Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes


#109 Keeping Christ in Christmas

posted by Stephanie Drury

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Christian culture is alarmed by all things politically correct. They say the increasing use of the phrase happy holidays is an affront to keeping Christ in Christmas and it’s just one more sign that this country is headed for hell in a handbasket.

 
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The chance that Christ could actually be somehow removed from Christmas would seem impossible, yet Christian culture is urgently concerned it could happen. If anyone has a problem with their saying Merry Christmas they insist that person should respect their constitutional rights, but when other people say Happy Holidays the evangelicals don’t take too kindly to it.

 
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Rather than show some Christlike goodwill to people with different beliefs than they, Christian culture tends to go on the offensive so that they can feel like they’re standing up for Christ. But the Christ of the Bible wasn’t threatened by disbelief. For his followers to take up this cause with such rabid fervor seems to be a contradiction.

 

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For a bit of seasonal fun, wish the evangelical in your life a happy holiday or perhaps a blessed Kwanzaa. If you really want to get their dander up, ask them what they think of the American Humanist holiday ad campaign. The intensity of their reaction is a definitive gauge of how invested they are in the notion that Christ’s deity is inherently tied to a seasonal formality.

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**This post originally aired on December 11, 2009, and warranted reposting just because.


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Craig Morton

posted December 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm


Besides the evolution of Christmas as originating as not much more than the consumerism that so many feel is a new thing, John Caputo argues that allowing the nativity story part of Christmas to fade away wouldn’t be a bad thing for Christianity. His arguement is that secularizing the holiday has the greatest potential of allowing the meaning of Christmas to flurish. In fact, by focusing on the a pure christology of the holiday can negate the greater message of communion and sacrifice- values that can have universal meaning. By focusing on these greater meanings (more than the message) of Christmas, while potentially negatively affecting the proselytizing of non-believers, may have a greter impact on the Kingdom of God.



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Eiolgj

posted December 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm


As a pastor said to me, Christ will be in all the celebrations and at the mall, etc. The challenge for this year is to actually see Him in those places.



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Lee

posted December 6, 2010 at 5:50 pm


Dear Ms. Drury,
Merry Xmas!!!
Humanely yours, Lee



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Quinn

posted December 6, 2010 at 8:53 pm


Great (re)post. One of my coworkers was recently ranting about his/her beef with the “Happy Holidays” phrase and said s/he would say, “Merry Christmas” just to spite non-believers. Leave it to a fundie could take a friendly salutation and turn it into a weapon. Yes, browbeating is always an effective witnessing tool.



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Another Sarah

posted December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm


I’m always intrigued by this notion that the God who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, who created all things, is in all things and loves all things is somehow so weak that my saying “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” could somehow be an actually threat to His (pronoun chosen for tradition and convenience) presence.



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Still Breathing

posted December 7, 2010 at 6:44 am


Another Sarah, Well said, I don’t want a God I have to defend but one who is big enough to look after me.
It always amazes me that most Christians don’t know that we have no idea when Jesus was born; we don’t know the year let alone the date. To get over this problem they tacked it onto a pagan festival so that they could celebrate without anyone noticing. Here in the UK several local councils have tried to take Christ out of Christmas and have met with objections not only from the local churches but also from the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim communities who believe in religious freedom. In the City of Leicester, where the majority of the population comes from the Indian sub-continent, they all join together for a public nativity play!
Happy WSIITY (Whatever Season It Is To You) and may God bless you.
CAPTCHA = galloping Sumetti – is that some kind of reindeer?



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Fred Edwords

posted December 7, 2010 at 10:00 am


This humanist thanks you for the repost, too. It’s especially timely in the light of the overreaction to the benign bus ad in Fort Worth, Texas. Can you imagine a bus boycott over a non-theistic ad that doesn’t attack anyone? And it’s only on four buses! See the news story at http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/12/06/2684075/threatened-boycott-of-fort-worth.html
Fred Edwords
United Coalition of Reason
http://www.UnitedCoR.org



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Flah the Heretic Methodist

posted December 7, 2010 at 10:45 am


I love this time of year!! The smell of manufactured outrage. The carols of persecution. All serving to drive me further and further from the clanging idiocy of Christian Culture.



