Belief Beat

Belief Beat


Fun Friday: ‘War on Christmas’ Time Again!

posted by Nicole Neroulias

While I appreciate that some people have genuine concerns about church-state separation, religious freedom and cultural sensitivity, I simply can’t take “war on Christmas” stories too seriously, given the real wars going on in the world. As Stephen Colbert noted last night on The Colbert Report, “it’s the only war that’s been going on longer than Afghanistan!”

(I do enjoy Colbert’s take on the holidays every year, partly due to his hilarious cartoon intro featuring Jesus rescuing Santa from his bullet-riddled sleigh. I can’t find the image online, but you can catch it around minute 1:22 of the music video for Toby Keith’s “War on Christmas” song from Colbert’s 2008 holiday special, at the end of this post.)

CNN’s Belief Blog has highlighted several Christmas season controversy stories in the past few days:

Check back for updates, and here’s that catchy “War on Christmas” carol:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Toby Keith Sings
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive

 

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

*Click here to subscribe to Belief Beat and click here to follow Belief Beat on Twitter.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(26)
post a comment
Rob the Rev

posted December 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm


People who celebrate their eclectic holiday (holy day) of Xmas with its
all its adopted pagan traditions such as Xmas trees, yule logs, holly, mistletoe, ivy, presents, the winter solstice date, santa claus, and the birth of god become a human, (Mithra, by the way, was born on December 25, of a virgin. His birth was witnessed by shepherds and magicians [magi]. Mithra raised the dead and healed the sick and cast out demons. He returned to heaven at the spring equinox and before doing so had a last supper with his 12 disciples (representing the 12 signs of the zodiac), eating mizd, a piece of bread marked with a cross (an almost universal symbol of the sun). Any of that sound familiar?)ought to keep their celebration to themselves and stop bothering other people.



report abuse
 

nnmns

posted December 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm


Well put, Rob. So it sounds like the reason for the season is actually Mithra, and we’ve been misled all these years.
Nicole you’d best beware being accused of insufficient outrage over atheistic outrageousness. It is, after all, Religiously Correct to take Christmas very seriously.



report abuse
 

Henrietta22

posted December 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm


We’ve put up our Nativity scene and star on our front porch for as long as we’ve lived here and before that in CA on our shelf under our kitchen window. It started in 1963, the children picked it out in Sears Catalog. I don’t think it has ever bothered anyone, no one ever said it did. Our children never lived in the United States with people arguing over religion, it all started after they went home to God. Happy they didn’t have to see this. As far as this video it isn’t funny, it is old news. The malls are saying Merry Christmas again, no one is desecrating anything that I’ve noticed. Liberals aren’t boogiemen, and neither is the ACLU. Santa Claus doesn’t celebrate atom bombs or war of any kind, either. So Merry Christmas nnmns and Rob the Rev., and Happy Mithra to you Pagansister.



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted December 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm


THANK YOU, Henrietta, and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.



report abuse
 

nnmns

posted December 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm


Happy Holidays to you all!



report abuse
 

jestrfyl

posted December 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm


Mr Keith’s spirit is exactly 180 degrees off the mark for Christmas Spirit. Arrogance, anger, and sheer stubbornness does not bear any hope for humanity or sense of joy. I am not in the least surprised that the ones who most decry the loss of CHRISTmas are the very ones who least attend church or have any clear idea who Jesus was beyond the baby in the manger and the guy on the cross. This faux anger has all the sincerity of a blue aluminum tree “holiday” tree.
Meanwhile Merry Christmas, Wondrous Solstice, Ferocious Festivus, and a Great December 25th to everyone and all. May you get not what you deserve or what you want, or even what you asked for, but a gracious gift that will surprise and delight you!



report abuse
 

Dr. Logic

posted December 4, 2010 at 9:01 am


I find it funny how the people of the Christian belief system can warship a Pagan thing like Christmas and birthdays, wen it is plain to see in their own bibles its a sin. Yet the Christians still have the balls to call Christmas a christian wen it is not! At that It Pagan and because of that Their is nothing wrong with calling that advent whatever you wanna call it.. It is not a big deal nonreligious because complaining about its name makes you as much of a hypocrite as the religious group who do not even know the real history of Christmas or their own religion and bible.



