Category Archives: War On Christmas

Unhappy Holidays

I have this theory that fundiegelical Christians are so wrapped up in the War On Christmas, not because of what the holiday represents Biblically, but because it’s the one time of year when they aren’t culturally out of step with the rest of an increasingly secular country. Or perhaps more accurately, it’s the one time of year when even secular America is in step with them.

And having people say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” or demands that a menorah share space beside a traditional Nativity scene in the public square encroaches on that last little square of cultural real estate that they can call theirs.

Kinda makes me feel sorry for them in a way.

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Filed under Holidays, religion, War On Christmas

There Is No Santa Claus, Idiots

Jesus effin’ Christmas Tree. This explains what’s wrong with your modern conservative, in a nutshell. Arguments over whether Santa Claus was white, black, orange or green are completely ridiculous when you dial back a bit and remember one crucial thing: Santa isn’t real!

You know, I’d love to use this nonsense to point out all of the other fictitious things conservatives believe in: the free hand of the market, trickle down economics, tax cuts create jobs, Obamacare death panels, Conservative Jesus, etc. Seems like I’ve had to remind conservatives about the difference between fiction and reality before, back when they were pretending Jack Bauer was a real person and torture was the best defense against terrorism. But that’s not what’s going on here.

That conservatives are divorced from reality when it serves them is not news; that they will go to the mat in defense of Santa’s “whiteness” speaks to something deeper. This is about race and identity and the pathetic need to hang onto the idea of white superiority. It wouldn’t matter what race a mythic figure like Santa Claus is if conservatives like Bill O’Reilly didn’t feel so insecure about their cultural position in the first place. It’s another manifestation of the conservative inferiority complex, broadcast on Fox News for all the world to see.

There is nothing more ridiculous than a privileged old white guy arguing that no, black people cannot have Santa Claus. He’s ours. Do you people even hear yourselves?

And they wonder why the rest of the world laughs at them.

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Filed under Bill O'Reilly, racism, rants, Republican Party, War On Christmas

War On Christmas

I’ll admit it, when my local news gleefully reported that fighter jets would accompany Santa’s sleigh this year in the traditional “NORAD tracker,” I was pretty outraged. Silly thing, I know: it’s Santa Claus, who gives a shit. But I do, because it’s for kids, and glorifying war to kids is revolting.

Honestly, I’m so offended by the constant rah-rah pro-military BS which has infiltrated every aspect of American life. This was the last straw. Why does Santa Claus need fighter jets, anyway? Mr. Beale joked it was to make it through Syrian airspace so he could bring presents to kids in Israel. Apparently everyone else decided it was Russia.

So I was relieved to learn that I wasn’t the only person ticked off by this glorification of weapons of war to children. In fact, quite a few children’s advocates were offended.

And now NORAD says what people thought were missiles were actually “fuel tanks.” Er, okie dokie.

I know y’all wouldn’t believe it but it does take a lot for me to go over the edge. I do stand and politely clap during the military salute at hockey games, despite the wretched Lee Greenwood track. But I put my foot down when they played an Army video of, I shit you not, bombs dropping on buildings. This was displayed on the JumboTron before a game one year, accompanied by a loud rock and roll track. Seeing small children with no clue what that represented cheering along turned my stomach. I called the operations office of the hockey team the next day and we never saw anything like that again.

“Support the troops” does not mean glorifying war. And by all means, this “back door recruiting” to kids is alarming. It’s no different than using Joe Camel to sell tobacco to children.

Knock it off, America.

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Filed under Holidays, war economy, War On Christmas

Wingnut Bait, Christmas Edition

Did you get your First Family Christmas Card yet? Yes? We got ours at the Beale household about two weeks ago. For those of you not on the Soros-approved Holiday Muslim-Mas Socialism Distribution List, here’s a look:

ObamaXmas230

Isn’t it adorable? It’s First Dog Bo, prancing in the snow in front of the White House. I opened my card and my first thought was, “What? No manger scene? No virgins or angels or Christmas trees? Why does Barack Hussein Obummer hate Jesus!” Actually, no. I thought, “Wow what a cute card.” But I have a brain.

Others, unfortunately, decided to go all “war-on-Christmas” over Card-gate, mainly the hysterics at Fox News (I know, it must be Tuesday, right?). By the way, the card was painted by an artist from that bastion of Commie secularism, Des Moines, Iowa.

And lordie, I haven’t got to the message inside the card:

ObamaXmas-2231

Again, no Christmas, no Jesus, just “the season.” Oh, the horror!

