Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Go Fish: It's called "Shut up" with a capital "S"

Let the record show: I love Christmas.

I love Christmas for all kinds of reasons. I think it's fun. I love giving and getting gifts. I love decorating the tree and seeing it lit up with pretty lights and ornaments. I love wrapping presents for people that I care about. I love having a big feast with my family, and silly specials on television, and baking cookies and all that stuff. I love that there's this celebration of happiness and giving that happens every year during what is otherwise the darkest, coldest, grayest part of the year in Michigan. I love that it's a holiday about a magical fat man in a red suit who goes around the world in a sleigh pulled by flying deer, giving away toys to children. I love all the sappy and funny and happy holiday songs.

Except this one.

Well, there are actually quite a few holiday songs that I hate, but this is the newest addition to the list, and it's certainly the most egregiously bad. The band "Go Fish" released this, and it's called, for those of you who can't see YouTube, "It's Called Christmas, With a Capital C".

If there's one thing that I hate about this time of year, this song exemplifies it. Every freakin' year they come crawling out of the woodwork. Those people who are obsessed with making sure that Christmas stays sacred. They're the people who rant about how "Jesus is the reason for the season!" They're the people who get angry that someone says "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". In fact, that stupid song starts off and has clips from some "comedian" (and I use the term loosely) going off on just such a rant:

I remember when people used to say things like "Merry Christmas" to each other. Everybody said "Merry Christmas"! "Hey, Merry Christmas to you Mr. Longstein" You know why? Cause it wasn't about your religion, it was about something as a culture we thought was so valuable that we'd all do it together, even if I disagreed with the religion behind it, because it was good for all of us instead of just me. But what do people say now? "Happy Holidays". "See, I just say 'Happy Holidays' because I don't want to say Christmas because you don't believe in Christmas because I don't want to offend you" *blabbering noise"... ...Oh yes, we want to say "Happy Holidays" because we don't want to leave anybody out. Really? How come there's a ton of holidays in February, nobody every says "Happy Holidays" in February, do they? They say what it is, "Happy Valentine's... oooh, do you believe in love?" But nobody wants to say Christmas! Everything else but Christmas. Why? I know why. You do too. It's because it's got Christ in it, and after 2,000 years, he's still intimidating people. You see, when a religious person says "I am the way", people don't want to hear it! They don't! I say you've got to say Merry Christmas, because it is! You don't believe in it? Fine! But I,I,I have a flash for you: Christianity happens to be the religious heritage of my country whether you like it or not... ...So if you're not a Christian, or you don't like it, and you don't want Christmas celebrated, God bless you! But let me tell you something, if you think you're going to stop me from saying it because it offends you, hey I've got a flash for you: put a helmet on! It's my country too!


The lyrics to the song aren't any better. The chorus pretty much sums it up:

It’s called Christmas, what more can I say?
It’s about the birth of Christ
and you can’t take that away.
You can call it something else,
but that’s not what it will be.
It’s called Christmas with a capital "C."


Where to start?

Well, first of all, who are these people that they're talking about? Every bloody year, I hear a certain kind of Christian crying about how "they're trying to take the Christ out of Christmas!" Who in the hell is this all powerful "they" that these Christians are talking about? Where is this huge movement to get rid of Christmas? Because, honestly, I've never seen it. I've never seen some subversive atheist/secular movement to get rid of Santa Claus at the mall. I've never heard of mobs of angry Jews gathering at public tree lighting events to protest. I've never heard of legions of agnostics sitting on public fences decrying a store that exhibits Christmas decorations or has clerks that say "Merry Christmas". So, what "they" is out there trying to take Christmas away and pushing this mythical "Happy Holidays" movement?

Second of all, screw you Go Fish. If you're going to write a song about a made up movement to abolish Christmas, let's get a few facts straight first, okay? Because, as it stands, you, and whatever comedian it is that you've got soundbites of, sound like a bunch of morons. Let's start with, as noted above, NOBODY IS TAKING CHRISTMAS AWAY FROM YOU.

Ignoring the reality that not everyone is Christian, and, you know, not everyone celebrates Christmas- either of which is actually a fine reason to prefer "Happy holidays" over "Merry Christmas"- there's the little issue of what, exactly, Christmas is about. Nobody gives a rat's ass if you celebrate Christmas because of Christ. Bully for you if you do. That's great. But, I've got a "flash" for you:

"Christmas" is older than Jesus.

You can call it Christmas,
but that’s not what it will be.
It’s called Saturnalia/Festivus/Dies Natalis Solis Invicti/ with a capital... okay, well, that part doesn't work so well, does it? The point is the same, though: what Christians have renamed "Christmas" is really an amalgamation of a number of other pagan celebrations. The Church renamed the festivities in an effort to win converts- it's easier to get people to adopt your faith if you can tell them "Hey, you get to keep the same parties!"

It's not people like me who are trying to kill Christmas, it's idiots like the comedian this band pulled clips from. Most non-Christians don't care either way if you want to celebrate Christmas. Why should they? If you want to go around wishing people a Merry Christmas, power to you. But, this kind of obnoxious belligerence really pisses people off. As a culture, we're in no danger of not celebrating Christmas, okay? Seriously, the decorations were out in stores before Halloween this year. The bell ringers are still out in force. I see tons of houses with lights and tree farms all over the place. Every time I turn on the tv, there's another Christmas special on. Christmas hasn't gone anywhere.

But to hear songs like this, or people like them, you'd think that there were armies of angry non-believers marching around just looking for people saying "Merry Christmas" so they could gag them. Has someone gone up to him and told him "Hey, you can't say Merry Christmas anymore!"? No? Then what the hell is he complaining about?

It's a totally manufactured outrage.

