Jesus as Underdog?
Give Me a Break! There is a phony movement going on, being played up at Fox News, which seems to be gaining traction, even among people who wouldn't ordinarily buy the swill they sell.
Stories are floating around about how people are saying "Happy Holidays" more now than "Merry Christmas." I'm hearing about a lack of Christmas music at shopping malls. It sounds eerily familiar, kind of like what I seem to hear every Halloween.
Every Halloween, I hear stories about poisoned candy, the apochryphal "razorblades in apples" and so on. The intent of all these stories is to paint a picture of the decay of modern civilization, and how unsafe things are compared to the "good old days." What a load. I have been hearing about how bad Halloween is since I was a little kid. I don't think things are any worse now than they were in the 1950's; they're probably safer. We're all just a lot more terrified, and scared to death these days. It helps keep us under control.
The Christian Right is emboldened by the fact that many of Bush's cronies are fundamentalists, and they have given themselves credit for winning an election that I'm not even sure was counted fairly. From what I hear, it seems like they are no more active than before, but they have an increasingly powerful propaganda machine with Fox News. Bill O'Reilly has been harping about how Christianity is under attack, giving it sort of an underdog status.
Jesus is no underdog in America. If anything, there have been more calls lately to turn away from a pluralistic society, where the minority is protected from the tyranny of the majority, and turn America into some sort of theocratic Christian state.
Just like Halloween, this is so bogus. I can't recall a time when "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays" haven't been on many of the Christmas cards I've received. What the hell is wrong with not wanting to send a "Merry Christmas" card, especially one of those with heavily religious overtones and graphics, to a friend who you didn't know was Jewish? To tell you the truth, I think there's too much religion in Christmas these days!
One of the watershed moments I remember is when an old friend who had gone 'fundy' sent us a Christmas card, full of all sorts of religious stuff, and some text about stopping the murder of innocent fetuses by abortion. Just what I wanted to read during the holidays!
This season, a group of right wing Jesus freaks is trying to boycott Macy's over some rumor that employees there have been told to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." In North Carolina, a church recently took out full-page newspaper advertisements urging the faithful to patronize shops that include Merry Christmas in ads and displays. That's right, the holier-than-thou crowd has officially linked shopping to Jesus. This is a proper and pious thing?