and all through the nation,
privileged Christians are certain
there's a war on their celebration.
Hehe. I just whipped that up...
That's right, it's Christmas Eve and the holly-jolliness is nearly at its boiling point... At least for those of us who are secure enough in our private observation of these supposed holy days not to get offended by the words "Happy Holidays" or by the removal (or ever-so-slight obstruction) of nativity scenes in government buildings.
Jon Stewart again addressed this matter a couple weeks ago...
But the best part of this bit is where Jon Stewart points out just how nuts FOX News pundit Gretchen Carlson really is. In one clip, she asks, rhetorically, "why do I have to drive around with my kids to look for nativity scenes, and be like...'look, there's baby Jesus behind the festivus pole made of beer cans?' It's nuts!"
Indeed. First of all, why should there be nativity scenes at the state capitol building? Or even on the streets? If Gretchen wants to show her kids a nativity scene then she can always put one in her own home (mine always had one under the Christmas tree); or visit her local churches (mine always had one with live people, animals, and even baby Jesus... not to mention the epic Christmas pageant we held at the county auditorium each year, which told the full story of Jesus from birth to Ascension!); OR finally, as Jon so aptly points out, she can bring her kids to the very place where she works - the plaza outside the News Corp building, where FOX News had their very own live nativity scene.
But I suppose that she wouldn't then have grounds to play the victim card.
Thankfully, Jon's War On Christmas coverage didn't end there. He then went on to discuss some comments that Megyn Kelly had made regarding Santa Claus.
In an article on Slate.com, culture blogger Aisha Harris insisted that Santa Claus should no longer be a white man. Having struggled with the image of a white Santa across the US cultural spectrum but a Black Santa in her own home, she suggested that instead Santa should just be a cartoon penguin. And yes, she gave some very compelling and valid reasons, though obviously tongue-in-cheek.
FOX News pundit Megyn Kelly took the piece a little too seriously and, perhaps trusting that none of her viewers would actually go and read the piece, shot back with, "Santa just is white." Kelly then misrepresented Harris' argument by saying, "this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa." (In fact, Harris was saying - again - that Santa should be a penguin) I suppose Megyn just had an inkling that the very idea of a black Santa would enrage her audience as much as it had enraged her.
But this was a rather strange position to take, given that with relatively transparent vulnerability, Harris had first written "I remember feeling slightly ashamed that our black Santa wasn’t the 'real thing.'" I suppose Kelly is too blinded by her White privilege and victim mentality to possibly imagine how difficult it might be for a family of color to integrate a white-skinned Santa into their holiday traditions.
And never mind that Santa Claus is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas, who was actually from present-day Turkey and probably had brown skin, not white. In any case, he was certainly not Caucasian. But I'll let Jon Stewart make the case, because he's a lot funnier than I am (and has a bigger budget and more writers).
It's Christmas Eve. If you're a Christian reading this, then I suppose you're celebrating tonight and tomorrow the birth of Yeshua of Nazareth, who came as a baby to a lowly family and oppressed people; who as a grown man humbled himself as a servant; and whom we yet posthumously call the Prince of Peace and King of Kings. So how's about we lay down our rhetorical arms this Christmas, beat our swords into plowshares, love our neighbors (whether Christian or not, as Jesus directed us to do), and perhaps - God willing - we can even check our privilege at the stable door. Thus we might actually follow the example of Him whom we find in the manger. (See: Phillippians 2:1-8)
In that spirit, I wish you all a joyful and peaceful holiday season, whatever you may (or may not) be celebrating. Amen (and a-women too).