Title: The War on Christmas Credit: Craig Young Comment Saturday 23rd December 2006 - 12:00pm1166828400 Article: 1524 Rights
Seasons greetings to everyone. Oops! According to certain right-wing US media hosts, I'm collaborating in the dechristianisation of America through not uttering the C word. Down here in New Zealand, we could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. However, in Britain and the United States, a "War on Christmas" is apparently being waged even as we speak. In the United States, tabloid television network FoxNews is the chief perpetrator. One of their hosts, John Gibson, even published a book on the subject two years ago, while another, Bill O'Reilly believes that degodding seasonal greetings is tantamount to giving open slather to 'legalisation of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will and gay marriage!" These hacks jot down several molehills related to overzealous public officials who want to avoid offending the sensibilities of other cultural and religious groups, and have turned into a full-fledged battle, much to the sensible media's disbelief. In Britain, a “Campaign Against Political Correctness" is the chief culprit, consisting of a rap singer named after an emergency contraceptive (Plan B), unfunny ageing 'comedian' Jim Davidson, the inevitable troglodyte Tory sock con MP and sundry others. Why? Ah, well, English councils have come up with novel alternative titles to describe this time of year, such as Winterval, Luminos or Festivus. Okay, so the last two do sound like Doctor Who monsters, but still, should we ignore this right-wing media beatup, or are there other principles at stake here? Oh, and apparently because Judaism is an historic great faith, Hannukah doesn't get criticised as a coterminous holiday period. Anyway, LGBT New Zealanders probably haven't given the matter much thought, unless they're Christians or Jews. Not even the New Zealand Christian Right or Ian Wishart could be as ridiculous or desperate enough as to import that ridiculous American right-wing moral panic to our shores, not even in the interests of cheap publicity during a slow news period. I hope. Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) went unusually orthodox and did his "Power of Love" number, which was heavily into Stars of Bethlehem and Nativity scenes, but mind you, that was twenty years ago. As for Tom Robinson, he wrote a memorable holiday song entitled "Truce," which compared World War I's ceasefires to contemporary cessations of hostilities between LGBTs and estranged families when they returned to the nest in more conservative times. As for me, I don't believe that there ever was an historical Jesus of Nazareth, and anyway, the Catholic Church stole the seasonal commemoration angle from Northern European pagans, who usually celebrate the festival of Yule at the Winter Solstice, at which point the sun is farthest away from the Northern Hemisphere, so it's supposed to get warmer from that point on. Southern Hemisphere pagans have a slight problem with the inverted seasons, unless we skip the Yuletide aspect and merely wish everyone a "Happy Solstice." And lately, there are even reports of a lesbian and gay alternative figure to Santa Claus. The Solstice Witch dresses in green and fulfills much the same function as her male counterpart insofar as children of LGBT parents are concerned. Anyway, seasons greetings, whatever they might be, and happy festive season. Recommended: Media Matters- liberal antidote to aforementioned US silliness. Craig Young - 23rd December 2006    
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