Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holiday 'wars'

It's amazing how much hype there is about the holidays.

I'm already getting inundated with forwarded emails about how horrible "The War on Christmas" is.


I'm in Iraq, folks. I've got friends who are in Afghanistan. And these chickenhawk cretins on the TV have the temerity to talk about a "war" on Christmas???

Give me a break.

Perhaps if the people who are so concerned about *saying* "Merry Christmas" actually LIVED ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLES ESPOUSED BY JESUS -- you know: feeding the hungry, taking care of widows and orphans, clothing the naked, working for peace and justice, speaking the truth, healing the sick, visiting prisoners, forgiving those who trespassed against them, loving their enemies, praying for those who persecuted them -- and used their 'bully pulpits' to encourage others to do so, I'd be more concerned about all this.

Instead, from their privileged places on the TV, how often have the talking heads for whom this "War on Christmas" is such a crisis espoused the message of Jesus, and encouraged their adoring fans to live according to those values???

As it is, being over here in Iraq in the midst of a war that soooooo many Americans support -- AS LONG AS THEY DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT IT -- and about which so many (O'Reilly, Malkin, Hewitt, Goldberg, Coulter, Limbaugh, Donahue -- just to name a few) have impugned the patriotism, courage, sincerity, or faith of those (like me!) whose opinions about this differ from theirs, I believe there are many more important matters to be concerned with than *saying* "Merry Christmas" or not.

(By the same token, concerning this war that they were so gung-ho for, when did any of them EVER have the contact information for military recruiters scrolling along the bottom of their TV screens while they were labeling those who protested the war as terrorists and/or traitors?)

The last sentence from the first chapter of the Letter of James in the Christian Scriptures reads: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27; New Revised Standard Version)

Did you catch the part about caring "for orphans and widows in their distress"?

When have ANY of those people -- who are so concerned about this "War on Christmas" -- ever had a TV show dedicated to improving the lot of orphans and widows? How about starting with the orphans and widows of my sisters and brothers in uniform who have died during the Global War on Terrorism?

My buddies on another post here in Iraq just got shelled recently. My former Battalion Commander, who's now in Afghanistan, gets mortared and shot at regularly. Closer to (your) home: More children in the United States went to bed hungry in the last year than ever before.

Joblessness is at an all-time high. Ordinary citizens are losing their homes while Wall Street and industry fat-cats are given 'corporate welfare' -- and keeping the gazillion-dollar bonuses they've earned during all the time they've been running their corporations into the ground (people seem to be impressed that *some* of them won't get to keep *this year's* bonus -- wow).

We have a couple of *real* wars going on, but those TV blowhards won't lift a finger to fight either of them, nor even actively recruit others to do so in their stead. Rather, they want to distract a gullible public from the horrors of these wars they've been cheerleading, in the hopes no one will call them to account. So they've come up with "The War on Christmas."

The same people who are again bringing us "The War on Christmas" also opposed increasing benefits for war veterans (must be that we're "phony soldiers," eh?), and fully funding clinics to treat those who suffer from Combat Stress.

They seem to be perfectly fine with having some military families living at close to (or below!) the poverty level, but wouldn't dream of pushing for an accounting of all the BILLIONS of dollars that have disappeared here Down Range. They could care less that so many homes are in foreclosure, as long as they and industry moguls don't have their taxes increased.

Their passionate and duplicitous "support" for these wars certainly does not extend to paying for them, after all!

"War on Christmas," indeed.

Besides, where in the Scriptures is there anything about saying "Merry Christmas," anyway?

Blessings and peace -- and happy holidays -- to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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angelinabeadalina said...

Yep, hypocrisy is hard to take, especially when it comes clothed in religious garb.

Anonymous said...

Rush and O'Reilly give millions to the families of military members and as one of those who have been in the military and lived at the poverty level, along with VOLUNTARILY joining to serve my country, I find your opinions very small. I can understand these immature comments from a teen who has no experience in life but from a Jesuit priest? Isn't there a part of theology which says you should see God's face in everyone? Why is it ieasier for you to see it in your AA buddies and the soldiers you serve with and not the person's you named? As to extending the benefits you mentioned, those were attached to a bill detailing a timeline for withdrawal wanted by the Democrats! They used the military to propose defeat!
Judement of others is not becoming in a priest but I find it is most prevelant in those who say they are closest to God. Very sad.

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