Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bah humbug

Am I the only Christian that would rather Christmas be celebrated less?

The NY Times has an article about how some conservative groups are trying to garner support for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito by saying he will "save Christmas."

"Liberal groups like People for the American Way and the A.C.L.U. have opposed public Christmas and Hanukkah displays and even fought to keep Christmas carols out of school," declares a radio commercial paid for by the conservative Committee for Justice beginning Monday in Colorado, Wisconsin and West Virginia, states whose senators are considered pivotal votes on Judge Alito.

"Some courts and judges have supported this radical agenda, but not Judge Sam Alito," it continues. "Throughout his career, Judge Alito has consistently upheld the Constitution's protection of free religious expression."

Good for him! I'm all for Alito's support for religious expression such as the right of "Muslim police officers in Newark to wear beards for religious reasons." But when you attach this to the current "holidays vs. Christmas" culture war, count me out.

The effort coincides with an unusually vigorous campaign by allied groups like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family to pressure retail chains to mention Christmas specifically, instead of referring only to "holidays" in their advertising and store displays.

You know what? I would much rather the secular commercialized version of Christmas now being celebrated in shopping malls and the media be referred to as generic "holidays." Please, please, please stop associating Christ with this annual orgy of consumerism. Call it "the holidays" and leave Christmas out of it.

Why do other Christians feel the need to hassle retail chains who omit "Christmas" from their store displays and (can I say it?) holiday flyers? Is it a need for cultural affirmation in order to stay strong in the faith? Is it a perception that this is yet another battle in the war against secularism that must not be lost?

I don't know. All I know is that I wish to spend my Advent and Christmas in peace, in the quiet of my own home and church and do not want to hear the squabbling, arguments and cash registers.

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