November 30, 2013 by kittynh
War on Christmas an Atheist’s Perspective
guest post by Don Lacey
The “War on Christmas” is not a real thing at least from the perspective of the Atheist. The whole idea is a straw man. Most Atheists don’t object to the holiday. Companies love the holiday season and they realize that a good percentage of their customers are not Christian. In an effort to be more inclusive, some retailers recommended that their employees use inclusive terms like “Happy Holidays” in their greetings and advertising fliers but being more inclusive is interpreted as offensive by certain conservative talk show hosts and suddenly we have a “Christmas controversy.” I am not the only Atheist that doesn’t care if a cashier is wearing a crucifix over the world’s ugliest sweater which depicts a manger, three wise men, some sheep, cattle, a star, a proud young couple all surrounding a glowing baby tells me “Merry Christmas.” My response will always be “thank you” because I truly appreciate that she is there helping me with my purchase.
There ARE legitimate Secularist concerns during the holidays. Public schools should not be considered extensions of local church congregations. “Christmas” programs should be inclusive and public property and tax dollars should not be used to further any religion. But these concerns are not seasonal; they exist throughout the year when government agencies attempt to give religious believers special status. Maintaining the strict separation of the church from the state is a continuous effort marked with flare ups during the religious seasons—Christmas and Easter along with the days immediately around the National Day of Prayer and in some cases other holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day.
I asked a recently de-converted Atheist what she thought about the “War on Christmas.” She said:
Oh. I think the war on Christmas is RIDICULOUS. Even when I was a Christian I couldn’t stand other Christians whining about it. I always thought they must not have much faith in God. Like a billboard is going to defeat the creator of the universe!
Now Sarah Palin has weighed into the fray with her own book on the subject Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas. (Click on the highlighted book title to get a review and comments from Cynthia Tucker.) One line of Cynthia Tucker’s article seemed to stand out, “Hasn’t Bill O’Reilly thoroughly covered this ground?” Agreed! Mr. O’Reilly has more than adequately covered the ground that didn’t need to be covered to begin with. It’s a fabricated controversy and historically suspect. Saying Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays are more inclusive than Merry Christmas and saying them does not take anything from anyone.
Also, why blame the Atheists for Christmas losing its heart? If the Atheists are the Scrooges from Charles Dicken’s The Christmas Carol, then they are like Ebenezer enjoying himself at Mr. Fezziwig’s wonderful Christmas parties. In the story, it was his own greed that made him abhor Christmas. It was his insatiable lust for money that pushed his fiancé away and caused her to marry someone else. It is also greed that is stealing the heart of the Christian Christmas.
Finally, the controversy is a reaction to the change from a singular homogenous society to one that is more multicultural. In the good old days of the movie A Christmas Story, we didn’t have the multicultural, multireligious society we have now. For certain, there were less non-believers, at least, less visible ones. Therefore, let’s recognize the “War on Christmas” for what it is. It is the dying cry of conservatism trying to maintain the non-existent, American, homogeneous, mono-culture and remember “E Pluribus Unum.” Merry Solstice and Happy Holidays!
- “War on Christmas” (bagowicks.wordpress.com)
- Greta Van Susteren Hypes Phony Postal Service War On Christmas (newshounds.us)