Holiday Trees can bite me
I’m definitely not one of those self-righteous Christians who is freaking out because The Evil Leftist Media won’t stop until the “Christ” is gone from “Christmas” leaving everyone a state-mandated healthcare-laden Commie heathen. Personally, you can call it Genericmas and mandate that everyone has to hang giant bar codes on statues of Ted Kennedy for all I care.
The thing that’s dumb about calling that Douglas fir with shiny balls hanging off it a Holiday tree is that it’s trying to legitimize it as an OK symbol of the Capitalist season. Come on, do Hindus and Muslims and Jews have “holiday trees”? No, it’s a Christian thing. Granted, bringing an evergreen tree into the house during winter is a co-opted pagan tradition, but it’s still associated with Christianity nonetheless. By calling it a Holiday Tree you’re just making it OK for Christians to shove their holiday in your hellbound non-Jesus loving faces and then saying “what’s your problem? It’s a HOLIDAY tree!”
Plus it has the extra added bonus of pissing off jesus freaks and making them even more indignant and likely to start an anti-holiday tree movement (which probably already exists). Admit it, the USA, while not having a state-run religion, is pretty much a Christian country. Granted, according to the US Census bureau,
51.3% of adults reported that they were Protestant,
23.9% were Catholic
3.3% were Mormon/LDS
1.6% were Orthodox (I’m assuming this means Russian, Ukrainian, Greek etc.)
TOTAL CHRISTIANS: 80.1%
Everyone else is as follows:
Buddhist – 0.7%
Hindu — 0.4%
Don’t know– 0.8%
New Age — 0.4%
Unitarian/other liberal faiths (not sure what this means but whatever)– 0.7%
So, as far as the pie goes:
Christians = 80.1%
Everyone else = 21.4%
Hm. Those don’t add up to 100%. I need to work on my math…
And, I suppose you could take out the Jehovah’s Witnesses, since they don’t celebrate any holidays, Christmas included.
Anyway, I think it’s safe to say, however politically incorrect and offensive, that the USA is a predominantly Christian nation. That doesn’t mean that we have the right to impose the dominant religion on everyone, but still. It means that if you were to take a random U.S. citizen and say “Merry Christmas” to him or her, theoretically 80.1% of the time they wouldn’t be offended.
So, watering down Christmas trees so they are palatable to the masses at large, from non-Christians to militant political correctness enforcers is really not the way to keep everyone happy. The Whole Foods shopping thought police seem to be hell-bent on doing away with diversity. If you just pretend everyone is the same, all our differences will go away, right? how many times have you heard an upper-middle class educated white liberal freak out if you describe a random stranger as being “black,” “African-American,” or god forbid “Chinese” (excuse me, ASIAN). They always have the same answer, “I don’t see why you have to point out differences, we’re all people.” Growing up in Ithaca, I heard this a lot. The thing is, often they will describe an African American person as “that light-skinned person,” (because if they have lighter skin than the perceived average African American, they are “light-skinned” by that standard). “Light skinned” is politically correct code for “ETHNIC!”
How did I get off on this rant? Oh yeah, watering down holidays to make them inoffensive or whatever. Sure, I understand what it’s like when everyone’s going nuts with Easter bunnies and eggs and stuff. I don’t celebrate Easter, but I don’t feel OFFENDED by other people doing so, just like I don’t feel offended when other people celebrate Chinese New Year or Diwali or Ramadan or the Feast of the Ascension (We don’t use the Chinese Calendar, how dare they impose their moon phase based system on our Gregorian way of life!). I say we should celebrate all holidays. I don’t mean that 100% of the population should fast on Yom Kippur or during Ramadan. I mean people should be aware of different holidays and maybe, though it’s not necessarily economically beneficial, we could deck out some public spaces where there are Jews with a menorah or have some fireworks for Diwali.
Most of Christmas is commercial anyway, it has to do with ads on TV, and how stores and other public spaces are decorated. The “holiday tree” thing is a reaction to decorated trees in front of town meeting halls, the White House, stores, parks etc., so why not make public spaces a time to celebrate everything? And I’m not talking about putting up a menorah as a counterbalance to a Christmas tree or a seder plate as the antidote to Easter eggs. Have some token thing in the CVS front window to celebrate every holiday! I’m a big fan of holidays in general, and an even bigger fan of traditions and decorating. Well, as long as there are people in the community who celebrate such. I’m not saying put up Hindu stuff in deepest Alabama where there are no Hindus, but why not? Hinduism has got to have the awesomest holidays around! I guess what I’m saying is “lighten up, people!” and, though it’s cheesy, “celebrate diversity, bitchez!”
Bust out the Christmas tree and the nativity scene and the angels and the whole nine yards! Christianity has some nice symbols and traditions, and this is coming from a totally cranky, cynical atheist. We should at least think of Christmas as a religious holiday whether we celebrate it or not, and not a monument to consumerism. All this watering down does is reinforce “The Holiday Season” as a time where you are obligated to buy people shit.
Entry filed under: un/atheism.