my new online venture: http://www.ImplowingthelivingfuckoutofJesusthisChristmasanddidImentionhowfuckinghardImfuckingJesusthisChristmas.com

    We sell high end napkin holders. Place your order this Christmas!

  3. 3
    Anthony K

    Sorry about that borked link, folks. Apparently my service provider hates America and her freedoms.

  4. 4
    richardelguru

    Anyway what have the bastards got against things that are holy?
    Must mean they hate god the father and that holy shit sorry ghost thing

  5. 5
    Randomfactor

    I’m boycotting just about every major retailer this solstice. Bought a couple small things for a couple people and that’s it.

    But I’m doubling my boycott of Lowe’s for their craven behavior these days. Which is a shame, as they were the most convenient hardware store for me to patronize.

    Oh, and I voted for the “young Elvis” stamp in the poll.

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    I boycott them because they won’t say “Merry Christ’s Mass.” Not because I’m Xian, but because I’m an insufferable pedant.

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    Emrysmyrddin

    Pharyng’ed, O Tentacleeeed One *salute*

  8. 8
    Sastra

    They’re contradicting themselves all over the place:

    “Christ is the reason for the season,” said the South Haven resident, adding that the topic was the message of the sermon delivered during Mass at her Catholic church that morning.
    “Christ is out of Christmas as far as most people are concerned,” she said.

    Exactly. Using the word “Christmas” says nothing about whether or not you want to “Keep the Christ in Christmas” or “Jesus is the reason for the season.” After all, why would there even be a constantly expressed concern about keeping the “Christ” in “Christmas” unless there was … you know … a concern that people were not. They’re saying “Merry Christmas” and it’s a secular message.

    Yes. Deal with it.

    They will lose the War on Christmas either way — because the “Christmas” side isn’t theirs. The only way they could win on their own terms is by pushing to replace “Merry Christmas” with “May you be washed clean of sin by the blood of the newborn babe” or something equally jolly. Not gonna happen.

  9. 9
    myeck waters

    Yes, because “Jesus is the reason for the season”. 15%
    No, “Happy Holidays” is inclusive of everyone’s beliefs. 75%
    Don’t care either way. I’m all about the sales. 11%

    As expected, the comments under the article are a parade of stupid.

  10. 10
    chigau (違う)

    What in hell does “merry” have to do with christ, anyway?

  11. 11
    Anthony K

    “May you be washed clean of sin by the blood of the newborn babe”

    What? Here I thought I’d come up with my own thing, and now you tell me my favourite holiday tradition is Christian in origin?

    [Logs in to hospital adoption wait list, removes name. Lists "obsidian dagger, ceremonial vestments, 10 US gal plastic pail, some reddish-brown residue" on eBay.]

  12. 12
    Anthony K

    What in hell does “merry” have to do with christ, anyway?

    Merry was his mother’s name. And his favourite prostitute’s.

    I think that’s the Aramaic spelling.

  13. 13
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    May you be washed clean of sin by the blood of the newborn babe”

    Reminds me. Time for lunch.

  14. 14
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    What in hell does “merry” have to do with christ, anyway?

    Happy long and painful execution!

  15. 15
    chigau (違う)

    I just looked up “merry” in a couple of online dictionaries.
    “gay” is mentioned several times as a synonym.
    We have a meme to promote!

  16. 16
    Usernames are smart

    God Damnit! Stores are our temples of Capitalism, so where do the xians get off messing with them?

    Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of [capitalism], and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
    21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of payer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

    Well, yeah, if you avoid those coins for cash machines, you won’t get ripped off. No need for violence, though.

    Oh, and besides, the bible says you have to make a profit or you get to party with satan forever, so Jesus’s temper-tantrum was totally uncalled for. Moneychangers gotta money!

    Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    (If true, that means I’ll be playing to sold-out audiences forever! w00t!)

  17. 17
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    It’s now 78& Happy Holidays, 10% Xtian correctness, the rest “point me to the sales!”

    Markita Lynda, AKA Monado
    http://sciencenotes.wordpress.com/

  18. 18
    Rey Fox

    Don’t ask me to explain Christians. They’re a weird and hypocritical lot.

    Gasp! Broad brush! Alienating allies! Ad hominem! Oh damn, there goes another monocle.

