Secret Pop

Dec 19, 2005

The Crusades

I play in the orchestra for this Christmas show each year. It's put on by Christian Community Theater, and you'll not be surprised to learn there are plenty of Christian folks working in the organization. Last weekend, I overheard one of the woodwind players telling a string player how he had gone to Wal-Mart, and when the Wal-Mart employee said, "Happy Holidays!" to him, he said, "Yes, thank you, and Merry Christmas to you!" And boy did he feel like a champ. This is curious to me. First, because the word "holiday" implies a sacred celebration already and is in no way oppressively anti-Christian, so why do Christians think that being wished a happy holiday is like filling in the holes in Jesus' hands and feet with festive red and green cookie dough? And second, because this just seems like a desperate new way of playing victim. There apparently isn't enough religious persecution around to make these people feel good about their choice. So now these chubby believers, whose lives are largely unfettered by the suffering endured by Christians in other parts of the world where freedom of religion is not legislated, get to feel as if they are doing something soldierlike in God's army. I was raised in a devout Christian home, and I just don't remember Christians being so keen to pick a fight as they are this season. Spreading the message of salvation and love and embracing unbelievers in the hopes that they will be won over through ministry is apparently a lost art. Now it's time for the faithful to show their heathen neighbors what's what. With a holiday pantsing if necessary. I'm just surprised they're not more suspect of this cause, being that it's led by dudes like Bill O'Reilly. It's the real-life equivalent of taking your religious marching orders from Biff Tannen. I didn't know him contemporarily, but Jesus did not have a reputation for being a bully. And I didn't hear him actually say it, but there's this whole "blessed are the meek" thing. My favorite thing about this holiday season so far has been the Food Network's copious versions of prime rib and bread pudding. And I haven't been to Wal-Mart in years, but when the lady at the Post Office wished me a happy holiday, I smiled and wished her the same. And I didn't see her eyes flash red with hellfire. I think she was just trying to be nice.

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