report abuse
 

Doug

posted December 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm


Not an attack on Christmas? ya right, just ask any Christian or watch the lamestream media and say that isn’t happening say compared to how they treat the Muslim faith. I’m metaphysically oriented and I can even see that.
91% of this nation celebrates Christmas yet because a few complain we see Christmas trees not being able to go up in many places or that they are being called Holiday trees because someone might be offended. This is a rewriting of history to be politically correct. What a flavorless society we are becoming as you can’t do that or that because one or two will be offended. If I walk into a bank and see say a Jewish or Muslim celebration or whatever or I’m not going to complain to the bank that they take it down being myself metaphysical. That would be arrogant and not very tolerant of me. The left has us so afraid of offending others and to be so politically correct we walk like there are eggshells everywhere.
These beautiful traditions such as Christmas have been around many decades and how is it right because a few are offended that we can’t experience that joy like we have all these years? Get a life people.
This country is based on basic spiritual principles that most can agree on and the left wants to rewrite history and say it’s not so.
Unlike the author I see this as more important than any of those wars in the Mideast (which I personally don’t agree with) as this is about this country loosing it’s soul and connection to the creator which has made us so unique and allowed us to accomplish so much in only 200 years. We have lost much of that destiny the past few decades and are endangered of becoming more like Europe, which worships the state. Last I checked it wasn’t working out to good for Europe and it’s just starting.



report abuse
 

Nicole Neroulias

posted December 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm


If it makes you feel any better, Doug, only about 80% of Americans are Christian. (The numbers vary by region — check TheArda.com for the stats.) Also, the debates on holiday decorations sometimes distinguish between putting up Christmas trees and putting up a Nativity scene — I’ll probably put up a more specific post later in the month, when those stories start coming out.
I love holiday decorations, but I certainly wouldn’t agree that this issue is “more important than any of those wars in the Mideast.” Real wars deal with life and death, heartbreak and tragedy, with permanent, devastating consequences for millions of people. The “War on Christmas” has become an annual gimmick to get people/audiences riled up for political or financial purposes.



report abuse
 

nnmns

posted December 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm


Amen Nicole!
Doug I don’t know what you intend by your claim to be metaphysically oriented. Is it to suggest you’re objective in this area as your first paragraph implies? Well you undermine any claims like that with your last paragraph.
What’s the deal if it’s a “Christmas tree” or a “Holiday tree” in the mall? It looks the same and if you see it and think Christmas tree and the next guy in line sees it and thinks Holiday tree and you’re both happy isn’t that good?
And those who think our national condition is determined by our “connection to the creator” seem unlikely to consider actual solutions to our problems. Let me call to your attention that our defense department spends billions of dollars every year on soldiers and weapons but virtually nothing on prayer. And while I think we overdo the weapons I’m extremely glad they take that approach. I do not think countries which try to thrive by improving their connection to any creator last long.



