The absurdity of ‘defending Christmas’ in the US of all places reached a new low when the US House of Representatives actually passed a bill on December 11, 2007 “Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith”. (Thanks to Ross for alerting me to this.)
The text of the bill starts by listing all the reasons why Christianity is so wonderful (“contributed greatly to the development of western civilization”, yadda, yadda, yadda) and then goes on:
Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others: Now, therefore be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;
(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;
(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;
(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;
(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and
(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.”
The vote on the bill was 372 in favor, 9 against, 10 voting ‘present’, and 40 not voting.
Christians around the world can sleep better tonight knowing that the US Congress is working feverishly to respect them as deeply as it is humanly possible.
I do not for a minute think that Bill O’Reilly or the other hypervintilators fear that there is a genuine war on Christmas. It would not surprise me in the least if they themselves were not very religious at all but simply going through the motions. I think the whole issue of claiming that Christianity is under siege is cynically drummed up by urban sophisticates like them because they think that riling up the yahoos and hicks on some emotional hot button issue will keep them in the public eye and makes for good ratings, which is the only thing they really care about.
(Actually Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the sponsor of the above bill, might really believe all this stuff. He is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, if you catch my drift.)
But the tragedy is that the people who get riled up don’t realize that this is just a game for O’Reilly and his fellow travelers who laugh all the way to the bank even as they exploit this petty issue. They think that this is real. Witness what happened on a New York subway on December 7.
On Friday, Four Jewish subway riders who wished other people Happy Hanukkah were pelted with anti-Semitic remarks before being beaten, New York police and prosecutors said.
. . .
The four were on a train in Manhattan on Friday night, during the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, when they were approached by a group of 10 people who offered holiday greetings. The victims responded, Happy Hanukkah and were assaulted by the larger group, police said Tuesday.
Another report gives more details of what happened:
The altercation erupted when Adler and his friends said “Happy Chanukah” to a group yelling “Merry Christmas” on the Brooklyn-bound train.
Adler told the New York Post that one of his attackers rolled up his sleeve to display a tattoo of Jesus Christ.
“Happy Chanukah. That’s when the Jews killed Jesus,” the attacker told Adler.
The assaulting group consisted of ten people aged 19 and 20, with a long career fighting for Christ ahead of them. The only redeeming feature of this story is that a Muslim student on the train sprang to the aid of the Jewish students, although he ended up being beaten too.
Yes, fighting to save Christmas is great fun (and profitable) for those who exploit it as long as people realize that it is not to be taken seriously. But of course, O’Reilly, Gibson, and their ilk cannot be blamed for those morons who don’t realize that it is all a big joke can they?
POST SCRIPT: Impeaching Cheney
Congressman Robert Wexler and two other members of the House Judiciary Committee are calling for impeachment hearings on Vice President Cheney. They received over 80,000 signatures on their petition in just four days and are looking for more.
It is this kind of action that is necessary these days to signal support for politicians who are willing to go beyond platitudes so please take the time to check this out and sign if possible.