Reposted from the TFN Insider (Texas Freedom Network)—authored by Dan
“Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick, one of three Republicans trying to unseat David Dewhurst as lieutenant governor next year, thinks he knows what God wants people to hear. Lone Star Q reports that Patrick was a guest Thursday on the Chad Hasty Show, a radio program on KFYO in Lubbock. Patrick weighed in on recent controversial comments by Phil Robertson, star of the reality television show Duck Dynasty. Here’s some of what Patrick had to say:
“Think about this, Chad. God has used Phil, of all people, a ‘Duck Dynasty’ show, to say clearly what He is thinking. I don’t agree with the way Phil said some things in the article, maybe God would not have used those words, but when he’s talking about God, and he’s talking about the principles of the Bible, that’s powerful. Think about how God is speaking to his people at the Christmas season through Uncle Phil about this issue. I think that’s the story, and I think it’s powerful, and it excites me as a Christian.”
God is speaking through Robertson? So, Sen. Patrick, does God also want his people to know that African Americans during the pre-civil rights era–“pre-entitlement, pre-welfare”–were just happy folks? Robertson said that.
Or maybe Patrick is just talking about Robertson’s anti-gay comments. Was God also talking to his people when Robertson had this to say about gay people in 2010, Sen. Patrick?
“They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”
God really says that, Sen. Patrick? Does that kind of vile rhetoric also “excite” you?
“Mainly because these boys are waiting until they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ‘em. Look, you wait till they get to be about 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You gotta marry these girls when they’re 15 or 16, they’ll pick your ducks. You need to check with mom and dad about that, of course.’”
So God wants men to marry girls when they’re 15 or 16, Sen. Patrick? Well, as long as Mom and Dad say it’s OK, right?
This is the problem with pretending to know what God wants to tell people: you can end up sounding like a fool. Or a vicious, narrow-minded demagogue.
This is a great piece from the Houston Press by Jef With One F:
“Welcome once again to the most wonderful time of the year. Here in Houston the air is cool, the streets in River Oaks and Upper Kirby are festive as festive can be, gingerbread and peppermint-flavored everything adorns local drink menus, and the giant, soul-eating kraken that lives underneath the Galleria is already calling her annual sacrifices to her.
It’s also a time to watch some of my fellow Houstonians re-apply their “Keep Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers so that they can’t be mistaken for being on the wrong side of the totally made-up “War on Christmas.” Every year there’s yet another batch of yokels all eaten up with the belief that Christmas is somehow under attack from secular forces in order to, I don’t know, make Jesus cry or something. It’s martyrdom fan fiction written by people who have only the firstiest of First World problems.
While I could sit here for 700 words and lace a logical explanation about why the “War on Christmas” is stupid with penis jokes, instead I’ve got a better idea. If you’ve clicked on this link in a frothy rage, I want to tell you a few things you might not have realized about this war against the atheist liberal scum you think you’re waging.
5. The “War” Was Started By the John Birch Society: If you’ve never heard of the John Birch Society then you probably get a better night’s sleep than I do. Founder Robert Welch, a candy manufacturer, started off with a fairly legitimate organization dedicated to fighting communism in 1958, but like most people who made fighting communism a life-long goal what he started turned into a paranoid conspiracy that accused everything from fluoridation of water to the Book of the Month Club to being sinister, subliminal plots from hidden American commies to overthrow the capitalist nation.
One of their earliest campaigns, though, was the idea that Christ was being eradicated from Christmas celebrations as a classic communist strike at undermining religious belief in order to make people less able to resist the state. From the 1959 pamphlet “There Goes Christmas?!” by Hubert Kregeloh:
“The UN fanatics launched their assault on Christmas in 1958, but too late to get very far before the holy day was at hand. They are already busy, however, at this very moment, on efforts to poison the 1959 Christmas season with their high-pressure propaganda. What they now want to put over on the American people is simply this: Department stores throughout the country are to utilize UN symbols and emblems as Christmas decorations.”
4. Using Xmas Instead of Christmas is Older Than American Secularism:The most common example of a Christian casualty in the “War on Christmas” is the fact that so many people abbreviate the holiday as Xmas. Clearly it’s the work of rabid atheists attempting to banish Christ from his own birthday (Which it isn’t, but for the sake of argument I happily acknowledge that it’s the day Christians celebrate Christ’s birth). This fixation ignores the fact that even people that regularly write Xmas, never say it that way out loud any more than someone pronounces Mrs. as Mars.
The practice of abbreviating Christ’s name with an X actually started at least in the first century, and appears in several early Greek New Testaments. X represents the Greek letter “chi”, and was often used by copyists for the same reason people use it today; to cut down on space and effort. In the 15th century, when printing presses came into play, printers still would abbreviate Christ, as well as Christian, Christina, and other derivatives with an X to cut costs. Newspapers and other publications picked it up from there.
