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The Axis of the Earth is the Reason for the Season

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It’s that time of year again.

Time for right-wingers with megaphones to revive the nonsense that there’s a “Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday.”

Time to whip devout Christians into paranoia; into the feeling that they are under attack.

And I, for some reason, am caught by surprise every year when this canard comes around. My surprise is probably because I don’t know anyone personally who would fall for this lie.

It turns out that I do. I woman I know from high school reposted this standard copy-and-paste version of the “Keep Christ in Christmas” counter-attack to the non-existent attack.

Click to enlarge

I’ve converted the all-caps Facebook status into readable text.

Do not care if this does offend someone… this is what I believe… I am sick and tired of every year when Christmas comes around; there are people who want to take Christ out of Christmas because it might offend someone… Well, how about all of the Christians?… What about offending us because you are taking our Christ out… of Christmas?…Christ is Christmas!…If you aren’t celebrating Christ then why are you celebrating?…Christmas is about the birth of our savior!…Christmas is one of a few holidays left that celebrate “my” Christ!…Leave “my” holiday alone!…And tell everyone merry Christmas, not happy holidays!…Re-post if you’re not ashamed.. Jesus is the reason for the season !!!

First of all, if you are being asked to repost a statement (i.e. Facebook status) that is in ALL-CAPS, that should be your first clue that the statement is crackpotty to begin with. It’s surprising how many people don’t know this already.

My response (shown in the screen shot above) was this:

Every year there are people who claim there’s an effort to “take Christ out of Christmas.” There is no such effort. All that happens is that a lot of people get upset and regurgitate the false claim. The reason some people say “Happy Holidays” is because it is arrogant to assume that everyone you meet is a Christian — or to imply that everyone should be one. When you do not know the faith (if any) of the person to whom you are speaking, then saying “Happy Holidays” saves you seeming presumptuous or ignorant. If that doesn’t bother you, Merry Christmas. The axis of the earth is the reason for the season. Re-post if you get it now.

I hovered over the Return key on my keyboard for a good minute before I left that comment, thinking it might be too mean; too strident. After all, this high school friend and I haven’t spoken in 30 years — haven’t even exchanged Facebook hellos. But I remember her as a sweet and inoffensive woman. I hit Return anyway, and then said hello, awkwardly.


Update:

A friend of the original re-poster chimed in with support for the “Keep Christ in Christmas” argument. I’ll call him “Crusader.” An interesting dialogue ensued.

I didn’t feel like it was going to get anywhere. I’d kind of resolved to bow out gracefully regardless of where Crusader wanted to take it. But then he beat me to it. If you read between the lines, he even admitted to a bit of religious arrogance.

A miracle?

2 comments

  1. Natalie Reply
    November 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Good article, Ted. I have been offended by people who go around saying "Keep Christ in Christmas" and "He is the reason for the season." I consider myself a pagan and believe that the holiday we know as Christmas has been stolen by Christians. Anyway, I would never be offended by someone saying "Merry Christmas" anyhow and I won't go around posting in all caps on my Facebook page to return the true nature of Winter Solstice. How ridiculous.

  2. Anonymous Reply
    April 12, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Helloooo!!!! Do we only blog at Christmas these days? Could use a little Half-Hearted Fanatic with my tea…

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