Oh, and the bit about our religious heritage... That's fucking rich. You know what? The founding fathers weren't Christians in any way recognizable by today's standards, for the most part. They were deists, and they'd have probably found modern Christmas celebrations offensive and obnoxious. Most of our nation's founding members would have fainted at the sight of what a gaudy commercial affair Christmas has become. Do these jackasses really think that puritans or the Quakers would be cool with all of the hoopla surrounding Christmas these days? I'd bet a dollar that these flakes are Catholic, and I can promise you that our nation is not a Catholic nation, so you don't get to claim our nation's "heritage" like that.

Most of this is probably incoherent, but that song just made me so angry, that I wanted to spit. It's assholes like these guys that ruin Christmas for the rest of us. They're the main reason why people end up not liking Christmas. Well, that, and the whole commercialized, crammed down your throats starting in October aspect of it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to good Christmas music, and wrap presents.

Edited: Thursday, Dec13th, 8:50 AM

I'm number one! Kidding. Sort of. If you're looking for the lyrics, I linked to them above. They're not very good, though. The more I think about it, the more surprised I am that they didn't complain about "X-Mas" (which has been common since the sixteenth century) or repeat the claim that stores prohibited the use of Christmas by employees or continue to spread the rumor about Santas being prohibited from saying 'Ho ho ho!'

Also: The song still sucks.

59 comments:

EG said...

"Hey, Merry Christmas to you Mr. Longstein"

Just in case this jackass wonders how Mr. Longstein might have felt about this, I would refer him to my parents and grandparents. Here's a clue: they didn't feel included in a community celebration. They felt marginalized, excluded, alienated, and yes, vaguely threatened--because historically, when Christians get self-righteous about their beliefs, it does not bode well for the Jews.

But I guess for these jerks, that is the true meaning of Christmas after all.

J said...

Just in case you were wondering, my favorite Christmas song is
All I Want for Christmas is You
by Mariah Carey.
Very sacred. =)

Mighty Ponygirl said...

This really smacks of when white supremecists talk about an upcoming "race war." They couch it in terms to suggest that it will be the non-whites who start it, but anyone with two functioning brain cells can see their naked logic for what it is. They try to throw a fig leaf over their naked racism just like these chunderheads try to disguise their hatred of non-Christians--by trying to make themselves into the victims despite all evidence to the contrary. It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to be the most pandered-to, most visible religious group in the country and still declare that you're being persecuted.

A minor quibble -- I don't think that there are terribly many Catholics spouting this BS; this is an almost entirely evangelical protestant movement: while Catholics have made an ally out of the protestant fundies on issues like taking away women's rights, they are (and should be) wary of teaming up with the nutty Protestants to assert a Christian theocracy in the country: they know that the Protestants go back home and denounce them as a bunch of idol-worshiping Papists. People like Bill O'Reilly and Bill Donohue are more interested in the paycheck than the end result.

schrödinger's cat said...

You can argue in favour of tolerance from within the Christian faith, too. Like this, perhaps:

One way of seeing things is that the early missionaries wanted to respect the culture of the country they were in. So instead of scrapping all the holidays, they kind of said: "OK, you're celebrating light in the middle of darkness... and here's what this light is." In this spirit, we should actually stop ramming down our own preferences down people's throats.

Plus, the birth of Jesus wasn't exactly a publicity stunt. The angels appeared only to a handful of shepherds, and they didn't say "go worship OR ELSE". It was all low-key. Jesus was like that too. Almost like he wanted to make sure that no one believed in him just to get a good show. Sometimes it's like he thought: "right, I've gathered a crowd... let's say something about death so they'll go away." Another reason why it would be quite biblical to show a little more common sense and respect towards people whose faith isn't ours.

roses said...

Mighty Ponygirl, I was going to say the same thing about Catholics. But the nation's founders weren't evangelicals anymore than they were Catholics, so I think Roy's point still stands. And yeah, if I were Bill Donahue or Bill O'Reilly I'd think twice about aligning myself with people who literally think my church is the antiChrist, but what do I know.

I am amused at the thought that Christians searching for the lyrics to the song end up at this post =)

assembling words to armory, she waits... said...

i'd just like to add that i'm sure go fish is profiting heavily from the release of this song, which makes for a nice bit of irony, since they're benefiting from the system they're admonishing. blech.

Derek said...

Hahahaha! I laughed so hard when I saw you were number one for that search. But anyway...

I'm glad you wrote about this. This is the first year I've started thinking about people getting all defensive about "Happy Holidays", and I think you nailed it.

Also, if you're looking for good Christmas music, my favourite album is one you can actually download! It's called Winter Slumber and is a compilation by a bunch of indie artists like the Gingerbread Patriots and Foma. It's loads of fun!

Download it here:
http://www.gingerbreadpatriots.com/winter%20slumber.htm

Derek said...

Sorry, some of the link was cut off...

Download it here!

Anonymous said...

Roy, it seems like the real issue here is not "Chirstmas" but your lack of faith in your Heavenly Father....Who ADORES you. He loves you so much and is saddened by your anger. This sort of talk is an attack on Him, Who made you and LOVES you still. He waits for you every day. He is with you every second. He loves you forever...like nobody has ever loved you. I guarantee you that.

Roy said...

Roy, it seems like the real issue here is not "Chirstmas" but your lack of faith in your Heavenly Father....Who ADORES you. He loves you so much and is saddened by your anger. This sort of talk is an attack on Him, Who made you and LOVES you still. He waits for you every day. He is with you every second. He loves you forever...like nobody has ever loved you. I guarantee you that.

If that's the case, then He knows that I, in fact, did nothing to attack Him.

Also: How dare you speak for God? Who are you, who has to post anonymously, to speak for something as great as God is supposed to be?

You'll pardon me if I don't take my spiritual advice from a faceless, nameless person on the internet, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think that is is very sad to see the meaning of Christmas truly go down the tube.

it is bothering to me, a Catholic, that we are all bickering over a song and that if anyone truly wanted to celebrate the Christmas season they missed the entire meaning by arguing about a SONG!

