Merry Christmas

It was roughly two millennia ago, around the time of Christ, when the third emperor of Rome did as all emperors of Rome were expected to do. Gaius Caesar raised an army and proceeded to march north, through Gaul, to conquer an island nation many miles from Rome. But when Gaius Caesar reached the banks of the English Channel, he instructed his armies not to cross it, but to scour the beaches for seashells, and to bring all the shells they could find straight to him. And his armies followed his instructions. With tons of seashells in tow, Gaius Ceasar returned to Rome, explaining to his people that he had achieved victory in his war with Neptune. And Rome celebrated.

And so it is with our so-called “War on Christmas,” whose counter-attack began with the launch of this book. Never in all my years have I witnessed anything so ridiculous, as people refusing to shop at places because store employees wish them a “Happy Holidays” or a “Season’s Greetings” instead of a Merry Christmas. As if insisting on Merry Christmas were a serious stand.

Of course, there is no “War on Christmas.” Oh, there have been attacks on Christmas festivities to be sure; leftist killjoys feigning offense at a holiday celebrating American abundance with a vague connection to Christianity. But Christmas is not a specific battlefield. Rather, our culture at large has been under attack for years now. Rugged individualism, capitalism, material wealth, all have been undermined for quite some time. If Christmas appears to be on the wane, it’s because the culture at large has been on the wane, because we have been all too accommodating to those who would at best have us emulating the European socialist model and at worst living in mud huts worshipping Gaia.

So in a world where (just thinking off the top of my head now) Islamic psychopaths want to kill us, Iran is close to acquiring the bomb, is threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, and the US has nothing to say or do about it, in a world where islamic militants are waging war inside our own country using sabotage as their primary weapon and we cannot seem to gather the collective political will to make our porous southern border secure, in a world where the world’s largest auto manufacturer is about to go bankrupt in large measure due to unfunded ( and arguably unfundable) health and pension benefits and where the federal government seems incapable of deriving lessons about its own unfunded (and largely unfundable) pension and health care obligations, in such a world, the place where we decide to take a stand is on the use of “Season’s Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas”???

WHAT?????

If you choose to make your stand on the periphery of the battlefield, you by default cede the larger portion of the field to the enemy. So as Bill Clinton railed against cigarette smoking, he ceded much larger issues, like welfare reform, to the Republicans. Wasting time on this kind of thing is dangerous in light of the serious and immediate problems this country faces, and the tendency of this president to avoid a political fight at all costs. We were handed McCain Feingold, education reform, prescription drug nonsense and Harriet Miers by this White House, afraid of a political fight. So now we’re going to spend time worrying about yultide semantics? Please.

While the third emperor of Rome collected seashells, the fifth famously fiddled while Rome burned. Let us hope we can get our bearings straight before Washington suffers a similar fate.

RELATED:
Living Unseriously
September 10 America
Back to September 10

ASIDES:
If you think that writing about Caligula on Christmas Eve is strange, check out what’s on Asteroid’s mind this holiday season.
Here’s an alternative interpretation of putting the Christ back in Christmas.
Snopes of course debunks Christmas superstitions.
Essay on the Christmas Hoax.
It’s a Holiday in Cambodia now!
My favorite is the BK Holiday!

Previous Christmas Musings:
2004 (I guess I had nothing to say)
2003

 
 

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