Sunday, December 18, 2005

Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: an atheist- pacifist in the War on Christmas

It's the Sunday before Christmas and my loyal Sermonette readers are no doubt expecting a season-appropriate rant. Sorry to disappoint you. Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down. Nothing else comes close. I didn't grow up celebrating it but I have done so with pleasure throughout my adult and family years--in my own way, of course. I consider it an American secular holiday. The commercialization and general festive air meant to promote consumption is designed to make you feel good and it does. I like it.

Here's what else I like about it. Its official theme is Peace on Earth, Good Will towards All. Doesn't get any better than that (even if it is honored in the breach). You spend a lot of time figuring out what to buy for people you care about, things you think they'll like, things that will please them and make them happy. Doesn't get any better than that either. If you have small kids it is a magical time for them, too. Our kids believed in Santa until they were indecently old. I confess we encouraged it. It made them happy and that made us happy. Compare that to Haloween, where the main idea is to extort stuff from your neighbors, or Hanukah, a minor holiday celebrating a bloody battle, or Easter, a grizzly and violent fairy tale about execution, premature burial, and perpetual debt. Makes Christmas look pretty good, if you ask me.

So I have no problem wishing Bill O'Reilly a very Merry Christmas (in principle, of course, not in actuality).

Nor do I have a problem telling him to go fuck himself.