Tuesday, December 12, 2006

War on Christmas

Yesterday I was watching some news program and they were talking about this religious Jewish leader that decided he was going to take this airport to court in Seattle, Washington, because they had 14 Christmas trees erected in their airport at each exit. He told them that if they didn't take the trees down, then he would file suit against them. So... what did the airport do?? They took the trees down.

They interviewed some travellers at the airport and asked their opinions, and everyone they talked to couldn't understand the logic behind someone, a Rabbi, complaining, and the fact that the airport actually took the trees down.

Really, I don't get this. This kind of crap has been going on for years now. All of a sudden, groups of ppl are getting their panties in a wad and wanting Christians to stop celebrating Christmas or at least, not show any signs of the holiday and Lord forbid, say the words "Merry Christmas". It's all a load of crap, I think. Now, because ppl are so afraid of being politically incorrect or of offending someone, you find that a lot of ppl have gone to saying "happy holidays" or "have a joyous holiday season", instead of the good ole "Merry Christmas".

It all makes me wonder what these Rabbis and such think when they walk into stores in the U.S. and there are Christmas trees everywhere. Makes me want to laugh. Who are they to tell an airport to stop a tradition that they've had for years?!! Who are they to tell them they'll sue them if they don't take the trees down!! Who are ppl to say that we can't use the words "Merry Christmas" any more or make ppl feel so bad about it, and that we, as a society, stop using such words so as to not make any particular group mad.

I once worked for this Jewish firm in the States and we weren't allowed to put up a Christmas tree.... I always hated that. Here the CFO's and such were in NY, but we, in Dallas, weren't allowed to put up a tree or even decorate the office. Lord forbid anyone celebrate the birth of Christ..... or even put up a tree just to have some holiday spirit. Because really, to look at the holiday closely, many will find that a lot of families don't put up trees or decorate for the religious reasons... it's a tradition and it brings out a feeling inside of you.... it brings back memories... it gives you a good feeling.... the kids love it.... it's just a way to celebrate the holidays. I can't say that I think it's good or bad really - not to do it for the religious reasons - but I know that I love to decorate for Christmas. Do I think about the birth of Christ? Did I think about this as a child? Yes and yes. But I don't put up my tree for that purpose, nor do I give gifts for that reason.... but I never forget, which I'm guessing, that most who celebrate Christmas, don't forget either. Here lies the problem w/ these other faiths... or is it just a way to cause a problem?

I was listening to 106.3 lastnight and they were talking about a 'war on Christmas', and how a lot of ppl have stopped saying the word "Christmas". Just recently, Billy Bush was giving some speech or was marking the lighting of the huge Christmas tree outside the White House or something (caught the tail end of this, so I'm not sure), and he used the words "Merry Christmas" over and over again, while others talking during this same event did the same, but when it came to signing off that evening, the news anchors said "have a joyous holiday season".

Personally, I believe we should be able to celebrate any holiday we want and say the words related to that holiday w/out the likes of other religious groups saying anything. I can't imagine it if we weren't allowed to put up a tree here in Bahrain. I'm happy because I get to see trees standing tall in stores here.... even some very Muslim stores, you will see Christmas trees decorated w/ lights blinking.... and even once, when I was shopping a few years back at Seef Mall, I was in a store and there was another person shopping and they asked, "are you Christmas shopping" and I said, "yes"... and then they said "Merry Christmas". It was really nice and it gave me a warm feeling inside - just to feel that bond w/ another person at Christmastime, especially when you're so far away from the U.S. I can't imagine a world where we're not allowed to have such joy.


Ashish Gorde said...

I couldn't agree more with you... and, yes, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS in advance. Now if the PC cops don't like it, then, they can take a joyous hike. :-)

Bahraini Rants said...

that was one of things i noticed during my tenure in the states.. Every year you'd see less and less Chistmas decorations and more ambiguous holliday decorations.. i never really picked up on it, until my ex (a christian) was really perturbed with the dwindling amount of holiday spirit..

It did feel weird watching someone's religious holiday taken away from them..

and with that, merry christmas and a happy... new year..

The Moody Minstrel said...

What's really funny is that, contrary to popular belief (that Martin Luther invented it), most experts believe that the "Christmas tree" has its roots in a pagan tradition. Some of the Germanic tribes used to celebrate Jul (Yule) by decorating a circle of evergreen trees with ornaments and candles and then, by the light of the moon and said candles, they'd perform plays depicting tales of their gods and legendary heroes.

I think you'll find that a lot of our "Christmas" traditions actually have pagan roots since the whole "Christmas" festival was superimposed on an already existing pagan festive season (Yule) by early European Christians in order to help promote the faith.

Not that I don't love Christmas very dearly...it's still my favorite holiday.

By the way, did you hear that the employees of that airport decided to thumb their noses at that rabbi and put up their own decorations themselves? Apparently the rabbi in question said he never intended to press charges. The port authorities just believed, based on what he'd said, that he might do so.

Anonymous said...

What a sad sad little man that Rabbi is. And what's even sadder is the airport people who listened to him!

Now I'm sure if anyone had said anything simialr about HIS religion, they would've been called anti-semitic and portrayed as 'evil'.

Can you imagine a non-Muslim calling for a boycott to Eid celebrations here?


