Monday, December 20, 2010
How to Ruin Christmas
Christmas has become an ideological battleground over the past decade or so, maybe longer. In the school where I graduated into the real world in 1955, we all happily sang Christmas carols together, Jew and Gentile alike, but that has long since been forbidden.
Christmas is being deliberately ruined by a handful of morons in the name of diversity or even tolerance, but who’s being intolerant when all manner of celebrations no longer can be enjoyed for fear of “offending” Muslims? I saw a report about one gentleman who for years dressed up as Santa and brought candies to a children’s center. Thanks to a single complaint by a Somali couple, he was told to stay home this year.
Of the Arabs in America, fully two thirds are Christians. The Muslim population is even smaller than the Jewish population and today’s Jews are so assimilated that most celebrate a non-religious Christmas along with the rest of the population. Some even have a “Chanuka bush” and you don’t hear them complaining about Christmas.
Meanwhile, in cities around the world, in nations that are predominantly Buddhist or some other faith, you will find Christmas decorations happily hung to join in the fun that began with a decision of the early Christian church to identify December 25th as the birthday of Jesus in order to more effectively compete with the birthday of Mithras, a widely regarded pagan god whose birth was celebrated on that date.
“Mithraism radiated from India where there is evidence of its practice from 1400 B.C. Mitra was part of the Hindu pantheon and Mithra was, perhaps, a minor Zoroastrian deity, the god of the airy light between heaven and earth. He was also said to have been a military general in Chinese mythology.”
For the same reason the early church tried to deflect the Roman Empire from harming its followers, many of whom paid with their lives. The New Testament blames the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus even while making it perfectly clear it was the Romans under Pontius Pilot who rendered the verdict, nor does it fudge the fact that Jesus was Jewish.
Crucifixion was a common Roman punishment. Fortunately for Christianity, Constantine converted to the faith in 312 A.D., assuring its survival as the dominant faith of his widespread Mediterranean empire.
The award for having the least understanding of Christmas must go this year to the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. It erected a 43-foot tall, faux fir Christmas tree in its atrium and adorned it with $11 million worth of 131 “ornaments” that included gold, diamond and sapphire jewelry. Granted that the hotel has many infidels as guests, but this ostentatious display of wealth has nothing to do with the Christmas spirit.
Christmas is also a time when various special interest groups try to co-opt the holiday, often egregiously distorting it such as the National Wildlife Federation’s “Santa Goes Green.” This appalling piece of nonsense asks if Rudolph’s nose requires “some outside source of energy” and compares him to a hybrid car! Others stand ready to harangue you to recycle while People for an Ethical Treatment of Animals wants you to become a vegan! These groups are shameless.
I am all for gift-giving, but Christmas has become a massive marketing and advertising campaign in which the “reason for the season” is generally lost amidst the bargain sales and discounts. The same applies to those people who compete to put a million Christmas lights on their homes to demonstrate, I suppose, that they can.
Because I am an old curmudgeon I am thoroughly tired of the same handful of Christmas movies that the various television channels run over and over again each year. Granted that the older ones from the 1940s are charming and many of a more recent vintage are too vile to be seen by children. It’s probably best to stick with “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
I will have to content myself with memories of the excitement I recall as a child, rushing down the stairs on Christmas morning to see what gifts Santa left. That was fun! The best memories I have are of the Christmas breads and cakes my Mother would bake as gifts for the neighbors on the tiny street we shared. It was my job to bring them around and I fondly recall those people, all long gone, who welcomed me into their homes.
These days I pray that Christians gathered in their churches in the Middle East and elsewhere will not be subjected to terrorist attacks for being Christians. I worry that Al Qaeda is planning another Christmas attack on a commercial jet filled with travelers hoping to get home in time to celebrate with their families.
The jihadists really know how to ruin Christmas for everyone.
© Alan Caruba, 2010