That’s all I can imagine: this imaginary conflict has gotten so stupid that it must be mindless undead droning out their need for brains who are still fighting it (oh, hi, Bill O’Reilly!). The latest instance is one of these always-affronted religion organizations that has made a Naughty and Nice List, to “make sure that Christmas does not get secularized or censored from its essence, namely the birth of Jesus Christ”. On the naughty list: Disney, because their online store is called the “holiday shop”. On the nice list: Best Buy, because
Jesus wants a new digital camera they use the word “Christmas” in their commercials. These are all, of course, stores selling stuff. I had no idea that the swiping of the credit card had become a sacred rite, holy to Jesus Christ.
I’m rather fed up with the pointless inanity, especially since most of the godless I know will be celebrating this Christmas. Here’s a suggestion. Maybe all of us atheists need to point out that “holiday” is derived from “holy day”, and retire aghast to our fainting couches at this religious taint to the season, moaning, “Oh, Br’er Jebusite, please don’t use that word holiday on me”. Then they’ll get all smug and satisfied when some store acknowledges that it is a generic holiday, and they’ll all shut up.
goddammit, i only ever use “Christmas” to alienate Muslims and Jews and Hindus anyway. this “Holy Day” sounds a bit too inclusive to me.
and they’ll all shut up.
No, they won’t. They never, ever, ever shut up.
If you say “Hare Krishna” really fast, it’ll slide right past ’em.
How’s come they don’t celebrate the same holidays that Jesus celebrated? Oh yeah, Jesus celebrated the holidays of a different religion. The irony.
I love that they call businesses that don’t even have the mention of “holiday” or “christmas” as naughty.
“They’re trying to run a business without acknowledging us?!? SHAME!”
Let’s go back to calling it Saturnalia. Merry Saturnalia, ya’ll! As I once told my highly Catholic aunt, “Jesus is NOT the reason for the season–never has been.”
What bat-shit crazy loons these “christians” are.
Steven Dunlap says
The “holiday” in question has been a holiday most likely since neolithic times. It’s the day when the sun starts to “come back” to the Earth and the days start to grow longer. Jesus, according to biblical historians, was born in the Spring. The Christians started using the Roman Feast of Saturn as “Christmas” because the Romans were typically too drunk to notice that the Christians were celebrating too, or maybe thought they were celebrating with the Romans. Being fed to lions tends to put a damper on the Christmas spirit, I guess, despite the Christians’ fondness for martyrdom.
So now the people who take Bill O’Reilly seriously (how many can there be?) are having a cow about an inclusive statement that covers Hannukah and the newly minted Kwanza and whatever else. Some people have too much time on their hands and if this is the most the right-wing nuts can complain about after Obama won the election then fine by me – let them gripe about “happy holidays” and make obvious what idiots they are. The only bit that troubles me is that the WSJ has seen fit to print this gibberish. Free country and all that but in the midst of a financial crisis they print a nutty editorial from out where the buses don’t run? Although I have disagreed with them frequently, at least the WSJ editorials made sense before. Maybe the drubbing their beliefs have taken lately has put the zap on all their noodles at the WSJ? Go figure.
“Either All Days Are Holy Or None Are. I Have Not Decided Yet.”
Cuttlefish, OM says
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!
[… lots more …]
Bronze Dog says
It was Bill O’Reily who got me to saying Decemberween when he turned “Merry Christmas” into a bigoted epithet against non-Christians.
Chris P says
I cannot believe that Hobby Lobby is on the nice list. Sure they may show signs saying “Merry Christmas” but almost EVERYTHING they sell is made in freaking China by non-Christians. The hypocrisy is deafening.
Can’t Christians make their own stuff? Why do they have to have to have premade crafts from China – didn’t their god give them the brains to do anything?
Christmas is a very offensive word. For example it’s insulting to Holocaust survivors whose relatives were murdered for Jebus. Let the Christian retards call it Christmas. Everyone else should call it Santa Claus Day.
I had a little “chat” with my rather religious neighbor once regarding this ridiculous idea that their personal savior was born at this time. She agreed with me that most “Christians” understand he was not.
