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Cross Purposes

"War on Christmas" rhetoric doesn't square with reality



News flash: Jesus isn't at the Wal-Mart. He isn't at Sears. He isn't at Target. If you believe in him, you may find him in your heart and your soul, and maybe even down at that A-frame structure with the cool colored windows and that pointy chimney thing. But you won't find Jesus at the freaking mall.



That's the biggest reason why the so-called "war on Christmas" does not exist. Santa Claus is more real than this non- war. The Tooth Fairy has more legitimacy than this nonsensical, fictitious war.


The loony tunes on the right sing this song because the faithful fatheaded flock is always looking for something to be angry about. They have to pretend they're under attack because they're all about war. You know, like the one that born-again lunatic who runs the country started.


Normally I'd just be amused at the musings of these tone-deaf-to-reality sheep, but this is so absurd it is getting my goat. Even people I know to be reasonably intelligent human beings, people with high-powered jobs, lend credence to this cretinous theory.


"The whole concept is eradication of religion from the culture. That's not what the founders wanted," says Heather Heidelbaugh, a big-shot Republican attorney at a high-falutin' Downtown law firm.


Eradication of religion? Ever since Jesus Jr. got appointed to the presidency, all I hear about is religion. But it's not enough for Heidelbaugh, who was surprised when I told her polls indicate 85 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian.


"Really," she said, "I thought it was higher, like maybe 97 percent." Right, because who could possibly conceive of a significant portion of the population not being Jesus-heads?


In the good old days, Christians used to complain about the commercialization of Christmas. Now they complain that the commercialization isn't blatant enough. As if a "happy holidays" banner at a department store, rather than a "merry Christmas" banner, is part of some secular plot to undermine Christianity. Yes, it may be a little politically correct and a tad anal, but it threatens absolutely nothing. It's not a plot against religion; it's a plot to offend no one so everyone spends their money in the store. Because the major corporations who run these stores worship the almighty dollar. And that's good for the economy, right? Even Dubya told us to shop after 9/11, so that should be OK with the Jesus-heads, right?


"People have finally gotten some spines this year, and have begun complaining about this," says Heidelbaugh. "They changed the name of the Christmas tree at the old Horne's building to a 'holiday tree.' That offends me. They're worried about offending non-Christians. Maybe they ought to be worried about offending Christians."


But why does it offend some Christians that some stores are engaging in a marketing campaign -- one designed to sucker nitwits of all faiths into their fabulous showrooms to buy a bunch of crap? When did Kaufmann's become a synonym for Jesus? You can't have it both ways, wing nuts. Either stick to your guns that the birth of Christ is what Christmas is all about, or admit that it's just an excuse to buy stuff and get stuff and get stiff (with Jesus-approved spiked egg nog) so your annoying relatives won't seem quite as annoying.


"I think there's a war on religion in the culture," says Heidelbaugh. "My strong belief is that is not what the separation of church and state means." But this has nothing to do with the separation of church and state. It's about the separation of church and mall.


If there is a war on Christmas, it seems to me the numbers are with us Christians. We have met the victors, and they is us! I asked Heidelbaugh if it were true that she wouldn't be satisfied until everyone was a Christian. "You're such a jerk," she replied. True enough. But what if it's only a small percentage of Christians who are offended by the nonexistent war, I queried? What if it's only the right-wing nuts?


Then she pulled out her trump card. "There are a lot of right-wing nuts."