They assumed everyone was smart enough to know Xmas stood for Christmas since it’s been that way for almost as long as the New Testament has been around.
3. Christmas as You Understand It Is Very, Very Recent: For most of its history, America really hasn’t given a damn about Christmas. It wasn’t a federal holiday until 1870, and for many years after that the idea that private businesses should give the day off to all their employees wasn’t standard. Before 1870, Congress was in session on December 25, and in early America several places outright banned the holiday as too Catholic or as a form of idolatry. The general attitude was that if you liked Christmas, have a Christmas. The rest of the country got on how it wanted.
Or it tried to at any rate… drunken riots on Christmas were actually the reason that New York City organized its first police force, and the holiday was regarded as worse than Halloween in terms of mischief and vandalism.
The reason we celebrate Christmas the way we do today is the same reason we celebrate most holidays the way we do. Around the time of the Civil War, there was a concerted effort to bolster a sense of unity through holidays like Thanksgiving (which no one else ever cared about either), and a big part of that was appealing to people’s sense of religion and family to basically create a forced day of generosity and brotherhood. Once retailers in the late 19th century realized that you could exploit that to make money on presents, Christmas as we know it was born.
2. Protestantism Helped Define the Holiday as Family, Not Religiously-Oriented: One out of every two Americans identifies as some sort of Protestant, which means that Protestantism has a huge influence on the way America thinks about its culture. While you find devout Roman Catholics in church on Christmas Day, even after midnight Mass the night before, a steadily increasing number of Protestant churches are closed.
Around the time that Christmas was taking off in a new, unified form here in America, an Anglican named Edward White Benson, who later served as Archbishop of Canterbury, crafted a potent combination of scripture lessons and carols specifically for the holiday season that caught on in a big way for Christmas Eve services. By 1920 The Service of Lessons and Carols had pretty much become the de facto manner of Christmas Eve worship by the majority of Americans. Many churches hold multiple services to accommodate demand.
Then in the 1950s America became almost radically focused on a Norman Rockwell vision of the family as the country’s ideal. According to a 2008 article in Time, “The image of family gathered around the tree became a Christmas icon that rivaled the baby Jesus. And Christmas Eve services — with their pageantry and familiar traditions — became just one part of the celebration, after the family dinner and before the opening of presents.”
So when you wonder why folks became more focused on presents and trees than going to church when referring to Christmas, it’s because churches openly began catering to the idea that the holiday be split between religious significance and secular family life, including gift giving commercialism.
1. There’s No War Because You Already Won: The most annoying thing about the “War on Christmas” is the way that certain religious people use it to portray themselves as oppressed minorities bravely fighting for their cultural identity in a sea of intolerant fascism. It’s sort of like how Ann Romney tried to convince America that she knew what life was like for the 99 percent because at one point her family was forced to live on dividends from stock. In both cases there is a whole lot of not knowing what in the hell you’re talking about.
Statistically, more than three out of every four people in America identify as Christians. That means they still outnumber the second largest group, the non-religious, by more than 600 percent. The only people that win wars against those odds are Scotsmen and characters from Star Wars.
If you look at the list of retailers that have been attacked for using non-Christmas terms like Happy Holidays and Seasons’ Greetings over the last decade, you see that the second anyone says boo to a major retailer for not explicitly using the word Christmas in its advertising they immediately fix that. Wal-Mart responded to repeated boycott threats by the Catholic League in 2006 by making the word Christmas more prominent. The American Family Associate managed to force advertising changes in Target’s ads the next year over threat of a boycott, and also shifted Home Depot on the same terms in 2008.
I find it somewhat ironic that in a country where Christmas was outright banned in places, the most vocal infantrymen in the “War on Christmas” seem most interested in making sure that every store and institution in America puts Christ’s name as prominently as possible and to the exclusion of all else. Considering what we know about the holiday’s history here, that sounds more like an offense than a defense to me.”
Reposted from The Daily Kos and written by “Hunter.”
I just love the way this guy thinks:
“You can’t have Christmas without the War on Christmas, because if there’s one thing a certain (loud) segment of America is certain of it’s that the baby Jesus was born 2,000 years ago primarily to justify your own need to be a raging asshole to people. I see the Republican Party jumped aboard the asshole train nice and early this year.
In a tweet last week, the NRCC promoted the t-shirt, which reads “Happy Holidays is What Liberals Say” in a Comic Sans font on the front and “Merry Christmas!” on the back, for Black Friday.
