Monday, December 16, 2013

Oh, Christmas

Fox News has become (in)famous in the last several years for their recurring stories on the "War on Christmas," an entirely fictionalized attack on the free expression of this nation's most popular religion. Every year, around this time, Fox and its many pundits go out of their way to bring you stories about the fact that Christmas is being marginalized by the greater society. And every year, it becomes more and more ridiculous.

Take, as an example, Fox's news story about a school that supposedly banned christmas trees and the colors red and green from their "winter party." According to the article, the school has violated the Texas Christmas Law, which states that anybody can call their holiday expression anything they want. The irony, as pointed out here, is that the school was exercising its freedom to call it a winter party, as protected by the law, and didn't ban anything at all that as christmas related.

Anyone who has been through a few holiday seasons in America can probably tell that Christmas is by no means in jeopardy. In my area, there is one radio station that plays nothing but Christmas music from November to January, and at least five others that play Christmas music regularly each day. Driving down the road, I see dozens of houses with Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and lit crosses. In the stores, despite the signs that read "Happy Holidays!" the pervasiveness of Christmas crap is apparent. At Home Depot yesterday, there was a chair for Santa, fake trees and ornaments, wreaths, Christmas lights, and not a single display for Hanukkah or any other holiday. Everything is red and green.

Statistically, Christians take up a huge percentage of Americans. A Pew research study conducted in 2007 (the most recent I could find, unfortunatley) shows that a whopping 78.4% of Americans classify themselves as Christian. Even in the general population, Christians are in the vast majority.

What bothers me most about this annual tradition is that it completely ignores how other religions must feel at this time of year, and seems to perpetuate the belief that Christianity should somehow be placed above other religions during the month of December (which it already is, based on the observations above). What drives me nuts is that our Constitution says that we have a "freedom of religion," which to me means any religion is equal in the eyes of our nation. But we have this pervasive culture of fanatical religious extremists who want their religion plastered on every street corner and in every shop window, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Even as someone who has celebrated Christmas my whole life, I'm appalled by this lack of Christian understanding when it comes to the rights of expression for others.

1 comment:

samp said...

I'm saddened that you feel that way about Christmas although I understand your right to your opinion.