Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

The War on Christmas Pt. 2

So, yesterday I talked about why people push back against differences of opinion, especially on religion.  This comes out expectedly during the holiday season.  When minority opinions challenge the perceived best interests of the majority a threat to hegemony is revealed, causing friction.

Today, I want to talk about the dichotomy of “keeping Christ in Christmas” versus the capitalistic orgy that is the holiday shopping season.   I recently wrote a paper, “The Business of Being Christian,” (shameless plug!) about the transition of capitalist consumerism and affluence as an example of Godly blessings to religion being a capitalist commodity all its own.   This, l have realized, is painfully obvious during the Christmas season and is more than a little difficult for many believers to accept or reconcile.

Christmas is arguably the most (or second most, depending on who you ask about Easter) important holiday in the Christian religion.  It is definitely the most important season during the American fiscal year.  There’s no other time when businesses can almost guarantee a jump into the black no matter how poor the previous 8-10 months have been.

Now, I don’t doubt for one second that many believers actually do abhor the rampant consumerism exhibited during November and December.  But, for many this seems to be a hidden conflict that is projected onto those who wish to take Christ out of Christmas or those who fail to acknowledge the “reason for the season” just by their preference to celebrate a purely secular version of the holiday season.

The reason for the season has been for many, many years rampant consumption to the nth degree.   As religion becomes a bigger commodity (The Creation Museum, the Holy Land Experience, and Prosperity Gospel are all fine examples of this) it becomes very difficult to separate the secular  (or Profane, thank you, Weber!) from the sacred.  So, if the blame for this fuzzy line between the two can be placed on those who do not wish to celebrate anything sacred, then those who truly move the transition along are exempt from responsibility.

The war on Christmas is not being fought by non-theists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews or Muslims but is a product of the ever increasing commodification of Christianity by Christians themselves.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 30, 2010 at 11:46 am

Posted in atheism, religion

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Personally I blame Seinfeld. Everything was pie and candy canes until freakin’ Festivus came around.

    Seriously though, I pretty much agree with your here with one additional factor thrown in to the mix. This commercial war on Christ by Christians started right when Christians co-opted pagan celebrations. The act of subverting these celebrations injected a very mortal and worldly aspect into what ideally could have been very spiritual communions. Be consuming these grounded rites Christianity itself became grounded, pretty much exactly the opposite of its messiah’s teachings. Human nature and greed took over from there.

    Jim

    November 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    • I really need to remember to give you my copy ofThe Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism . I’m not sure consumerism was an issue at all in 300 A.D., but you’re dead on about the immediate connection to wordly pursuits. Very post-modern analysis, babe, A+!

      thelittlepecan

      November 30, 2010 at 1:43 pm


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