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Gaypet

posted December 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm


Yes, but more importantly:
http://i.imgur.com/HoFee.jpg



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Steven

posted December 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Dennis

posted December 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm


I don’t even understand why this argument exists. “Holidays” = “holy days.” “Happy holidays” doesn’t take the Christ out of Christmas, it just adds the other holy days to the mix.
Same deal applies to “Xmas,” as X is a traditional abbreviation for Christ.
A lot of things Christians do make me want to puke, but this is one of the biggest. First we make our own “holy day” into an orgy of consumerism, then we go apeshit when people treat it as such. If we wanted to keep the Christ in Christmas, we shouldn’t have introduced Santa, gift-giving, trees, caroling, etc., into the mix. We could’ve made it a true “holy day,” like the Muslims (gasp!) have. Ugh.



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guy

posted December 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm


i got a copy of Voice of the Martyrs in the mail the other day and skimmed through it. After reading this post today, i now wonder if Christians in other countries would find insulting the things many American Christians choose to label “persecution.”
–guy



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted December 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm


This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE oughta get atheists’ blood hot – an open, loud, public, in yo’ face expression of the glory of God and His Christ. As Martha Stewart says, “It’s a good thing!”



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stephanie drury

posted December 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm


Mr. Incredible, why do you want to get atheists’ blood hot?



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Kevin

posted December 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm


I can say confidently that other people having faith does not raise my blood temperature in any way? Why should it?



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Monica

posted December 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm


I can assure you that the video would just make me facepalm.
Salt makes my blood pressure go up. Not someone’s beliefs. But I like the Humanists’ campaign and am weirded out that so many folks are freaking out over some bus ads. Worse things are put on there: soldier boi’s cd drop date, numbers to strip clubs, and engrish.
But someone actually admits that people who just are good and kind for the sake of being kind and wants to meet others of the same vein..
That’s just sick(not really)



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Angelia Sparrow

posted December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm


When I get a Weaponized Merry Christmas hurled at me, I shrug, smile sweetly and say, “Fine. Then #$#@ your New Year.”
The worst I got was when I had wished people a blessed Yule and half the mailing list shouted me down with Merry Christmas. I said “That’s 4 days away. Each holiday in its time. Are you so insecure in your faith that you begrudge others the expression of theirs?”



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Alex

posted December 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm


I’m an atheist, and I enjoyed the flash mob’s spirited rendition of one of the great chestnuts of Western music. Pity about the rather weedy accompaniment, because the Hallelujah Chorus really needs the mass and heft of a proper orchestra behind it. It didn’t strike me as an “open, loud, public, in yo’ face expression of the glory of God and His Christ”, if only because the Hallelujah Chorus is associated less with the glory of God than with the glory of Handel, and by extension, the glory of what’s sometimes called ‘classical’ music. But still, nice job, singers.



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Elena

posted December 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm


I like the idea suggested by this blog post- http://kats-brain.blogspot.com/2010/12/very-happy-whatever-to-you.html
To avoid offending anyone with the wrong greeting, just stay quiet and repeat whatever they say to you! Good advice for hapless retail workers who are on the front lines of this “war.”



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Steve D

posted December 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm


I am officially surrendering in the War on Christmas. I am tired of manufactured offense. I am also tired of people (whose faith seems to pop up at Christmas and no other time) telling me that the Almighty Creator of the Universe is somehow diminished by wishing someone “Happy Holidays”. I believe in a God who is a lot stronger than the warriors of Christmas.



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MH

posted December 7, 2010 at 9:29 pm


Good blog post.
The Santa in front of the manger scene confused me for a second. I thought they were trying to imply Santa was at the actual nativity, not at a recreation.
Dennis, I suspect that people who insist on “Merry Christmas” are trying to imply that only one holy day counts. It’s triumphalism masquerading as victim-hood and it’s not attractive.



