"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, December 05, 2016

Happy Merry Blessed Whatever

Yeah, it's "war on Christmas" time, with all the attendant pouting and histrionics. We all know that no one is making war on Christmas; we're all just a) recognizing that everyone has a winter solstice festival, and b) ignoring the assumption of Christian dominance. I think it's the ignoring that bothers the likes of Bill O'Reilly the most.

At any rate, here's a piece from Robbie Medwed, who describes himself as a "decently observant Jew," that takes a look at the phenomenon, with particular attention to America's favorite deadbeat dad and ex-Illinois congressman, Joe Walsh.

It's pretty much on the mark, but there's one point on which I take issue with both Walsh and Medwed:

Joe Walsh✔

Take away Christmas at this time of the year and what do you have?


That's cuz it's the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas.
8:48 PM - 3 Dec 2016

Aside from being factually incorrect, it’s just absurd. If we take away Christmas at this time of year, you know what we have? Another day, just like any other. Dec. 25 would still exist. No catastrophe would take its place and no one would disappear from the Earth because of it.

Medwed does go on to acknowledge that fact that there are other solstice festivals, but I think he misses the point: They all acknowledge, in some way, the turning of the year, no matter the specific event they are ostensibly celebrating.

OK -- that's all I've got to say about the "war on Christmas," except to say that if someone wishes me a "Merry Christmas," I'm not enough of an asshole that I'm going to respond with something like "Blessed Yule." As I remarked to the Iranian gentleman who owned the store where I used to buy cigarettes when he was concerned that I might be offended when he wished me "Inshallah," I'm not one to be offended by a blessing offered in good will.

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