Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Uncovered Front in the War on Christmas

David Hiltebrand's article about all the films opening on Christmas Day and how a treck to the movies is the "new" way to celebrate the holiday was one I pretty much ignored in today's Inky. While I have had the fleeting thought that something was amiss when hearing a movie is opening Christmas Day, the thoughts pretty much flew out of my head as quickly as they popped into it. The timing of the movie openings were completely and utterly inconsequential, at least that's what I thought until I read Steven Reynold's commentary in All Spin Zone [emphasis added]:
But it is a fact that going out to the movies has been a Jewish thing to do for some time on Christmas Day. Gentiles have been catching up with this tradition for the last many years, admittedly, but just forty years ago you wouldn’t have seen any Christians at the movies on Christmas Day. Heck, back in the day movie theaters weren’t even open.
At first I thought, "oh yeah, Jews have had the movie Chinese food as Christmas Day tradition for my whole life. . . what's new about this?" and then I re-read the sentence I bolded above and immediately thought why the heck aren't these people in church (or at least honoring Jesus with their families and friends at home)??!? My second thought was, why the hell isn't this front on the war on Christmas being protected by the defenders of all things sacred like Daddy Dobson, Don Wildmon, the gang at Fox and Bill Donohue?

Why is it that Christians are flocking to turn Hollywood schlock into blockbusters on Christmas Day? Is it because many of the biggest of churches are closed on the day they should be jam-packed? My guess is that those great defenders of Jesus are actually a big part of the reason there's little, if any, Christ left in Christmas at all. They are so focused on the marketing and mass merchandising of this holiday that their idea of "keeping Christ in Christmas" amounts to nothing more than crass consumerism and shining examples of false prophesying.

While I don't think Jesus spent his birthdays in shul and am absolutely positive he didn't celebrate at his local cineplex, I'm also pretty darn sure that he didn't preach the importance of showy Christmas sales, the need to make everyone sing his praise as publicly as possible or how to best bastardize his name & story to show your alleged moral superiority to nonbelievers. If those supposed defenders of Christmas actually spent some time reading the teachings of Jesus in their bibles, maybe they'd finally put a little Christ in Christmas themselves and allow everyone to celebrate this season with some dignity.

Happy Chanukah!


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1 comment:

Angelia Sparrow said...

Thanksgiving and Christmas are big movie days. What else do you do, long about 4 PM, after church and presents and dinner when the new toys are driving Dad out of his tree, and the kids have had enough togetherness to make everyone vow they're taking separate holidays?

Me? I fight for my right to solstice! (sorry, child of the 80s)

Happy hanukkah back atcha.