  19. 19
    a3kr0n

    I must have voted wrong. The choice “It’s all about the sales” isn’t doing too well. My mind is in Madison WI. today, where the FFRF is trying to get a display permit to counter the nativity scene in the Capitol. My hometown fellow citizens are hopelessly fucked in the head about such things in the comment section

  20. 20
    Anthony K

    I just looked up “merry” in a couple of online dictionaries.
    “gay” is mentioned several times as a synonym.
    We have a meme to promote!

    “Have a Gay Christmas!

    What?

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, there’s no pleasing you fucking Christians.”

  21. 21
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Don’t boycott the ones that use “Christmas” unless you hate craven cowards, but do prefer the ones that use “Happy Holidays” because they are more inclusive and welcoming. That’s my plan, or would be if I had any money.

  22. 22
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Brownian wins the thread! Again.

    Hey, Brownian, do you do tech writing? I’ve got a lead for Edmonton.

  23. 23
    Sastra

    Brownian worships the Elder Gods, I see. May he be eaten first.

    I like the idea of confusing the issue. Let’s have the ‘naughty’ stores change “Happy Holidays” to “Merry Xmas” — and see what they do.

  24. 24
    skepticlese

    Have you noticed that “Jesus” spelled backwards, when pronounced, sounds an awful lot like “sausage”? This probably explains my odd craving for haggis every time is see a picture of the crucifixion. Merry Kielbasa. Bratwurst bless us, every one.

  25. 25
    pedwardsch3

    Another lovely poll, this time in an article blaming atheists for “derailing” a nativity scene on public property
    http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-santa-monica-nativity-controversy,0,1611432.story?hpt=us_bn7

  26. 26
    michaelswanson

    Apparently, the patriarchal zealots think I should boycott Barnes & Noble because the bookstore doesn’t praise Jesus enough.

    Judging from the displays at the entrance of the one closest to me, they prefer to praise Sylvia “I’ll make up stories about your dead loved ones for money” Browne. I’m not sure which is worse.

  27. 27
    peterh

    Just now the righteous are right behind second place; i a field of three this is appropriate.

    If seeing a crucifix makes you hunger for haggis, Cthulhu bless and preserve you!

  28. 28
    keinsignal

    I liked that they noted the irony that one of the businesses on the “nice” list is also one that makes its employees work on Christmas.

    (I mean, it’s a pharmacy so stands to reason it would be… Just, nice touch, I thought.)

  29. 29
    steve oberski

    Don’t ask me to explain Christians. They’re a weird and hypocritical lot.

    I think you did a pretty good job there.

  30. 30
    Anthony K

    Hey, Brownian, do you do tech writing?

    I don’t, though I probably should. The problem is that I only like doing satire or parody.

    Is it satirical tech writing?

  31. 31
    David Marjanović

    No, “Happy Holidays” is inclusive of everyone’s beliefs. 82.69% (2,145 votes)

    Don’t care either way. I’m all about the sales. 9.25% (240 votes)

    Yes, because “Jesus is the reason for the season”. 8.06% (209 votes)

    Total Votes: 2,594

  32. 32
    nomadiq

    I have my list of stores to shop at this year:


    Banana Republic
    Barnes & Noble
    Family Dollar
    Foot Locker
    Gap Stores
    L.L. Bean
    Limited Brands
    Maurice's
    Office Depot
    Old Navy
    Radio Shack
    Staples
    Supervalu
    Victoria's Secret

    Thanks AFA!

  33. 33
    Anthony K

    “Merry Xmas”

    A day celebrating John Belushi, who played Jake Blues who signed his name with an ‘X’? Count me in!

  34. 34
    stonyground

    In the UK most of us celebrate Christmas in an entirely secular way but still call it Christmas. My stock reply to those who ask why do you call it Christmas since you are an atheist is that you call Thursday Thursday but you don’t worship Thor.

    As for Christ being the reason for the season, how many times does it have to be pointed out to them that midwinter festivals, and most of the traditions that go with them, pre-date Christianity by thousands of years? Interestingly, Easter is a Pagan festival too and the Christians didn’t even bother to re-name that one.

  35. 35
    chigau (違う)

    Adolescent males a group ia the most ridiculous form of life on the planet.

  36. 36
    satanaugustine

    C’mon, let’s Pharyngulate the “Atheists Derail Traditional Nativity Display in Santa Monica” poll, too, as mentioned by pedwardsch3 at #25.

    http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-santa-monica-nativity-controversy,0,1611432.story?hpt=us_bn7

    Or should I say “derail” the poll?