Now, the reason I mention this is not because wingnuts are having hissy fits, which is as predictable as the sun rising in the east. No, I found it interesting because I thought, “Obama’s messing with them.” He is! POTUS knows the wingers are gonna get in a tizzy no matter what he does, and he probably also knows that this “War on Christmas” phony baloney BS is not something anyone with a brain gives a shit about, and it just makes conservatives look more unreasonable and extreme. It does! And here he dangled this nice little piece of wingnut bait out there and guess who bit: some wackjob named Todd Starnes, who last made headlines calling for the Feds to investigate “South Park.”

Okay, so now that it’s official that Obama has replaced Jesus with Bo the Dog, here’s a video of Bo giving the White House decorations his seal of approval:

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Filed under President Barack Obama, War On Christmas

I Get Christmas Cards


I’m not quite sure how I got on Charlie Daniels’ Christmas card list, but every Christmas for the past 15 years or so I’ve gotten a card from the Daniels organization.

I have this story I tell people about Charlie Daniels and me, and it goes back to when I first arrived in Nashville, over 25 years ago. My first job was as a lowly little editorial assistant at a weekly entertainment trade magazine. I’d been on the job all of one week when for some reason they asked me to cover a press conference for Volunteer Jam, which some folks may remember as the big annual multi-artist music event Daniels staged in Nashville every year. It was a really big deal, and I’m not sure why I was sent to the press conference, except probably no one else was available and no doubt they just expected me to pick up the press kit with the list of that year’s artist lineup and sponsors, and then come back to the office to hand it over to one of the “real” reporters.

But of course this was my first press conference of any kind, ever. And what do reporters do at press conferences? They shout questions! Of course they do, that’s what they do in the movies, right? So instead of keeping my yap shut I shouted out to Charlies Daniels what I thought was an appropriate “question” for my entertainment trade magazine. With TV cameras rolling, and radio reporters holding up their mics, I shouted out to Charlie Daniels, “who is the promoter?!”

I mean hey, sounded like a good question to me, right?

And swear to God, Charlie Daniels looked at me, sneered, and said: “Yer not from around here, are ya?”

Swear. To. God. Could we be a bigger cliche of a Southern redneck asshole?

In my one week on the job I hadn’t yet learned that Charlie Daniels had an in-house promoter which produced every Volunteer Jam, and had been doing so for years. Ah well, then there is such a thing as a dumb question. My bad. But you didn’t have to be such a jerk about it, dude.

So fast forward a couple decades and I’m no longer a lowly editorial assistant, I’m writing for some bigger magazines and somehow they got my address and now I’m one of the thousands getting a Christmas card from the guy who so graciously welcomed me to Nashville so many years ago. Ain’t that a laugh.

Daniels’ Christmas cards have gotten more Jesus-y every year. This year, if you can read the message, he ends with, “May the peace of Almighty God rest on your home and family as we celebrate the Birthday of the Savior of Mankind.” It closes with a hearty, “Happy Birthday, Jesus!”

This is a huge pet peeve of mine, because December 25 is not Jesus’ birthday. The date is nowhere in the Bible, and such as the historical person Jesus existed, there is no record of his birth date. But December 25 is conveniently located on the calendar near the winter solstice and the Roman Feast of Saturnalia, so it’s pretty much accepted that December 25 was picked by the early Christian church to make it easier to convert pagans.

Mr. Beale says I’m being pedantic: no one knows Jesus’ actual birth date, so December 25 is the day we have picked to commemorate the event. But I certainly didn’t pick it. Why December 25? Why not March, that’s a month that really needs a holiday! Or, what about August? August really sucks, it’s insufferably hot and boring. It’s my least favorite month of the year. August could use a nice holiday, too.

Before you scoff, the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review says the early church actually suggested August or March as plausible dates for Jesus’ birth:

Finally, in about 200 C.E., a Christian teacher in Egypt makes reference to the date Jesus was born. According to Clement of Alexandria, several different days had been proposed by various Christian groups. Surprising as it may seem, Clement doesn’t mention December 25 at all. Clement writes: “There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord’s birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20 in our calendar]…And treating of His Passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the 16th year of Tiberius, on the 25th of Phamenoth [March 21]; and others on the 25th of Pharmuthi [April 21] and others say that on the 19th of Pharmuthi [April 15] the Savior suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].”2

The fact that the Bible and the early church record is not at all specific about the date of Jesus’ birth just shows you how unimportant the event was. The big day was always, always Easter. You know, the Resurrection? The Passion? The Bible is very specific about when Easter is celebrated, it’s tied to the Jewish holiday of Passover. For hundreds of years the Christian church could care less about when Jesus was born; it was when he died that mattered. The American Protestant church holds a similar tradition: I have friends born and raised in the Church of Christ (a very conservative Southern Protestant denomination) who tell me when they were growing up, things like Christmas trees were a no-no. You might have a small acknowledgment of the day, but really the Big Deal was always Easter.

