Sunday, November 23, 2008

And The Casualty Lists Mount . . .

One right-wing fantasy that just won't go away is the "War on Christmas". Of all the stupid things to get one's panties in a bunch about, this has to be the dumbest. Yet, it is rearing its ugly head once again as Thanksgiving approaches, meaning Christmas can't be far behind.

Over at Street Prophets, there is a nice run-down on the history of this conflict, which stretches back to those archetypes of the true proto-Americans, the Puritans. Now, it actually goes back even further, to Calvin's Geneva, but it became the special provenance of the United States via the same folks the right-wing celebrate as the true forebears of our Judeo-Christian heritage.
From England the Protestant War on Christmas then crossed the Atlantic, migrating with the Puritans who were fleeing the persecution of their political and theological tendency that followed the overthrow of Cromwellian government, to the New World. Under Puritan rule in the Bay State Colony, Christmas was at one point legally banned for two decades.

In this year of a collapsing economy, and fears of deflation, it seems absurd to insist that we temper our desire to purchase all sorts of gee-gaws, yet some lefties are, indeed, doing that very thing.
Maybe the parents (the decent ones at least) who can't afford to buy toys for their kids this year can explain to the disappointed little tykes that Santa went John Galt this year. Then they can explain to the little parasites that they should be working and creating instead of expecting toys to just be handed to them, and that those visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads are only so much irrational altruistic/collectivist hoo-hah.

On a serious note, I am of two minds about this. I tend to prefer down-playing the whole "gift buying" thing, even with our kids. On the other hand, nothing would be better this Christmas than to get people to indulge in an orgy of consumerism. In fact, it is exactly what we need right now, if for no other reason than to keep the whole building from imploding. On the other hand, since imploring buying as a patriotic duty doesn't quite go along with celebrating the birth of the Savior, I do think there is more than a little cognitive dissonance here. Rest assured, however, that Bill O'Reilly or some other foot soldier on the right will hold up progressive calls to withhold purchases this Christmas as still more evidence in their fact-free shriek over the War on Christmas.

They say war is hell. This one is more Laugh-In.

Virtual Tin Cup

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