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Honest Argument: There is no War on Christmas
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There is no War on Christmas

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There is no War on Christmas  There is no War on Christmas
       A desire to welcome all is the likelier motivation for offering Holiday or Seasons Greetings  A desire to welcome all is the likelier motivation for offering Holiday or Seasons Greetings
              Indeed, Fox News, the White House and others choose secular messages  Indeed, Fox News, the White House and others choose secular messages
              Defending against War on Christmas is really a War on all but Christmas  Defending against War on Christmas is really a War on all but Christmas
                     ADL and others fear Christocratic influence  ADL and others fear Christocratic influence
       Ulterior motives to decrying a fictitious War on Christmas  Ulterior motives to decrying a fictitious War on Christmas
              Financial considerations  Financial considerations
              Distraction from more important issues  Distraction from more important issues
       Long history of Christian War on Christmas  Long history of Christian War on Christmas
       While not a war, there is a resistance  While not a war, there is a resistance

Comments:




there is a war on Christmas

The war on Christmas is indeed being waged, but it is a war whose battles are not brought by the commonly named "Liberal Left". Indeed, it is the left that has the least reason to be concerned with the seasons and their holiday celebrations. Christmas' battles are being brought from commerce and courts. I will concede "political correctness" was initially conceived by the civil rights movement, which is indeed a left leaning sector of our culture, however the general consensus of opinion from my associates who are still active in the arena, is that P.C. has far overstepped it's bounds.
Commercial attacks on Christmas are mainly driven by profit margin. Christmas is solidly commericalized, but Hannukah is decidedly not. Nor is Ramadan or Kwanzaa commerce driven, for that matter. The concept of a "Holiday" season is far more inclusive, and if you will notice there are many more ( for the sake of brevity, I'll only refer to Hannukah, but read it as all winter solstice derived holidays. ) Hannukah decorations in the past 10 years, along with Jewish oriented stores who participate in the same "Holiday" sales as do their traditional counterparts. There are menorahs hanging in Bloomingdales, if I recall correctly, as well as other stores ( Bloomies being an example of traditional ). Commerce would *Love* to see Hannukah included in the "Holiday" spending fever.
As far as the other front, the courts have taken the P.C. ball and run with it. It is now possible for a corporation to be sued for a plethora of reasons relating to the tenets of P.C., the most reasonable of all is a failure to observe the religious holidays of varying peoples and beliefs. Imagine what would happen if a corporation forced an observant employee to attend work on Rosh Hashanah. Or required an Orthodox Jew to work on the Sabbath. So, via the threats of lawsuit, corporations are forced to take the most areligious path when dealing with holidays. Please do not misunderstand me, I believe corporations *should* be required to observe religious beliefs, within reason. I am using this example as an illustrative rather than accusatory statement. The whole civil trial system is malfunctioning along this vein, with frivolous lawsuits being taken as world shaking precedent ( think: hot coffee ) and as a consequence, truly significant legal matters are passed over by the public as merely another squeaky wheel getting attention ( think: search and seizure, Fourth Amendment ). We must learn, litigation is not the way to cure society's ills. Only when respect for difference is taught from childhood will true equality be achieved.

Comment by: wethion At: 2005-12-12 16:53:34



Rebuttal

First, I don't know how we can argue about this without defining Christmas. To me, it's a day in December wher I don't have to go to work and I get presents and give gifts to others. Since I'm an atheist, the religious connotations mean nothing to me and never have. Their expurgation may qualify to some as war, but certainly not to all.

<>

You don't think Hannukah is commercialized? Google disagrees:

http://www.google.com/...
&safe=off&rls=GGGL,GGGL:2005-09,GGGL:en&pwst=1
&q=hanukkah+commercialized&spell=1

A few quotes from articles:
"Hanukkah is basically something we commercialized to combat Christmas so Jewish kids wouldn't be left out."
(http://www.dailyemerald.com/...
ART/2002/12/05/3def8253c1efa?in_archive=1)

"Hanukkah has changed profoundly in America from a minor holiday to something that competes annually with Christmas."
(http://www.yaledailynews.com/...)

Also of note is this quote:
"But the holiday is not discussed in the Old Testament, and is considered a 'blip on the screen' of the Jewish calendar, Sufrin said."
(http://www.yaledailynews.com/...)

You don't hear as much about the commercial aspects Hannukah because there are only 5.6 million Jews in the US (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/...) compared to about 80% Christians (http://en.wikipedia.org/...). Considering how it began, I'd say there's more of a war on Hannukah than on Christmas.

<>

How does Hannukah's popularity imply a "war" on Christmas? I don't understand the point of this part of your comment.

