Every holiday season, we are often informed by certain parties that there is a “war on Christmas.” It’s an attack like no other, that will strip our society of the very meaning of the season that is supposed to bring peace and good will toward men. To those who are “fighting” this “war,” it’s a very real struggle. It’s a battle like none other. But, they say, it’s a fight that they did not choose — it came to them.

The great “warriors” are people like Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson (and just about anyone whose face appears on that network) and hate groups like the American Family Association. To properly balance the asinine nature of this “war,” comedians like Jon Stewart have taken up the opposing side. But in the end, this whole mess is a classic exercise in abject stupidity and pure petty politics with the goal of riling the easily confused.

The truth is that everyone’s in on the joke — except those who think it’s a real war. For those of us who are in business and make the inclusive decision to add “happy holidays” to our wish of Merry Christmas to our clients and customers, it’s with the clear understanding that a) not all of our customers are Christian, and b) there are a lot of holidays in December. I guess that makes us the bad guys.

The American Family Association, a Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate group, has one of the largest religious followings of any political organization in the country. Its recent hate group certification centers around their frequent distortion of facts and abject marginalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. The AFA  is listed as a 501(c)3 organization that’s not political (raise your hand if you believe this for a second).

Their entry into the “war on Christmas” is a naughty and nice list that showcases companies that have polices that are “Christmas-friendly” and those that are “anti-Christmas,” along with a few “Christmas-neutral” in between. Naturally, at the top of the “nice” list is their own store, along with megastore retailers Walmart, Meijer, and Toys R US. Among the “Christmas-neutral” are Starbucks and Whole Foods (who are both in hot water with other hate groups). The “anti-Christmas” crowd includes Family Dollar (also the AFA’s greediest company in America because they’re open on Christmas Day), L.L. Bean, Office Depot, and Old Navy.

Now, let’s pause a minute and notice who’s not on this list of “naughty” companies. There’s not a single Chinese restaurant. After all, Family Dollar is far from being the only business open on Christmas. Along with Chinese restaurants who open on Christmas day quite regularly, nearly every movie theater, Waffle House, Denny’s and a number of other businesses are open that day. Not a single one is on the list. I guess the AFA is okay with catching a flick as long as you don’t stop by Family Dollar to get toilet paper on the way home.

As for the boys at Faux Noise, their hysteria over the “war on Christmas is even more absurd. I could easily pull out a laundry list of reasons why they’re full of Number Two. As it is, I’ll just list two examples of right-wing blowhard absurdity. It’s a fair bet that neither O’Reilly or Gibson pointed any angry fingers at the US Chamber of Commerce for running an ad for a Christmas Holiday party.

Finally, consider the NRA — long heralded as one of the most conservative organizations in the country, and steadfast defender of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. Of course, they’re going to never step on the toes of O’Reilly and the AFA, right? After all, surely the very organization that has more guns per capita than any other club in the country would know all about this war and be all about this “war…”

Wrong. The first slide of their website carousel is a proud statement wishing visitors “Happy Holidays.” Oops.

Christmas is a time for all of us to celebrate the incarnation of Christ, and of course to spend insane amounts of money on gifts for each other. Not to mention that we must beat the hell out of someone who wants that last $10 toaster, and pepper spray anyone who gets close to it. Maybe there really is a war… on common sense?

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