Regardless of your religious background, Christmas is a time of giving. It may be giving of your self or maybe giving up your opinion and allow others to express them selfs. If you do not like the song, switch stations, don't buy it and/or don't even give it the credit it is getting by being on this blog.

I pray for all of you and all of us to be a bit more tolerant of each other, especially this or any Christmas season.

Lenny

EG said...

Regardless of your religious background, Christmas is a time of giving.

No. If your religious background is not Christian, the significance of Christmas is far, far more complicated than that.

Anonymous said...

My identity does not matter.

I do not pretend to know what God thinks, as He is Maker of all and I am simply nothing. Isaiah tells us in 43:4, “…you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” Based on this Word of Truth, I can tell you that He loves you more than you know.

I wish you well and I will pray that our Lord may fill your heart with love, understanding, compassion and that He blesses you in abundance.

May God bless you and yours.

Alex Rodriguez said...

Its unfortunate some have no understanding about the true meaning of Christmas. If this song is such a problem for you its extremely easy to simply turn it off or change the station.

Roy said...

I do not pretend to know what God thinks, as He is Maker of all and I am simply nothing.

A disturbing attitude, and one that conflicts with with statements like claiming my words are an attack on him (I said nothing bad about God in my post, and only He can decide if he's angry or attacked by my words, not you), or saying that he is saddened by my anger (why should he be sad by my anger about a stupid song?)

I wish you well and I will pray that our Lord may fill your heart with love, understanding, compassion and that He blesses you in abundance.

Thanks. I'm actually already quite full of love, compassion, and understanding, but I'm certainly not opposed to getting more.

Its unfortunate some have no understanding about the true meaning of Christmas.

I agree completely. Of course, it seems to me that people who write songs like this really don't have a clue about the real meaning of Christmas. People who get upset about somebody saying "Happy Holidays" don't have any idea what the spirit of Christmas is. Which was, I think, part of my complaint.

If this song is such a problem for you its extremely easy to simply turn it off or change the station.

What, exactly, makes you think I don't? The fact that I can change the station doesn't do anything to alter the attitude that leads someone to write such an ignorant song, though. My complaint wasn't that I was somehow forced to listen to the song, it was that the song exists- it was that there are people out there who are so bothered by the idea of people not sharing their exact beliefs, or who are so woefully uneducated about their own religion, that they could write such a song whose sole purpose seems to be to say ignorant things and further alienate and divide people.

I'm sorry, but do you really believe that Jesus, a Jew, would have cared about people saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? Listen to that "comedian". He's not spreading the word or acting in Christlike manner- he's dividing people and alienating them. He's using his religion as a weapon.

You want people to have a merry Christmas and to understand the real meaning of Christmas, my suggestion would be to distance yourself as much as possible from jerks like that who feel the need to use their religion like a club to divide people or make them feel excluded or like outcasts. Because I'm quite aware of the meaning of Christmas- and it's not about making sure that everybody knows that you don't care if you're offensive. It's not about beating people over the head with your religious beliefs. It's got a lot more to do with loving and respecting your fellow man regardless of what s/he believes.

That song is not respectful. It's not spreading peace and love and joy.

Alex Rodriguez said...

I think I should have clarified my thought. The issue and I suspect the intent behind the song is not a problem with someone who prefers to say Happy Holidays. The problem is someone who is working against my fundamental right to call the holidays what they are. Like it or not, regardless of what your religion may be, the holidays ARE a fundamental celebration of the birth of Christ. Its not a question about who you may believe Christ is, the simple fact is we celebrate the "holidays" as a result of Christ's birth. When someone fights the mention of Christmas, it is a fundamental attack on my faith and Christ. The consequences of those actions are not for me to decide.

Roy said...

The issue and I suspect the intent behind the song is not a problem with someone who prefers to say Happy Holidays. The problem is someone who is working against my fundamental right to call the holidays what they are.

Who is doing this, though? Who? How many people have tried to gag you for saying "Merry Christmas"? How many people have tried to stop you from calling your holiday "Christmas"? Where is this alleged movement to rename Christmas happening? Where are the hordes of people that are stopping you from calling it whatever you want? I'm certainly not stopping you from calling it Christmas. I've never seen anyone try to stop a private citizen from saying "Merry Christmas."

Like it or not, regardless of what your religion may be, the holidays ARE a fundamental celebration of the birth of Christ.

No, they're not, and it's ignorant to say that they are. YOUR holiday may be a fundamental celebration of the birth of Jesus, but my Jewish friends who just finished Hanukkah? They weren't celebrating the birth of Christ. Me? I'm not celebrating the birth of Christ. Look, if that's what this season means to you, power to you. I think that's great, and I fully support you being able to do that. Just because that's what you're doing, though, doesn't mean that it's what everybody is doing. I totally respect people who celebrate Jesus' birth at this time of year, and what I'm annoyed by is that lack of respect being returned.

Its not a question about who you may believe Christ is, the simple fact is we celebrate the "holidays" as a result of Christ's birth.

Again, people have been celebrating at this time of year for a lot longer than Christ was around. The birth of Jesus didn't create the holiday- we just shifted the focus a bit.

When someone fights the mention of Christmas, it is a fundamental attack on my faith and Christ.

NOBODY IS DOING THAT, though. Nobody is telling you what you can and can't call your holiday. At worst a few people are saying that they want to be able to call the holidays whatever they want.

You can call every day Christmas for all I care, as long as you respect my beliefs enough to let me call my holidays whatever the heck I want.

Djiril said...

With a capitol "C"
and that rhymes with "P"
and that stands for "Piss off and stop ruining my Yulemukka, morons!"

EG said...

