02 December 2008

Opinion?

What do you think about retailers who refuse to tell you "Merry Christmas" or use the word "Christmas" in their ad campaigns? I just got an E-alert from American Family Association that Costco won't be advertising with the word "Christmas" this year. And I'm not feeling threatened by it. Maybe I'm just jaded and think everyone's over-reacting to corporate secularism. I hardly think that going to corporations with an attitude of "say Merry Christmas or we'll wollop you in the pocketbook" is the nicest way to go about things. But then again, what else would make a corporation listen to someone else's viewpoint? Just thinking aloud here.

And then there's this. Can we say "Merry Christmas" AND "Happy Hannukah" in stores without violating some sort of Christian oath? I'm thinking it would be nice to wish people a happy whatever they're celebrating.

Truth to tell, though... Kwanzaa just bugs me. ESPECIALLY the racist part of the holiday where black people are only supposed to buy stuff from black merchants. Another part of the holiday that bugs me is that it's all made up. If your ancestors are from Africa and you want to celebrate that, could you please look up a *real* African holiday from that *specific* place? Africa's a pretty big area. I mean, I don't celebrate any Finnish holidays, what with my ancestors being from Ireland and Scotland and all. Just saying. And silly person that I am, I'm not linking arms with every white person in the country to celebrate some overarching "glad my ancestors are from Europe" holiday at the end of December. I mean, multiculturalism is cool as long as the culture isn't made up. Pet peeve of mine. Just imagine if white people wanted to celebrate THEIR European heritage for a week and promote white businesses and white culture, and ... well, anyway. You get the idea. But it wouldn't kill me to wish you a nice holiday, even if I think the holiday is a bit wack.

If you celebrate Kwanzaa, I hope you have a HAPPY KWANZAA!! I really do. You know what? Christmas is kinda made up, too. Shhh. 'Sall right. We can get along on this. I'll celebrate my made-up holiday complete with a foot-tall tree, and you can wish me a Happy Hannukah, Ramadan, Christmas and whatever (go ahead and cover it all just in case I change my mind mid-season) and I'll wish all that back to you. You can think Christmas is kinda silly if you want. It's a free country (relatively speaking). Why are Christians so hepped up about defending Christmas in our country? I don't get it.

I think these businesses can say whatever they want, and we as Christians have the right to shop there or not. Naturally, if most people are at least nominally Christian, it might be nice to have a "Merry Christmas" banner near your "Happy Holiday" display. I guess I wonder if Jesus were ever that specific in His shopping at the corner market as to be offended and boycott if someone didn't wish Him a Happy Passover and Merry Yom Kippur. (Well... if He ever went shopping? Or just sent Judas out to do all the marketplace dirty work, leading to some sort of seething unhappiness that manifested itself later...?)

I keep hearing about how we're in a battle for our "culture" and whatnot on the radio and blogs. And yeah, replacing "Christmas holidays" with "winter break" in our schools is just plain silly. But I'm thinking the real problem is *people* leaving the Christian faith... and not a "culture" problem at all. Kind of a cart before the horse thing. I guess I'm almost relieved to hear someone say, "I'm a radical feminist and believe in abortion on demand." Hey, at least I know where she's coming from! I can start from there and find different things in common if we're going to be friends. Nobody pretending. I like that.

I guess I'd rather McDonald's just came right out and said, "HEY! This is why Ronald's been wearing the make-up all these years! He's here... he's queer... get used to it!" Then we Christians can quit stomping our feet and boycotting this and that. We'll just decide if the burgers are really worth where the money goes. It bothers me when companies do something outrageous, people protest, and then the company goes back to where it was before, at least on paper. HELLO, they TOLD YOU SOMETHING when they made the move in the first place... all they are doing by reversing themselves is either buying time from you or they're going to make these moves in smaller steps next time.

Are we wasting time being fooled on these things? Back and forth. Buy Ford. Don't buy Ford. Buy this family-friendly stuff. But don't see "that" movie. Good grief. I just have other stuff to do.

Tell me...