  37. 37
    ButchKitties

    Yes, because “Jesus is the reason for the season insisting that stores use the name of my deity like a free celebrity endorsement to make tons of money selling goods that were produced in (non-Christian) China reinforces my religious privilege, and that’s really more important than preserving the sanctity of the day”.

  38. 38
    Rey Fox

    “Atheists Derail Traditional Nativity Display in Santa Monica”

    Nothing biased about that reporting. But I suppose “Atheists Gain Display Space Through Proper Channels and Following Every Rule” isn’t as eye-grabbing.

  39. 39
    Amphiox

    If these hypocrites REALLY cared about the Christ in Christmas, as opposed to just desirous of publicly flaunting their overweening piety for assertions of prestige and dominance, they would be INSISTING that everyone NOT use Christmas for this season, and instead use Holiday, and that the word “Christmas” be reserved for a NEW holiday to be established some time in April (or whenever lambs are born in the Middle East), since that was when Christ was really supposed to have been born.

    Dec 25th is a solstice festival.

    (And actually, rampant consumerism during a winter solstice festival is rather appropriate on any number of levels.)

  40. 40
    CJO

    Interestingly, Easter is a Pagan festival too and the Christians didn’t even bother to re-name that one.

    “Easter” the English word has Germanic roots from the name of the month corresponding to April, not a particular festival, and Eostre was a Germanic goddess according to Bede, though he is the only source for that. “The Christians” didn’t speak English or any Germanic language at the time the Christian celebration of the resurrection was instituted. In most languages, the name for Easter is some variation of “Pesach,” Passover.

  41. 41
    Amphiox

    And I wonder if these fools realize that in fighting so hard for the use of the word “Christmas” and against the use of the word “Holiday”, they are basically declaring loudly to the entire world that they believe that a “Mass for Christ” is NOT a “holy day”.

    Which would make them all atheists, to the last man, woman and child.

  42. 42
    Amphiox

    I don’t, though I probably should. The problem is that I only like doing satire or parody.

    Is it satirical tech writing?

    Well, a fair amount of tech writing really can’t be distinguished from parody….

  43. 43
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Hmm, nice to know that I have never bought from anything on their “nice” list in the last year, and most of them never at all.

    Admittedly, same goes for their “naughty”. But still.

  44. 44
    'Tis Himself

    The AFA, like many fundie Christian groups, want Christmas celebrated only their way. It doesn’t matter how much Christmas spirit you have or even if you’re celebrating the holiday in a completely Christian fashion. If you’re not doing it exactly the way the American Patriarchy Ass’n wants it, then you’re anti-Christian.

  45. 45
    rikitiki

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Mythmas
    (sung to the tune of: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”)

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Mythmas,
    Cold and clear and bright
    Celebrating some ancient myths
    With our kin and with our kiths
    While we bask in the Yule log’s light
    It’s beginning to look a lot like solstice,
    Days keep getting short
    Parties and warm drinks abound
    While we wait for the turnaround
    ‘specially if you live way up North
    But they keep saying,
    “Keep the ‘Christ’ in Christmas”,
    And that’s just really lame
    ‘cause if they knew any history,
    Well, the only ‘Christ’ there be
    Is in the god-damned name!

  46. 46
    Curt Cameron

    A few days ago I received an email invitation from my Texas State Representative (she lives on my block, and is a Republican). It says this:

    “Please Join Us
    District Appreciation and Holiday Open House”

    In large, festive lettering. Nowhere on that invitation can the words “Christmas” or “Jesus” be found.

    Why do Texas Republicans hate Jesus?!?

  47. 47
    mikmik

    Markita Lynda, happy Winter Solstice, everyone! says:


    12 December 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Brownian wins the thread! Again.
    Hey, Brownian, do you do tech writing? I’ve got a lead for Edmonton.

    Hey, we already had that poll “Do you believe in vaccinations” in the Sun. Enough tech, already!

  48. 48
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    If you’re an obnoxious ass like I am, you could respond to “merry christmas” with “happy stolen pagan holiday!”

    Or just “happy holidays”, if you want to not get punched in the face by “loving” xtians.

  49. 49
    forestspirit

    It really shouldn’t amaze me how hypocritical and hateful so many of these right-wing Christians are this time of year. If they were doing the opposite – “do not use Jesus to promote crass commercialism!” It would make so much more sense. But no, their need to feel persecuted trumps all else.

