Thank God Matthew Yglesias reads Ross Douthat so I don't have to. Douthat whines that those that celebrate Xmas without being sufficiently religious are ruining it for the real Christians. He laments that real Christians have to share Christams Eve pews with those once-a-year Xmas bandwagon Christians. Wow. I know that Yglesias rarely does outright mockery, but I at least expected a condescending pseudo-intellectual smack down. Instead, Yglesias sympathizes with Douthat to the extent that he even suggests that the ideal solution would be a separate, secular holiday preceding Xmas. Jesus Christ.
Remember that study from a couple months back that showed that atheists in America know more about Christianity than professed Christians? Case in point. Here's a little history. Long before God spewed his immaculate ejaculate, people were celebrating the winter solstice in mid-late December. In an attempt to steal the stage, and maybe convert some heathens, Christians decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th. That's right, they decided his birth date. There is no evidence, not even in the all-mighty Bible, that Jesus was born on December 25th. If either of my readers can prove otherwise, please share. I'm looking for real proof, like a birth certificate. A legitimate birth certificate, not one issued by some shady shire of Bethlehem, but by a loyal red American state, perhaps Texas. Otherwise, how do we know who Jesus really is? How can we accept him as The One?
Seriously, Christians complaining that secular Xmas celebrations are distracting from the true meaning of Xmas is like the host of a Super Bowl party complaining that the football game is distracting from the true party. If Douthat and his family want to spend Xmas day bleeding over their homemade nativity scene while wearing their biannual crown of thorns, it won't distract me one bit from my customary celebration of slamming eggnog while watching the Lions lose to the Cowboys. What's the problem here?
The fact that real Christians are distracted by the celebrations of the sunny-day Christians suggests to me that perhaps their faith isn't so real afterall. Given how God likes to work in mysterious ways and such, maybe these distractions are an intentional test of their true faith. If so, they're failing miserably.
If the real Christians can muster this much outrage about their religion being hijacked by nonbelievers as an excuse to get together and exchange gifts, could they get just a little bit upset about their religion being hijacked as a marketing tool for launching wars and implementing policies that reward the rich at the expense of the poor? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Oh well. Merry Christmas to all my readers regardless of your score on Douthat's Christometer. I wish you both health and happiness in the new year.