Ya know… I was reading this today and thought – Joel Stein has a point. The war over holidays really is a zero-sum game. And we’re losing out to Christmas dammit!
There is a war on Hanukkah. I know this because, even by late last week, I had absolutely no idea it was Hanukkah. Usually my grandmother sends a card, or the radio plays that Adam Sandler song, or one of those Chabad people in a Mitzvah tank picks me out on the street as Jewish and hands me candles, causing me to worry that I’m balding and short and my nose is too big. Apparently, disseminating self-loathing is a mitzvah.
War is a zero-sum game, so when Christmas is winning, Hanukkah is losing. Crumbling under pressure from conservatives, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Target, Kmart, Walgreens and Kohl’s dropped “Happy Holidays” and brought back their “Merry Christmas” campaigns. The Seattle airport put back its Christmas trees after removing them last week when a rabbi complained. That controversy never would have happened if Gentiles simply realized that absolutely no one ever listens to rabbis. If we did, kids who went to Hebrew school would actually speak Hebrew.
Because if you’re going tribal, we’re going tribal. And though our tribe is small and often out of shape, we’re scrappy. So think twice before you spill out too much vitriol about this war on Christmas that you’re winning. When the empowered convince themselves that they’re under attack, they often convince themselves that cruelty to the powerless is justified. These are the scary sugar plums that dance in Lou Dobbs’ [CNN news anchor] head.
I realize these are difficult times. I understand the desire to declare “our” unified Christianity in public places, to fence out the Mexicans, to fight against the luxury of Muslim free speech, to pass English-only legislation. But a great nation, as our Constitution figured out, fights its populist instincts. And uses Latin to confuse its citizens.
And if getting along means accepting a manger and not hearing “Happy Hanukkah,” I’m willing to surrender in this war. As long as you realize that without those of us who don’t celebrate Christmas, this nation would lose its purpose. And the chance to have this dumb debate every year.
Yup, he has my vote! Next year we’re gonna declare war on Christmas. Who’s with me?
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