So what happened? Well, of course, America’s True Religion – consumerism – asserted its primacy over the faith tradition. It’s kinda hard to consumerize torture and a crucifixion (though lord knows they are doing a masterful job of changing that over at Free Market Jesus Central.) But all of those pagan traditions associated with the solstice — lights, trees, gift-giving, etc. — well let’s just lump those in with Christmas and call it a holiday, shall we? And now we even have a War On Christmas, because if consumerism is our first religion, then surely war is our second. It’s just all so perfect. Or, as the good folks at the Christian Left put it:

And if this seems sacrilegious, well don’t get me started on that whole myth of the “virgin birth” thing. That is a product of a translation error, which turned the Hebrew word for “young woman” into the Greek word for “virgin.” Woopsies.

So with that, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, glorious Solstice, wonderful Kwanzaa or just have a good, relaxing weekend. Whatever floats your boat, because life’s too short to worry about which December holiday is the baddest ass on the block.

I’m kind of busy this week, so blogging may be lighter than usual … or not, you know me. I can’t quit you. Just keep it merry, everyone!

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Filed under Christianity, country music, Holidays, music, Nashville, War On Christmas

Decking The Halls, 2011

The first casualty in the War on Christmas. The elf always gets it.

We’re a little behind schedule here at the Beale household; travel and work and a winter cold put us behind with all of the holly-hanging. But on Friday I pulled the Christmas crap out from its storage place and yesterday we got our tree and gave it a good 24 hours to shake out and right now Mr. Beale is hanging the lights.

The thing about our Christmas tree is that almost all of our ornaments are food-related. I’m not sure how I started doing that but it began well before I met Mr. Beale. So now everyone knows to get us food ornaments, and when I say food I don’t mean the usual fruits or even confections, but the most offbeat, off the wall food items you can find. On our recent trip to New York we found an ornament that is a tray of sushi. Mr. Beale also got me a strip of bacon ornament. Because everything is better with bacon!

Christmas at the Beale house means one thing: unhappy puppy dogs! Every year we try to enlist them as soldiers in the War on Christmas. Every year they affirm their right to be conscientious objectors:

"Hurry up and take the damn picture, there's only so much humiliation a dog can take in one lifetime."

Here’s Riley, the Before:

…. aaaand about two seconds later, the after shot:

Also, Animal Cruelty Santa comes out from hiding to provide our cats with a cautionary tale about what happens to bad kitties. And if I find out who peed on my Christmas tree skirt, they are going to have a personal introduction to Animal Cruelty Santa.

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Filed under Holidays, War On Christmas

War On Christmas Is ON Beeyatches!

[UPDATE]:

Now we know where The Hill’s Alicia M. Cohn gets her tips: a right-wing talking point factory known as The Heritage Foundation. Figures.

—————————-

A tale of two stories about a 15-cent Christmas tree tax.

First, from The Hill:

Obama administration proposes 15-cent Christmas tree tax

By Alicia M. Cohn – 11/09/11 10:17 AM ET

The Obama administration is proposing a new tax on Christmas trees to fund a board promoting the holiday trees.

The Christmas Tree Promotion Board would be funded by a new 15 cent per tree tax on large-scale producers of Christmas trees. A group of Christmas tree producers and importers worried about the skyrocketing use of artificial trees proposed the new board.

Wow, that evil Mooslim Obama really does hate Christians! I knew it!

Hmm, but if you read the story at The Chicago Tribune you get a much different slant:

Christmas tree tax to promote the real thing

Agriculture Department approves 15-cent-per-tree fee on growers to fund industry program

WASHINGTON—— The Christmas tree ad wars are about to heat up, albeit in a rather jolly way.

Following an extended debate that pit one region against another, the Agriculture Department on Tuesday gave the green light to a new industry-funded Christmas tree promotion program.

By taxing themselves, growers will raise $2 million a year for ads promoting the merits of real, live trees. Or, at least, trees that once were living, as opposed to the artificial kind that have seized an increasing share of the holiday market.

So wait a minute … this is an industry-funded tax and the Dept. of Agriculture just gave it the green light? Because they have oversight over these kinds of taxes? It wasn’t something the Obama Administration cooked up because they’re so gol-durned concerned about what Christmas tree Americans choose each year? I’m so confused. Which one is it?

This is the kind of shit that makes me nuts. Cue Bill O’Reilly getting foamy mouthed about another salvo in the “war on Christmas.” Or don’t bother, just look at the first comment on The Hill story:

Now Obama wants to tax christians… nice
BY COREY on 11/09/2011 at 09:43

Nice framing over at The Hill, no doubt destined to launch a million crazy e-mails from Patriot Depot’s servers straight to your mother-in-law’s computer.

Love the liberal media.

Here are the screen shots. As always, click to enlarge:

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Filed under Media, media fairness, media manipulation, War On Christmas