Monday, December 07, 2009

Ambushing Christmas

A war to "save" Christmas is the biggest load of garbage I've ever heard. Four or five years ago, whenever this thing started, I thought it was a silly fracas created by some idiots who were angry at Macy's and Sears over the audacity of "happy holidays" signs. But I had no idea the war would last so long. None of us did.

The 2009 battle has a new tactic. Now Fox News, led by Bill O'Reilly, is stalking and hounding a Boston area school principal because... something about the banning of Christmas items from the school fundraiser. I really don't even understand the significance or crisis here...

I have a rant building up inside of me about the phony victimhood of Republicans and Christians, but that will have to wait for another night. Right now I'll just say that my best childhood Christmas memories took place at home. Oh sure, I liked the little songs we sang in elementary school and the punch and cookies on the last day before the winter break. I liked them because it meant we weren't doing actual work! I liked these little things because they were a change of pace from workbooks, multiplication tables, and spelling tests.

Skipping these school celebrations does seem a bit dispiriting, but that whole separation of church and state kind of trumps it all. Plus, we're a much more diverse country now with many more races and religions in the classroom.

So my youngest nephew started kindergarten this year. If he never sings Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with his classmates, what difference will it make to him? Not a whole lot I assume. For better or worse, he's surrounded by the trappings of Christmas on television, the internet, the shops and malls... and oh yeah, at home.

This "war" matters more to Bill O'Reilly than anybody else... probably because O'Reilly profits from the hysteria he causes. But in a year where we've seen some horrible violence from the right-wing fringe, for God's sake, don't put our schools in the crosshairs! That's exactly what Fox is doing when they make sure their sheep get a clear view of the Boston school's street address. This could end in tragedy.

If O'Reilly sincerely wants to save Christmas, maybe he should drop the ambush reporting and dedicate his entire show to peace and joy? But no, Brave Bill is on a crusade against a school principal: "I have to tell you, madam, that you'll appear on this program one way or the other... because we're not letting it go." Yeah, that's what Christmas is all about.

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