I said that it was good that the only thing left on which we disagreed was my particular concept that he was not born on any OTHER day either.
Happy Trollop says
Oh, Cuttlefish! At last I get a chance to sing your praises before the scores of other admirers say it much better than I can.
Jeezum crow! Man, you’re talented. I would never have thought to use ‘isthmus’ to rhyme with ‘Christmas’. And ‘freeze us’/’Jesus’? I get delighted chills, seriously.
There. The admiring queue starts to the left, people.
If they don’t want non-Christians to celebrate Christmas, then they should lobby the government to change the name of the holiday to something secular and let them celebrate that day in their own way.
Of course not. Brains might impair their ability to appreciate religion.
That they don’t do something like this is a dead giveaway as to what’s really important to them – attention. Every time someone says ‘Christmas’, xians get to smile smugly and feel special because it’s all about them.
Heaven forbid they keep their saccharine ooga-booga to themselves…
That gives me a naughty idea for how to celebrate . . .
The War on Halloween was a real disappointment too. I can’t remember that anyone started babbling on about how it leads to witchcraft and encourages the undead to wander around or whatever it is that the christomorons babble about. Besides, most of the undead seem to have joined xian fundie churches. They can blend in easier that way.
the pagans would feel really pissed off about that, if the Roman empire hadn’t converted them to Christianity.
Perhaps we could simply publicize that all the “angry atheists”, “new atheists”, and whatever else we are being called, have decided that we are going to start using “Merry Christmas!” as a point of pride. When, say, O’Reilly says “Merry Christmas” in that “I dare you to knock this off my shoulder” way, we can sweetly thank him for expressing his solidarity with us.
It wlll be a Silent Night in no time flat.
Exactly. I’d have had a much more interesting religion to try and avoid being indoctrinated into with its boring old one god. Or three gods. Or three aspects of the one god. Or something else entirely…
The Petey says
sp. what’s the middle ground here for people like me who actually do want to celebrate SOMETHING with my loved ones?
These people have a hell of a nerve trying to claim Christmas as their property. Here in Norway we still call it “jul” (pronounced “yule”), just like our ancestors did hundreds of years before Norwegians were converted to christianity. And this atheist will be putting up his pagan symbol of fertility and rebirth, the yule tree, next week. And proudly so.
“Christ’s mass” my ass.
I like the fact that Amazon.com is on the nice list!
I work with the team that puts together the holiday season branding for the web site, and they specifically made it religion neutral.
It’s amazing what people can see in stuff if they look through thick enough mental lenses…
Does anyone know where I can get a “take christ out of christmas” t-shirt or a t-shirt of that same magnitude?
A link to a shirt, or even a link to a good graphic that I could print out as some kind of an iron-on, would be appreciated….
Paul Burnett says
Happy Trollop enthuses (#15) “I would never have thought to use ‘isthmus’ to rhyme with ‘Christmas’. And ‘freeze us’/’Jesus’?”
I don’t care if it rains or freezes
‘Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
…lots more at http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/plastic0.htm
@Shamar – this to tide you over until I find one.
Or this one.
I’ll work on finding a shirt to ruin battle Christmas, yet.
“make sure that Christmas does not get secularized or censored from its essence, namely the birth of Jesus Christ”
Haha, oh boy, they are WAY too late for that. Every children’s Christmas special about the “spirit of giving” and “spending time with those you love” is another nail in THAT coffin.
Cultural Iconography says
Not that it matters, but wasn’t Jeebus supposed to have been born sometime in the Spring? Or is that when he supposedly did the trick with the rock and the cave?
What about the water into wine stuff–personally, I kinda like Two-Buck Chuck at Trader Joe’s. Then there’s the loaves and fishes thing…I like a good sourdough loaf to go with my swordfish.
What is it with the Bible and food, anyway? Makes me hungry just writing about it.
Gosh, I can’t keep these myths straight. Good thing I’m a heathen… :)
I see some xtian sites may be a little worried; they have
“Help Save Christmas Action Packs” for sale for 25 bucks.