<< As far as the other front, the courts have taken the P.C. ball and run with it. It is now possible for a corporation to be sued for a plethora of reasons relating to the tenets of P.C., the most reasonable of all is a failure to observe the religious holidays of varying peoples and beliefs. Imagine what would happen if a corporation forced an observant employee to attend work on Rosh Hashanah. Or required an Orthodox Jew to work on the Sabbath. >>

First of all, it means nothing to say that a company "could be sued" for something. I can sue any company for anything--but I probably won't prevail. Furthermore, the "PC" movement has had a limited effect: US Federal law only states than an empolyer only has to "reasonably accomodate" an employee's religious practices. However if said practices result in an "undue hardship" for the employer, than a reasonable accomodation isn't possible and the employee has no protection.

<< So, via the threats of lawsuit, corporations are forced to take the most areligious path when dealing with holidays. >>

Well-run corporations are profit-seeking. There's more profit to be had by appealing to a larger audience. There are plenty of corporations that cater to religious niches and are not put out of business by their employees' lawsuits.

<>

That's pretty much what the law says, though your statement is pretty vague.

<< I am using this example as an illustrative rather than accusatory statement. The whole civil trial system is malfunctioning along this vein, with frivolous lawsuits being taken as world shaking precedent ( think: hot coffee )>>

Actually, the hot coffee lawsuit had more merit than popularly recognized. It's well summed up here:
http://lawandhelp.com/...

The plantiff had never sued before; she had severe third degree burns requiring expensive hospitalization; McDonalds knew they had injured people before; McDonalds was serving coffee much hotter than other stores; and the initially large award was later reduced by a judge.
If you want to accuse the civil courts of being broken, you'd be better off picking a less contentious example.

<< and as a consequence, truly significant legal matters are passed over by the public as merely another squeaky wheel getting attention ( think: search and seizure, Fourth Amendment ). >>

Can you cite an example?

<>

I don't understand what this has to do with the war on christmas, besides supporting evidence for your thesis that retailers are shying away from calling the holiday Christmas for fear of lawsuits by their employees, for which you have not cited any concrete evidence.


Comment by: georgester At: 2005-12-12 18:50:33



Lawsuits, War on Hannukah, and Christians fighting Christmas

I've got to agree with georgester that fear of lawsuits is not likely to be a significant motivation. Occam's Razor suggests that the desire for inclusiveness and a fear of offending are more likely.

I've added a new node extending the theory of a War on Hannukah to a War on all beliefs and celebrations that are NOT Christmas.

Finally, I've also added a node with text from a recent NYT editorial on Christian attacks on Christmas in America.

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2005-12-12 21:34:10



War on ...



There is definitely a "Christmas Resistance" out there... and it has more to do with the nonexistent separation of church and state "commandment" and push towards a secular society then it has to do with competing religions.

Business being business, businesses will react in ways to profit from any situation. If Kwanza suddenly came into vogue, the Polar Bears (tm) in the Coke (tm) commercials (tm) would be doing Kwanza...things (tm).

Myself, I enjoy all holidays, religious or not. Christmas is especially great, it's a time when you can do really nice things for people you don't know without being suspected of trying to rape/molst/kill/rob/etc., the object of your benevolence.

Last Saturday I went to a farm and cut my own Christmas Tree, after the kid tied it to my non-hybrid, fossil fuel lovin', V8 havin' truck, I tipped him, his response "thanks, have a good holiday". I laughed and said loudly, "Trust me, it's Merry Christmas..."


Comment by: Brock Samson At: 2005-12-14 13:10:55




Brock...

I am willing to acknowledge the existence of a Christmas resistance by those who seek a secular society, or those who are principled defenders of the doctrine of separation of church and state. I've included a refuting node indicating as much.

But your claim that separation of church and state is nonexistant is unsupported by any Constitutional research I've ever seen.

I also added a node to the war on other beliefs to reflect increasing concern among Jewish leaders over aggressive assaults by some Christian sects to impose their beliefs on American society.

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2005-12-15 18:06:52



I wish


Religious folk may have more to worry about these days, with Richard Dawkins being such a hit and non-theists starting to make some real noise.

Comment by: timcgill At: 2006-11-03 00:44:08



Re: node: While not a war, there is a resistance

The resistance comes from American patriots who have read the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court decisions, and wish to maintain the USA as a secular nation with individual religious freedom.

What a person says, with their own power and force, not backed up by the government, is their choice. Like abortion, if you don't want one, don't have one. If you don't want to say Happy Holidays, don't say it. But telling a business, or a person by implication, that they must say a particular thing is wrong. That's prior restraint.

The Christian God will enforce her own rules if she wishes.

Comment by: ormondotvos At: 2006-12-20 18:19:07



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