Paul Giorgio: Is There Really a War on Christmas?
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A Phony War
This phony war only exists in the minds of Bill O’Reilly, Fox News and the far Right. Last week Bill O'Reilly had Sarah Palin on touting her new book about the phony war on the Christmas holiday.
America is a different place than it was when Bill O’Reilly was growing up. We are not the white Christian nation that we once where. I went to a grammar school that was about 95 % Catholic. I don’t think Catholic schools even have numbers that high anymore.
This latest furor started because allegedly Radio Shack, the mainstay of America’s malls decided to wish shoppers Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Maybe the radical right only thinks that Christians buy gifts or go shopping during the holiday season.
In fact the Jewish Festival of Lights-Hanukah began this year on Thanksgiving and always occurs around Christmas time. Kwanzaa, an African American holiday also occurs around the same time as Christmas. All three observances have a gift giving tradition of some sort.
So why does the right have to manufacture this phony war? Well in Sara Palin’s case, it is crass commercialism-she needs to sell books in order to stay relevant. O’Reilly and Fox do it for ratings, which translates into higher dollars for ads and the religious right does it to fill the pews.
But the political right does it for a different reason-they do it to divide people. If you think your belief system is under attack, you are more likely to believe other stupid things that the right tries to feed you.
As proof that there is no war on Christmas, I offer you this. On Friday December 6, 2013-President Obama and his family lit the “National Christmas Tree”.
American is still a majority Christian nation, so for most of us Merry Christmas is appropriate. I still enjoy all the Christmas traditions of my Italian American youth; I even still enjoy watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” “White Christmas” and even that modern classic –“A Christmas Story”
But others may not. They have traditions of their own that are just as important to them as my families are to me. A Jewish child receiving gifts during Hanukah and eating Latkes is important to that child and the parents.
The traditions of Kwanzaa, although, only 50 years old are as important to African Americans who celebrate it, as Christmas is to me. Some people may even celebrate that uniquely American TV holiday-Fetevus. This holiday was created by George Costanza in the hit TV series Seinfeld.
But seriously, in this time of celebration and joy, let us treat each other with love in our hearts. Christians need to head the angels’ refrain-“Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men”
During this season try this simple polite way of greeting your friends. If you know they are Christian you can wish them a Merry Christmas. If you know they are Jewish, you can wish them a Happy Hanukah. If you are not sure what religion they are, try wishing them Happy Holidays.
It’s simple and it is polite. Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Paul Giorgio is a longtime Democratic Party Activist who has worked on numerous campaigns. He was a Lead Advance Person for President Clinton & Vice President Gore. He was Deputy Director of Special Events for President Clinton’s first Inauguration. He has been elected a delegate to numerous Democratic National Conventions and recently served as one of President Obama’s representatives on the Platform Committee. In 2013 he was chosen as a Presidential Elector. He is the President of Pagio, Inc., publishers of Pulse Magazine, Vitality Magazine and Worcester Medicine.
Related Slideshow: The Living History of the Telegram and Gazette
From contamination to a sale, and injunction to layoffs, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has been through quite an interesting run in a very short time. Since 2012, GoLocal has been chronicling the goings on of Worcester's only daily printed newspaper. Take a look at our coverage:
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The New York Times Company has sold a contaminated Worcester Telegram and Gazette building to a local development agency, leaving taxpayers on the hook for potentially up to $1.1 million in cleanup costs.
Before the sale, Telegram and Gazette publisher Bruce Gaultney publicly promised that the building was “not a brownfield.”
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