Tuesday, 16 December 2008

War on Christmas

I've been reading for years about the 'War on Christmas'. In the UK, it seemed to begin a decade or so ago with stupid, false and deliberately trumped-up stories of councils banning the mention of Christmas and so on. It's been reaching a kind of fever-pitch lately, particularly in the US, where the likes of Bill Donohoe have been waxing apoplectic about people saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" and atheist signs that have been allowed (ALLOWED!!!!) to be planted near nativity scenes in Washington State. Presumably the signs leech away the holiness or something. I'm a little surprised that an all-powerful god is thwarted by someone putting up a sign.

I can understand Christians resenting the commercialisation of Christmas (just as Pagans might have resented the hijacking of their festivals and some of their associated paraphernalia), but there's a certain type of Christian mind that seems to want to go somewhat further. The motivation for this is unclear. I could almost understand the 'Christmas for Christians' approach (which resents non-Christians muscling in on 'their' celebration) if it weren't for the last few of hundred years of Christmas history. You can't start complaining about it now. The 'War on Christmas' has already been 'won' in that respect, I'm afraid. And you let it happen. No use crying about it now. The other approach is even weirder: everyone must respect Christmas. Everyone must go around wishing others Merry Christmas whether they subscribe to the Christian myth or not. Of course, atheists and other non-Christians generally have no problem with Christmas at all. They just don't really care. They enjoy Christmas for the holiday it has become, regardless of it's origins, Christian or otherwise. The claimed 'war' is is worse than myth: it is a deliberate fabrication engineered to direct vitriol against non-Christians to counteract increasing impotence. It is an attempt by certain Christian groups to generate offence where none either exists or was ever intended.

I can no longer be bothered to understand the ill-considered motivations of these nutjobs, so I'll state my position on Christmas instead, so that they all know how to fit me into their Madame Tussauds of horrific atheism:
I am waging a War on Christmas because I am a miserable atheist in an uncaring universe that came into existence by chance and without purpose. I am not the product of God's unending love, but of countless generations of blind evolution, guided by no hand and therefore meaningless. As such, my Nihilistic views do not allow me to take joy in the giving of gifts or the sharing of comfort that comes with the presence of friends and family in festive mood. As I do not believe in a higher power, I think only of myself. Charity will therefore be the furthest thing from my mind this Winterval and I think only of the gifts I will receive and my avarice for the gifts of others. I am most jealous of all of those with Christian faith, because they alone are able to take joy in giving and charity, safe in the knowledge of their place in the afterlife and their inerrant guide to goodness and morality. My grasping, atheistic proto-existence is incompatible with the inherent goodness and sanctity of Christmas so I have no alternative but to wage war upon it.

There, I've said it. Happy Sunreturn.

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