Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just in denial. Maybe I’m plugging my ears and my mind because I want to enjoy the holiday season this year and filter out the extraneous noise.
But maybe, just maybe, what we’re hearing -- and, more important, what we’re not hearing -- is the approach of Christmas unaccompanied by the beating of culture war drums. And I’m not talking about “The Little Drummer Boy.”
(“The Little Drummer Boy,” incidentally, has never been one of my favorite Christmas carols. Yes, I know millions of people love it. And because we’re headed into the season of goodwill and peace and holiday cheer, I won’t try to diminish anybody else’s enjoyment of that numbingly stupid song just because it makes no sense and is droning and obnoxious and I utterly loathe and despise it, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.)
Anyway, I was recently reminded of how Christmas has become not just a celebration of peace and goodwill, but also a cultural battleground. I got one of those mass e-mailings from an organization called the American Family Association, blasting JP Morgan Chase because corporate headquarters reportedly ordered its banks to remove all non-company-approved Christmas decorations.
We haven’t heard Chase’s side of the story, but it does sound pretty silly -- partly because Christmas trees in private businesses violate neither the law nor any reasonable standard of taste, and partly because a policy like this gives ammunition to theocratic chest-beating outfits like the American Family Association.
Again, maybe it’s just me, but am I the only one who hears the word “family” in some socio-political group’s name and instinctively wants to herd my own family in the opposite direction as far and fast as possible? Especially when it’s a cranky bunch whose Christmas spirit apparently consists of scanning the scene looking for fights to pick. These folks are standing at the bottom of a culture crater and calling it the moral high ground.
But once I got over my initial “Here we go again” annoyance, I realized this was the first and so far only shot I’d seen fired in the Christmas culture war this year, and it’s December.
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