Saturday, December 22, 2007

Who, exactly, is fighting the war against Christmas?


Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. expressed mild surprise in this article at the idea that Sam Harris has a Christmas tree with ornaments and Richard Dawkins likes Christmas carols. Mohler wrote:

Presumably, these vigorous opponents of Christianity would treat the observance of Christmas like a disease and stay as far away as possible.

Normally I'd say that was an offensively ignorant and biggotted sentence and that this whole war on Christmas was a fraud supported by politicians pretending that they have "values" by jumping to the defence of something that isn't really under attack. However, I have just learned that, apparently, Christopher Hitchens actually does avoid Christmas like a disease and stay as far away as possible.

Hitchens is alone fighting a war on Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas and Groundhog day.

As for me, while I understand that the groundhog has never submitted his weather prediction abilities to James Randi's testing thus making the special day a celebration of superstition and primitive ignorance, I do have a lot of warm and nostalgic memories of Christmases past at this time of year in spite of similar foolish excuses for the holiday. I like to catch traditional Christmas movies like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Bad Santa" on TV and the whole family is gathering as I write. We share meals and play games like "Clue" and "Monopoly." Like Sam Harris I value giving gifts, celebrating the holiday with the family and enjoying all of the kitsch.

Lacking substantive material to write about (like me at the moment) Mohler wrote about Dawkins twice, there's another article called "Merry Christmas, Dear Atheist" where Mohler wonders which Christmas carols are Richard Dawkins' favorites and he writes this:

... sight of an avowed atheist joining in the Christmas chorus is a bit hard to imagine. At the same time, there is something comforting about the idea that even the world's most famous atheist will move his lips to the songs that celebrate Christ's birth. Perhaps those words will move from his lips to his head and his heart. We should pray that it might be so.

"Sight of an avowed atheist"? Does Albert think atheists can be recognized on sight? Does he think they look different than Christians? I imagine it would look like any other group singing. Why does he have a hard time imagining this?

Does Albert Mohler ever sing about Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer or Frosty the snowman? Perhaps one day those words will move from his lips to his head and his heart and one day he will believe that Santa, Frosty and Rudolf really exist because of it. Perhaps one day he will believe in the shiny nose that was so bright that Santa could guide his sleigh that night.

Perhaps one day dear Albert will stop hating Santa and his flying reindeer. Of course, Albert will say he doesn't hate Santa because to hate something you have to believe in it first. But how can anyone not believe in Santa when any child can go to any major department store and experience Santa for himself? How else can we explain Albert's disbelief in Santa when there is so much evidence that Santa exists? Albert just sincerely hates Santa. Maybe Albert hates Santa because he never got that Christmas present he asked for. The point is Albert hates Satan Claus and his flying reindeer, who are just and loving in their gift giving. In spite of that free gift of a coal lump that Albert did nothing for he hates Santa because he wants to do what gets him on Santa's naughty list.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can see why Hitchens wouldn't be particularly taken with Christmas. If you're pissed out of your head the year round, 25th December is just business as usual, isn't it?

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