Well, it’s that time again. November is here. Prepare yourselves to fight the good fight.
No, I’m not talking about any sort of armed combat overseas. No, this isn’t legislation being introduced that needs our attention as voters. I’m not even talking about the arguments about whether Christmas lights should go up before Thanksgiving or after. This is all about what words you use to greet each other this time of year. Yes, that’s right. It’s time to get upset that someone tells you “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.
Never mind that Christmas isn’t the only holiday around this time of year.
With just a cursory check, I find Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, Day of the Return of the Wandering Goddess, the Hajj and Id al-Adha, Soyal, Saturnalia, the Feast of Sol Invicta, Yule, Zartusht-no-diso, the 1000 Lamp Mandala Ceremony, Shabe-Yalda, Fesivus, Kwanza, and Omisoka.
Never mind that Christmas isn’t the only holiday followers of God celebrate this time of year.
Even the Jews, who worship the same God as Christians, celebrate Hanukkah.
Never mind that Christmas isn’t even the only holiday Christians celebrate this time of year.
My family has started the tradition of celebrating St. Nicholas’ day on Dec 6th. This German holiday is a tradition to honor the memory of the (mythical or not) St. Nicholas who showed great generosity to others. We celebrate with traditional Christmas stockings, filled with little chocolate coins and an apple (because Nicholas placed gold in the hanging stockings of poor girls who could not afford a dowry to get married).
And let’s not forget Thanksgiving! In the US, at least, Thanksgiving is a huge celebration that triggers the most traveling of any holiday year-round. I have no doubt that many people, like me, conflate the love, affection and sentimentality of Thanksgiving and Christmas into one warm fuzzy season.
Never mind that Christmas isn’t even remotely about Christ for probably a majority of the people who celebrate it.
I’ve got news for you folks. If you aren’t a believer, then Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. If you don’t know why Christ came, then it’s difficult to care that he came. In that case it’s a warm time of caring about the people around you, about giving and about fuzzy sentimentality.
But this isn’t good enough for us. The month of December (and indeed November as well) HAS TO BE ABOUT CHRISTMAS DANGIT! and not only that, it HAS TO BE ABOUT CHRIST.
and therein lies the issue. Right there. It has to be about Christ… Otherwise we’re being oppressed and persecuted.
Can we just take a moment and think clearly on exactly how privileged, entitled and completely freaking spoiled that attitude is? If you’ve gone this long without recognizing Christian Privilege in the United States, then please just take a step back and look at how the Church acts around Christmastime. Once you see this, then a whole new world of self-awareness will kick in and you’ll start to see just how poorly we as Christians have been acting toward our fellow Americans (and the world, in fact).
This isn’t the only form of Christian Privilege, of course. It’s merely the hardest one to ignore because it’s just that absurd. What are some others? It mostly shows up these days as Islamophobia, but here are some examples. You might be harboring an unhealthy sense of Christian Entitlement if…
- …when unbelievers speak up you assume that they have an agenda specifically against Christianity instead of just, you know, an opinion on the matter
- …you criticized President Obama for alleged Muslim beliefs
- …you love the idea of a “Ten Commandments” display in a Courtroom, but see no reason for the display of the official writings from another religion
- …you use the same terminology to describe both the removal of Duck Dynasty from the airwaves and the systematic torture and murder of people all over the world for their beliefs
- …you fight for the teaching of the Genesis account in public schools over (or aside) evolution, but not the origin stories from other faiths
- …you experience moral outrage at the Pagan takeover of All Hallow’s Eve on the one hand and their efforts to take back Yule and Easter from Christian takeover on the other.
- …it doesn’t occur to you how offensive it might be to the people around you to have “in God we trust” printed on our national currency
- …you make judgement calls about a person’s parenting, their past, or personal ethics by whether or not they adhere to your specific brand of Christianity
- …you’ve ever used the term “liberal Christian” as a pejorative to describe a fellow believer, taking the luxury of dismissing over half of your fellow adherents for not being “real believers” like you
- …you would be outraged to discover that a County Clerk from the Quaker faith was refusing “conceal and carry” licenses on account of his objection to violence, or that a Muslim DMV Clerk refused drivers licenses to women because of Sharia, but applaud what Kim Davis did with marriage licenses a few months ago
- …you refer to our country’s “religious freedom” on a regular basis and yet refer to the United States as a “Christian Nation”
- …for that matter, your definition of “religious freedom” is “the freedom to worship the One True God”
And finally, if you can go into a store, make a purchase and feel perfectly justified in scowling at the cashier or treating him rudely for failing to greet you in accordance to your religion’s Winter holiday, then you might be suffering from grotesquely unchecked Christian Privilege.