Have you heard about the “Friend or Foe Campaign” that Jerry “Just Begging for Karmic Justice” Falwell has established? Not only are he and his band of thugs—I mean Christian followers—going to stamp out all of this “Happy Holidays” stuff and get everyone saying “Merry Christmas” whether they want to or not, he’s got a nice stable of lawyers ready to litigate so all those poor frightened masses of Kindergarten teachers can put “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” back into the federally funded secular classroom where it belongs!
And, no longer allowing that heathen ACLU or a reasonable separation of church and state to decide who gets to define freedom, the conservative “Alliance Defense Fund” is ready to do battle with their “Christmas Project.” Its delightful slogan? “Merry Christmas: It’s OK to say it.”
Hallelujah and amen! How good and beautiful it is and how blessed we are to know that there are folks out there to make sure the rights of the majority are so well protected against the minority! After all, isn’t that what this country was founded on? Majority rules and let the minority go move somewhere else? Give the playground bully your lunch money and just be glad you’ll get dinner when you get home--that is, if your parents don’t take the bully's side!
Nay, but seriously, Brethren and Sistern... What is really astonishing to me in all of this is the cultural shift it suggests. No longer is the Christian Right peddling all that “Jesus is the reason for the season” gibberish. (Yes, it’s gibberish and always has been. Jesus was born in July and Christmas trees are a ridiculously obvious pagan symbol incorporated into Christianity long ago to lure the heathen masses to their spiritual doom—I mean salvation.) Instead, we’ve moved to boycotting Target for not posting the word “Christmas” all over their store like good little supporters of the “majority rules” doctrine.
In other words, as long as we see signs that suggest we are a Christian nation, then Christians need not behave in a Christian manner at all. We all know “Love thy neighbor” has never been given a fair chance. It seems humanity just isn’t capable of it--and the Christian Right never bothered to try, enjoying the "stone thy enemies" doctrine ever so much more. But now they're actually touting rabid consumerism as a virtue as long as there’s a sign above that Nintendo that says “Merry Christmas”! And I may be wrong—after all, I’m a Lefty feminist non-religious Jew who can’t be trusted to quote Holy Scripture--but didn’t Jesus say, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”? (Answer: Yes, he did, see Matthew 19.)
I can only hope Mark Morford is correct when he asserts, “All the mad marketing and all the product gluttony, they're all merely further indicators that we are just about ready to burst, to grow up, to snap the hell out of it.” Though this is clearly willful optimism (for surely, as the best-selling, g(l)ory-to-godifying Left Behind series makes plain, the only “bursting” and “snapping” in the near future is going to be the bones of all us unbelievers--including you Catholics!), I do want to believe him. I want to think the increasing desperation and excess of the Right is its death throes, is evidence that karmic retribution is a-comin’.
Most days, though, all I can do is sigh, keep my faith in the slow and painful route of education, and shake my head at the irony that I’m actually living a more “Christian” life than a whole lot of Christians out there.