As America rearms for the annual War on Christmas™, a new study from the University of British Columbia provides some fresh ammunition to fuel the Yule Logs of War™. The study of 350 American adults and 420 Canadian university students shows that many theists believe atheists are about as trustworthy as rapists and would outright discriminate against them in several ways. However, atheists don’t seem to harbor a corresponding distrust of theists.
There’s Something ‘Special’ About Christmas Holidays
- 8 Christmas Gifts That Will Make Grandma Hate You
- The Most Awkward Family Thanksgiving Photos Ever
- Gift Idea: Pet Petter
- Gift Idea: Male Testicular Anatomy Model
- It’s beginning to eel a lot like Christmas
- Fu@k You If You Don’t Like Christmas
- Gift Idea: Teasing Tighty Whities
- Gift Idea: Special Scissors
Hmmm, How ‘Bout That?
- Researchers Find a ‘Liberal Gene’
- The hidden meaning of toilets
- Funky Forest – Wanna Go For A Drink? (Gabriel Zolman)
- Foie gras burger blurs fast food and fine dining
- Count me in! Do you take plastic?
- Extreme Shaving
- 30 Funny Fail Sites
- Phallic Congratulatory Cards
- Wafaa Balil is a Walking Tripod
- War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- WheeMe: A Bodily Pleasure Robot
- Real Robot Pals
- Top 10 Freaky Robots
Using Losing Your Noodle
- Police say killings were over baby name
- Video Barbie Gets FBI Warning: ‘Possible Child Pornography Production Method’
- ‘The Beaver’ Trailer: Mel Gibson’s Comeback Movie?
- The 18 Craziest Naked Women In News Report History
- Penis Gun (The Aristocrats)
- 10 Most Erotic Sculptures
- 12 Nerd Porn Parodies
- 1 Man, 1 Vacuum (Barry White Award Winner: Best Music in a Comedy Video)
- 10 Bizarrely Hilarious Fetishes
- The Disturbing World Of Dickflash.com
- Kardashians Talk Putting Mayo On Privates
Say Hello to the Land of the Rising Sun
- More Randomness (omnipotentpoobah.com)
- The best of Julian Ass (the fake Julian Assange) (newstatesman.com)
- Dollish little girls make photos look creepy (planetoddity.com)
- They Can’t Find a Photo for Julian Assange? (lockergnome.com)
- Meat Loaf: I Want To Cut Off Julian Assange’s Toes (minx.cc)
- Baron Bob Gift Crusader is Dreaming of a Tighty Whitey Christmas (prweb.com)
For a group of people who regularly brag about their strength and moral superiority, these people are some of the most self-righteous, creme brulee-spined I’ve ever seen. In their headlong rush to see imagined slights behind every scotch pine, they – as they quite often do – forget several pertinent facts.
Christians make up 70-80% of the American population, yet they are so offended by people saying Happy Holidays they boycott any business bold enough to challenge their God’s alleged right to drive everyone else from the manger on the public square.
This seems a bit odd since their claim to rightness rests on their Big Kahuna, a force so powerful He can smite those who quibble with him like squashing a bug or a Muslim underfoot. If He’s so offended, why don’t Christians celebrate the annual cleansing of heathens by hell-fire, brimstone, and 50% off sales at Macy’s instead of Christmas? Where the hell is the perpetual lightning storm they keep predicting will come?
Their position on this is that Christmas is their holiday and that since they are the predominate religion – let’s call this the “American is a Christian Nation” gambit – no one has the right to say Happy Holidays, even if by ‘holidays’ they mean multiple Christian holidays.
More Christian Holidays Than You Can Swing Incense At
But here’s the thing. The American calendar allocates more days to Christians than any other religion. Of course, you have the Big 3 religious holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. You also have – depending on the year – roughly 52 Sundays a year, and if you’re Catholic a similar number of Long John Silver’s Fridays. When you throw in minor Christiancentric days, like Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday, Palm Sunday, and all the lesser Saint, crab feed, and spaghetti dinner days , most of the days already belong to Christians. They get 364 days a year to hog all the food and fellowship and have crab boils, spaghetti dinners, bean dinners, and bingo.
