It is that magical time of year again, where we see Wall Street executives in Santa costumes begging for bailouts, former Republican Presidential candidates roaming their mansions and playing in their car elevators, and pretty much every single television break being one continuous Zales Diamond and Lexus advertisement. Indeed, Christmas is a two-month free market orgy in which Americans show concern for their fellow man by trampling on him in the nearest ‘Buy Crap’ box store. Of course this is all done to purchase the latest state-of-the-art (soon-to-be-obsolete) piece of cheap, imported crap in the spirit of celebrating the birth of 40” Flastscreen TV. But it’s also a time where Fox News and the right-wing take time out of their hating the middle class, poor, and gays schedules and feign outrage over a supposed sinister “War on Christmas” being waged by godless liberals who have the audacity to say “Happy Holidays” at retail stores. Well, at least it’s one war that the Fox News hosts are actually willing to fight.
Let’s face it–religious right-wingers have been hopelessly fighting this war (preferably by Fox News proxy) for quite some time now and, though nobody really seems to care (even catholic priests), logic and factual polls have never stopped Fox in the past. Because if there’s anyone in this country who faces constant ridicule and persecution, it’s most definitely Christians. Even though the religious right really hates godless facts, it’s probably worth noting that Christmas is a Pagan tradition and was banned by the Pilgrims.
So let’s take a look at some of the most breathtakingly, phenomenally stupid ”War on Christmas” myths.
1. The American Family Association, for example, has been fruitlessly waging a pathetic and ill-conceived boycott war on Walgreens for having its cashiers wish its customers “Happy Holidays” upon checking out.
“It’s true!” bellowed the AFA. “At Walgreens, they advertise ‘Holiday Candy,’ ‘Holiday Gift Tags,’ ‘Holiday Gift Wrap,’ ‘Holiday Decor,’ ‘Holiday Accessories,’ ‘Holiday Nuts and Snacks’ and ‘Holiday Hats and Stockings.’ But no Christmas! In total, Walgreens used the term ‘holiday’ 36 times, rather than using ‘Christmas.’”
Apparently some entry-level schmuck at the AFA had to spend his days totaling the number of “holiday” salutations instead of, perhaps, devising strategies that help spread cheer to impoverished families.
2. Wal-mart banning “Merry Christmas” greeting
Not that I would ever defend Walmart, but the War on Christmas creates strange allies. For example, in 2005 a woman sent an irate email to Walmart after one of its employees was wishing her “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” thus begging the question: who are these morons and where do they find the time to engage in such totally frivolous nonsense? Naturally, the dyspeptic woman received a mild response, saying that, “Christmas traditions are rooted in Siberian shamanism and Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide world.” Despite a planned boycott by the Catholic League, Walmart continues to have its cashiers greet customers with “Happy Holidays.” Oh, and the employee who sent the reasonable email was fired.
3. A Hospital bans Christmas CD for mentioning Jesus
It seems the Royal Edinburgh Hospital refused to distribute a CD of Christmas songs in its shop because evidently some of the songs mentioned Jesus. But much like with everything that comes out of the mouths of the right, it wasn’t true. After all, the first casuality of war is the truth. According to the Guardian, not only was the CD not banned, “it was actually made available at a hospital carol service that had mysteriously evaded the health authority’s attempts to stamp out Christmas.”
4. The John Birch Society
It’s not a state secret that the John Birch Society is a group made up of filthy rich oligarchs and plutocrats whose wealth comes from happening to be the spoiled offspring of workaholics. Its members, including the Koch brothers, have spent hordes of cash to prevent regulation of industry and legislation that seeks to benefit the middle-class. So it’s not especially surprising that in 1959, the John Birch Society warned America that it was under attack. So convinced this impending anti-Christmas menace, they distributed a pamphlet called “There Goes Christmas,” as well as an essay by Hubert Kregeloh saying that the “Godless” United Nations was planning to take the meaning out of Christmas, so that the Communists would win. It is now the year 2011, the Reds are dead, and the UN didn’t ban Christmas in American department stores. Again, “oops.”
5. Fox News and Right Wing websites declare Pilgrims would be outraged by today’s anti-Christmas treatment
Ah, always save the best the last. In its typical inflammatory fashion, the foxbots and mannequins over at Fox News Fox continue to manipulate the history of Christmas in America. For example, Laura Ingraham actually argued that the Pilgrims came to this country to celebrate Christmas, which is like saying that the slaves came here of their own will because they were big time fans of S & M. Not to burst the fantastically factless Fox News bubble, but history clearly shows that the Pilgrims, oppressive and rigid as they were, actually banned Christmas in Boston. It wasn’t until 1870 that Christmas was declared a federal holiday. Now watch out for those gingerbread suicide bombers.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.