To Diagoras @ # 29
Funny, but I don’t want to insult christmas because I like christmas, it’s fun. I want to specifically address the taking christ out of chrastmas to offend chritians in particular. The holiday is great, after you take the silly religions out of it…..
Thank you for the thought though :-)
The reason that Hobby Lobby is on the “nice” list:
Mart Green is an established businessman and Christian supporter. He now owns his own Christian retail chain of stores, Mardel, and is the heir to the Hobby Lobby craft stores. Now, a chunk of the Green family fortune is going to help save Oral Roberts University. The $70 million Green is putting up to save Oral Roberts University will enable the continuation of the education of 5,700 college students. He has no previous history with the school and says his main motivation for the donation is for the alumni, faculty and students as well as the belief that the closing of this school will affect all Christian colleges in a slippery slope effect [“Businessman Rescues Oral Roberts University”, msnbc.com, AP Feb. 5, 2008]. In return, Green will become the chairman of the school’s board of trustees
Randy Owens says
Well, it makes about as much sense as a sacred rite as that whole cracker thing you’re so familiar with, at least.
Geoffrey of Ballard says
They omitted Victoria’s Secret, which should go on the nice list since it mentions Christmas.
Benjamin Geiger says
Isn’t Disney permanently on the naughty list since so many—estimates range as high as 40%—of their employees are infected with teh ghey?
(Full disclosure: my dad works for the Mouse, and (to my knowledge) is straight.)
Benjamin Geiger says
… erm. The sarcasm isn’t dripping from my last post quite as profusely as I had intended. Let it be known that I have nothing against gay people and, in fact, tend to visit Disney parks on a regular basis.
Captain C says
And me thinking this was some YouTube vid about zombie-clad hipsters descending on a department store or suchlike…
Rick R says
#37- “They omitted Victoria’s Secret, which should go on the nice list since it mentions Christmas.”
Yeah, but it’s balanced by the naughty, lacy, frilly sexy stuff. Boobies and such. That shit’ll send you straight to the fiery place.
Cool! I’m shoppin’ at the NAUGHTY stores!
that messes people in the states up.
Bill O’Reilly can be boiled in his own pudding.
(to paraphrase Ebeneezer Scrooge)
Two words. Festivus Oestre
Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!
Think Progress and others have pointed out that Bill O’Reilly needs to be on the naughty list too, since his web site highlights “Bill’s Holiday Reading List”.
John Phillips, FCD says
Well considering what christianity has cost the world we should really call it christ’s mess.
Father Time jr. says
It struck me as exceedingly odd that most of the indicators that lead to the qualification NICE have nothing at all to do with the Christian belief system as such. Most of the items are derived from the Germanic winter solstice rituals: evergreen trees, decorations, candles, are all related to the conviction that although it may be cold and miserable outside, better and more fertile times are a’coming… promises in other words that there will soon be Easter eggs amd Easter bunnies again to celebrate the Rites of Spring. And why? In the early Middle Ages the clergy succeeded — not always in line with common sense logic — in associating their stories with the belief systems prevailing at the time in Northern Europe. Think, for instance, of those poor shepards who suddenly found themselves by divine decree out in the fields “counting their sheep” in the middle of the night in the middle of the winter. Merry holidays!
I wish they would think about the, “Merry,” part of the phrase.
Nice to see that Hallmark have returned to grace from their little flirt with gay-friendly cards:P
“Staver adds that Liberty Counsel is offering a ‘Help Save Christmas’ action pack designed to help show that it is legal to celebrate Christmas.”
It has never been *illegal* in America, ever. That has never been in contention. Ill-advised, perhaps, but not illegal. That it even gets mention in the article shows just how thick and distorted the lenses are for the average Christian today. This is Historical Revisionism 101.
Matt Heath says
And Ann Summmers.
Nick Gotts says
No-one has any idea what time of year Jesus the Nazarite was born, if indeed he was a real person. No serious claim can be made that anything is known of his life until about a year before his death.
Arrrr…would ye be interested in a Pastafarian ChriFSMass?
PZ, they’ll never shut up. Never. Hence, our continuing problem…
You realize what this means PZ? You now have to desecrate your Best Buy card.