If they had their way, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans and all the other religious and irreligious would get bupkis, including having Christmas and Thanksgiving as a plain old day off , “NO TIME OFF FOR YOU! Make a hole, manger coming through! Stop stealing my tax money you heathen!”
I guess someone has to work the Black Friday, 3 am doorbuster shift at Walmart, because Christian Conspicuous Consumption day seems to be popular – some might even say holy – with the Jesus sect.
Commandment 11 – thou shalt buy a 51-inch plasma HD-TV marked down 50%.
Even if the common fundamentalist complaint that there is unwarranted government interference in their lives, the rest of us could make the same argument.
Christians are free to pray, celebrate, sing hymns, and have as many cheesy midnight Christmas Eve pageants as they like. Besides, BONUS, it keeps the little Christian whelps off the street where they may run across a stray socialist bully who will beat them like a rug.
Christians Already Rule the Roost
Christians already rule the roost. They are the predominate faith of the country, as they point out with the frequency of parrots on truth serum. All the rest of use ask is that we can call a holiday a holiday.
Look my fine biblical friends, if being able to squat on the taxpayer-funded public square is so evil, why don’t the majority Christian legislators rise up against the Goliath atheists and Ramadan-celebrating Muslims and smite the Constitutional law – that document to which these Americans pledge fealty only second than they do to the Bible.
Even as an atheist I could care less whether Christians return an innocent pleasantry like “Happy Holidays” with a rude punch in the pickle and a reminder that, “It’s Christmas dammit you scummy heathen” – so long as the pickle they’re punching isn’t mine.
I don’t begrudge them “In God we Trust”, because a buck is a buck…and when you throw into the collection plate it’s prelabeled so God can tell it’s his.
I don’t even care if you pray in school. All I ask is that you do it quietly on your own time because tuition is getting too damned expensive and, as you like to remind me, it’s time to root out fraud and inefficiency from America’s educational system – sort of a no deity left behind thing.
So go ahead and grumble about your persecution. Say Merry Christmas, even on Independence Day if you want. Truthfully, I don’t care. I’m more secure in my atheism than you appear to be in your Christianity. I love you as I would my brother, even though I don’t subscribe to the book advising so therein. But sometimes brothers need a little cuff behind the ear and some tough love. So here it is:
For Christ’s sake, er, goodness sake, stop you incessant whining about an imagined etymological affront. It’s peanuts beside a guy dragging a cross around, wearing rose bush thorns on his head, and telling the nitwits pounding 10-pennies into his palms, “Here, let me help you with that.”
- War on Christmas (psychologytoday.com)
- Who’s Winning The War On Christmas? (firedoglake.com)
- a new not-Christmas song by Paul Simon (from his forthcoming album “So Beautiful Or So What”) (MP3) (brooklynvegan.com)
- C*****mas! (dickiebo.wordpress.com)
- Chilliwack trustees ice ‘winter vacation,’ opt for Christmas holidays (globaltvbc.com)
- How long have you really got to create a memorable Christmas this year? [Richard Mr Productivity Maybury] (ecademy.com)
- Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol is Coming! (blogcritics.org)
- No truce in ‘war on Christmas’ (dispatch.com)
Lost somewhere in the detritus of my life is a black and white picture of my mother, sister, and 2-year old niece sitting on a couch. As close as I can remember it was taken around Christmas 1967 with the Polaroid Swinger instant camera I received that year.
In the picture my mother vacantly looks off-screen and into the far distance smoking a cigarette with a too-long ash. She’s dressed in a dowdy housecoat and her hair is slightly askew. She’s wearing the fluffy slippers I bought her a few years back. Her eyes are vacant in the way that only a schizophrenic’s can be. She’s clearly visiting a winter wonderland of her own.
My sister sits in the middle, eyes focused directly into the camera. She doesn’t look blank so much as insecure and scared. Later that day, she’ll leave her young daughter in my care, saying she will return in a few hours. She won’t return for several weeks. It’s the third time she’s done it that year.