Do you think I'm overly jaded? Overly affected by the culture and that's why I don't care so much? Not sad enough about *obvious sin* that I would go ahead and EXPECT non-Christians to even have *obvious sin?* Due to the fact that, I'm reasoning, they're non-Christians and it isn't *obvious* to them that it's sin? Or even that there's this concept out there called sin? Be nice, but do tell me what you think. Oh! And God bless you.

17 comments:

  1. If you're overly jaded, then I am too, because I agree. My personal opinion is that we spend far too much time trying to convince those who don't believe to conform to our standards. So what if a corporation doesn't acknowledge Christmas? Better to expend that energy convincing individuals of their sinfulness and need for the Savior. Furthermore, I believe Christians' gung-ho involvement in the rampant materialism of the season is more of an affront to God than unbeliever's refusal to acknowledge Him.

    And oh yes, Kwaanza offends me too, and I'm black. I know that you already know that, Mrs. C. I added that bit of info for the sake of the discussion and anyone else who may stumble upon my comment.

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  2. I think I've ranted along these lines on your blog before. :) I get so miffed that any people bar white European protestant can do their thing without comment but if we try all hell breaks lose. I think the non~Christian culture is responsible. We have been getting an influx of Asian immigrants [& I totally understand wanting a better quality life/space/housing whatever] but with it we're getting shinto shrines, lucky housing numbers, unlucky house numbers & a whole heap of other superstitious nonsense that gets me up on my soapbox. I'll get off now.

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  3. Kwaanza is so NOT a holiday. It's racist, communist, and ridiculous! Plus, it was just invented not that long ago! So, WHY DO WE ALL HAVE TO RECOGNIZE IT as a legitimate holiday? I think I'll make up my own holiday and then file lawsuits that others don't wish me a merry one.

    *shaking my head*

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  4. As someone who lives in a completely non-Christian culture, I can see that living our faith is the very best way to attract non-believers. I can't help but shake my head when I see Christians getting all up in arms about what seasonal greeting they are going to get at the cash register of Wally World. There are so many more important things to use our energy on.

    On the other hand, it is a little scary to see how anything except Christianity has become acceptable. It's ok to study any other religion in school, but don't dare mention Jesus. I understand Christians reacting to the ever growing anti-Christian attitude in society. Is fighting to get my "Merry Christmas" greeting instead of the generic "happy holidays" going to change that attutde? I seriously doubt it. We'd be better off spending that time in prayer and in loving our neighbor.

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  5. The problem you run into is that taking no stand is sending a sign that it is OK to continue down a path. I feel for the businesses that must contend with this ... but it is a battleground.

    I do not agree with all the boycotts that have come my way ... but sin works well in the dark. The longer it works in the dark ... the stronger it gets.

    I buy widget A from Company 1 because the company makes a good widget A ... but then you discover that for years Company A has been giving large donations to help fund the abortion industry. Now ... you have blood on your hands because you gave Company A the profits to help support it.

    You have unknowingly killed innocent children, caused irrovocable harm to both the would be father and mother ... enabling them actually, given profit to the abortion clinics, and grieved the Holy Ghost.

    People harmed because the money funding these organizations helped convince them that these are safe procedures ... you would be loving this child by wiping it out ... think how society would be better getting rid of them.

    Now ... let's go to that mother who weeps every night due to the grievious act she commited ... or the guilt the father has because either he was unable to stop it or that he encouraged his wife/girlfriend to abort the child because it would cramp his style (or pocketbook).

    These souls realizing what they did ... will forever keep the guilt of murder.

    Whether this dramatic or not ... sin is sin. I thank these organizations for getting out the truth (Again sin thrives in the darkness). It give me the opportunity to make a better choice on where my money goes.

    -- D

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  6. D, you know as well as I do that I'm a crummy Christian. I lose my temper and say "crap" a lot. I'm probably inconsistent in my shopping habits as well. I don't mean to get nasty toward the Christian organizations that send out these alerts on the basis that I've somehow thought this out more than they have... more that it's lower down on the totem pole for me. My kid being asked to do a Day of the Dead project again in public school, or a new sex shop opening in town, or how I'm going to vote, etc. are higher up for me *right now.*

    I guess maybe the more I look at it, we're all buying widgets A through K when we buy product L... and all the companies are so interconnected...

