Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Annual Plea to Ban Christmas

Sorry for the dearth of posts, but I haven't gotten into the swing of blogging again, and this is an incredibly busy time of year, as you can imagine. However, I wanted to take a few moments of my precious time to speak on a topic about which I am very passionate: banning Christmas. I don't really want to ban the holiday that falls on December 25, because let's face it, I really need the break that comes with it, and the presents aren't so bad either. What I really want to do, is remove the word Christ from its name. By calling it Christmas, the American public is explicitly endorsing Christianity, and all that comes with it -- such as hating gay people, women, gay people, Muslims, scientists, gay people, black people (in some denominations), and atheists (particularly if they're gay). Folks, this simply will not do! I say, let them teach about God in public schools, through the Pledge of Allegiance or Intelligent Design creationism, and let them openly display Judeo-Christian doctrine in courtrooms and other government buildings. The government has a right to side with any religion it chooses. But the people? That's downright unconstitutional! What's more, it's un-American.

Of course, I fully realize that in order to keep the holiday, but remove all Christian connotations from it, we'll need to come up with a new name. My first thought was Secularmas, or maybe Darwinmas, but those don't really roll off the tongue. Besides, what would Darwin's mass be like (while I'm certain that Dr. Myers would be happy to hold such a mass, I'm not sure that anyone would attend, and holiday songs about finches and zebra fish would be a bit creepy). But after some very careful thought, I've come up with a few workable ideas for new holiday names, and in the spirit of democracy, I thought we could put it to a vote. So, please, pick one of the following names, and write to your Senators, congresspeople, and alderpeople to say that you believe this should be the new name for Christmas. Here are the choices:
  • Bowless Day - This is the only day between December 21 and December 30th on which there is not a college bowl game. Given how boring and meaningless all of those December bowl games are, this is truly a cause for celebration.
  • Newtonmas - The father of modern physics was born on December 25, 1642. Since Christ wasn't actually born on December 25, Newtonmas is not only more constitutional, but more accurate as well.
  • Buffettmas - The singer was also born on December 25. In place of eggnog, we could serve margaritas. This fact alone should get "Buffettmas" several votes.
  • Couldn't Make it Home for Thanksgiving Day Day - This one is mostly personal. Every year, I miss my mother's wonderful cooking on Thanksgiving, because she lives 1,000 miles a way, and cornbread stuffing doesn't do well in the mail. Fortunately, I usually get to go home during the winter break, and on December 25 she reprises her Thanksgiving meal. Mmm... cornbread stuffing.
  • Lie To Your Children Day - Yes, son, Santa can see you wherever you are, and he can tell whether you're being good or bad. He really does slide down chimneys with a bag full of presents, and eat all of those wonderful cookies that you laid out. And yes, it is strange that both Santa and your father prefer Belgian beer to milk with their cookies.
  • Anti-Gay Marriage Day - I don't really like this one, but I figure it might make some of the less zealous Christians more amenable to changing the holiday's name. All we need is a majority of the 30% of the population that votes, people!
  • Easter II - I know Easter is ostensibly a Christian holiday, but the name "Easter" doesn't really have any religious meaning, and wouldn't it be cool if Santa and the Easter Bunny worked together?
  • And last but not least, Budget Breaking Day - Do you know how much presents have put me out this year? Let's just say that a few more years like this, and the kid's college fund is going to be renamed the six-week computer course fund.
There they are, the potential new names for Christmas. Many of you could probably come up with other names, but that would just lead to pointless bickering and debate, so I say we stick with these. Remember, it's your duty as an American (and if you're not an American, then as someone who wishes he or she was) to remove all religious references from the public, non-governmental sphere. And the greeting card companies will need a few months to rewrite all of the Christmas cards for Newtonmas, or whatever name we choose, so if we're going to start the new holiday by next year, we need to choose the name soon. So pick a name and start lobbying for it right away.


Matt McIntosh said...

I like "Lie to Your Children Day" myself. Or we could just diversify and call it Chrismakwanzakuh.

No, on second thought you just can't beat Festivus.

Matt McIntosh said...

Or links that actually work for that matter.

Blar said...

I thought that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were just different aspects of Brahman.

Razib said...

i suppose i will blog about this, but....

1) it seems clear that for some jesus became the reason for the season (natalis sol invictus on 25th of dec. had nothing to do with jesus' birth obviously). that doesn't mean that's the only interpretation (especially in light of the ubiquity of pagan practices, like xmas cookies, gift exchange and a holiday tree).

2) so it is the name. but, consider that millions of reformed christians do not oppose the use of the term christmass, when they reject mass as a sacrament.

Chris said...

Razib, I thought about you #2 as I was writing this, and considered changing the name to Newtonparty rather than Newtonmas, but it didn't have the same ring to it.

mccm said...

bowless day won't work.. or at least you're going to have to spell it right.. the way you have it now we don't get presents with bows on them..

newtonmas appeals the most conceptually, but it is clunky.. newton mass i think would be force/acceleration..

good luck..

Chris said...

Your right, "bowlless day" should have two l's. That's what I get for writing it quickly. But I actually did think of "newton mass," and thought it was funny. I enjoy a good pun.

Blar said...

On further reflection, my vote would be for Newtonmas, if only because I've been looking to make a pilgrimage.

Antti said...

As a Finn, for years I couldn't understand why people objected to the word Christmas.

