FOX & the equally disgusting Drudge Report are drumming up the stupid “War on Christmas” gibberish early this year. It’s not even “War on Thanksgiving” time yet!
Four points shows how utterly ridiculous this whole “Obama’s Christmas Tree Tax” / “War on Christmas” / “War on Christianity” nonsense is:
1) As MediaMatters.org pointed out, the tax on xmas trees has nothing to do with Obama. This is just another attempt by the right-wing to smear the President, and make him seem like an “other.”
2) Christmas trees have nothing to do with Christianity. Evergreen trees are a Pagan tradition that originated at the Winter Solstice celebration of Saturnalia. Christians took it over as a way to gain converts, and began hanging apples on them to reference the story of Adam & Eve. That’s how we got ornaments.
3) Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity. Jesus wasn’t even born on December 25. In fact, the first “War on Christmas” was waged by the Puritans in the 1600’s because they wanted to be true to the bible, which doesn’t mention the date of Jesus’ birth (Pope Julius I chose it). Celebrations of Christmas were banned in Boston when the Pilgrims came to America.
Over the years, Christmas became an excuse to riot and cause mischief, and it wasn’t until the 19th century that our modern views of Christmas were invented. Washington Irving wrote fictional, but nostalgic, stories of celebrations of the holiday that never actually happened, and Charles Dickens wrote the popular A Christmas Carol. It was then that Americans decided Christmas was a good excuse to celebrate peace, family, and social equality. It was also a way to reward children, and to stimulate the economy. Christmas as we know it has always been a non-religious, commercial holiday.
4) As much as right-wing media such as FOX, The Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, or the Wall Street Journal want everyone to believe that Christians are the most oppressed religious group, that distinction goes to another group…. Atheists.
Okay, that’s cheating a little bit. Atheists, by definition, are not a religious group… but we are about religion. And a new poll by Public Religion Research Institute shows that voters are most uncomfortable voting for an Atheist president – slightly edging out the idea of a Muslim president. By contrast, they do seem to be quite comfortable with an Evangelical Christian president… like Rick Perry… or George W. Bush…