The Bogus Battle For Christmas

Aquarian Weekly 12/24/08 REALITY CHECK


Santa ClausThis just in: Christmas has nothing to do with religion. Around here, and by around here I mean America, it is the granddaddy of consumer holidays; so much so that in this nation’s penultimate financial meltdown, story after story, report after report since the final hours of All Hollow’s Eve has been on the Bottom Line: “Black Friday Figures Down From ’07” or “Cyber Monday Drags On Consumer Fears!”, etc. Therefore, this uproarious canard being perpetuated on the mainstream from the purportedly outraged anti-Christmas protest is as absurd as its target. In fact, in the grand scheme of religious and cultural crimes against humanity this whole Battle For Christmas furor is a silly as complaining about the mosquitoes during the Jonestown mass suicide.

The very idea that in this current culture, this current society we live in today — not the Make Believe hoo-hah that passes for recent or even ancient history — Christmas is considered anything but a holiday based on tradition is nonsense. December 25 is one of those goofy myths we choose to honor, like our constitution’s preamble phrase “a more perfect union” as a prophetic tribute to the ultimate possibilities of man and not merely a typo. Problem is there is no such thing as “a more perfect” anything. It’s either perfect or not, akin to the impossibility of being kinda pregnant or sorta dead. But we accept it, repeat it, and celebrate it every July 4; which is also a ridiculous demarcation of our eventual liberation from Britain, since that was simply a “declaration” and not a victory. The date for that celebration would be October 19, 1781 when The Articles of Capitulation were signed. Also, the “a more perfect union” thing didn’t even show up until seven years later in the U.S. Contitution.

But where were we?

Oh, right, Christmas. We no more celebrate December 25 as the birth of the actual Jesus of Nazareth, who was likely born in the spring according to most astronimors and historians, than we celebrate Super Bowl Sunday as the NFL championship game. December 25 is a natural extension of a pagan celebration established by the Romans to mark the Winter Soltice, which, of course, is not even on the 25th, but four days earlier. The date, officially called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “The birthday of the unconquered sun” was to honor the Sun God. Back then, a few hundred years after the murder of the aforementioned Jesus, the honorary Christian observance of his birth was January 6.

Christmas, the actual date it’s observed, and the historical veracity and religious significance of which is completely built on one fabrication after the other, should not threaten anyone. It is a ritual observance for some, a warm and fuzzy tradition for others, and let’s face it a spectacular consumer orgy for the rest.

This is the intelligent, reasonable way to look at Christmas. And isn’t that what all these people who get up in arms every December argue when they rail against its overtly Christian overtones? Of course. This renders a “protest” to lesson its impact or to “even the field” somehow feeble at best and stupid at worst.

I shall not, now or in the near future, take down my motorized masturbating Santa. He’s goddamned jolly and the neighborhood kids love him.

Granted, Christianity in almost any form or denomination is annoying and in some cases dangerous and mostly oppressive, but name anything you’re not on board with that isn’t. You can’t. Hell, I’m the first to back any dismissal of purely religious iconography, no matter how historically or even spiritually inaccurate, in public forums, federal buildings or public schools. But then there is the recent case in North Carolina where some self-righteous idiot tried to force a grammar school to strike “Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer” from its holiday recital purely for the “Then one foggy Christmas Eve…” line. The tender term “eve” was the issue, which the idiot denoted as religious-based. Again, arguing semantically, the word “eve” refers only to “the night before” an event, as mentioned earlier with All Hollow’s Eve, which was later bastardized into the modern Halloween. All of which is hardly religious and innocuous as it gets.

It only gets weird when you forget all the anti-religious rhetoric and realize the protest itself is a subtle form of fascism.

To wit: “Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a song, therefore a work of art. It is a fairly effective fairytale scenario based almost entirely on an early nineteenth century poem entitled “A Visit from St. Nicholas” or “”Twas The Night Before Christmas” (which could have easily but less dramatically been entitled, “Christmas Eve”), wherein all of our modern concepts on the Santa Claus myth derive. By denying the inclusion of these creative works falls under the guise of ignoring first amendment freedoms of expression, and who is for that? Besides radically charged Christian zealots, of course, who are for expunging every other work of art.

But that is a separate insanity for another time.

This week’s insanity surrounds the always-thorny term, “sensibilities”, which are often used, along with other debate crutches like children, society, obscenity and (gulp) God to keep people from doing perfectly harmless activities that hurt no one. In a supposed free society there are going to be loads of activities, images, and overall goofiness that’s going to impinge on one or more sensibilities, but you know what? Too fucking bad. That’s how it goes. The same jackass that fights to ban gay marriage or censor rap music or protest art exhibitions and march for all manner of meaningless falderal turns right around and makes noise about another equally vapid activity as “impinging on rights” or “attacking the framework of decent morality” or you name the predicable banality.

So have a Merry Whatever and a Happy Whoozzits, but know this; I shall not, now or in the near future, take down my motorized masturbating Santa. He’s goddamned jolly and the neighborhood kids love him.


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