December 12, 2005

"As a Jew, a liberal, a lover of the Constitution, and a loather of Fox News..."

"...I wish to declare that the word 'Christmas' does not faze, throw, offend, upset, or disconcert me in the slightest." RLC explains.


ShadyCharacter said...

So Ann, is RLC one of those ideologues you and Dave took after in the Holiday Tree post this morning?

Does he not qualify because he doesn't suggest anything should be done to stop the scrubbing of our language? I guess he merely points out that hearing the word "Christmas" doesn't cause him to recoil like a 5 year old offered brussel sprouts...

I agree with the poster on the thread below. The onus in these ridiculous debacles lies on those trying to reshape public discourse and erase unpleasant thoughts/actions through Orwellian means (which would indeed include expunging a word from official usage).

EddieP said...

It only offends those who treasure the opportunity to be offended.

downtownlad said...

I'm not phased by Merry Christmas either.

But let's face it. There are tons of people who go beserk when they hear the phrase "Happy Holidays", a phrase which has been around for decades.

Who cares? These people need to get a life.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Hey, Ann, thanks for two links in a row and for reviving this old post!

Ann Althouse said...

Shady: RLC exemplifies what I think is the best attitude toward the issue, which is to be mellow and unpolitical about it. I really don't even understand why you could think my two posts are inconsistent.

Obviously, I also think people should be mellow and unpolitical about Happy Holidays--which is the greeting in the President's Christmas card, by the way, and has been for years.

Eli Blake said...

This whole thing is an invented story though.

If you don't like the way a store greets you, then don't shop there. Simple, right?

And it is exactly the opposite of the problems conservative Christians had the last few years, when they went on about the commercialization and exploitation of Christmas (which was at least as much of a push towards 'Happy Holidays,' as any objection from Jews.

So, I guess now they want 'Christmas' back. Now commercialization of the holiday is GOOD! So maybe now they will go to a store that has a nativity scene, thoughtfully sponsored by MasterCard 'it's everywhere,' and with Joseph tastefully outfitted in a suit by Gucci, Mary's clothes by Gap with shoes by Steve Madden, gold, frankincense and myrrh on loan from Wells Fargo, and with the infant clothed in fresh swaddling cloth by Babies-R-Us.

Is that what they want now? After going on for so many years about taking commercialism out of Christmas, now they demand it come back in.

Seems that some people will find something to be unhappy about no matter what you do.

me said...

Being Jewish and Catholic, I'm kind of mixed on this issue. From a Jewish perspective, I am proud that one of ours has managed to make the U.S. economy revolve around his birthday.

Mark the Pundit said...

From a Jewish perspective, I am proud that one of ours has managed to make the U.S. economy revolve around his birthday.

OK, so explain why y'all killed him.


ShadyCharacter said...


So those who don't want "Merry Chrismas" entirely banished from public usage should mellow out while those who do wish to erase "Christ" from the public square are free to mangle language and tradition through official channels (public schools, public spaces, the public square generally)?

And all this over what RLC is pointing out is a NON-ISSUE! Not the debate over whether "Christmas" is "under attack" (which it clearly is) but whether anyone actually is offended upon hearing the word "Christmas" or even if they are, whether it is equitable to go out of your way to offend 85% of Americans by stigmatizing "Christmas" to satisfy the 1-2% who do get offended.

Talk about tyranny of the minority!

Ann Althouse said...

Richard: I went over to your blog to look up this old post and got distracted by the wonderful penguin!

Simon said...

Eddie said:
"It only offends those who treasure the opportunity to be offended."

I think that's it exactly. Got it in one.

Lawpolprof said...

Offense is a canard. Religion can be beautiful and still improperly established by the State.

It seems to me that making religion a contestable political issue is quite dangerous, especially for a person of faith (and btw, enough with the super-standing given to Jews who just love Christmas – let’s try to evaluate arguments beyond derivative power politics). State bureaucrats are not remotely competent to decide how religion should be displayed. We rarely elect priests or rabbis, and I think we’ve all seen the menorah with candy canes (ugh), or the crèche next to a Santa and reindeer and snowman. If the Christmas Tree can go up on a vote, so too can a cross with excrement on it, or a burning cross. There is simply no guarantee that the government is going to get it right. And then where will the O’Reilly’s be?

Letting - or especially asking – the government to do these things is just asking for trouble. Do these people really want Teddy Kennedy (or gasp, Russ Feingold or Joe Lieberman) to have such power? And Christians are not a majority everywhere. Let these decisions be made by individuals, or priests, rabbis, or sheiks – in a public forum. Stop the insanity of crying out for government pandering. Maybe Reagan was right; government is the problem.

Mark Daniels said...

I go to Richard's site almost daily, but no doubt owing to the date on which it was posted last year--a fairly busy time for me as a pastor, I had missed it.

It seems to me that Richard brings some rationality to the issue. It was good to read, my usual reaction to his posts. Thanks for calling attention to it.

Mark Daniels

Meade said...

This whole post just brings tears to my cynical jaded fading eyes.

And I took Driver’s Ed at a Catholic girls’ school, Mother Cabrini High—which is another story.

And that has to be the essence of American melting pot mixed culture.


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