When someone fights the mention of Christmas, it is a fundamental attack on my faith and Christ.

Wait, really? When somebody says "Hey, I'm not Christian, and I'm a member of this community too, so could we use a more inclusive phrase to wish each other well?" that's a fundamental attack on your faith? If that's the threat--that you might have to acknowledge other people's beliefs--that's a position of major privilege.

sovawanea said...

I think so many other people have eloquently and with great reason said anything of substance on this issue that I would have said.

I can only add this: Does the band know they named themselves after a Lesbian film?

Alex Rodriguez said...

Examples requested.

After one person complained about a nativity scene in Shawnee State Park in Ohio, the state parks’ chief ordered a ban on crèches from all parks. It took the governor to overturn this decision.

In Wesley Chapel, Florida, Jesus was banned from a holiday display.

The mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island censored all religious displays.

Government officials in Tehama County, California tried to ban Santa in office displays but had to reverse their decision after a protest.

A nativity scene in Olean, New York was removed from the City Hall lawn after Wiccans placed the pentacle alongside it.

A crèche was banned from Triangle Park in Manistique, Michigan.

After a Catholic sued and won demanding a crèche alongside a menorah in Briarcliff Manor, New York, local officials banned both the Christian and Jewish symbols.

The Dickens Christmas Festival in Saginaw, Michigan was renamed the Dickens Holiday Festival so the city could advertise in local schools. The schools ban the words “Santa,” “Christmas” and “Nativity.”

Atheists Alliance International put up a tree on the lawn of Chester County Courthouse outside Philadelphia with copies of the covers of books saying, “Why I Am Not a Christian,” etc.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is trying to block the display of a crèche in Shelby County, Alabama.

Freedom from Religion Foundation is trying to stop the display of nativity scenes in three Wisconsin towns.

EG said...

Every single one of those examples is about a display on public property. Public, government property belongs to all of us, atheists and Wiccans included. You yourself note that menorahs and Wiccan symbols are also included in these bans. Nobody's preventing you from practicing your religion. You're being prevented from inflicting it on others using public monies. I don't see the problem.

Atheists Alliance International put up a tree on the lawn of Chester County Courthouse outside Philadelphia with copies of the covers of books saying, “Why I Am Not a Christian,” etc.

How is this a problem for you? Every day at my local subway station, people stand there and hand out pamphlets telling me that I'll spend eternity being tortured if I don't buy into their particular brand of supernatural belief. That's legal, too. It's called freedom of speech, and atheists have it too.

Roy said...

The mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island censored all religious displays.

As EG points out: How is this an attack on Christmas? How is this an effort to stop you from celebrating Christmas? How does this stop you from saying "Merry Christmas" or putting up your owwn decorations on your property? I'm sorry, but there's a big difference between saying "Look, this is public property, not private, and it's an inappropriate place to put religious iconography" and trying to stop you from calling Christmas what you want. You're still completely free to put up a nativity scene. Businesses are still free to have Santa show up, and to put up giant signs that say Merry Christmas. Radio stations still start playing Christmas music months in advance. Television stations still air Christmas specials.

There's absolutely zero threat of anyone in this country forgetting that this is Christmas season. The manufatured outrage over a small handful of people who complain about public funds being used for religious displays and the small handful of politicians who think that maybe the seperation of church and state should also extend to blatantly Christian displays on public land... well, it strikes me as particularly silly given how much Christmas still dominates the landscape right now, and given that nobody is stopping private citizens from celebrating however the heck they want.

A nativity scene in Olean, New York was removed from the City Hall lawn after Wiccans placed the pentacle alongside it.

Do you think that the Wiccans should have been allowed to do that, or are you complaining that they did?

Because, it sort of sounds like the complaint is that you want to be able to use public land for religious displays but you don't think that other people should get to use it for the same. Which is, you know... not really very fair.

Autumn Harvest said...

I posted something here yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared into the ether? I'm assuming Roy didn't remove it, since I don't think it had anything objectionable.

Anyway, Alex, I'm sort of repeating eg and roy here, but all the examples you gave are of cases where the government wasn't allowed to sponsor Christianity, just like it's not allowed to sponsor other religions. I don't see how that prevents you from celebrating Christmas. Do you really think that you can't celebrate Christmas unless the government gives the birth of Christ its seal of approval? The government doesn't put up decorations for Rosh Hashannah, or close down for Yom Kippur, and you don't hear Jews complaining about how they're not "allowed" to have their holidays. I seriously doubt that you can give one example where you have been prevented from celebrating Christmas the way you want, or calling it what you want. I've celebrated Christmas my whole life, and told other people "Merry Christmas," and not once has anyone tried to stop me.

Roy said...

No fear, AH- I haven't deleted anything, except for the one comment that I then reposted in a thread by itself.

And, yeah, the only holidays that I get (as a federal employee) are national holidays... and Christian holidays.

John Pusinsky said...

Merry Christmas to all !

Christmas is Jesus Christ's birthday and in my house we treat it as a birthday party. Sure we still have a tree and lights and stuff like that. It is a very happy time. And no one can take the Christ out of Christmas. If they could then they would be greater than GOD and no one is greater than GOD. "Go Fish" came up with this song as a way of witnessing to people that do not accept Christ as Lord And it works, after all we would not be posting stuff if it didn't. The seeds have been planted and we can only hope the harvest is good.

Roy said...

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you, as well, John.

Christmas is Jesus Christ's birthday

Well, excepting that it's really not. It's the time when Christians have choosen to celebrate that birthday, but it's not really when he would have been born. The descriptions in the bible pretty much preclude Jesus' having been born in December.

and in my house we treat it as a birthday party. Sure we still have a tree and lights and stuff like that. It is a very happy time.

I think that's great. I love all of those things. I love spending time with my loved ones and putting up the tree and giving gifts. And I don't see where anyone is trying to stop Christians from doing those things. Do you?