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urname

posted December 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm


“Happi holidays” = old news. from 1950s & 60s.
esp. in mixed jewish-gentile communities.
gettin offended is dumb



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kenneth

posted December 7, 2010 at 11:37 pm


Sol Invictus is the reason for the season!



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Kevin

posted December 8, 2010 at 12:26 am


For some reason my phone rendered my comment with one question mark too many. For this I humbly apologize.



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Hollan

posted December 8, 2010 at 3:42 am


Great story about this Christ-mas hoopla. Ahem.
So, a few years back, my friend Chad was working at a rather well known clothing store. This store made a big deal about switching from ‘Merry Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holidays’ and promoted the heck out of it. Here’s Chad, working away on a Tuesday or Friday afternoon and some self-righteous woman walking through the mall, stops, gazes at the store’s ‘Happy Holidays!’ sign, and immediately comes marching into the store.
“Are you the manager?” she asks.
“Yes, I am,” says Chad.
“Well,” she said pointedly, “I just wanted to say: Merry Christmas!”
Chad eyed her for a moment.
“Thanks.” he said, just as pointedly, “Happy Chanukah.”
The woman then slunk out, I’m delighted to say, slightly less self-righteous.
My awesome Jewish friend tells this story and it gets lots of laughs, but it is sadly significant, too. Short sighted Christian America tends to feel threatened by differences, but isn’t the point of America to be a big melting pot with lots of fascinating cultures and traditions?
I know, I know, its all been said – so I wont go on because I know it doesn’t change anything.
However, I googled the history of Christmas and here’s what I found.
…The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings…
Sometimes I wish they’d outlaw it again. I HATE hanging out with my family just cause its a holiday. So boring. Maybe I’ll convert to Judaism so I can celebrate Chanukah.
For more:
http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/ch/in_america.htm



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted December 8, 2010 at 4:08 am


stephanie drury
December 7, 2010 4:21 PM
Mr. Incredible, why do you want to get atheists’ blood hot?
Mr. Incredible asks:
Where do I say that I wanna get anybody’s blood hot?



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MH

posted December 8, 2010 at 8:46 am


Mr. Incredible, in your post at December 7, 2010 3:34 PM you state the linked video should get atheists’ blood hot. If you do something stating you expect a certain outcome, then others will infer that outcome represents your desire.
So it is reasonable for Stephanie Drury to make that inference.



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Andy

posted December 8, 2010 at 10:47 am


Mr. Incredible sure knows how to get this atheist’s blood hot…if you know what I’m saying



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Valerie

posted December 8, 2010 at 10:51 am


MH: Logic will get you nowhere with a person like this. Don’t feed the trolls.



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Valerie

posted December 8, 2010 at 10:54 am


Well, what the hell? Mr. Incredible: you asked where you said that you wanted to get people’s blood hot. You posted a link, and then said “It’s a good thing.” If you’re really this stupid, then I don’t know why I’m wasting my time not taking my own advice to MH above.



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Chrissy

posted December 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm


You’ll know we’ve won the war on Christmas when Christ is in every aspect. The blessed day when the masses trample each other in pursuit of the best Christcounts. The day when friend and stranger alike will meet under the Christletoe to pray for each other’s purity. When we sip Christ nog and recount the sacred story of when Christ crucified all Kris Kringleites, defeating “Happy Holidays” once and for all. When our country is renamed The United States of AmeriChrist, and it is illegal to discuss the olden days when Satan’s constitution reigned supreme making us slaves to the horrific “freedom of religion” amendment. When the war is over, Christmas will finally be special.



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Tony D.

posted December 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm


I think all the “Christmas Warriors” are really celebrating Festivus! You know, the Airing of the Grievances, and all that.
A Festivus for the Rest’uv us!



