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The embed coded is acting up, so here’s the link to the video.
There’s almost too much stupidity in this piece to even take it seriously. But I think it’s interesting that, when Megyn Kelly brings Jesus into this conversation, she does so with such confidence that it raises a question for me. Do people really believe that Jesus was white? I mean, I realize we Americans have created Jesus images that portray him that way… but seriously, is this a common assumption for Christians in this country?
And sure, I have no doubts that some Americans believe Jesus was/is white. But how does one of those Americans end up becoming an anchor at the largest cable news network? I mean, there must be room for human error in the media, but I don’t think that Ms. Kelly believes she’s wrong on this. I think it’s her sincere historical assumption that Jesus was a white Anglo-Saxon.
I can’t honestly tell what’s going on in these 30 seconds. Is this a serious message? Or satire? I have no reason to think it’s satire other than for the fact that it’s quite strange. But some religious people can be strange, I suppose. I wrote about the “War On Christmas” yesterday. Christian Nightmares found this video.
The War on Christmas is really starting to grow on me, you guys.
You know about the war on Christmas, right? The annual make-believe holiday conflict that begins shortly after Halloween and lasts about as long as a herpes outbreak? Yeah, of course you know about the War on Christmas. Every year, a few days into November, somebody at Fox News shouts “INCOMING!”
And then they toss out a holiday grenade to scare people…
And my aunt ducks. Nearly every single time, she ducks.
But she’s not alone. Over the last decade or so, lots of people have started ducking annually.
Today, the War on Christmas is so popular that it’s basically become one of America’s holiday pastimes, an event celebrated with much enthusiasm by people who believe in the War on Christmas (<-watch Fox News for three minutes) and those who do not (see Instagram!).
What was the holiday season even like before the War on Christmas? It’s becoming more and more difficult to remember. That’s because hearing soundbites of Bill O’Reilly shouting and pouting about who and why people hate Jesus and Christmas is quickly becoming as much a part of the holiday crazy as decorating, gift-giving, and singing Christmas carols.
But perhaps that’s okay. Maybe there’s a silver holiday lining to all of this talk about people stealing Christ out of Christmas.
For starters, the War on Christmas (W.O.C.) is mostly harmless. While I’m sure some longstanding negative effects happen on occasion, at least, with this war, nobody’s getting killed or bombed or detained except for the occasional menorah or baby Jesus statue.
One W.O.C.** believer is Deborah, a cashier at the Kroger I usually go to. More than a handful of times, whenever I stand in her line, she wages “war” on behalf of “Jesus” by wishing me an enraging Merry CHRIST—1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, 3-Mississippi—mas!!!!! Sure, it’s obnoxious. And sometimes it seems a little passive aggressive, as if she’s expecting me to respond with Merry AntiCHRISTmas. Even still, her intentional emphasis on Christ in Christmas is pretty nontoxic compared to all of the other challenges affecting Christianity and culture today.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are definitely worse things happening in the world than people like Deborah mispronouncing Christmas to make a point.
For instance, this…
Which brings me to another reason why I’m becoming okay with this new tradition… because it isn’t real. The War On Christmas is imaginary… yes, imaginary, unlike Glenn Beck’s Christmas record. By and large, this War on Christmas is merely a media blitz led by a number of powerful elves at Fox News, people like Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and others. It’s not a war. It’s just PR/hype, exaggerated “buzz” regarding holiday semantics, governmental decorating policies, and the freedom of individuals to don the Christmas flare of their choice. For Fox News, the W.O.C. is a tactic to boost their holiday ratings. And it works. Truthfully, I don’t think Bill O’Reilly really believes there’s a war on Christmas. I might be wrong. But regardless, Bill’s followers do believe in the war, and as long as that is true, he will pander to their needs, concerns, and frustrations by making the “war” real, at least, for them.
And let’s face it. Some of us who mock the W.O.C. would miss it if it went away, if only because it would mean that Jon Stewart’s coverage of the War on Christmas would go away…
And maybe, just maybe, this imaginary war on Christmas has opened the eyes of followers of Christ (those of us who don’t watch Fox News) to use sentiments such as Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, etc. with more grace, more intention. I know this is true for me. This “war” has made me acutely aware of my Jewish, Muslim, and atheist friends. I’ve become more aware of who they are, what they do and do not celebrate, and intentional about wishing them a Happy Holiday. To my Jewish friends, I’ll even say Happy Hanukkah. Most don’t even notice that I’m intentional with my wording. But some do, and when they do notice, it means something to them.
But perhaps the best part about the War on Christmas is that it serves as a grand distraction for many of America’s most conservative evangelicals. And let’s face it, sometimes those folks need a good harmless distraction. When preoccupied with thoughts of Jesus getting pushed out of Christmas preschool plays or off the lawns of government properties, many of these impassioned believers forget all about the other “wars” they fight and, unintentionally, allow the people they deem to be “enemies” to experience a merrier Christmas or a happier holiday.
Perhaps ironically, the so-called War on Christmas brings a little more peace on earth to folks like our Muslim friends or our atheist neighbors and/or our gay and lesbian coworkers. Could it be possible that, the battle to keep Christ in Christmas actually puts a little more Christ in the Christmases and holiday traditions of others? Perhaps. Because for many of my most conservative and faithful friends, making sure that Jesus is the reason for their season is a big holiday diversion from what they’re normally focused on and preoccupied with…
So maybe this new American tradition of fighting an imaginary war on Christmas has an ironic consequence, that for some of our friends and neighbors, the holidays become just a little bit happier.
And for that reason alone, maybe this “war” is worth fighting.
A few weeks ago, Jessica called me on her lunch break. “I have a question to ask you,” she said, “How would you feel if Shark sent us their new Rocket vacuum cleaner?”
There were reasons why Jessica was asking me about my emotional susceptibility to receiving a new vacuum cleaner. For starters, I do most of the vacuuming at our house. Not because Jessica is against vacuuming per se. But because I possess an unnatural affection for vacuuming. I love vacuuming. I’ve loved vacuuming since that time my father bought my mother a brand new Electrolux canister model for her birthday. As soon as I saw the bag of components, I fell in love. And too, as a full time writer who takes meds for ADHD, I found that vacuuming is good clean mindless activity.
Jessica was also calling me because she knows how much I love our current vacuum cleaner, the Dyson DC25. Six years ago when Jessica’s mom bought us a Dyson for Christmas, I thought I’d died and gotten sucked up into heaven. The cyclone suction technology. That wonderful ball that makes turning so easy! And no bags, which was a big deal six years ago.
But before I could answer Jessica’s question, she began rattling off a lengthy list of reasons as to why I should be excited about receiving a Rocket™ for free, which included, “it cleans carpets better than a full-sized Dyson.”
“It cleans better than a Dyson?” My tone was carpeted with sarcasm. “There’s no way that little machine can out-suck my Dyson! Yes, tell them to send it!”