"Go Fish" came up with this song as a way of witnessing to people that do not accept Christ as Lord

I don't think that they did. I think that they wrote this song as a congratulatory pat on the backs to all of those Christians with persecution paranoia, who think that there's an army of atheists and secularists out there trying to steal Christ out of their Christmases. Because if this is an attempt to convince anyone that Christ is Lord and all that, it's a pretty terrible way of doing it.

And it works, after all we would not be posting stuff if it didn't. The seeds have been planted and we can only hope the harvest is good.

It works if you think that no publicity is bad publicity. The problem with songs like this is that the only seed that was planted was one of resentment. I already like Christmas. This song doesn't make me like it more, it makes me like it less. This song makes the people who sang it and the guy whose "stand-up" they sampled sound like assholes.

Jesus wasn't about using his faith like a weapon, he was about embracing people. This song doesn't do that- it pushes people away.

jeff said...

Alex Rodriguez said...

I think I should have clarified my thought.

Truer words...

JesusFreak34 said...

Your post probably insulted more people than the song. I like it and the meaning of CHRISTmas. My family and I believe in this "stuff" you are cussing out. This is not "stuff" this is real and the reason you can't see that everyone is taking Christ out of CHRISTmas is because you believe that it is not about Christ and you think that it is about santa clause, and giving presents and stuff like that. And I have 3 more things I would like to say. 1: CHRISTmas Is NOT older than Christ cuz Christ is forever. 2: Christ is NOT fake. 3: It's called Christmas what more can I say?

jeff said...

JesusFreak34 said...

3: It's called Christmas what more can I say?

Apparently, not much.

Autumn Harvest said...

I like how Roy writes a post complaining that the so-called "War on Christmas" is fake, and asking how anyone in America is being prevented from celebrating Christmas, and gets a bunch of responses saying "Well, the problem is that I'm being prevented from celebrating Christmas." Is anyone going to actually give an example of how they were prevented from celebrating Christmas as they saw fit? [1] Anyone? Anyone at all?

"Go Fish" came up with this song as a way of witnessing to people that do not accept Christ as Lord And it works. . .

I suppose, if witnessing means "trying to convince others that some Christians are really jerks." But if witnessing means showing non-Christians the good stuff in Christianity, then it doesn't work so well.

Jesus had some nice thoughts about such things at Matthew 6:5-6. He's also written a helpful letter about Christmas at his blog.

[1] Note: Cases where the government was not allowed to promote the birth of Christ are not acceptable examples, unless you are the living personification of the government. Furthermore, simply hearing someone else say the phrase "Happy Holidays" does not prevent you from celebrating Christmas.

Roy said...

Your post probably insulted more people than the song.

Maybe.
That doesn't make me wrong, though.

I like it and the meaning of CHRISTmas. My family and I believe in this "stuff" you are cussing out.

Uh, really? Let's examine the context of my calling it "stuff", shall we? Let's see... where did I call it "stuff" again? Oh, that's right, I called it "stuff" when I said that I LOVE "having a big feast with my family, and the silly specials on television, and baking cookies and all that stuff. I love that there's this celebration of happiness and giving that happens every year during what is otherwise the darkest, coldest, grayest part of the year in Michigan"

Yeah, I can see how'd you mistake my saying that I love these things with my "cussing" out.

Did you even read what I wrote? If you're a happy Christian minding your own business celebrating the birth of Christ and doing Christmas your way, I don't have ANYTHING against you. I don't harbor even the slightest bit of ill will towards your beliefs. If you're a Christian, power to you. I'm not, but I don't think that there's anything inherently wrong with your beliefs.

On the other hand, if your beliefs include manufactured outrage over people choosing to say "happy holidays" instead of Christmas, well, you know what? I'll totally cuss you out.

This is not "stuff" this is real and the reason you can't see that everyone is taking Christ out of CHRISTmas is because you believe that it is not about Christ and you think that it is about santa clause, and giving presents and stuff like that.

No, I don't. I have no idea what Christmas is to you. I said that those are some of the things that I love about Christmas. Me. I don't think that Christmas is about Santa Claus (no "e" in that name, by the by). Santa Claus is a part of the Christmas tradition for me, and I happen to think it's pretty awesome. If you don't, that's awesome too.

HOW are people taking Christ out of your Christmas? What are they doing, picketing your house demanding that you take down your nativity? Are they threatening you? Are they stealing all of the albums you own that mention Christ? How? Because, really, I'd love to know. Stupid songs like that Go Fish song still get airtime on the radio. Christmas is still dominating the landscape. And, most importantly, nobody gives a damn what you do in your house or with your family. But you know what? How I celebrate Christmas? It's none of your business. If I don't want Jesus as a part of my celebrations, what business of yours is it? How does my saying happy holidays or choosing to be more interested in Santa harm you? It doesn't.

1: CHRISTmas Is NOT older than Christ cuz Christ is forever.

That's horse shit. You show me ONE shred of evidence that festivus was about Christ. What's next, when people were praising Zeus, they really meant Jesus?

2: Christ is NOT fake.

Did I say he was?

3: It's called Christmas what more can I say?

Indeed. What more?

EG said...

"Go Fish" came up with this song as a way of witnessing to people that do not accept Christ as Lord

If so, it's been a remarkably unsuccessful tactic. Nobody in my family accepts Christ as Lord, and very, very few of my friends do, and I've only heard of the song because I read Roy's blog. So, you know...well done?

In any case, seriously? In your imagination, atheists and Jews hear this song and think "My goodness! It is Christmas with a capital "C"! I'm going to run out and convert right now!" That shows...a tremendous lack of insight into, well, reality.

Don't you think it's more likely that this song is written as a self-congratulatory, self-righteous little rant for, as Roy says, those self-righteous Christians convinced that the every existence of others is a form of attack?

