Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christians vs..... well, nobody really

Jullian Sanchez at Reason magazine has a wonderful deconstruction of the Christmas-under-attack, Christians-are-being-persecuted crowd. Money quote-

"So are we really seeing an unprecedented wave of hostility toward either Christmas or Christianity? Or is it, rather, that the waning of the cultural hegemony to which some Christians have come to feel entitled is perceived as an attack? Many of the most loudly trumpeted complaints in this vein are, after all, complaints about the absence of special treatment: no special spot for the Ten Commandments in the courthouse rotunda; no pride of place for Christmas among those happy winter holidays; no exceptions for the Christian charity.
Since "special rights" has been a term of aspersion among conservatives for decades, would-be theocrats have at least the decency to be too ashamed to demand them explicitly. Instead, they've learned the power of the victim narrative, of framing the debate to cast themselves as underdogs."


And-

"The stratagem is so perverse as to be almost admirable: Take a holiday associated with sentiments like peace and goodwill, mix in some well-intentioned attempts to acknowledge it in an inclusive way suited to a pluralistic society, and then use the combination to generate fear, divisiveness, and high ratings.... [W]e can all breathe a little easier knowing that the anti-Christmas "jihad" is no more real (sorry kids) than Santa Claus. Happy holidays."

To me, the problem in all the Christ-back-in-Christmas battles is the simple fact that government not putting the Baby Jesus on the town square is NOT a banning of religion, and not a precursor towards throwing Christians to the lions. It is simply keeping government OUT of religion. I think that is a good thing, not just because I resent religion having a strong voice in law-making, but because I think it soils religion to get down into the dirty world of politics.

2 Comments:

Blogger Travis said...

I completely agree with you. It is not up to the state to promote the ideals of a religion; it is up to the religion itself to do the promoting.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Let's put Christ back in Christmas,
Right back where he belongs...
Let's put Christ back in Christmas,
And back in your favorite Christmas song.

"Frosty the Snowman
Was Jesus Christ's best friend!
He stood there meltin' by the Cross
Until the very end!"

-- Pat Godwin

4:37 PM  

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