    Rambling...

    And I buy lotsa oil product from Saudi Arabia and never once demanded that they say "Merry Christmas" to me.

    Oh, I don't know. Maybe I need to go back to boycotting McDonald's and feeling like I have some control in the world.

    Or maybe I need to remind myself that God still has control, even when it looks like He doesn't care about the orphans in the third world, etc.

    Hm.

    Hey. Thanks for taking Woodjie for me tonight. I could NOT get that kid to sleep for the life of me. Hugs!!

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  7. Ahhhh...a topic (aside from A-club ditties) that is right up my alley!

    As a teacher, I find it very painful and disturbing to see a MAJORITY of my students (whose families believe in Christmas)lose out on so many things every holiday season: a Christmas program, making Christmas art projects, - heck, even being able to use the WORD "Christmas" in our lessons! Now, granted I am Catholic, not a very good one at that - I know, and DO believe in Christmas; however, my issue is NOT that I am fighting for what I personally want to be able to practice with my students, but rather - - this:

    If our PUBLIC schools are supposed to mirror our PUBLIC society, why does the term "majority rules" not appply here? Since when have the voices of one or two people ALONE been given such a powerful force - enough to take away a seasonal practice for an ENTIRE school? Why is it okay for us to mention EVERY OTHER CULTURAL WINTER CELEBRATION under the sun, but NOT Christmas??THAT is what gets to me!

    I mean, if I were to move to another country and teach, I would respect the practices they had in place there, and NOT try to cancel out what they're used to doing by saying how much it offends me! (Isn't that why we teach cultural differences in the first place? To promote awareness and understanding? Not to bring everything else to a screeching halt?) I'm sure we all know that if we went to another country and said we were offended by their cultural practice (of some sort) in their public schools, and that they should STOP doing it because WE don't like it, well, we'd have another thing coming.

    But, alas, this is the price for freedom, I suppose. Freedom to practice, also equals freedom to prevent. *What majority?*

    Bah, humbug. Indeed.

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  8. We've obviously become way to sensitive as a society. Being insulted has become a fate worse than death.

    Personally, as a Jew, I think it's fine if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. After all, it's friendly and positive. It's part of our culture that we are jettisoning in favor of . . . what?

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  9. Terry, are you saying the "reason for the season" isn't a year-end boost to the economy? :p

    Daja, I'll play along with whatever holiday you want if you cater it for me. Mmmm. If I'm your really great friend, when you get that lawsuit money in, we can design a line of cards everyone has to buy and some cheap teacher presents parents whose children are in public schools feel obligated to buy. Oh, and that the teachers hate anyway LOL!!

    Ganeida, I read where there are many Asian immigrants to Aus, but I didn't see that... oh... 30 years ago almost. Almost everybody was white and the lucky number was "chuck a lucky seven" channel seven. Ads for the station showed boys outside the headmaster's office throwing the ol' five and two, and then the headmaster forgets to cane 'em at the end of the ad. :]

    Sue, if it's that way in Japan, I wouldn't wonder if it doesn't fulfil prophecy. I mean, really. And we're living in the good places where persecution isn't so bad... imagine what it's like in Yemen right now. But you never know. We've been at "the end" for a long time. BUT THE END IS COMING SOMETIME. Sometime, it sure is. I just don't know if we're close or not...

    DMV47, years ago, our public elementary DID send home Kwanzaa sheets, but it also sent home a colouring sheet with a creche on it and a menorah colouring sheet. At least they tried to be somewhat balanced about it... but... the Kwanzaa thing did bug me. Until they redistricted, we had all of about ten black children, and I can't say most of them celebrated Kwanzaa.

    I don't think this Kansas City suburban area even HAS a synagogue, so not many Jews either I suppose.

    The upper grades here keep asking students to pray to other gods and construct idols to "the dead" at the end of October. I'm not kidding. It disguises itself as an "art assignment" or "Spanish assignment" so that the students can get "involved" with another culture. Hands-on kind of thing.