You know, this conversation keeps making me think of the classic song, "C is for Cookie [that's good enough for me."

gnaddrig said...

I pray for all of you and all of us to be a bit more tolerant of each other, especially this or any Christmas season.
Anonymous, can you explain why one should be more tolerant in 'this or any Christmas season'? Does Christmas-related tolerance count more towards salvation than plain every-day tolerance?

Shaun said...

I notice that the author is unwilling to leave his name...

The author starts "Let the record show: I love Christmas." After reading his piece, its not CHIRSTmas that is loved, but the materialism it has generated. The quote would be more accurately stated thus: "Let the record show: I love [X]mas." Where X determines that the author loves the holidays sans Christ, sans sacredness, sans the original idea of Christmas.

Song sums it up perfectly: "It’s called Christmas, what more can I say? It’s about the birth of Christ
and you can’t take that away."

So wake up...your coffee is cold.

Shaun said...

For all the Christians in the post... remember Eph 5 - do not swap railing for railing. Let them believe as they will. Tell them, and move on it is no longer your duty to continue to preach.

They worry about all the people being discriminated against forgetting the most discriminated agaisnt group of people in the world are the Christians. History shows this clearly.

Enough said.

Roy said...

I notice that the author is unwilling to leave his name...

Uh, yeah. I'm really working hard to hide who I am. I mean, if you ignore the part where it says "Posted by Roy", and where every one of my comments is marked with "roy says", and the fact that my blog has my photograph on the main page, why, you'd have no idea who posted it. What do you want, my address and next of kin, too?

As for the rest of your response: I'm sorry that you think loving a celebration of happiness and joy, and loving spending time with my family and giving are materialistic. That you do speaks more to your state of mind than mine. And please, spare me the "original idea of Christmas" nonsense- the "Original idea" behind Christmas was "Let's co-opt a pagan holiday to make it easier to get them on board with our religious practices."

I'm not going to bother with the rest. I mean, seriously? You believe that Christians are "the most discriminated agaisnt group of people in the world"? That's... wow.

We're apparently not living in the same world, if you can say something like that with a straight face.

dpenguin said...

You know what? You're right. Christmas, as a holiday, has been around in the pagan world for a very long time. If I recall correctly, it was sometime after 1000 years had passed after Christ before someone (Catholics, I believe) said, "hey, if we make this pagan holiday a celebration of 'the birth of Christ,' maybe we can get more converts."

Personally, I like the song... it's catchy, and my family and I celebrate Christmas as a celebration of Christ's birth... but at the same time, we are aware of its origins and that not everyone celebrates.

I actually know some Christians who refuse to celebrate Christmas BECAUSE of its origins.

And, of course, as you pointed out - there are the Jews who celebrate God in a different way during Hanukkah.

I enjoyed reading your blog entry... it makes much sense. Our forefathers came for freedom OF religion... not freedom FROM religion... but I suppose it's the same thing, for athiests ;)

Although, while I agree the government has no place *endorsing* a certain religion, I also think they have no place *banning* it, either; and as one poster above pointed out, they *do* and it is not always as even-handed as their examples. When they are allowing the teaching of Islam components, celebrations of Halloween (including pagan rituals), and such like, while still refusing to allow any teaching of the Bible or Christianity - well, that is wrong in my opinion.

Anyway, I'm getting longwinded, but just wanted to add in my two cents' worth ;)

soldierboy'08 said...

Some people are getting two holidays confused: Christmas and that other holiday of gift-giving and stimulating the economy. The only reason for some Christians to give gifts is because of the tradition the three wise men started by giving gifts to baby Jesus. However, there are many Christians out there who choose not to give gifts (most are non-denominational and I am not one of them). They do feel like the Christ is out of Christmas because it is. People like you focus on everything else and create the other holiday that stimulates the economy. This is what I believe: You might not believe in Christ, but we (U.S.) have been calling this season Christmas for quite some time before now. Why change it now? The only argument I have is for all the other people that celebrate Kwanza, but I have even heard them say Merry Christmas after saying Happy Kwanza. Open to discussion: Charles @ wynoniareppond@bellsouth.net Please send all you like plus a return address atleast.

Autumn Harvest said...

Although, while I agree the government has no place *endorsing* a certain religion, I also think they have no place *banning* it, either; and as one poster above pointed out, they *do*

Really? Which poster is that? I've been following this thread, waiting for someone to actually give an example of how the government has banned Christianity or Christmas, and still have yet to see a single example. So which poster are you talking about? The only one who even tried to give examples was Alex Rodriguez, but since many people have already pointed out that all his examples dealt with the government failing to endorse a religion, rather than banning it, I assume you're referring to someone else. But who?

If you actually have an example, then give it. I just ask that you use the word "banning" in its normal English usage, and not with some weird usage where lack of government endorsement is the same as banning. For example, just because the government fails to put up big banners celebrating your birthday, does not mean that the government is "banning" your birthday.

SarahMC said...

So this is all about the local governments' adherence to the separation of church & state?

If that's what constitutes "war," isn't there a simultaneous "War on Yom Kippur" and "War on Ramadan?"

Apparently the enforcers weren't patrolling my parents' neighborhood this year, because they erected a tree and set up a nativity, we exchanged gifts, ate a lovely dinner, and played Trivial Pursuit all night long on Christmas day - without being harassed by the authorities! My parents even made it to church and back without getting pulled over on suspiscion of celebrating Christ's birth. Glory be!

I'd still be interested to hear stories from folks who weren't so lucky.

But I suspect we won't. :)

Kudos, Roy.

Sincerely,
A footsoldier in The War on Christmas

HvnLee said...

Merry Christmas!! I wish Merry Christmas because that's what I celebrate.

