Season's bleatings fire up the blogosphere

December 18, 2005

The fog of the culture war has descended over Christmas this year. Every blogger seems to be firing salvos, though it's hard to believe that it's come to this - a bitter fight over whether uttering "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas" is an insult to Christians or an inclusive gesture to those of other faiths.

Here's a quick look at the forces entrenched on the battlefield:

True believers: "Many of the anti-Christmas Scrooges are the same people who have problems with any notion that this is the greatest nation God ever created on this earth. One can only pity such souls. But as far as most of us are concerned, they're just going to have to get over it. We don't deny them the right to have no religion at all or to refrain from observing the Christmas Season. By the same token, if we are to respect the rights of [the] atheist minority, the minority should be reminded that tolerance is a two-way street. What about the rights of the majority?" - Wes Vernon, renewamerica.us

Staunch defenders: "If you have an issue with the word CHRISTMAS then you shouldn't be participating in this tradition, as it happens to be based on the birth of Jesus Christ." - whynotuseemail.blogspot.com.

Conspiracy theorists: "While Fox News distracts everyone with the `War on Christmas,' the Republicans pass tax breaks for the wealthy and cut programs like Medicaid, food stamps and child-support enforcement. Nothing makes a Republican more gleeful than stepping on the poor and the powerless." - rethug.blogspot.com

Devil's advocates: "Be careful what you wish for: if the President was to learn of a mysterious trio of swarthy gentlemen smuggling goods to a newly born child who's destined to grow up to be the leader of a Middle East insurgency, he'd have Colin Powell up at the United Nations portentously waving around a vial of frankincense. They bomb mangers, don't they?" - wonkette.com

The shell-shocked: "Have people lost their minds, or have I lost mine? Last time I checked Christmas was supposed to be a festive time. Not anymore." - love2boogie.blogspot.com

Hawks: "No Christmas pageant or Nativity display is safe from our troops. Wherever the mythical figure Jesus is celebrated as if he were real, we will be there with an information barrage. We will undercut the idea that there is any point at all to celebrating the `birth' of a character in a fairy tale." - Brian Flemming, whose group, Beyond Belief Media, has issued a formal declaration of war on Christmas "to demonstrate what it would look like if Jesus' birthday were truly attacked."

Doves: "I think we believers should be glad to make some separation between the holiday orgy of spending and advertising so we can be clearer about leading people to find their true hope not in the latest gadget but in the child/boy/man/savior we proclaim. Let the marketers have the Holiday, we will better love the Christ without the extra." - Rev. David Morris, labyrinthine.gomorris.net

Diplomats: "To all of you I wish you a wonderful ChristmaHanukkwanzika. One never knows what religion you may be, so in covering all of the bases I also wish you a joyous Holiday Season. May you all survive the shopping boon with as little damage as possible. Thank God it's almost over." - themominator.blogspot.com

The guns should fall silent on Dec. 26. And hallelujah to that.

troy.mccullouogh@baltsun.com

Listen to Troy McCullough's podcasts at baltimoresun.com/onblogs.

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