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Happy Holidays

Monday, December 18th, 2006 at 08:11 ET

I don’t pay enough attention to the mass media sometimes — and certainly not the religious right — so you’ll have to excuse the lateness of my “too” politically correct greeting. I just today noticed a news story about this new national debate. This is absa-frickin-lutely ridiculous, and I think it’s important enough to mention (apparently) yet again. I weigh-in mostly because I don’t want anyone to not know exactly where I stand. Happy Holidays!

Let’s ignore for a minute the absurdity of suggesting that retailers, by not specifically saying “Merry Christmas,” are de-emphasizing the religious aspects of the holiday season (Orlando Sentinel, 18 Dec., “Tackling seasonal war of words”). Seriously, thats the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever pondered. I’m quite-sure that less than a decade ago people were on the age-old debate about Christmas presents at all — plenty of people aught to rightfully still feel that the commercialization of Christmas in general has done plenty to de-emphasize the religious aspects of the holiday despite the greeting on the advertisements, on the websites, on the signs, or coming from the salesperson’s lips. I don’t know about your Christmas mornings, all ye who are Christian, but in my house gift giving was never quite an “in remembrance of him” sacrament. Aren’t some of these people the same who argue against images of Santa Claus during the holidays? Ask any American child and they’ll be happy to tell you that shopping for presents is much more about Santa than our Lord and Savior.

Let’s instead call this what it is — a feeling of religious, and more importantly cultural, dominance and superiority felt by some extremist Christians. As I’ve started to grow up and talk about such things I’ve felt it in religious and legal rap sessions and I’m sure that it is by no means something new. I’m talking about people who pull out U.S. currency and point out “in God we trust” as evidence of the fact that our country is actually Christian, the First Amendment be damned. Don’t get me wrong — the holiday greeting is not a question of law, the shopkeepers can say whatever they please. I just think that by trying to raise the point of what holiday(s) large retailers mention some nutjobs are trying to leverage other followers’ buying power for a little more influence and some free advertising. If you’re not like minded, don’t kid yourself, they wouldn’t be making such a fuss about it if they didn’t expect it to pay off.

Me, I’m going to try to celebrate holiday gift-giving as what it is — a gigantic retail driver in our economy — and follow what I think Santa would do. He’s got billions to buy for — I’m going to the place that will sell me the crap that I want for the cheapest price possible.

Happy Holidays!
~Jed

Filed under: Political

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