Category Archives: 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

>Christmas Crab

>I really hate Christmas this year. I just want to fucking get it over with already.

I don’t know why I’m not in the Christmas spirit: we’ve already had a couple days of snow, the weather is crisp, I’ve baked brownies from scratch — twice. We’ve even been to a Christmas concert. On top of that, we were in New York City for a few days and nobody does Christmas like New York. I’m just not into it this year. Mr. Beale says it’s the economy, people are just down. He doesn’t feel the Christmas spirit either.

Truth is, I haven’t been into it for a couple years. Christmas is messy. It’s just more work, as far as I’m concerned. I’ll be vacuuming up pine needles from the damn tree until June, and every day I’m cleaning up broken ornaments.

The animals are denuding the tree horribly; the Christmas carnage numbers at over a dozen ornaments at this point, even though we were careful to put only non-breakable ones on the bottom branches. But one of the cats has figured out that she can get a bunch of ornaments down by pulling on the lights. After the cats are bored with the ornaments they leave them for the dogs, who turn them into chew toys. Perhaps the most alarming part of this whole scenario is realizing the cats are colluding with the dogs. This won’t end well.

And then the Christmas Nazis don’t help, the folks wearing their “Merry CHRISTmas” buttons (yeah, saw one of those at a recent office holiday party). Last week I heard a woman tell a clerk angrily, “And MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!” after being told “Happy Holidays.” Oh for God’s sake. You really think Jesus wants you using his birthday as a fucking battleground? Get over yourselves.

You know what I don’t get? Those people who decorate their cars. I can handle the reindeer antlers on the window and red nose on the grill, but some people don’t know when to quit. I saw someone who had a little Christmas tree, greenery and lights on the luggage rack of their SUV. Ridiculous.

Nashville people are big on decorating. Maybe it’s a Southern thing, I don’t really know. They’ll hang eggs from trees for Easter, and now those giant inflatable Easter bunnies have started showing up on peoples’ front lawns. I blame Wal-Mart, I figure that’s where people buy this crap.

Anyway, I’m really just over all of it. These people who are so militant about their religion being the ONE AND ONLY TRUE religion are the same folks eager trivialize the sacred with cheap crap made out of Chinese toxic waste. I really have no time for you people.

I’ll be glad when Christmas is over and I can put the ornaments back in their box and haul the tree to the recycling drop off and shove all of the boxes back in the closet where they belong.

For those of you who may have missed it, this is hilarious:

<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude – Gretchen Carlson & Christian Nation CHRIST-mas Tree<a>
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
www.colbertnation.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:368380
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> March to Keep Fear Alive

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Filed under rants, War On Christmas

>Holiday Hilarity, TDS-Style

>The Daily Show traces the history of the War On Christmas as only they can, starring Roger Ailes as The Grinch. Hilarious!

<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'The Gretch Who Saved the War on Christmas
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:367360
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

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Filed under FOX NEWS, The Daily Show, War On Christmas

Things That Aren’t In The Bible, Holiday Edition

The following parts of the Christmas story are not in the Bible: Mary riding a donkey to Bethlehem, an innkeeper, a stable where Jesus was born, three Kings, camels, and singing angels. Oh, and also, the date of December 25.

None of it is there.

The Bible does not say that Mary rode a donkey, just that she gave birth while she was in Bethlehem. She could have been there for months.

It says Jesus was laid in a manger “because there was no room for them in the inn.” But no stable or innkeeper are mentioned.

Luke’s gospel makes reference to “shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” This would have happened in the spring months, not December. And there was one angel appearing to the shepherds–one. And Luke writes:

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Saying, not singing. And do we know what the “heavenly host” is?

And then we have my favorite Christmas myth: the three kings. No, Virginia, three wise men did not visit the Jesus in a stable on the night of his birth. The Biblical text merely refers to “Magi,” and they visited Jesus months or even years after his birth. It even says in Matthew 2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea…

After. Not the night of. After. And nowhere does it mention that they rode camels.

It has become so ingrained in our culture’s Christmas narrative, with carols like “We Three Kings” and nativity scenes showing three men wearing crowns and flowing robes bowing before the manger, that this may come as a shock. However, none of that is in the Bible. Even the entire nativity scene is not in the Bible.

The Magi that are mentioned in the Bible a) were not especially wise, b) were not kings, and c) may have numbered two or twenty. They were Persian astrologers (some sources even say sorcerers). And they weren’t all that bright if you ask me because they wandered around Jerusalem, where King Herod’s paranoia was legendary, asking after this newly-born “King of the Jews” so they could worship him.

Not smart. And thanks for unleashing the Massacre of the Innocents. Jerks.

So how’s that for a war on Christmas for you? I find it very interesting that human tradition has supplanted what the Bible actually says about the birth of Christ–even though there are bazillions of Bibles out there for anyone to pick up and read for themselves. We have legal battles and a “War On Christmas” over things like nativity scenes when the nativity scene isn’t even in the Bible!

I’m wondering what else about the Bible is the product of our human traditions?

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Filed under Bible, War On Christmas

>It’s War On Christmas Time!

>Gosh, and here I thought everyone was going skip the formalities this year, what with the recession and two real wars going on. But not ones to disappoint, the American Family Assn. has fired the opening salvo in the annual War On Christmas, calling for a boycott of Gap Inc.:

AFA is calling for a limited two-month boycott of Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, the three stores owned by San Francisco-based Gap Inc., over the company’s censorship of the word “Christmas.”

Right. Because one group’s free speech is another group’s censorship.

Last year, Gap issued this politically-correct statement to Christmas shoppers: “Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.”



Christmas is special because of Jesus. It’s not just a “winter holiday.” For millions of Americans the giving and receiving of gifts is in honor of the One who gave Himself. For the Gap to pretend that isn’t the foundation of the Christmas season is political correctness at best and religious bigotry at worst.

Yes but for millions more Americans the getting and receiving of gifts is in honor of the secular commercial/consumer event known as “The Holidays” and for the American Family Assn. to pretend otherwise is sheer dishonesty.

Sorry but launch all the boycotts you like, that bell won’t be unrung. You will, however, present yourselves as a bunch of religious bigots that no one save a bunch of old Scrooges would want to be associated with.

Because nothing celebrates the birth of the Prince of Peace like an old-fashioned culture war.

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Filed under American Family Assn., religious right, War On Christmas