report abuse
 

Rob the Rev

posted December 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm


Doug @ “Not an attack on Christmas? ya right, just ask any Christian or watch the lamestream media and say that isn’t happening say compared to how they treat the Muslim faith. I’m metaphysically oriented and I can even see that.”
Doug, do you get your “news” from the fundi right wingers on FOX (FAUX) “News” like Glenn Beck and O’Reilly who hype this fake so-called “war on Christmas”? You also must be a follower of the half-governor, Sarah Palin, since you use her favorite smear against legitimate news outlets, “lamestream” media. I think your problem is you just can’t deal with objective reporting (As objective as it can be, nothing is perfect.)
Doug @ “91% of this nation celebrates Christmas yet because a few complain we see Christmas trees not being able to go up in many places or that they are being called Holiday trees because someone might be offended.”
Your statistic of 91% Christian is a bit high. Even the 80% of Nicole is based on a very broad definition of Christian. You object to the use of the word “holiday.” I just want to inform you that the word is a contraction of the phrase, “Holy Day”; Holy means sacred. So what’s wrong with calling this time of year a “holiday” and reference the Holy Days of Christmas and Hanukah, or the winter solstice? Insofar as your claim that Christmas or Holy Day trees not being able to go up, millions of decorated Christmas or Holy Day trees are going up in millions of homes around the country. I also see a national Christmas or Holy Day tree in the nation’s capital, several in the White House and in the Capital building. Rockefeller Center has a huge decorated tree in its plaza. Please give me a break?
Doug @ “This is a rewriting of history to be politically correct.”
What rewriting of history to be politically correct are you referring too? If anyone is rewriting history to fit their doctrine and dogma it is the fundamentalist Christians.
Doug @ “What a flavorless society we are becoming as you can’t do that or that because one or two will be offended. If I walk into a bank and see say a Jewish or Muslim celebration or whatever or I’m not going to complain to the bank that they take it down being myself metaphysical. That would be arrogant and not very tolerant of me. The left has us so afraid of offending others and to be so politically correct we walk like there are eggshells everywhere.”
Flavorless society? As I drive around my area I am seeing many nativity scenes on private property such as churches and homes and in some stores, in view of all along with all kinds of lighting displays in towns and on homes and public property. What is so flavorless about that? No one is forbidding people to put up religious displays on private property for all to admire or ignore as they see fit.
I think what you are complaining about is that governmental buildings and property are forbidden from strictly religious displays, such as just a nativity display or a menorah unless it is accompanied by secular symbols of the season. For a governmental agency supported by the tax dollars of all to put out a strictly religious display of any kind is the governmental promotion of religion which is forbidden by the 1st Amendment which prohibits the government favoring and sanctioning one religion over another. I don’t want my tax dollars to promote a private religion.
Doug @ “These beautiful traditions such as Christmas have been around many decades and how is it right because a few are offended that we can’t experience that joy like we have all these years? Get a life people.”
No one is keeping you from enjoying any “beautiful traditions.” Put up your Holy Day or Christmas tree, decorate your house with a million lights if you want to and put a life size nativity scene in the front yard if this is what you want to do. It is you who needs to “get a life.”
Doug @ “This country is based on basic spiritual principles that most can agree on and the left wants to rewrite history and say it’s not so.”
Oh, what spiritual principles are those? Many of the founding fathers who wrote our foundational documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were Deists. Are you familiar with this part of the Treaty of Tripoli passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797 and negotiated under the administration of President George Washington: “The United State is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine.”
Oh, BTW, do you know that the Puritan Pilgrims, that so many fundamentalist religionists point too as the founders of this country (which I don’t agree with) and their religion forbade the observance of Christmas because they claimed it was a pagan celebration.
Doug @ “Unlike the author I see this as more important than any of those wars in the Mideast (which I personally don’t agree with) as this is about this country loosing it’s soul and connection to the creator which has made us so unique and allowed us to accomplish so much in only 200 years. “
Yeah, this country is losing its soul but not because it is ignoring God but because of the injustices against the native Americans, the African American, GLBT people and other minorities, its imperialistic and colonial ventures such as the the Mexican American and Spanish American wars, its hegemony over and constant interference other countries affairs, supporting dictators and overthrowing democratically elected governments.
What has made us unique is our separation of church and state that has allowed us to have a free country not a theocracy. It has also allowed freedom of religion to flourish or allowed people to not practice any religion, as they please. That is the glory of this country.
Doug @ “We have lost much of that destiny the past few decades and are endangered of becoming more like Europe, which worships the state. Last I checked it wasn’t working out to good for Europe and it’s just starting.”
Our destiny is the freedom of the individual. Freedom of or from religion and worship, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, freedom from lawless search and seizure, freedom of trial by ones peers and so forth.
Just what does this so-called ”state worship” in Europe look like? Do they have temples that they practice it in? I believe the Europeans, who have freedom of religion, would disagree with you



report abuse
 

Rob the Rev

posted December 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm


Doug @ “Not an attack on Christmas? ya right, just ask any Christian or watch the lamestream media and say that isn’t happening say compared to how they treat the Muslim faith. I’m metaphysically oriented and I can even see that.”
Doug, do you get your “news” from the fundi right wingers on FOX (FAUX) “News” like Glenn Beck and O’Reilly who hype this fake so-called “war on Christmas”? You also must be a follower of the half-governor, Sarah Palin, since you use her favorite smear against legitimate news outlets, “lamestream” media. I think your problem is you just can’t deal with objective reporting (As objective as it can be, nothing is perfect.)



