Christmas is defined as an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ even though it is fairly well-known that the mythological “virgin birth” occurred sometime in June, but that is another story altogether. In an effort to create contention and further their “persecution” meme around the Pagan winter solstice “Christmas season,” the religious right resurrects their annual assertion that atheists, secularists, and non-Christians are waging “war on Christmas.” The phony war on Christmas drives conservative Christians mad and brings them together to keep “Christ in Christmas” even though they spend the rest of the year keeping Christ out of Republican policies they adamantly support. What the “keep Christ in Christmas” crowd revealed this year is the “Christ” conservative Christians worship is a barbaric, hateful, and callous deity who advocates starving Americans, keeping them in poverty, and promotes an agenda to keep them sick and dying.
First, it is important to acknowledge the religious right’s entire issue in their war on Christmas narrative is predicated on the manner in which Americans express wishes for the winter holidays and nothing more. Their contention that “Happy Holidays” is non-believers’ crusade to extricate Jesus of the “Christ in Christmas” is as phony as their contention that saying “Merry Christmas” identifies one as a follower of biblical Christ. The regular defenders of the faith leading up to and during the winter holidays, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, and Fox News claim “Happy Holidays” is an attack on their right to celebrate Christmas by, as O’Reilly claims, dirty secularists crusading to “banish any mention of Jesus in the public square.” Attention whore and charlatan Sarah Palin has travelled the country pimping her book and warning Americans that the soldiers in the war on Christmas are “angry atheists” on a campaign to “abort Christ from Christmas” despite atheists could not care less whether Christians celebrate the mythological “virgin birth” or use the day to get material possessions at someone else’s expense.
The glaring hypocrisy of those on the right, primarily conservative Christians, is they want Christ kept in Christmas during the Pagan winter holidays, but “abort Christ” from the policies and agendas they promote throughout the year. One does not have to be a biblical scholar to know the Jesus of the Gospels promoted and admonished his followers to feed, clothe, and care for the poor and infirm, or that he preached that the rich have to sell all their belongings and give the proceeds to the poor if they want to get to Heaven.
Although there are several Gospel accounts of Christ’s advocacy for the poor, his foretelling of judgment day and who will be “blessed to inherit the kingdom prepared for you” shows the importance he placed on caring for the poor. He said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me.” His followers failed to understand the meaning of the story and asked, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we welcome you, or naked and clothe you?” The Jesus Christ that conservative Christians are fighting to keep in Christmas replied, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:25-40). There is no better explanation of how important biblical Christ believed it was to care for the poor, but it is lost on conservative Christians in Republican and teabagger ranks.
The Christian conservatives fighting to keep Jesus in Christmas are the same hypocrites fighting to keep him and his teachings to care for the needy out of their policies that deliberately create more suffering for the poor; not relieve it as their “Christ in Christmas” preached throughout his ministry. In fact, as 2013 wound down, Republicans and teabaggers went to great extremes to take food from the hungry, keep millions in ill-health and dying, and send millions more into poverty while executing their crusade to keep “angry atheists” from aborting “Christ from Christmas.” Queen of hypocrisy Sarah Palin went a step farther and profited from her effort to keep “Christ in Christmas” pimping her book around the country and through “lame stream media” she claims to hate while condemning policies to feed the poor, house the homeless, and care for the sick because they were too costly for her grandchildren.
In the last two months, conservative Christians cut funding from SNAP (food stamps), sent 1.3 million out-of-work Americans into poverty by not extending unemployment benefits, kept 99.6% of the sequester in place to keep seniors hungry, the homeless on the streets, and cut children’s Head Start programs while their mouthpieces claim they want Jesus Christ in Christmas. The hypocrites have kept Christ out of their policies all year, every year, and then claim non-believers are “on a crusade to banish any mention of Jesus in the public square” because they say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
For tens-of-millions of Americans, there will not be happy holidays or a merry Christmas solely because Christian conservatives are on a crusade to keep them in poverty, hungry, homeless, and sick based on a reprehensible philosophy that Jesus predestined all the nation’s wealth for the richest 2% of Americans. As an aside, Christmas is really a commercial ploy to create more profit for the people funding conservative Christians in Congress to create more poverty, hunger, and ill-health for millions of Americans to keep them desperate and willing to work for poverty wages. It is just added hypocrisy from advocates for keeping Christ in Christmas who promote candidates and policies enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
One hopes that while millions of Americans luxuriate in warm homes with an abundance of food and enjoy opening presents around a Christmas tree, they will pause and think, even for a second, that there are 50 million Americans barely surviving in hunger, ill-health, and poverty. For those millions, Christmas is not a happy holiday any more than any other day of the year and sadly, many of those suffering are followers of the Christ in Christmas that could do nothing to prevent conservative Christians in Congress from deliberately keeping the disadvantaged in poverty and putting more at risk of joining their ranks. Conservative Christians fighting to keep Christ in Christmas while keeping his teachings out of their policies do not deserve a happy holiday or a merry Christmas. One hopes that if their bible is true, the Christ they are fighting to keep in the Pagan winter holiday gives them exactly what they have given the poor in their war on Christmas, and follows through on his promise to condemn them to proverbial Hell. Happy Holidays!
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.