I’m a bit of a procrastinator…can I just wage war on Boxing Day instead?
Ron Hager says
Many non-xians co-opt the holiday and just say and write Xmas.
If the fecking bloody rapeturd or whatever the loony-zombies call it happens, aren’t they teleported (or something, maybe put on the B Ark?) someplace? Seems to me that means the rest of us (presumably still on Earth) will get some bloody fecking peace (in several senses) and quiet.
“If you say “Hare Krishna” really fast, it’ll slide right past ’em.”
Lol, too bad I don’t live in an English-speaking country, otherwise I would so try that.
Anyone remember Jon Stewart’s Kwanzaa gift to Bill O’Reilly?
I’m all for changing it to ‘Yuletide’ … and changing it to the 21st, where it should be, due to Earth’s precession.
Then we can celebrate what it actually is – a holiday to mark the end of the shortening of days, and the emergence into light and spring. Now that’s worth celebrating.
Nick Gotts says
You northern hemisphere high-latitude chauvinist!
'This Himself says
What annoys me most about the whole “War on Christmas” stunt is how the fundies play the “poor, persecuted, crucified Christians” game. Hypocrisy, thy name is Bill O’Reilly.
‘s Odd. I always thought “happy holidays” was just shorthand for “merry christmas and a happy new year.” It never occured to me that it might possibly be construed as some paean to other religions. And it made sense to me, because there were two holidays in the season.
Oh, and Jesus’ birth is really a non-event in christianity. Resurrection, that’s what it’s all about.
christmas flowers says
it is great response for this post. Hats off.
Bruce Perry says
and if you’re looking for a fun Christmas/zombie story, look up Christopher Moore’s “The Stupidest Angel”.
“And buried with a stake of holly through his heart.”
It’s supposed to keep vampires in their graves, think it will work here?
The real War on the War on Xmas starts with the public holiday displays. For years in was “nativity scenes” with mangers, plastic animals and all that.
Lately the atheists have been adding their displays, something guaranteed by the constitution on public property at least. Even the Wiccans have managed to get a few set up. Don’t know about the FSMers but the Flying Spaghetti Monster would make an awesome display with dozens of strings of lights standing in for noodles.
It’s always amusing to watch the christofascists scream when anyone else dares to exercise their legal rights.
Don't Panic says
Actually it has been illegal at times to celebrate Christmas in America. But not for 200yrs or so. See this short history for instance. This of course is consistent with the time warp these people live in.
Chris P @12:
Hobby Lobby is probably also in the nice column because they aren’t open on Sundays to, as the sign on the door says, “Allow their associates time to worship”, or something like that. I have only been there twice. Once I drove all the way out there on a Sunday just to find them closed so I decided to never go there again but the other time my mother just wanted to see what was in there. I took her, it had a few craft things but most of it was cheap junk that you can also find at Wal-Mart so I think that I made the right decision in not wanting to shop there. Too far (well, farther than other craft stores like Jo-Ann’s), they aren’t open when I have time to go shopping for craft items, and not having much in the way of crafts make me wonder how they stay in business. I guess there’s always a market for plastic knickknacks for the coffee table?
George E Martin says
I was also aware that the Puritans in New England had also banned the celebration of Christmas. And a lot of people like to speak glowingly of the US’s Puritan heritage. Yeah.
David Marjanović, OM says
Er, no. The term “War Against Christmas” is a purely US phenomenon, from Californyah to New York Island.
Cuttlefish, OM says
War against Christmas
A US Phenomenon?
That’s MORE than global!
I always think it’s interesting how these people construe any attempt to not shut out people who celebrate winter holidays but not necessarily Christmas as an assault on Christmas. What is their problem with the entire world not circling around them?
Anon #22 wrote:
Yes; I really think this is the best strategy of all. Christmas is secularized every time people say it’s about love, fellowship, charity, peace, and joy. And it’s secularized even more by using the word “Christmas” the way we use the words “Easter” and “Halloween.”
Saying “Merry Christmas” no more acknowledges that Jesus is the Reason for the Season than saying “goddammit to hell” when you hit your thumb with a hammer is a recognition that there really must be a God, and we all need salvation. When religious words enter the popular lexicon, they are no longer about religion. They’re about whatever people mean by them. They’re words.