    Every year I have to object. So yeah, I'm totally with you on that idea that our schools don't even reflect the public.

    Harry: HAPPY HANNUKAH! :]

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  10. Amen Sister, I hate to be a follower, but yeah, what you said! Can I say that I agree in public? I feel so naughty!

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  11. "...leading to some sort of seething unhappiness that manifested itself later...?" Hilarious, but I'm sick [smile].

    Holy Crap! You say, "Crap"?!!? You sinner [smile].

    Personally, I think it perfectly legitimate for people to be "offended" that businesses are trying not to "offend anyone" by "silencing" their customers. In fact, I think Ben Stine wrote a fun little article on this topic.

    But I agree: There are better battles to fight. And so I just smile when someone wishes me a "happy holiday" so as to avoid using that "offensive" word: Christmas.

    Of course, I smiled when the assistant principal at my high school told me I was not allowed to mention Jesus in my Valedictorian speech too. But, I'm sick [smile].

    ~Luke

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  12. We need to be sensitive to other cultures, but I think we've gone over-board when we can't even say Christmas in public. For instance, my kids will be having a holiday party this month, but it can't be called a Christmas party.

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  13. I wish people a Merry Christmas, store clerks and all, unless I already know their religious beliefs. So, for example, I sent a Christmas card to a Jewish friend and wished them a Happy Hannukah.

    I think the best thing we can do to fight this is to let the Holy Spirit work in us so that His grace and love are so overflowing out of our hearts and into their lives that people want to know what makes us different. One more Christian means one less person making these policy decisions.

    We live in the deep south where this is not an issue. We attended a county council meeting recently where the session was opened with a prayer that included the name of Jesus and only the name of Jesus . . .

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  14. Here are my two cents: we are lucky to live in a place that we have freedom of religion for ANY religion. Just as I demand respect for my religious beliefs I believe that I owe the same to someone else whether their beliefs agree with mine or not. To demand that retailers say Merry Christmas is to slap other religions in the face while stomping my foot and saying, "you must agree with me or I will may you pay." We are not the big bully on the playground. We are to be a beacon of light and if we are enough of a Christian we can get our message out there without demanding that everyone feel the same way we do.

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  15. Well, haven't you just opened up a can of worms? LOL. An intriguing post, with some very interesting comments. I'll have to have a think about all this before I give a more comprehensive response!

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  16. I think it's OK as long as employees cannot not mention ANY holiday greeting to any customer (then they are all being treated equally). This might have to do with fear of lawsuits (or loss of business) by offending the wrong customers.

    But this reminds me of another question. Many people ask why many moderate Muslims do not speak up against radical Islam. It's because they just want to mind their own business, and not offend anyone (Muslim culture is very polite, and they NEVER presume--unless they are extemists--to tell others what to do, much less about anything big!). Here many Chistians (or Christian stores) are unwilling to speak up publicly, yet many criticise Muslims for not speaking up toward those who could actually come back and harm them by speaking up.

    Eileen
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas
    elementaryteacher.wordpress.com

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  17. Eileen, this is VERY true. The more extremist Muslims would have the moderates in a much more difficult position, what with the threat of violence and all.

    And I do understand how shops don't want to offend anyone... they just want to sell you stuff! Calling 'em "holiday trees" is a bit much though LOL!

    I get more annoyed by companies promoting un-Christian agendas than whether my cashier tells me Merry Christmas, though then again as Luke said I think we have bigger fish to fry.

    Stacey, it's just good to hear from you, even if you're just saying "ME TOO!" And Cajunchic, I've missed you as well!

    Tracey, feel free to leave me your thoughts when you're ready. I have the blog set up to start moderating comments after (I think) three days, just so if some spam bot wants to leave 1,000 comments I know they're at least all in the last few days LOL.

    But don't let that stop you; I'd be interested to hear what you say as you celebrate Christmas a bit differently there. I think Santa likes sausage rolls and wears a swimsuit when he swings by there. :]

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