I realized the reason only last month. See, in Finnish and in a whole lotta other languages as well, the word for Christmas is something related to Yule: joulu, jul, noel etc.

I had only learnt the mapping between "joulu" and "Christmas", without actually trying to understand the meaning of Christmas. It just floated there as any other word...

Until one day the accelerating whining of the US blogs once again brought the schism into my attention and then the Heureka! hit me. "Christ, oh yeah, that guy."

So if a non-English speaker sometimes laughs at the whole issue (or at you), it might be that they just don't really understand the point. A blog entry like this does help those of us who haven't yet figured out for themselves.

Merry Yule people!

Chris said...

By the way, I got a nasty email from someone about this post, and have gotten a few seemingly serious negative comments and emails about last year's "ban Christmas" post, so I wanted to make sure everyone understood it's a joke. I thought the claim that the government had a right to endorse religion, but the people don't, made that clear (a gentle jab at the silly peole who believe that removing religious symbols from government buildings and public schools is equivalent to trying to get rid of all public displays of religion).

For the record, I don't really want to ban Christmas, or even change the name. I do, however, want "God" removed from the Pledge, and religious doctrine removed from government buildings.

Clayton said...

Oh, well if it's a joke, screw you. I'm eating all the Newtonmas apples myself.

Chris said...

Haha! Now that's the kind of comment I like.

Robbie said...

ok this is all freedom of speach right well heere is my comments! first off if you are gonna critize the Bible do it turthfully! The Bible specifically states don't hate people! And yes it does speak against homosexuality but it also states God will accept you as you are! The Bible don't say nothing bad about women either! Just to inform you on that because alot of religious figures are females to! Mary mother of Jesus as an example! And muslims! No it doesn't say anything about them they say stuff about us cause they dont like our country! America as one talks about them for terrist acts! Scientist! It does not agree with them exept their way they say the earth was made and humans to! and still it doesnt talk about them it justdont agree with them! Oh and black people! there is almost just as much black people that are Christians as White people so please dont even go there! Oh ya so you know Christmas was around for 2005 years this Christmas cause it is the birth of Jesus Christ my savior! and Easter by the way! is an religious meaning heres the definition by webster Main Entry: Eas·ter
Pronunciation: 'E-st&r
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English estre, from Old English Eastre; akin to Old High German Ostarun (plural) Easter, Old English East east
: a feast that commemorates Christ's resurrection and is observed with variations of date due to different calendars on the first Sunday after the paschal full moon
so on the other ones! And how is it unAmerican When this nation was brought up on Christian Beliefs and religious tolerance! I say believe what you want to believe and leave others beliefs and holidays Alone! i dont see people tryin to change Jewish and Kwanza holidays like honika names or taking them away for no good reason! This is an OUTRAGE TO ME! i dont see why people do this! if it isnt your religion make no comment or celbrate it! continue as if nothing changed!And the pledge of allegience ! why change what the nation was brought on!...thanks for your time if you read this!
by a 16 Christian boy! for any other way to comment my comment Email me to lafayetteof08@yahoo.com...oh yea have a MERRY CHRISTMAS! GOD STILL LOVES YOU!

Robert said...

Oh for Christ's sake!

Just call it the winter solstice.

dresdenia said...

i've actually been using newtonmas (among dorky friends who would appreciate it) since i saw this post. but i got to thinking about how the commercial implications of the holiday have pretty much overwhelmed the religious aspects, so why not go for something commercial?

humphrey bogart was born on dec. 25, 1899; charlie chaplin and dean martin both died on december 25th.

"happy bogey day" and "happy chaplin day" both have a nice ring to them...

al fin said...

How about "Assholemas", a holiday for the rest of us?

Stan said...

It seems none of you guys has ever lived in a country where christianity isnt the predominant religion.

Put it this way - would you try and ban "Eid-Al-Fitr" - the Muslim New year? Or Guru Nanak's Birthday?

The name of the season comes into context when you consider a place where there are many religions - its called Christmas becuase is a celebration of Christianity.

Sounds to me like the dilema faced by the British who are afraid of celebrating St. George's day for fear of inciting race riots....

"American" Christianity is screwed up - spending way to much energy on issues of little importance. Ever been to a church in China? Or India? Sri Lanka? You dont see them debating homosexuality or women priests there...there's REAL work to be done there.

Remember, at the end of the day, its about loving God and your neighbour. Its THAT simple.

Watch dogma

Fair enough this being a jab at politics, but i will stress one point. Living under a "communist" regime, haveing "god" in the constitution makes sense to me, for it dictates some of the principles of the government. Again, the Americans have gone crazy and are debating "creationism and intelligent design" vs "Darwinism"....where is the comon sense people?

Religion exists to give people faith in something...live in a third world country for a few months and you'll see why faith is needed.

Dont waste time "sweating the small stuff"

Lizzie said...

Chris-You might want to put a disclaimer to say you're just being silly as a post script (or better yet, a prescript) to the actual post on renaming Christmas (ie., not just a disclaimer buried among nearly 20 comments). I understand a lot of the humor gets lost, but sarcasm can be very confusing, (even when it's really exaggerated) because unless someone knows a person and their views, it' s hard to understand where they're coming from. On the internet, especially, there are so many different- and ridiculous-- viewpoints to be found that it's actually pretty understandable for people to not know you were joking here. What's more, this "Christmas in today's society" issue is actually a very confusing one for a lot of us.

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