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Bec

posted December 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm


I agree that the whole war of words here at Christmas time is a little extreme. I do wish people a Merry Christmas but not in a spiteful way and if someone tells me Happy Holidays I will smile and say, thank you, you too. Because if I as a christian start shoving Merry Christmas down your throat what benefit is that? All that does is turn people away from Christ.
If those of us who are christians started acting like we were christians and focused more of our time on that instead of on making sure people say “Merry Christmas” we might actually start looking like Christ and who knows what would happen then!



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MH

posted December 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm


Valerie, i know but i have a character flaw and i like seeing how he will warp simple logic.



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Gaypet

posted December 9, 2010 at 11:15 am


Chrissy, “Christ nog” makes me gag.



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T...

posted December 10, 2010 at 2:37 am


And, ironically we stole this holiday from the pagans. Yes, let’s keep Christ in something He was never in! Cheers, asshats.



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Diogenes

posted December 10, 2010 at 9:49 pm


Ironically, the “war on Christmas” in America didn’t start in the 20th or 21st century, and it wasn’t started by secularists or atheists. Rather, it was started in the 17th century by Protestants. New England’s Puritan Pilgrims outlawed that “papist, unbiblical” holiday. It was banned in Boston from 1659 to 1681; anyone caught celebrating it got fined five shillings (no chump change in those days). Later, America thought so little of Christmas, it was considered a working day: Congress was in session on it in 1789, the first Christmas under the then new United State Constitution. In fact, it wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870! Protestant antipathy to Christmas gave it shallow roots in American culture, which made it that much more susceptible to secularization and commercialization. For more insight, read here: http://www­.thehistor­yofchristm­as.com/ch/­in_america­.htm.



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Todd VDW

posted December 11, 2010 at 12:39 am


If you’re interested in early American Christians’ attempts to ban Christmas, Stephen Nissenbaum’s “The Battle for Christmas” is a fascinating read. It’s all about how the holiday used to be despised by the upper-class because it was an excuse for the lower-classes to demand gifts from them! So they consciously took an ostensibly “Christian” day and warped it to become something it wasn’t, mostly using the idea of Santa Claus. Great book.



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ChristianPinko

posted December 12, 2010 at 8:13 pm


Since when did “Merry Christmas” become Christian-speak for “Fuck you”?



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Tony D.

posted December 13, 2010 at 3:39 pm


CP, about the same time “I’ll pray for you” did…



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Valerie

posted December 14, 2010 at 11:34 am


CP (and everyone else): I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said “Remember when [Christian fish symbol] wasn’t a warning label?”



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Alex

posted December 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm


That ‘I don’t celebrate the holidays…I celebrate Christmas!’ hoodie is, if a real garment, one of the ugliest pieces of clothing I have ever seen, and anybody who would wear it is clearly insensitive to the suffering of humanity, because it gives pain to anyone with, like me, the most meagre visual sense. And I’m not dressy.



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus, the Son of God!

posted December 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm


JESUS IS LORD ! THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD OVER THE HILLS AND THROUGH THE VALLEYS, TROUNCING GIANTS !

Nobody has the power to take Christ outta Christmas.



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Bill

posted December 21, 2010 at 3:15 am


I think “And I’m not dressy,” is my new favorite signoff.



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Deb

posted February 14, 2011 at 6:31 am


Mr. Incredible, your behavior just reinforces the point – so many theists have such weak faith that it takes “acting out” like yours to strengthen it. If your faith was strong, you wouldn’t need to troll this page – you would just live your life secure in your knowledge. Instead, you feel compelled to come here. Sorry friend, but it’s all a fantasy.



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JD

posted March 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm


I know I am replying to an old post, but it’s been a while since I last visited.
What is sad is there are people that will get offended if you don’t wish THEM a Merry Christmas. Apparently it’s also an offense to consider Christmas to be “another holiday”. Some of these people have complained to store management when the cashier or greeter don’t say Merry Christmas.
They get so pushy that they can’t stop for a minute and ask whether or not they’re displaying Christ-like behavior or displaying a negative example of their Christianity. I wouldn’t doubt that this kind of person would complain of persecution from anyone that won’t put up with such behavior.



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