The War on Christmas Has Its Subversive Element

I see nothing in this year’s idiotic “War on Christmas” campaign that causes me to revise what I said on the subject last year. That said, but I will say that the news story about a bunch of “megachurches” being closed on Christmas day adds a certain zesty tang to the whole proceeding, doesn’t it? If the mass retailers of Christ can’t be bothered to do up Christmas right, why should the mass retailers of DVD players? Speaking of DVD players, here’s how one megachurch plans to spread Christmas joy to its parishoners this year:

Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., always a pacesetter among megachurches, is handing out a DVD it produced for the occasion that features a heartwarming contemporary Christmas tale.

“What we’re encouraging people to do is take that DVD and in the comfort of their living room, with friends and family, pop it into the player and hopefully hear a different and more personal and maybe more intimate Christmas message, that God is with us wherever we are,” said Cally Parkinson, communications director at Willow Creek, which draws 20,000 people on a typical Sunday.

And you know what’s really cool about that DVD? If you put on the commentary track, you can actually hear how the DVD makes the baby Jesus cry.

This is definitely one of those “mote in the eye” moments for the Merry Christmas Militants. How can a certain breed of willfully excitable Christian tell the rest of the world that saying “Happy Holidays” is just like stabbing Jesus in the crotch, if some of their more casual Christ’s Club, arena-filling brethren can’t even bother to pop in at Mary and Joe’s place on Christmas day, and give their greetings to the birthday boy? I mean, really, who’s crotch-stabbing Jesus now?

Clearly these members of the flock have lost their way. Before these militant types bother others about how they choose to approach the holiday season, maybe they should go back to deal with these lackadaisical apostates. You know, get them all in lockstep so they can present a united front when they tell other people how they should think and behave, so as not to make the persecuted and politically weak Christian minority in this country feel set-upon with Satan’s syllables, “Happy Holidays.” Maybe they entice them to the chapel with something festive, like, oh, I don’t know, a Herod-shaped pinata filled with Contemporary Christian Music CDs and candied eucharists. Because nothing would say “Christmas” better. Well, except maybe a DVD.

But you know what? I don’t think that would work. Honestly, if one is going to make the previously innocuous and friendly phrases “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” tension-filled code words for political and religious orthodoxy, one damn well better be sure one’s shock troops are all in a line. You don’t do that by pummeling paper-mache Romans with sticks. You do it with fear. It’s not Christmas unless every living Christian soul is in a pew, whether they want to be or not, and it’s up to all those Merry Christmas Militants to make it so. Because, you know, there’s nothing Christians like better than being told by other people how to practice their religion. That’s why that whole Protestant Reformation thing never caught on. Martin Luther. What a silly man he was.

So, to arms, you Merry Christmas Militants! Those lazy no-church-on-Christmas-Sunday so-called “Christians” are making a mockery of your cause and values! Quell these vipers in your midst! I think Bill O’Reilly bludgeoning the pastors of these churches with a peppermint-striped truncheon live on Fox News would be a wholesome and instructive start. It would really show everyone the spirit of the season — or at the very least, the spirit some folks would like to see applied to the season, and those people are really the only people who count. And they wouldn’t want these other “Christians” to make them look bad.

Christmas: If you’re not with us, you’re against us. Especially if you’re Christian. Yes, yes. That’s what Jesus was all about.

Two Small Notes of a Literary Nature

And here they are:

1. Rick Kleffel interviews me over at The Agony Column about The Ghost Brigades, with side trips to other books and works.

2. We’ve decided on a tentative title for the collection of Whatever entries:

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: Selected Writings, 1998 – 2005.

A tip of the hat to Jon Hansen, who first suggested the title; in addition to my thanks, I’ll be sure you get a free copy. Just, you know, remind me when the time comes.