Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The War Against Christmas, regarding the hideous oppression of the Christian majority in America

Fanning the flames of "holiday" jeer, conversation builds about John Gibson's book The War on Christmas. It's not a new theme, as all of your dime store variety hate-mongers get around to this. Anne Coulter likes to go around scaring the crap out of people with her demon-screech of "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" O'Reilly has carped on it. Rush too, and all the usual suspects. It's just Gibson's turn to cash in this year, pandering to the put-upon, downtrodden Christian masses who just might happen to have $20.00 or so of disposable income to toss after this trash.

Okay, let's zero in on one bone of contention, the National Christmas Tree, a tradition for 82 years.

By several accounts, America is about 77% to 82% Christian. The next largest group is secular or non-religious, though this doesn't include avowed atheists and agnostics. I couldn't guess how many of these non-religious believers might like or dislike a governmental Christmas display, so with enigmatic charity we'll lump them all in with the Christians and call it something like 90%. We don't need to be all that specific here, despite those who insist on serials smothered in sweet, sweet facts.

90% of 82 is―let me call up the calc―74 or so. Now, let's skip around the abyss full of conversations about jurisprudence from the days of the Magna Carta and focus on a couple of fundamentals. The United States is a democracy, majority rule for the most part. But the fathers realized that the majority could in fact be quite unfair, which was a major impetus for the establishment of the Bill of Rights―that basic rights need eternal protection from the democratic, majority driven process. Yes, my beleaguered baptized, this includes the Entitlement Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits federal (and generally by the 14th amendment the states') repression of religious expression.

It would seem that at this point John Gibson and the Godocrats, should they correctly regard the opportunity to celebrate one's religion as an American right, owe the rest of Americans eight holiday seasons to display with historically consistent prominence.

Considering the depths of despair over the expression "Seasons Greetings", imagine the horror when President Feingold lights an eighty foot high menorah on the White House lawn? Guess what, Johnny, you already owe them one. And what about atheists and agnostics? You're a little short on that account too. According to the Pew Research Council, so far you owe the 3% of us two years of no display at all!

Sometime in the next two hundred years you are obligated by your own principles to skip Christmas and in May set a big old Buddha down on the lawn, though I'm not sure how you would go about lighting it. Maybe the Wiccans could negotiate with the Buddhists and block out a few Mays jointly. Other partnerships might surface, but I'm guessing that the Hindu and Islamic interests will each wait for their alternate centuries.

And so, John Gibson and the similarly set upon, here you are stomping your little Italian shod feet at the unfairness of it all. You want to talk fair, then you think about whose turn it is next year. Unless you're ready to hear a month of chanting across the Oval from a minaret on the White House lawn maybe, just maybe, fair isn't a place you want to go.


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