Olivia said...

Tooners, I missed you!

Anyhoo. I've been ranting about the PC dilutions into Winter Celebrations over here in the UK too.

And yet, so many Jews, Muslims and Hindus say that we let them celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Eid, Diwali, whatever...So why can't we just let ourselves enjoy our own holiday too? They happen to like joining in!

Olivia said...

Moody Minstrel - just what I would have said re: the origins of Xmas.

tooners said...

moody, you know, i saw something years ago about the christmas trees, but had forgotten until now. i love trees, love to decorate them and watch the lights, and even if ppl started complaining that it's a pagan tradition, i'd never give it up. do you think all the fuss is because of this or what? i tend to think it's not, but whose to say.

bahraini rants, the last time i was in the States for Christmas, i don't know if i thought it was toned down all that much, but maybe. i can remember a time when all the stores would play Christmas music, trees would be everywhere, elves would be everywhere, santas outside ringing the bells for donations, just tons of Christmas spirit... and the last time i was there for the holiday, i don't remember that. it was more when i was a child and that's sad, i think.

ashish, Merry Christmas to you as well. not knowing if you celebrate... i hope, if you do, that yours is merry and full of love, peace and happiness. :)

ali, i thought the same as you... wondered what ppl would think if others tried to tell them they couldn't celebrate their holidays like Eid and such. i can't imagine it.

olivia, i read your blog about this. makes me wonder why so many ppl are going all PC w/ it. you know, i've been hearing about this whole problem w/ Christmas for years now, but it seems that you take a different spin w/ it. do you think christians are bringing this upon themselves?

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Did I tell you Tooners, that I am the wife of a talatala (Methodist preacher-man)? So of course Christmas has a special meaning for us - but not so 'merry' this year as we are grief-stricken about our lovely country of Fiji in crisis - with another coup!
But I am broad-minded and really appreciate the festivals of various religions e.g. Diwali, the Festival of Lights of the Hindu people. We can see rich meaning in all kinds of traditions.
This PC is evident in Australia too as some schools no longer have nativity plays out of respect for many non-Christian students - but what the heck - it's a great story for everyone surely!

Roop said...

I am from India, though India is neutral for religious things, as i am Hindu, we use Loud speakers in Temple festive season and some object this, that also happens in India.
Blogger (www.mgrroop.blogspot.com) Roop

Olivia said...

I had no idea I was taking a different spin :)
Simply fed up with anything PC. It really can go too far. Don't get me startd about the law they just passed here for writing job ads. All about age discrimination. You're not allowed to advertised for someone "dynamic" or "energetic" as that can be construed to mean "younger people" although I know some oldsters who have way more pluck than I do!

The Moody Minstrel said...

do you think all the fuss is because of this or what? i tend to think it's not, but whose to say.

Tooners, I think it all boils down to people nowadays thinking they have rights but no responsibilities. I'm not sure whether that trend started in the '80s (the "ME generation") or the '90s (the "NOT ME" generation), but it hasn't faded out yet even with the "sense of unity"(?) that followed 9/11. Everyone feels entitled to total satisfaction all the time. Patience and tolerance are seen as an affront to personal freedom. That's why you get people going ape-spit if they so much as see something they don't agree with. They say it causes them "mental anguish" to have to put up with the sight of it.

I'd agree that I feel plenty of mental anguish putting up with them, but I do so out of respect and out of my responsibility to help maintain social harmony.

vampyregirl said...

and even though I am not christian, I too think its bull crap that these christmas haters are around. what the hell?

so tooners, I too wish you a very merry christmas!

Anonymous said...

And a bah humbug to that misrabel old so and so xmas is about our children,so have a merry christmass and a happy new year to you's all.....god bless ye's all
(when in rome do as the romans do lol)

tooners said...

olivia, i think i took what you said the wrong way maybe. when i say different spin, i meant - do you think that christians are bringing all this 'non-christmas' stuff on themselves? that's what i got out of your post, but hey, i know i don't always read it right. i sorta thought this was being pushed on christians - that others were pushing christians into an area of non-celebrating or rather trying to make it seem that christians were being too over the top somehow w/ all the celebrating and such, but maybe i'm really off on this one. obviously, i don't read enough! ;) when you say that christians bring this upon themselves... do you think that they're being too politically correct or such w/ christmas and then trying to blame others and such?

moody, i agree with you. this whole mental anguish thing really grates on my nerves.

wendy, i had no idea that your husband is a preacher!! i can only imagine how christmas is for you both - and your family. i also enjoy all the other holidays... i think it's a wonderful thing for ppl to be able to celebrate what they believe in.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Alfanan and Tooners? I keep checking back here and all the regular updates have stopped... hope everythings alright!

Anonymous said...

yes that is really strange.

i am starting to worry.

Tooners, drop me a note!!!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Alfanan's own blog has also been at a dead stop for weeks...

Anonymous said...

happy that ISLAM is not prohibiting others from celebrating their holidays and even encouraging muslims to be nice to them and share the happy feelings

Anonymous said...

He is celebrated and will be celebrated more and more everywhere. I mean Christ, the GIFT, the essence of Christmas. Yahoo has an extensive photo coverage of this Christmas - photos from China, Bahrain, Dubai, Lebanon etc. Merry Christmas.