Sunday, December 8, 2019

Calling the "War on Christmas" what it is: A White Christian Crusade

I used to ignore my Republican friends' insistence there was a "War on Christmas." They claim the words "Merry Christmas" cover all religious celebrations during this time of year. Amplified by FOX news, one might think this war was of huge significance. To me, it was silly. Who cared if the clerk at Target said Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, which would be more inclusive? Now, given our President's attacks on black and brown people, I can no longer dismiss it.

I don't know how it ever became an issue. When I was a teenager in the late 1970s, my mother would only allow me to purchase cards for my friends which said Season's Greetings. I remember a particular box of cards that showed pine trees in the snow with a sled. Had it shown a decorated Christmas tree, my mother would have disapproved.

Now the words "Merry Christmas" are ideological. They are used to assert white Christian dominance. A person could mean this in a stereotypical way, the way most people picture a white Santa Claus. On the other hand, words of domination have been employed to promote discrimination and outright racism.

Christians asserted their dominance in the world through the crusades. So the next time a Republican friend says, "Merry Christmas" to me, I will answer with "Merry Crusades." It sounds petty. But, then again, so does the idea of Flush-gate.