Sandy, my two-year old niece, sits at the far end. Her mouth is smeared with my mother’s homemade chocolate and she’s as wild-eyed as only young children can be on Christmas. Her eyes show happiness and uncomplicated joy. She’s still mostly pristine. The constant abandonment, the tugging between parents and grandparents, and the general neglect of her estranged mother and father haven’t yet turned her into the frazzled, broken, middle aged woman she’s become – a woman I haven’t seen nor spoken with since my own 20-year old daughter was the same age as Sandy is in the photo.
Ghosts of Christmas Past
I take the picture holding the camera up as a shield to separate me from them. I try to stay upbeat as I’ve been for all the other years of my young, yet very old life. I’m smiling hopefully like I did on Sandy’s first Christmas – the Christmas my former brother-in-law lost control of his car and smashed through the outer wall of their apartment. The couch where my sister sat feeding the baby came to rest against the far wall of their living room.
I smiled weakly like I did last Christmas. That was the year the police came to break up a fight between my sister and her husband on our front lawn. I remember thanking the cop for coming out on a holiday as I held my infant niece close and the cops struggled to handcuff the two of them.
I planned to smile next Christmas as well, but didn’t feel very hopeful. That would be the one when my father and I tricked my mother out of our house and drove her to her third mental hospital. I rode in the back seat holding down the door lock so she couldn’t escape during the hour-long ride.
Shortly after checking her in – and despite the 250 lb. orderly lending a strong hand – I was in the darkened office of the Hospital Chief of Staff for Mom’s formal commitment hearing.
I told a sympathetic judge that, yes, my mother really wasn’t my mother anymore. She was a deranged stranger with a terrible torrent of malevolent fiends in her head. They didn’t like her and terrorized her night and day. I knew this because she often screamed at the television, shrieking for her tomentors to leave her alone or locked herself into her room for days at a time to escape them. At 12, I already knew the litany of schizophrenic symptoms and was able to discuss them like a clinical psychologist, even if I was only a newspaper boy.
There were many other Christmases, most equally bad. The first relatively trouble-free one came in 1977. I was in the Air Force and half a world away. That Christmas I flew from Germany to an RAF base just outside of London with a plane-load of Christmas hams. In less that 24 hours, a detachment of British troops would be eating them, also away from their families, in their tents in Kenya.
I spent the next seven holidays in various places around the world, before getting married and eventually having our beautiful daughter. I’m 54 now and can’t remember a truly enjoyable holiday. It’s a knack I’ve never quite mastered. I’ve been back “home” only once for the holiday.
Ghosts of Christmas Present
My Christmas luck holds still. My first stepmother died between Thanksgiving and Christmas 1989 and this past Thanksgiving I spent with my father for the first time in years. He was in the hospital recovering from a stroke and I sat at his bedside for almost two weeks. Delirious for much of the time, he often cried out for help, hallucinating that he was in some sort of torture camp or remembering the sudden death of my mother after she’d finally been “cured”. He was restrained to keep him from hurting himself. Thankfully, he was home before Christmas with no apparent permanent damage other than to deepen the depression he’s been in since his health began to fail.
Clearly, I’m not on good terms with the Holidays, or most other special events either. They carry along too much baggage and despite lots of expensive therapy and the help of more medications than I’d like to take, I can manage holidays now – if only just barely.
For me, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is filled with a choking feeling in my throat and a vacancy sign hung on my brain. Each time I decline a party invitation, or skip the pot luck at work, or am accused of curmudgeonly Bah Humbuggery by the eternally chipper, I have to hold my tongue. I know everyone expects joy, but I want to scream. I know people can’t be blamed for the ill it causes me. For the most part, many don’t know about it and when they do, they usually graciously leave me alone.
But now the holidays are over. I can take down the tree, strip off the lights and tinsel, and go back to my day-to-day life. I’ll be OK except for the small uptick around my birthday – another holiday that’s also a burden for me.
But for those of you who understand and give me the room I need around the holidays I’m thankful. For the rest of you, I harbor no hard feelings. I’m sure most of you wouldn’t go where I don’t want to go if you only knew. I’m glad most of you (though I’m aware holidays are a particularly hard time for many people) enjoyed your holidays. For the rest of you I sympathize. But now that it’s over for another year, I can say this:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…really, I mean it.