    It would similarly make more sense to organize boycotts against Chinese made goods since China is a communist, ATHEIST country. This point seems to be forgotten by those Christians who obsess over the semantics of “holidays” versus “christmas”. Why do they so enthusiastically promote buying from this ATHEIST country to “celebrate” what they believe was Jesus’s birth?

    It makes less sense the more you think about it.

  50. 50
    Brother Yam

    The obliquity of the ecliptic is the reason for the season.

    Jeeze, how many times do I gotta tell you dumbfuck zombie-lovers this.

  51. 51
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    No, “Happy Holidays” is inclusive of everyone’s beliefs. 84.97% (3,472 votes)

    Don’t care either way. I’m all about the sales. 9.1% (372 votes)

    Yes, because “Jesus is the reason for the season”. 5.92% (242 votes)

    Total Votes: 4,086

    And I already shopped there today! Happy Holidays!

  52. 52
    Alverant

    I think the worst of the comments was one about how christians took the evil aspects out of the pagan holiday. Couldn’t even be bothered to list what those aspects were.

  53. 53
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Couldn’t even be bothered to list what those aspects were.

    The evil aspects were the ones not involving Jesus, ceremonial cannibalism, and torturing non-believers.

  54. 54
    DLC

    Fuck Christmas. I have no money with which to celebrate and none with which to buy gifts, or even cards.
    Unfortunately I don’t really have my health either. Kinda sucks don’t it ?
    The good news is, I have a roof over my head and food to eat, and I can type crap in text boxes on the internet for fun. Perhaps next year will be better.

  55. 55
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    No, “Happy Holidays” is inclusive of everyone’s beliefs. 85.08% (3,597 votes)

    Don’t care either way. I’m all about the sales. 9.08% (384 votes)

    Yes, because “Jesus is the reason for the season”. 5.84% (247 votes)

    Total Votes: 4,228

    Shopping outstrips religion, even amongst those of us who truly hate shopping. =^_^=

    DLC, I know what that’s like. I have been gradually accumulating stuff for gifts over the last few months. It helps. But when your health is poor, financial poverty doesn’t seem as important. I hope your health improves; if there is one gift I could give everyone in an ideal world, it would be good health.

  56. 56
    peterh

    What could be funner than spewing stuff on the internet?

  57. 57
    Worldtraveller

    I recommend finding and wearing a ‘Axial Tilt is the Reason for the Season’ shirt.

    http://shop.cafepress.com/reason-for-the-season

    I have a couple that I wear, mostly during this time of year. Here in Seattle, I’m getting a lot more good reactions than I did in Wichita. Go figure.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    nonentity

    If “Happy Holidays” is still good enough to play on the radio in constant rotation with the rest of the usual seasonal music, it’s good enough for me.

    I love replying to a “Merry Christmas” with “Oh yeah? Well, same to you!” as if it’s an insult. Even when said with a grin it tends to really throw people off their stride.

  60. 60
    The Sailor

    Hmm, when I clicked the “no” button I got this:

    “This poll cannot find nonce.”

  61. 61
    Bronze Dog

    I’m remembering the day I decided to stop saying “Merry Christmas.” I did so out of fear that someone hearing it might mistake me for one of those grinches who shouts it as a bigoted epithet.

  62. 62
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Happy long and painful execution!

    If you consult your Scripture, that the advent of the Messiah occasions a shift in God’s position on unbelievers: from execution to eternal torment.

    I’ll pray for you.

  63. 63
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    (If you want to make sense of “that”, prevpost, you need to understand that it originally started with “I think you’ll find that”. Doh.)

  64. 64
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Or even, “I think you’ll find, if”. F’kin writing. How’s that work? *sadface*

  65. 65
    chigau (違う)

    “I’ll pray for you.” always sounds like a threat.
    What, exactly, is the prayor praying for?
    That I will find god or that god will find me?

  66. 66
    dannysichel

    @59 – try “no thanks”.

  67. 67
    chigau (違う)

    Or you could use the best surly response to “Have a nice day!”:
    “Don’t tell me what kind of a day to have!”

  68. 68
    unbound

    Most xtians don’t identify with the extremists that keep pushing the War on Xmas. But I also don’t hear a single of these supposedly more rational xtian groups ever actively denouncing this nonsense either.

