Keep Saturn in Saturnalia

The War on Christmas is raging, just ask Bill O'Riley, He'll tell ya!

The War on Christmas is raging, just ask Bill O’Reilly, He’ll tell ya!

I’m getting pretty sick and tired with the right wingers (specifically Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, and the majority of the staff of Faux News) and religious right whackjobs in this country claiming that there is a “War on Christmas” currently being waged. As if all non-believers and free-thinkers want nothing more than to suck the joy out of their favorite holiday like demons feasting on the bones of the Baby Jesus himself and sucking delicious holy marrow, licking our lips as gore dribbles down our chins…

Sorry, got carried away for a minute there.

Sarah Palin. I'd bet money that Santa is scoping out her tits.

Sarah Palin, doing her part for the war effort. I’d bet money that Santa is scoping out her tits.

Anyway, there is no “War on Christmas” at all.  I am proud to say there IS a war on Christian entitlement, however, and I would like to think that we’re winning it.  Some people are offended, for example,  when they are told “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” for some reason. I don’t get this at all.  “Happy Holidays” is all-inclusive and doesn’t require you to find out if the person celebrates Christmas or Kwaanza or Haunnakah or nothing at all before you offer the greeting.  How does it take anything away from your Christmas?  Christians are a very “my way or the highway” group, however, and while traditionally “the highway” meant burnings at the stake, stonings, or other such Christ-like punishments for following the “wrong” god, today they merely assume that everyone believes as they do because theirs is the “right” religion.  Seems legit, right?

As such, “Keep Christ in Christmas” has become the catch-phrase of the day around the holidays, since running up department store credit cards to purchase Furbys and Snuggies and CDs of Kathie Lee Gifford singing Let it Snow are traditions that date back to Bethlehem.  When texting holiday greetings to my friends and family I tend to say “Merry Xmas” simply because I remember being told in grade school by more gullible classmates, “Don’t write ‘Xmas’ instead of ‘Christmas’ because you’re crossing out Jesus!” Really? Good. Fuck him. Hippie bastard.

This is not the actual billboard, but you get the gist of it.

This is not the actual billboard, but you get the gist of it.

Anyway, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) erected their own sign in Pittman, NJ. in an effort to counter that city’s KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS banner provided by the Knights of Columbus.  The billboard in Pittman reads, “KEEP SATURN IN SATURNALIA.”  Despite the fact that the billboard itself includes a graphic of the ringed planet Saturn, the sign refers to the Roman god Saturn and the festival of Saturnalia, which traditionally took place during the Winter Solstice, is considered to be a major contributor to the modern Christmas holiday.

Perhaps Christians in Pittman, NJ didn’t like being reminded that very little in the traditions we associate with Christmas actually have anything to do with Christianity (they’ve got “Christ” in the name and that’s almost it), or maybe a few people there are just assholes. Whatever the reason, a couple of yokels there tried to burn down the FFRF billboard recently, and were spotted by an off-duty police officer dousing the sign’s supports in gasoline and setting them ablaze.  The supports themselves were made of steel, however, and did not burn. Science is not the Christians’ strong suit, I suppose.  The story is reported in full here.

Number one batshit crazy Republican weirdo Sarah Palin recently released a book entitled Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, a tome which informs a public hungry for such knowledge just how the Palin family celebrates Christmas and paints Norman Rockwell-esque images of sipping hot chocolate by the fire, and such but rather quickly devolves into Palin’s religious reasons for celebrating the holiday with quotes like, “Our annual family activities I’ve described are mere traditions …. But they’d be nothing if separated from the historical event that animates the Christmas season.” and, “If I’m for Christmas, it’s only because I’m for Christ.”

Whatevs.

During her inevitable television appearances promoting her hardbound collection of birdcage liner, Palin told CBN, “We were founded as written in our charters of liberty, in the documents that created America, We’re founded on a Judeo-Christian faith that would allow forever the right to express or respect for faith in America.”

Are we founded on Judeo-Christian faith? Really?

Perhaps Palin (remember she was not long ago just a step away from the vice-presidency of the United States… shudder) should take a look over the Bill of Rights one more time.  And she should pay a little more attention to the First Amendment than to the Second which makes it okay for her to fire automatic weapons out of helicopters at hapless wildlife. It reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Seems like a clearly secular foundation to me. Just saying.

Still, the claim that there is a “war on Christmas” waged by angry atheists is simply absurd.  To prove it, here is a photograph of Dr. Richard Dawkins, perhaps the most famous atheist alive today, standing in front of his Christmas tree.

Richard-Dawkins-atheism-Christmas

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