We secular Grinches have been served up a loss by that hero of the holidays, Bill O'Reilly. Wal-Mart will switch from saying 'Happy Holidays' to 'Merry Christmas.' Who knew Bing Crosby was trying to kill Christmas by singing 'Happy Holidays?'
Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly and a few conservative Christian groups have argued that there is a ‘‘war on Christmas.’’ They’ve even claimed that by dropping the words ‘‘Merry Christmas,’’ retailers — perhaps unwittingly — joined a liberal conspiracy to remove religion from popular culture so that the gay agenda and legalized abortion can thrive.
What’s thriving, though, is Wal-Mart, which put an executive on O’Reilly’s show to promote its change of heart in a free, prime-time commercial.
What gets me is that all of these champions of Xmas are the same people who promote the philosophy of Scrooge. It's the people who are contemptuous of the poor (the vast majority of whom are children), the people who hate gays and women and anyone who's not a solid baptist, the people who call for the assassination of foreign leaders, as Pat Robertson did, or will call for terrorist strikes on San Francisco, as O'Reilly has.
If you have any doubt as to how crazy these people are, check out this bit of spew from SaveWalMart.com (courtesy of Evangelical Right:
Wal-Mart is changing! It is departing from the rock from which it was hewn. The faith and love for God and His Word by Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, is being trashed before our very eyes. God blessed Wal-Mart because Sam Walton applied biblical principles to run his business. He never failed to give King Jesus the glory.
The devil is forcing our schools, businesses, government, and churches to honor those things which are an abomination to God. Christians must take a stand! It’s time for our theology to become biography in the streets! It’s time for us to come out of the closet!
Their plan to 'save Wal-Mart':
On Friday, November 24, 2006, the busiest shopping day of the year, Christians from across the nation will bring the Gospel of Christ to the very gates of the largest retailer in the World -- WAL-MART!
In Charlotte, North Carolina and at over 300 other Wal-Mart Stores across the nation, a Gospel information explosion will take place with brochures, preaching, praying, and Christian witnessing. Christianity is moving out of the closet to become biography in the streets to come to the aide of America’s “favorite” store! God blessed Wal-Mart and it became America’s favorite store because Sam Walton chose to honor God and run his business according to Biblical principles. That has now changed.
You'd think freakin' Wal-Mart was in the Bible. With most of the stuff on their shelves made in chinese sweat shops, it's hard to imagine that Jesus would be a fan. But there it is again, the philosophy of Scrooge put across as a christian message.
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens:
"Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask," said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit's robe, "but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?"
"It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it," was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. "Look here."
From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.
"Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost.
They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.
Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.
"Spirit, are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more.
"They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end."
Can you really see Bill O'Reilly calling for the elimination of ignorance and want? This is the guy who said, "It's hard to do it because you gotta look people in the eye and tell 'em they're irresponsible and lazy. And who's gonna wanna do that? Because that's what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen. In this country, you can succeed if you get educated and work hard. Period. Period." For O'Reilly, poverty is entirely the fault of the poor. Like Scrooge, who asked, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" O'Reilly doesn't give a damn about want. And ignorance is practically celebrated.
So blowhards like O'Reilly and the nutcases on the religious right see themselves as defenders of something they don't even believe in. They have teams of lawyers ready to sue the pants off anyone who they think aren't being christmasy enough. While whining about 'liberal elitists,' they're elitists who hate anyone who isn't exactly like they are -- whether they're poor or hungry or not christian enough. For them, Christmas is about saying the magic words and being smugly satisfied that you're absolutely right about everything.
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