And yes, I would so love to see how the heck folks like Donohue and O’Reilly would deal with a mass campaign of “Christmas for Everyone!” coming out of the atheist groups.
“Merry Christmas for ALL! (it’s not about religion)”
There’s your t-shirt slogan.
Nope. It exists in Britain as well, although here it’s less about religion, more about local authorities being falsely accused by the right-wing press of “banning Christmas” because of “political correctness gone mad”.
John Phillips, FCD says
David Marjanović, OM: It also comes up occasionally in the UK with various xian groups and the right wing press getting their collective knickers in a twist over ‘happy holiday’ and similar phrases. They even use the same, ‘but we are a xian nation’ crap as their US equivalents. Though it is not usually quite as noticeable as the US, then again, it is still early days :)
John Phillips, FCD says
Oops, sorry Julius, I was typing as you posted.
To add to mine and Julius’s post, the xian and right wing press complaint about Political Correctness is also their code for a form of racism. Because local authorities, whenever they have used phrases such as ‘happy holidays, it is meant to try and include the non xians ethnic minorities living in the UK.
Alexander #74 wrote:
I think a lot of it has to do with a desire to establish their religion as the norm — the ‘foundation’ for democracy, morality, and everything nice and good. People with other spiritual beliefs are only tolerated because toleration is a Christian virtue. They’re hoping that people in different religions who grow up surrounded by the idea that Christianity is the standard for what’s normal will find themselves drifting into Christianity.
To many Christians, there is no wrong way to become a Christian. Methods don’t have to be rigorous and consistent. If it worked, then it was right. If only one person comes to believe that Jesus must have died for our sins because they thought it would be hypocritical to enjoy Christmas trees and not believe that Jesus died for our sins, then it was worth it.
The more people who are Christian — and the more Christianity is seen as the necessary assumption in order to believe in Peace and Joy — then the less they have to think through their views rationally. If you want the trappings of the holiday, then you should become a Christian, or risk self-contradiction. The Season is the Reason for Jesus apologetics.
Wow. I can’t figure out whether that’s just terribly deluded, or secretly ironic. Because that boat has already sailed. Christmas as it is celebrated today is actually celebrated in the way ancient Germanic tribes did, well before Christianity came around. Largely because Christian Missionaries didn’t really want to anger a drunken axe wielding bezerker, by telling him he shouldn’t celebrate the solstice, but rather retconned the solstice celebration as a celebration of Jesus’ birth. You want to blame someone for the bastardization of Christmas as a celebration of Christian values? Blame Christian missionaries.
I mean get in the fucking ring already. We celebrate Christmas by eating the flesh of pigs, and we do this to celebrate the birth of the king of Jews? You would think someone, somewhere would’ve thought that a bit insensitive, considering pigs aren’t exactly kosher.
Happy Yuletide morons!
PZ, I’m with you one hundred percent. A pointless debate.
Wait, so they want to glorify the name of their holy prophet (the same one who reportedly drove money-changers from the temple) by tying his name to commercial interests as much as possible? They want to prevent the secularization of Christmas by praising corporations who market cheap, unnecessary crap by cynically using Jeebus’ birth as a means to make obscene amounts of money?…and this is what Jeebus would want?
WTF?! Did I miss something in Sunday school all those years ago? For some reason I can only recall all the lessons about the immorality of materialism…
Do the world and yourselves a favor: Please, please donate to a secular, effective charitable organization this year in your loved ones’ names instead of buying crap. If they don’t like it, so much for the real spirit of Christmas.
“Nope. It exists in Britain as well, although here it’s less about religion, more about local authorities being falsely accused by the right-wing press of “banning Christmas” because of “political correctness gone mad”.”
You realize that you just gave away the Daily Mail’s lead story for next week?
C T Hall says
Our work last year had a nondenominational holiday tree, which we could decorate the tree but they warned us not to bring religious ornaments especially Santa Claus.
My first thought was, ‘No Santas?! When did commercialism become a denomination?’