In God We Trust and Have a Merry Christmas

The past two nights, as I came home bleary-eyed from a day of reading, grading, feverishly writing exams, listening to lectures, etc, I logged on to check my email. Both nights I got some sort of crazy forwarded email from each of my parents — from Dad first, then Mom. Both emails were about the victimization of Christians in this country, because we cannot say “Merry Christmas” anymore. The one from my father was a letter forwarded from the American Family Association about how successful a Target Boycott has been (although looking at the headline of the link, it says Target has not responded). They also claim the fact that Sears has Christmas promotions as a victory.

Today I got this ridiculous email from my mother that had a supposed letter to the editor from a Tampa newspaper about how immigrants and a few people born in the States are disallowing the patriotic citizens their rights by forbidding “Merry Christmas” and God.

I believe I missed this memo. You see, I, a beautiful liberal, say things like “Merry Christmas” and “Oh my God!” all the time. The last I knew, there was no law passed saying people could not use the word Christmas. Has Christmas commercialism gotten out of hand so that it rubs every non-christian’s face in it? Yes. Does that mean we have passed a law? No.

And once and for all, can people please understand the concept of separation of church and state? People fled their countries to come to the US at various points in its history to avoid religious oppression. We have been founded on the principles of religious freedom and separation of church and state. I’m so tired of hearing, “America, love it or leave it.” I do love it. Does that mean I have to agree with it all of the time? Does that mean I have to give up thinking as an individual? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of freedom?

If you want to be ruled by the Catholic Church, move to the damn Vatican City.

Finally, when people say things like there is nothing wrong with extreme patriotism in one’s country, I kindly as them to look at Germany circa 1938. The is no benefit to any society from jingoism.

I got kind of excited when I first saw the email subject from my father, something about a boycott being successful with Target. I was hoping they had changed their stance on a recent decision they’d made about allowing their pharmacists to refuse to fill the Plan B contraceptive pill based on religious beliefs. Sujal claims this is “my” issue, and therefore we should boycott Target. I fully support this boycott, because I am completely pro-choice, and I think it is wrong for someone else to presume they can and should make “moral” decisions for someone else. But I was very sad that we can no longer shop at Target, because I like the store. So I was hoping that my dad was sending me an email that we’d won the battle. With hindsight, why my dad would ever send me that kind of email, knowing who he is and all, I have no idea. But I was hoping, nonetheless. Sujal feels strongly about the issue, because it opens the door to sanctioning other religious discriminations, which I can see as well. Damn it, Target. You were the last big store we could shop at. It’s not like I have interesting shopping options down here in CT, either.

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