Liberty Counsel's "Naughty or Nice
" list of businesses is absurd on so many levels it's hard to get through them all. The naughty/nice concept is of course part of the secular Santa myth, and presumably Liberty Counsel would hope to keep the focus of CHRISTmas on CHRIST and not a contextually flexible secular icon of spending on credit.
The list itself
was last updated a year ago. I do hope they not only update the business listing but the reasons for including particular businesses on either list. A sampling:
Cabela’s ~ Web site has a “Christmas Shoppe” and one customer reported a sales associated greeted him with “Merry Christmas.”
Dollar Tree - Customer reports store is avoiding the “C” word: Everything is “holiday”, although “it’s pretty obvious which ‘holiday’ they will not discuss.”
I don't think it's at all clear what holiday they won't discuss. They're not discussing Bodhi Day
(Dec. 8), Eid al Adha
(Dec. 20), Yule
/Litha in the southern hemisphere (Dec. 22) or Zarathosht Diso
(Dec. 26). There's all sorts of religious holidays that never get discussed, never completely take over the airwaves, never become the focus of countless news stories and never morph into the only hope that our nation's economy has to look like it's growing.
Some holidays are incredibly important in other parts of the world. Lunar New Year is pretty big in Asia. I spent one in Singapore and our group had to physically hold on to each other in order to not get separated in the crush of people. Buddha's Birthday is another significant holiday, but for some reason it's never mentioned over here. It's not like Americans aren't able to appropriate holidays when it suits them; Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day are good examples. Though I suppose that Americans have so missed the point on both those days that Asian cultures should be happy to be ignored.
People like those at Liberty Counsel who insist upon fighting a War against Christmas are wrong. Wrong about their ability to celebrate any holiday they see fit, wrong about how much Christmas is pushed on everyone in this country all the time, starting 2 weeks before Halloween, wrong about the idea that belligerence and jingoism are appropriate for celebrating any religion's holiday. The current American Christian way of celebrating Christmas has nothing to do with ancient Church tradition. It's completely backwards, actually; traditionally Advent - the month before Christmas day - has been a time of solemn reflection and penitence, not 30 days of parties, eating to the point of nausea, lying about our families' accomplishments for the year, sending cards to people we can't really remember and racking up even more consumer debt after 12 months of spending too much.
I have some friends who celebrate Christmas the ancient way; I think it's weird and my family won't do it. It's not like having a month of joyous anticipation and celebration which culminates on Christmas day is wrong. What is
wrong, however, is spending 365 days a year in a righteous little snit over the utter gall of some people
to not only refuse to address one's every whim, but their failure to anticipate what whim currently occupies one's attention this afternoon.
When God sent his only Son to the world, he considered it good enough for his Son to be born a bastard reeking of donkey piss and ox shit. Somehow it was just fine for the Messiah, the King of kings, the Alpha, Omega and Big Man on our campus to show himself first to some men whose primary notoriety, up to that point, was the persistent rumor that they diddled with the sheep under their care.
Good enough for our Heavenly Father I guess, but not good enough for us. We expect extra discounts on our useless consumer crap, obsequious clerks who bow and scrape for our pleasure, inane songs about reindeer and chestnuts on our radios and garish lights everywhere we look.
Behold how we honor the birth of Jesus, and despair.