I am officially outraged. Bill O'Reilly and the rest of the looney-toons at Fox are still claiming that they are, for all intent and purpose, holy warriors in a war on Christmas. These hucksters and charlatans have actually set out to declare war on the most important principles that have guided these United States throughout our long and storied history. The fact that we are a secular nation that provides all religions with the liberty to practice their religion in an unfettered manner as long as it does not impinge on the rights of other Americans to either practice a religion or not was a founding principle of our forefathers.
We only have to remember the reason why most of forefathers and mothers came to our shores. They were escaping the religious persecutions of Europe. As they came to the new world, most of the colonies became refuges for the religiously oppressed. As we moved into nationhood, this separation of church and state was enshrined in our constitution. We became a haven for all. Whether Christians seeking to worship freely, Jews fleeing the pogroms of eastern Europe, or Muslims searching for a new life in a accepting land, all have been welcome. Whether believer or non-believer, the immigrant was welcome on our shores.
But what are we getting from the likes of Bill O'Reilly? We get a television personality who perverts the very nature of this nation's heart and soul to declare that there is a conscious war against Christmas. Where is it? In the churches or homes of this nation? I think not. Every church that recognizes the divinity of Jesus is celebrating the season of his birth. At the tree farms? Again, I think not. Trees are flying out of those farms as quickly as they can be harvested. In the homes of Christians throughout the nation? Most Christian families will tell you that the traditions of the holiday are still being followed. Those for whom the holiday holds deep religious meaning will celebrate with the solemnity and joy it deserves. For those who view the holiday as a more secular celebration, the season will be celebrated in the same way it has for years.
So what is O'Reilly, Doocy, and the rest of the Fox nut cases whining about? For them, the identification of the season as a holiday season is blasphemous. The fact that anything other than Christianity is mentioned during this time of year is a war against Christmas. For them, it makes no difference that there are large numbers of Americans who do not view Christmas as a religious holiday. They do not worship Jesus as part of the Holy Trinity or as their personal savior. They do not begrudge those who do. They may actually enjoy the trappings and festivities of the season. They might even feel an affinity for the feelings of peace and harmony that the season begets. Most Americans enjoy the season. But those Americans include Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, Ba'Hai, Atheists, and other non-Christian denominations. These are the people who O'Reilly and Fox have really declared war on.
I would also think that the position that we hear being spewed by these ignorant people would also be abhorred by the clergy of most Christian denominations. The Foxification of Christmas is commercial. It is concerned about the demonstration of Christmas in the commercial world. It is based on shopping malls calling for "holiday sales", cities lighting menorahs, Kwanza lights, and a tree in a celebration of holiday lights, creches and crosses on public lands, etc. I would think that what is being fought for here is the opportunity to make money. O'Reilly hawks his Christmas line of gifts while telling his viewers how committed he is to the spirit of Christmas.
I am not a Christian. I am not a follower of any religion, yet I respect all who follow their hearts and follow what they believe. But religion is serious. It is a personal committment between a person, his/her spiritual leader, his/her church, etc. It is not a mocking of the real America. The country that was founded on real religious liberty. The country that was founded on the personalization of religion or lack of religion. is not engaging in a war on Christianity. We will, however, demonstrate great maturity when the country, in one voice tells the bigots like O'Reilly to spew their hate among themselves, because the rest of us know better.
Have a joyous season, steeped in the traditions you believe in, and let the feelings of peace and calm take over the world for the good of all people.