From the religious-nuts-with-panties-in-wads dept:
So Costco, the warehouse shopping experience similar to Sam’s Club, has taken a stand in the so-called War on Xmas that religious nuts are fond of saying exists. By nuts, I don’t mean your average religious adherent that never gives a second thought to phrases like “happy holidays,” “seasons greetings,” “’tis the season,” or “festivus for the rest of us.”
Well… the last one might get their attention. If only to raise an eyebrow. But for as long as I can remember, the Christmas season has been one of multicultural and a mix of secular and religious modality, depending upon the extent of one’s religiosity. When I was a kid, you could always tell who the bible-thumpers and catholics were by the decorations they put up in their home and on their trees. The more angels and nativity scenes, the more religious they were. Or, I should say, the more religious they wanted to seem (piety, I think, is mostly used to achieve status).
There was also that curious discovery made as a child of a very small population of your friends: they were something called Jewish! This was a discovery usually made upon entering their home during the Christmas break from school and noticing the blindly obvious fact that there was a tree missing from the front window! If you were lucky, you learned something about Jewish culture: what a menorah was; what a dreidel was used for; etc.
The picture above is clearly a Christmas tree. But the fact that Costco is marketing it as a holiday tree has the religious nuts at the American Family Association in an uproar. They ask, “does Costco use the word ‘Christmas’” in store advertising or website? They then arrive at the fallacious conclusion that Costco “wants you to do your ‘Christmas’ shopping with them while refusing to recognize that Christmas even exists.”
The “war on xmas” nonsense is started by and perpetuated by the so-called religious right and its babbling bunch of boneheads like Don Wildmon of the AFA and Bill O’Reilly of Fox “news.” For Fox, the matter is one of driving ratings by inciting anger and a perceived sense of injustice among viewers. They could care less about rational thought on such matters. And “family values” proponents of religious organiztions like AFA use it to create a sense of fear.
That fear is that, by acknowledging the truth of the world around them, somehow their beliefs and values will be in jeopardy. If they give up their bigotry they would need to acknowledge that there exist those outside of Christianity (and, in some cases, within Christianity) who might want to be happy, partake in fellowship and social get-togethers, and exchange gifts with family and friends. All without religious ritual, influence, or adherence. Without bigotry, they might also have to acknowledge that these people can easily be included in the spirit of the season by simply wishing them a “happy holidays” or “warm tidings.”
Instead, the bigots who want very much to run this country, want everyone to be like them. “You’re either with us or against us,” are the infamous words of their (soon-to-be-former) chosen one.
The fact is, Christmas hasn’t been a religious holiday for decades. The non-religious, celebrate and enjoy the season as much (arguably more, perhaps) than the religious. I’ve never liked the religious symbols included in the decorations on trees or in holiday music: the angels, nativities, Silent Night, trumpets, etc. It wasn’t that they were ugly -they were just out of place. They didn’t seem to have anything to do with the Christmas I knew and understood as a child in the 70s.
They have nothing to do with the Christmas my 7 year old knows and understands now.