As of Monday, the shirt looks to have been removed from the NRCC website. The online store is still selling a t-shirt milder version that says “Not Afraid to Say ‘Merry Christmas.’”
The NRCC claims the shirt was pulled because it had sold out, not because anyone involved developed a sense of taste.
As John Avarosis points out, people who say “Happy Holidays” regularly include people other than the dreaded liberals, including Reince Priebus, George Dubya Freedom Bombs Bush, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News and the RNC themselves. (Also, too, one half of the vaunted Judeo-Christian hyphenated principles our country wuz foundered uppon, but during the months from September to December those hyphenated non-Christian types are all dismissed as practically Muslims; respect for the Jewish religion is, for most conservative Christians, a warm weather thing.)
Look, I understand where this is coming from. As I said, there are certain people who can only enjoy the holiday season if they think they are pissing other people off. If your point was to celebrate Christmas you could just wear a shirt saying Merry Christmas, but if your point is that liberals are terrible and that Christmas exists only as another reason for you to go around saying so, you buy yourself a “Happy Holidays is what liberals say” just so everybody you meet on that particular day feels just a wee bit uncomfortable to be around you, wondering if you are going to go off on one of your odd store-aisle rants about socialism again. This fills a deep-seated need in some people. You know—assholes. And assholes need shirts too.
I keep wondering if maybe we ought to make the War on Christmas a real thing, just as a farce. Non-Christians could start making an epic fuss over people saying “Merry Christmas” as if any of them actually gave a flying damn what other people say; we liberals could start printing up t-shirts saying “Merry Christmas is hate speech!” just to give some poor twit somewhere the Christmas vapors.
But that sounds like actual work, and I cannot imagine spending that much time pretending to give a damn about something that exists as outrage fodder only for a tiny minority of people for whom outrage is just as much a hobby as needlepoint or collecting potato chips that look like things. Spending the holidays (yes, there is more than one, hence the effing expression) wandering around town being obnoxious to people just does not sound like that much fun, probably because I am not an asshole.”
My sentiments exactly.
From The Daily Kos (“Cheers and Jeers” by Bill in Portland, Maine):
…you engage in an IRS witch hunt even when your information is proven false, you believe rape kits prevent pregnancy from rape, you accuse anyone who starts a debate on race relations of being a reverse-racist, you claim the solution to the environmental effects of fossil fuels is to drill wider and deeper for them, you compare gays to pedophiles, you shout “global cooling!” on individual snow days in the winter but ignore record-breaking heat year after year, you openly and proudly call for secession, you believe economic expansion depends on economic contraction, you think alternative energy means switching from regular to premium, you want more tax breaks for the wealthy but not the middle and lower classes, you thought voting for the Iraq war was good judgment and you’d do it all over again, your idea of healthcare reform is “take more vitamins,” you insist that the primary role of Congress is to repeal laws, you think it should be more difficult for minorities to vote, you spend most of your time naming new post offices at the same time you’re trying to strangle the Postal Service, you keep funneling billions of tax dollars to Big Oil but starve green energy, you see commies behind every bush, you think it’s fine that women earn 77 cents for every dollar men make, you compare European immigrants’ “Secretariat DNA” to Mexican immigrants’ “donkey DNA,” you believe regulations on massively-predatory corporations are tyranny but regulations on ordinary workaday individuals are necessary to prevent “moochers,” you preach “abstinence only” to a demographic group that’s at the peak of their biologically-wired horniness, you can’t stomach the idea of a minimum living wage for people on the lowest rungs of society at the same time you can’t stomach a billionaire paying a few extra bucks in taxes, your response to the obscene level of gun violence in America is more guns, you bicker and dicker over funding for disaster relief, you scream “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” but do nothing about jobs except slash them, and you act all rough and tough yet you’re too frightened to ever criticize a conservative radio entertainer because you’re afraid he might destroy you with some words…
…then tell me again, Republicans: why should anyone listen to you?”
Saw this by Yoni Brenner on The New Yorker website and just had to pass it along:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is faith, the right kind of faith;
Thou knowest, something with Christmas and Easter,
And a normative/non-ethnic Jesus.
Where there are taxes, let me lower them,
Where there are regulations, let me lift them,
Where there are capital gains, let me leave them as is,
For capital gains are awesome,
And what is this, France?
Where there are immigrants, let me deport them;
Where there are gays, let me un-gay them;
And where there are women’s issues, let me sidestep them,
Because, frankly, we’ve really been getting burned on that lately.
Speak, O Divine Master!
Whether directly to my soul or indirectly through Roger Ailes;
Tell me Thy will, and I shall obey it!
Show me Thy path, and I shall follow it!
Unless Thy will involves some form of gun control;
Which, as Thou knowest, is a nonstarter.