What is your only comfort?

Urban God-talk for the church-o-phobic.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

This Season's War Cry: commercialism Christmas, or Else

Today's New York Times offered this editorial about the comercialization of Christmas. It includes this great section:

What is less obvious, though, is that Christmas's self-proclaimed defenders are rewriting the holiday's history. They claim that the "traditional" American
Christmas is under attack by what John Gibson, another Fox anchor, calls
"professional atheists" and "Christian haters." But America has a complicated
history with Christmas, going back to the Puritans, who despised it. What the
boycotters are doing is not defending America's Christmas traditions, but
creating a new version of the holiday that fits a political agenda.

Here's what I wrote to the Times:

Bravo to Mr. Cohen for exposing the myth that a commercialized Christmas is
historical and necessaryfor Christian America. Bill O'Reilly, Jerry
Falwell and the AFA do not represent the bulk of faithfulf ollowers of Jesus, many
of whom regard the marriagebetween Christmas and capitalism as tantamount
totaking the Lord's name in vein. The spiritual holidayof Jesus' birth has
nothing to do with an employee saying "happy holidays" or "merry
Christmas." I, for one, would applaud any store which refused
to commercialize Christmas or to profit from the birth of Jesus.

While I seldom find myself writing letters to the editor, this one actually led me to write the times. Now, before folks jump on me for being a liberal-commie-homo-supporter of the PFAW and ACLU, please read my previous post about the commercialization of Christmas and my misgivings about it.

After reading this editorial, I suppose I'm just a Puritan at heart. I don't want to celebrate Christmas because secular society uses it for monitary gain. Plus, I'm not entirely sure why we put such time into celebrating what amounts to a birthday party for Jesus. I'd much rather emphasize Epiphany if anything in the season.

Christmas does seem to detract from the practicing any sense of Christian piety. Instead, it's a time when we rush faster, buy more, eat more and end up feeling worse for the wear afteward. I'd much rather we take time talking with one another instead of taking time shopping at the mall for one another. I suppose this is why I just wouldn't fit in with Jerry Falwell and Bill O'Reilly- they'd rather create division than inspire people to actually get to know people who are different from them. And that isn't a particularly Christian value at all.


At 6:44 PM, Blogger Jarred said...

Well said!

At 12:55 AM, Blogger James Brumm said...

Ah, but here's the advantage fo the good ol' Dutch-endorsed :-) tradition of St. Nicholas Day, a way to seperate the Santa Claus "getting" attitude from Christmas for the wee ones at a young age.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Ann said...

Yes! I was going to mention the benefits of St. Nicholas Day as an alturnative, but thought that the timeing might seem a little dubious given that it's Dec. 5th today...

I have my wooden shoes out just waiting for some chocolate. As I dusted them off, Jen said, "now please tell me what in the heck you're doing with those woodenshoes?"


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