Monday, December 14, 2009

Religious Asshattery

This weekend while getting some much-needed holiday shopping done, I overheard some waspy clerk at one of the retail establishments I visited complaining to her friend, and I quote, "I can't believe they won't even let us say 'Merry Christmas' anymore, now it's just 'Happy Holidays'. It's so unfair." This is right up there with my idiot college roommate who used to complain to his other Christian friends how unfair it is that the Jewish kids get off all the Christian holidays from school already because school is closed, plus they also get to take off all of their own holidays as well, it's so unfair.

Unfair? Listen, you bigoted, totally self-centered buffoons: You don't get to tell people "Merry Christmas" just because you celebrate Christmas even though they don't. You claim you don't understand what the big deal is, that the Jews and the Kwanzaa people and the atheists in this country should all just chillax. But you don't really mean that, not by a long shot. Take these same "Merry Christmas" people and start changing every single holiday message they ever receive, from the banners hanging in their children's schools, to the name of the party at your office, to the messages on tv and the radio, to the decorations hanging on all the public buildings in town, to what everyone in every store says after they make a purchase. Start having all of those messages be "Happy Hannukah" instead of "Merry Christmas". Yeah, I'm sure that would be just fine with all these "Merry Christmas" freaks. Because if it's really just fine to wish a happy holiday for whatever holiday you celebrate to anyone who walks into your store, regardless of their own religious affinity, then saying "Happy Hannukah" to everyone is by definition just fine as well.


Face the facts. We live in a country that was founded partially on the ideal of religious freedom for all, and where there is supposed to be constitutionally-guaranteed separation of church and state. And yet, if you go to public school in this country, you get a frigging week off for Easter, you get usually more than a week off at Christmastime, and many places give Good Friday off as well among others. Even New Year's Day is purely a Christian holiday based on a calendar that Jewish people don't even technically believe in. Yom Kippur? My kid has to miss a day of school, and whatever lessons they had going on for that day. The stock market is closed on Good Friday. But not on Rosh Hashana. Most U.S. companies' offices are closed for the same holidays that banks, schools and government offices close for every year, which are 100% based on the Christian view of the world.

Now to be clear, us Jews don't go around complaining about this. It's not fair, it's really not what the founding fathers in theory ever intended when they left England to find freedom in America, and it has a noticeably negative impact on most Jewish people's lives in America. But we don't complain. We just suck it up. We've gotten used to missing two days of work every September and having all the smarmy anti-semitic assholes at work putting us down behind our backs while we're out. We grew up as kids missing more school than our Catholic and Protestant friends -- in particular at the beginning of the school year when the Jewish holidays land most frequently -- and we again just accept growing up that that's part of what you have to do to be outside the majority in this Christian-centric country. Jews celebrate two New Yearses each year, because we have to: the one we really believe is the end of the old year and the beginning of the next, and then the one that American society forces on us. Work is closed on January 1, school is closed, many retail establishments are closed, and the media coverage is all around you about the new year every year. There's just no way to avoid it, so rather than sit around complaining, Jews just suck it up and make do. Other people who don't celebrate Christmas just basically turn a blind eye as well to the entire period between Thanksgiving (another Christian-based holiday that is "officially" celebrated in this country) and New Years that has nowadays become totally and completely dominated by Christmas.

What the fuck injury is there to Christian people in just saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" anyways? Is it so so terrible for Christians to save their Merry Christmases for Santa's lap at the mall, for church mass on Sunday where everyone is a believer, and similar situations like that? Does "Happy Holidays" really offend you so much that being deprived of your usual "Merry Christmas" actually has a demonstratively adverse effect on your lifestyle?

Wake up, pigs. You live in a completely and totally Christianized country already. Every holiday is the focus of the nation, and entire infrastructures like the education system, private companies, the stock market and even the operation of the frigging government for cyring out loud are totally based on Christian schedules, completely in conflict with those of other faiths comprising the non-majority in this country. All we Jews fucking ask is that when we go to your store to spend the hard-earned money we made by charging those usurious interest rates on your Christ-worshipping asses, that you don't add further insult to extreme injury by wishing us a Merry Christmas as well.

Is that really what's "unfair" about the non-seprated church and state system in this country today?

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Blogger The Litvak said...

I love that you have a label for "Rant." I don't mind people wishing me a Merry Christmas (even though I'm not Christian), but why do they feel the need to do it every time I buy something for an entire month? Like the character in Annie Hall said, "If Jesus came back and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up."

3:13 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

To be clear, I don't mind in the least if someone wishes me "Merry Christmas" either. But I do mind people complaining about someone suggesting that for once in their lives they do something in the religiously tolerant way instead of in the Christo-centric way that our country generally works.

And yeah man, my only issue with the "Rant" category is that many of my posts could fall into that grouping, depending on how liberally one defines the term.

3:30 AM  
Blogger BLAARGH! said...

My kid's school doesn't celebrate any of the holidays, Christian, Jewish, anything... this is "Winter Break" right now. They are of course mandated to give days off according to the government, but they refuse to place any religious meaning on them. You know what the big celebration of the year is? Martin Luther King Day. Fuck yeah. And it's a public school. Gotta love NYC...

3:53 AM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

I know your ranting about greetings, but why aren't you ranting about trading Lee away??

Get Halladay, awesome, but get rid of Lee? That is pure asshattery!

Merry effing Christmas to that.....

4:40 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

Awesome post!

Happy Hanukkah Hoy.

I have had Good Friday off once in my working career. Funniest Aspect to my was on the Tellabs intranet the Holiday was referred to as 'Spring Holiday' for US Offices and 'Good Friday' in every other country that Tellabs had an office.

4:42 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

you're jewish?

5:43 AM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

I don't think most people care about saying Happy Holidays or omitting Merry Christmas for it. The ones that do truly don't understand either meaning.

And getting rid of Lee is NOT Ass Hattery!!

Fact is, Lee was not going to sign an extension. Halladay did.

Plus, going through Seattle you don't have to give anyone else up.

So Lee for one year, or Halladay at less than market for 4?

Ruben is a Genius!!!!

9:33 AM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

It's a fantastic acquisition by the Phillies....BUT....what are they going to do about their closer? Halladay will certainly help and be better than Lee but they need a better closer to get back to the World Series first and foremost. Maybe the Sox will trade Bard for a big bat to Phills....maybe....

9:46 PM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

IMHO Philly is just too enamored with Halladay. The Lee pickup last year was one of the greatest steals in as long as I can remember for the Phillies. Juan Samuel for Dykstra, maybe?

Im going on the record as saying I hate this deal regardless of money or contracts. Lee wanted to sign but he wanted a deal comparable to what he would get in the FA market, i think his performance last season earned him that much. Dont forget this also includes us shipping prospects (possibly Drabek) or Happ along with Lee which I think is absolute crap.

I'll eat crow if Halladay is a superstar for the Phils, and I wont mind doing it if the team is slaughtering the NL, but right now I hate it.

10:43 PM  

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