We can argue historical background, perspectives and then put it all into context but the bottom line is that the big issue arises because it has to do with Christ and God. If it wasn't associated with it nobody will bother with questioning Merry Christmas.
I don't see this upheaval by Happy Thanksgiving!! Or Happy New Year!

And by the way, I totally liked that Go Fish song, It's called Christmas.
And I agree, it is called Christmas, a Holiday is a vacation day, a day when one is excempt from work. Christmas is Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!

Roy said...

Merry Christmas!! I wish Merry Christmas because that's what I celebrate.

That's cool. I celebrate Christmas, too. But, I don't get annoyed or upset by the people who wish me a happy holiday, either. Just because I do Christmas, doesn't mean that other people do.

...but the bottom line is that the big issue arises because it has to do with Christ and God. If it wasn't associated with it nobody will bother with questioning Merry Christmas.

No. The bottom line is that almost nobody questions it anyway. It's a manufactured outrage. It's a non-issue. There are people who say "Happy Holidays" and then there are some Christians who get their noses out of shape about it. There's not some crusade against Christmas, and nobody that I've seen really cares if you say Merry Christmas. I'm certainly not annoyed by it. I'm annoyed by people who get upset by someone saying "Happy Holidays."

And I agree, it is called Christmas, a Holiday is a vacation day, a day when one is excempt from work. Christmas is Christmas!

Again: Not everyone celebrates Christmas. If someone doesn't celebrate Christmas, why do you care if they say "Happy Holidays?"

A holiday is far older than an official release from work. Holiday comes from the "Holy day". Christmas is a holiday.

E1505 said...

Wow i think this is the most pitiful excuse of rambling for opposing a thing that this country stands on. Why would you choose to write a giant blog about a song that actually uplifts people in general. How about using some of your blog space to write about something that really scrutinizes our society. Something from the rap culture maybe or something that influences the kids in America that sex is the most important thing in life. You think that this song attacks anyone who does not celebrate "Christ"mas emphasis on Christ. Well i think that this rambling of incoherent thoughts is an attack on anyone who does. And maybe you should take his advice.

Roy said...

Wow i think this is the most pitiful excuse of rambling for opposing a thing that this country stands on.

This country stands on bad Christmas songs? That's news to me.

Why would you choose to write a giant blog about a song that actually uplifts people in general.

Because I don't think it does. Because I found it offensive and ignorant.

How about using some of your blog space to write about something that really scrutinizes our society.

I've got a great many posts dealing with societal issues. If you'd bothered to read more than one post, you'd see that.

Well i think that this rambling of incoherent thoughts is an attack on anyone who does. And maybe you should take his advice.

Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree about the first point. As for the second, I don't remembering coming into your space or your website and telling you to shut up, so I think you'll forgive me if I ignore that request.

E1505 said...

You know i was not talking about the song that this country stands on more of Christianity. Oh and sorry about me not subscribing to your blogs of societal issues that a grand total of 43 care about. I never came up in here and told you shut up. That is actually something in your little title that you are telling them to do. I don't think you could come into my website and tell me to shut up because i'm not ignorant enough to put brain farts like this on the internet trying to pick a fight. If you don't want someone harping on you then don't go harping on a group of people that you obviously know very little about. If you'd like to learn more maybe you could visit this website www.biblegateway.com just a suggestion.

Roy said...

You know i was not talking about the song that this country stands on more of Christianity.

Are you trying to make the "We're a Christian nation!" argument? For real?

Oh and sorry about me not subscribing to your blogs of societal issues that a grand total of 43 care about.

So, you don't care about racism? Sexism? Homophobia? You don't oppose bigotry? Well, then, you're right, you won't find anything of value here.

I never came up in here and told you shut up. That is actually something in your little title that you are telling them to do.

Ah, you're right, my mistake. I forgot that "shut up" wasn't one of the lyrics. Since, you know, the original post is over a year old at this point.

I don't think you could come into my website and tell me to shut up because i'm not ignorant enough to put brain farts like this on the internet trying to pick a fight.

You save ignorant brain-farts for year-old posts on other people's blogs, instead?

If you don't want someone harping on you then don't go harping on a group of people that you obviously know very little about.

Which group of people? The band? You're right, I don't know much about them. I'm not particularly bothered by that. Christians? Oh, I assure you, I know plenty. If you think I've made a false claim about Christians, by all means, point it out.

If you'd like to learn more maybe you could visit this website www.biblegateway.com just a suggestion.

I've used the Bible Gateway many times in the past, but thanks for the suggestion. I'm also a fan of http://www.religioustolerance.org/

E1505 said...

Mark 6:11

11And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Goodbye.

Roy said...

You must think very highly of yourself to compare yourself to the apostles.

Nobody is stopping you from enjoying your faith. Nobody is stopping you from saying "Merry Christmas" if you want. All I'm pointing out is that acting like an ass about your faith makes you an asshole.

Sean said...

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence... It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."

I know I'm necroing this thread, but oooo I just particularly hate it when this quote gets thrown around. There is nothing more self-righteous and wimpy as "I'm not playing with you anymore and by the way dad says you're going to hell!" and stomping off in a pout. As a Christian, it just makes my skin crawl.

Kind of like that Go Fish song. It's not the lyrics that are offensive, it's the music.

sekiharatae said...

Hey there!

I know this is an old post on your part, but I just wanted to say: YES!

Every year I look for new music to add to my holiday collection. Sometimes those new songs are actually old songs -- like when I went to the trouble to find the original Eartha Kitt version of Santa Baby -- and sometimes they're 'new' in every sense of the word. Today I found this horrible song and was promptly enraged. Then I looked for a copy of the lyrics -- to see if the rest of the song was as bad as the first chorus -- and found a site saying how they had no interest in the Christmas/Happy Holiday argument because it's a time for love. Fair enough. Then they promptly linked to this horrid example of -- at best -- insensitivity. Which just fanned the annoyance higher.