report abuse
 

Rob the Rev

posted December 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm


Doug @ “91% of this nation celebrates Christmas yet because a few complain we see Christmas trees not being able to go up in many places or that they are being called Holiday trees because someone might be offended.”
Your statistic of 91% Christian is a bit high. Even the 80% of Nicole is based on a very broad definition of Christian. You object to the use of the word “holiday.” I just want to inform you that the word is a contraction of the phrase, “Holy Day”; Holy means sacred. So what’s wrong with calling this time of year a “holiday” and reference the Holy Days of Christmas and Hanukah, or the winter solstice? Insofar as your claim that Christmas or Holy Day trees not being able to go up, millions of decorated Christmas or Holy Day trees are going up in millions of homes around the country. I also see a national Christmas or Holy Day tree in the nation’s capital, several in the White House and in the Capital building. Rockefeller Center has a huge decorated tree in its plaza. Please give me a break?
Doug @ “This is a rewriting of history to be politically correct.”
What rewriting of history to be politically correct are you referring too? If anyone is rewriting history to fit their doctrine and dogma it is the fundamentalist Christians.



report abuse
 

Rob the Rev

posted December 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm


Doug @ “What a flavorless society we are becoming as you can’t do that or that because one or two will be offended. If I walk into a bank and see say a Jewish or Muslim celebration or whatever or I’m not going to complain to the bank that they take it down being myself metaphysical. That would be arrogant and not very tolerant of me. The left has us so afraid of offending others and to be so politically correct we walk like there are eggshells everywhere.”
Flavorless society? As I drive around my area I am seeing many nativity scenes on private property such as churches and homes and in some stores, in view of all along with all kinds of lighting displays in towns and on homes and public property. What is so flavorless about that? No one is forbidding people to put up religious displays on private property for all to admire or ignore as they see fit.
I think what you are complaining about is that governmental buildings and property are forbidden from strictly religious displays, such as just a nativity display or a menorah unless it is accompanied by secular symbols of the season. For a governmental agency supported by the tax dollars of all to put out a strictly religious display of any kind is the governmental promotion of religion which is forbidden by the 1st Amendment which prohibits the government favoring and sanctioning one religion over another. I don’t want my tax dollars to promote a private religion.



report abuse
 

Rob the Rev

posted December 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm


Doug @ “What a flavorless society we are becoming as you can’t do that or that because one or two will be offended. If I walk into a bank and see say a Jewish or Muslim celebration or whatever or I’m not going to complain to the bank that they take it down being myself metaphysical. That would be arrogant and not very tolerant of me.“
Flavorless society? As I drive around my area I am seeing many nativity scenes on private property such as churches and homes and in some stores, in view of all along with all kinds of lighting displays in towns and on homes and public property. What is so flavorless about that? No one is forbidding people to put up religious displays on private property for all to admire or ignore as they see fit.



report abuse
 

Rob the Rev

posted December 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm


Doug @ “The left has us so afraid of offending others and to be so politically correct we walk like there are eggshells everywhere.””
I think what you are complaining about is that governmental buildings and property are forbidden from strictly religious displays, such as just a nativity display or a menorah, unless it is accompanied by secular symbols of the season. For a governmental agency supported by the tax dollars of all to put out a strictly religious display of any kind is the governmental promotion of religion which is forbidden by the 1st Amendment which prohibits the government favoring and sanctioning one religion over another. I don’t want my tax dollars to promote a private religion.



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted December 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm


Just so I don’t get busy and forget—-
Jestrfyl, with your usual way with words, Thank You for your season’s greetings, inclusive as always. May you and yours have a Joyous Christmas.
To all here—-However you view the upcoming holidays, may they be wonderful days, filled with joy and love.
TO ALL: HAPPY NEW YEAR!



report abuse
 

MH

posted December 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm


Colbert “Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude” counterstrike is a riot.



report abuse
 

Mordred08

posted December 4, 2010 at 10:56 pm


‘Tis the season for Christians to be more paranoid than usual, it seems. Radio stations are full of Christmas songs, some secular, some religious. The Charlie Brown Christmas Special (which quotes the Gospel of Luke) has been on the air for decades. Jesus has multiple cable channels devoted to him. And gay and bisexual Americans are being denied the opportunity to serve in the armed forces or marry their partners, and are bullied, harassed, and even killed in the name of the Bible. Yet Christians insist that they’re being persecuted somehow. This is why my impression of Christianity is an elephant stomping on mice while shouting “stop oppressing me!” at the top of its lungs.