  69. 69
    Ing

    @Unbound

    Bullshit. Who do you think circulates those insipid Keep Christ in Christmas chain letters?

    Moderate and liberal Christians fucking LOVE this shit.

  70. 70
    Bronze Dog

    Well, if it means anything, I used to be one of those rare liberal Christians who spoke out against the downfall of “Merry Christmas” from sincere goodwill wish to bigoted epithet. But that was back in the day of my 14400 baud phone modem, so it didn’t get out to the internet in a durable manner.

  71. 71
    Alverant

    I struck another blow today. At the food bank, someone stuck christian bible passages on cans of food. In some cases obscuring the label. I peeled off what I could. This is a tax-payer funded food bank and it can’t been seen supporting religion. (Plus we get a few non-christians every day and I don’t think they’d appreciate this covert attempt as prostilization from an organization that’s there to help them.) I think the worst one was a reminder God was always with them. Yeah, a god who was with them and did nothing as they became so poor that they needed to go to the food bank was still with them like a bad penny.

  72. 72
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    “I’ll pray for you.” always sounds like a threat.

    It’s always a claim of superiority.

  73. 73
    Midnight Rambler

    Heh. Jesus down below 5% now; I had to go for “I’m all about the sales”, just to push that one higher.

    Interesting that Amazon was on their “good” list; while they note “order by the Xth to ensure delivery by Christmas”, that seems to be only about the date; their sales are called “Holiday Deals”.

  74. 74
    epikt

    Brownian:

    A day celebrating John Belushi, who played Jake Blues who signed his name with an ‘X’? Count me in!

    Well, they were on a mission from god.

  75. 75
    DLC

    Tigger – thanks. it’s nothing I can’t recover from, but it’s another reason to not feel celebratory this year.

    Bronze Dog #70 :
    Merry Christmas!

    “You keep Christmas in your way and I’ll keep it in Mine! ” – Ebeneezer Scrooge.

  76. 76
    'Tis Himself

    chigau (違う) #67

    Or you could use the best surly response to “Have a nice day!”:
    “Don’t tell me what kind of a day to have!”

    My response to “Have a nice day” is:

    “Thank you but I’ve made other plans.”

  77. 77
    Ing

    Or you could use the best surly response to “Have a nice day!”:

    “Oh thanks. I was planning on flinging myself down an open sewer trench but I suppose your idea is better”

  78. 78
    DLC

    Addendum to my 75:
    Scrooge goes on to say: “any fool who goes about with Merry Christmas! on his lips should be boiled in his own christmas pudding with a stake of holly through his heart! “

  79. 79
    'Tis Himself

    “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”

  80. 80
    robro

    the vote has clearly gone in favor of the “holidays is ok” crowd. interestingly, the “i don’t care” was almost 2x the true believers.

    @ Brownian #30 — all tech writing is a farce, would that do? i speak from 20 years experience. and it could use a dose of humor. it’s taken way too seriously.

  81. 81
    lawmom

    Last time I checked, it was December 12th. I will wish my Christian friends Merry Christmas on December 25. Not a day before, and certainly not a month before.

  82. 82
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    If you’re going to do techno-hate books:

    [This] book is a pudding stuffed with apposite observations, many well-conceived. Like excrement, it contains enough undigested nuggets of nutrition to sustain life for some. But it is not a tasty pie: it reeks too much of contempt and of envy. Bon appetit!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_UNIX-HATERS_Handbook

  83. 83
    DLC

    We shall fight them in the Streets, we shall fight them in the parking lots and shopping malls; we shall fight them with growing confidence in the internet . . . we shall never, surrender!

  84. 84
    edmundog

    Over at he Barnes and Noble booksellers’ Facebook group, we are all just tickled pink about this.

  85. 85
    simongardner

    I pointed out to the poll’s author @shandramartinez at its launch yesterday that she’d omitted the “boycott a store because it DID mention “Christmas”?” option.

  86. 86
    crys

    Once again, just voted and “jesus is the reason for the season” just dropped to 4.6%. Crap pharyngulating really works!

  87. 87
    julietdefarge

    If you look at any batch of vintage Christmas cards, you’ll find plenty of “season’s greetings,” “yuletide wishes,” and “noel.” No wonder these people can’t make any intellectual progress, they can’t even recall what was commonplace one generation ago.

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