So thanks.

I'm going to go listen to Jo Stafford now.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you don't see the need for this song. Unfortunately, my employer, a Fortune500 Company, asked me to change my screen-saver which simply scrolled, "Merry CHRISTmas". Why? Because another employee in a different department was offended. When I told my immediate supervisor I thought that was a violation of my freedom of speech he said, "even still, he's threatened to call the ACLU."
So Christians may be the ones taking the heat for intolerance, but I suggest the song was written out of frustrations brought on by agencies such as the ACLU trying to silence my faith. By taking all talk of religion out of public places, they are in essence forcing atheism.
Sadly, I believe I may have wasted my time with this post as you seem to be as close minded as those you are accusing.

Roy said...

I'm sorry that you were annoyed by having to change your screen saver, anon, but:
1. that's not remotely a violation of your right to free speech. You were, one assumes, working on a company computer, on company time, which means that they have a right to make you change the screen saver back to whatever they want. Freedom of speech protects you from the government, not from company policy regarding company property.
2. while I don't have a problem with people being wished a Merry Christmas or whatever, you don't really seem particularly concerned about what it was that caused offense, or why someone was offended.
3. why is it so important to you that you get to advertise your religious beliefs at work, anyway?

I mean, really... I've been listening to Christmas music for weeks already, and have been subjected to the endless clanging of Salvation Army Christmas bells since before Halloween, to say nothing of the endless barrage of Christmastime decorations that have been put on display everywhere since mid October... and you're going to act persecuted because your boss told you that you have to keep your faith off of company computer screens?

And nobody is silencing your faith, anyway. You're not "silenced" because you've been told to keep your religious life out of the office. You still get to go to church whenever you want. You can still decorate your house, your lawn, your car, etc however you want. You can wish random strangers "Merry Christmas" all you want. All you've been told is that your personal faith shouldn't be displayed on work computers on work time. The horror.

Anonymous said...

Okay, first of all, it has been said that people wanted to take God out of the pledge of allegiance. My comment is for all those who were "offend", deal with it. That's been in our history for years. I like this song, and I think it's funny, because it is kind of true. It's NOT THAT BAD. Seriously. If you don't like it, then DON'T LISTEN TO IT!

Anonymous said...

This song has a GREAT meaning! It's not about Christmas being taken away, it's about Christmas being geared toward commercialism instead of Jesus, what it was meant to be.

I heard an ad on a Christian radio station that said, "It may not be politically correct, but we'll say it anyway: MERRY CHRISTMAS!" and it's absolutely true.

The author of this article obviously doesn't know much, because Quakers and Puritans believe in God, therefore they are Christians! They were originally Catholics who separated from the Church and they base most of their ideas off Catholicism,a form of Christianity.

And our roots go deeper than that. Who started the colonization of America? Christopher Columbus! He came from Spain, where pretty much everyone was Catholic at the time.

I'm proud to say that I am Catholic and that I fully support what the song is trying to say.

CHRISTMAS IS NOT ABOUT THE PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE,IT'S ABOUT THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with everyone?

If you believe in and celebrate Christmas, say "Merry Christmas"
If you are Jewish say "Happy Hanukkah"
If you celebrate it say "Happy Kwanza"
If you like it best say "Happy Holidays"
If you don't celebrate anything this time of year, say nothing and smile.

Don't be offended if someone says one of these to you that you don't celebrate. I can pretty much guarantee that they aren't trying to hurt/offend you.

People are much too sensitive these days. Get over it. Stop complaining about everything offending you, life is too short to live like that.

I hope everyone enjoys their own holiday celebration this season, and I will say "Merry Christmas" because that is what I celebrate. If you respond with any other holiday phrase I won't be offended, I'll smile and say thank you.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

For the record every card i get or send out that runs around chanting happy holidays i mark it out with a sharpie! because
It's called Christmas
What more can I say?
It's about the birth of Christ
And you can't take that away
You can call it something else
But that's not what it will be
It's called Christmas With a Capital C"

Sorry for all those who just dont understand the true meaning of Christmas we are still praying for all you because you can call it something else but thats not what it will be its called CHRISTMAS with a capital C and HRIST because without Christ it wouldnt matter there woudnt be a Christmas or a holiday season
It's called Christmas
What more can I say?
It's about the birth of Christ
And you can't take that away
You can call it something else
But that's not what it will be
It's called Christmas With a Capital C"
and one more just to prove my point
It's called Christmas
What more can I say?
It's about the birth of Christ
And you can't take that away
You can call it something else
But that's not what it will be
It's called Christmas With a Capital C"
I said a capital C yes a capital C!

Anonymous said...

So glad to see in a time to remember giving, since we sometimes forget, you have had the time to complain. It says so much! What an article. So educated. What opinions that must be shared! Wow! Can't respect religion obviously. Other people like the song so leave it alone. There are other songs out there that are suited specifically to another religion so why just go after this one? If your going to be discriminating make sure your not jut going after one! I searched others and non came up. Odd.

Roy said...

So glad to see in a time to remember giving, since we sometimes forget, you have had the time to complain.

Indeed! About a song that is, itself, largely a complaint about people not celebrating Christmas what the "artists" think is the Right Way.

Can't respect religion obviously.

You're very wrong. I very much respect other people's rights to their religious beliefs. Neither Go Fish, nor this song represent "religion." And I don't feel the need to respect a song like this, where the artists feel entitled to disrespect other people's beliefs.

Other people like the song so leave it alone. There are other songs out there that are suited specifically to another religion so why just go after this one?

It's not about religion. Some of my favorite Christmas songs are explicitly religious. I love "Silent Night" for example. It's about the sense of entitled assholery that the artists engage in.

Also, congrats on coming across a two year old post and bringing it back to life!