report abuse
 

Catt

posted December 5, 2010 at 12:11 am


Mordred08, I couldn’t agree with you more. This issue drives me insane.
Why can’t Christians understand that there are other holidays for other religions, & we have every right to celebrate also? Publicly!! You don’t get to call “dibs” & exclude everyone else.



report abuse
 

jestrfyl

posted December 6, 2010 at 11:14 am


I heard a piece on BBC news this morning about a woman in the Punjabi region facing death because of some remarks she made about the Prophet Mohammed. Here the “Jesus”ites are kicking a fuss about not enough Christmas.
What galls me is how thin skinned and easily offended religious types are. You can bet that the historical people whom these folks so publicly venerate could take a joke, accept an insult, and give it back with ease, style, and grace. Someday all of this public piety will ease and we can deal with each other without so much worry.
If your god is so petty that causual remarks cause great and unsustainable damage, your god is puny and not worthy of much devotion. If your faith is so feeble that any humorous (even if its really not very funny) comment is perceived as heinous blasphemy then you have built a cathedral of dry grass, easily enflamed and consumed.
Really, isn’t there more to deal with than this petty kind of drama.
Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Wondrous Solstice, Marvelous Hannukah, Ferocious Festivus, Happy Holiday, and/or Satisfying Saturday Dec 25.



report abuse
 

jestrfyl

posted December 6, 2010 at 11:18 am


By the way – Today is the feast of St Nicholas so go:
Eat a pickle
Pack a barrel
Hug a sailor
Play with a child
Pet a Reindeer
Buy a toy for someone you don’t know
Have a drink with a Russian +/or a Greek
Visit a pawnbroker
Give a flower to an unmarried woman
Drop a coin in somene’s show or sock
Complement an elf
Wear Red
Visit Myra, Turkey



report abuse
 

Robert C

posted December 6, 2010 at 11:40 am


“Today, 6 December, is Saint Nicholas’ Day, and in honor of that occasion, I shall pass on a bit of research regarding Old Saint Nick himself.”
Allow me to introduce the real St. Nick:
http://procroyalsoc.blogspot.com/2007/12/anthropology-update-visage-of-saint.html
Perhaps if you give respect, you will receive it in turn.
Merry Christmas.



report abuse
 

Nicole Neroulias

posted December 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm


Appropriately, I must add to jestrfyl’s list: Wish anyone you know named Nicholas or Nicole (or some variation) a Happy Name Day!



report abuse
 

Michelle

posted December 8, 2010 at 8:01 am


MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)



report abuse
 

Yoyo

posted December 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm


Merry Christmas forever not only on December …. :-)
Peace … God bless you all.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Belief Beat. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy:   Beliefnet News   Good News Happy Reading!  

posted 4:57:28pm Feb. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun Friday: Atheist Temple Planned for UK's Nonbelievers
Author Alain de Botton has announced plans to build an Atheist temple in the United Kingdom, presumably so nonbelievers have a place to gather and share their philosophies. Um... isn't that what Starbucks is for? Also, I can't wait to see how the architect will handle this kind of project. May

posted 2:53:42pm Jan. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Alaska Airlines: High Payers No Longer Offered Sky Prayers
Alaska Airlines, now the country's seventh-largest airline, has announced it will stop offering prayer cards with its in-flight meals. (It's just raining religion news in the great unchurched Pacific Northwest lately.) I've flown Alaska several times since moving to Seattle, but I confess that I'

posted 11:07:56am Jan. 26, 2012 | read full post »

Washington's Gay Marriage Debate: Clergy vs. Clergy
I reported for Reuters at the Washington state Capitol yesterday, covering the public hearings on a gay marriage bill -- and in between, the breaking news that the state Senate now has enough votes to pass the bill. (The House already had enough votes.) It now appears that Washington's lawmakers wi

posted 11:24:39am Jan. 24, 2012 | read full post »

What Israel's Domestic Policy & Santorum Supporters Have in Common
Hope everyone had an introspective Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, whether observed as a faith-related holiday, a nice break from the work week or something else entirely. Check out this story from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about how mandatory sentencing for drug crimes and non-violent offens

posted 1:32:44pm Jan. 18, 2012 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.