O'Reilly, Donohue & Co.: Get Over Yourselves

Monday, December 12, 2005

O'Reilly, Donohue & Co.: Get Over Yourselves

As a follow-up to Zoe's post, let me add my thoughts about the war-on-Christmas whiners: get over yourselves. Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News commentator, and John Gibson, the Fox talking head who has written the book "The War on Christmas," have been leading the charge and whining themselves silly over this imagined "war."

Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini speaks for me when he writes:
The two TV hosts and the groups that support them believe that Christmas is being denigrated. And they're correct.

For years the holiday has been abused. Only it's not because retailers refuse to utilize Christmas as a sales tool. It's because they do use it. Way too much.

When I was a boy in Catholic school we were urged to reject the blatant commercialization of the holiday. Now we're supposed to denounce companies for not exploiting Christmas?
Then there's fellow whiner Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious Liberty and Civil Rights. (Think of this group as the political wing of Opus Dei.)

Donohue gripes about the fact that the official 2005 White House Christmas Card doesn't actually include the word "Christmas" inside. He neglected to mention, however, that this year's White House card does include a Biblical scripture. But that's not enough to meet Donohue's religious test.

In this article, Donohue says he doesn't want a "diversity lecture." Fine. The point isn't complicated so no lecture is necessary. The point is simply this -- this is America, a country in which individuals decide for themselves how they celebrate a holiday, which holiday they celebrate, what their greeting cards say or whether they send greeting cards at all.

Instead of obsessing over how other people choose to observe the holiday, Donohue and company could simply move on with their lives and send the most Christian-themed cards they can find. No one's stopping them.

But I'm not a Christian, and not all of my friends are Christian. So I can choose to refer to the "holiday season" whether Bill Donohue likes it or not. And someone can send me a card with or without the word "Christmas" in it without me freaking out at them.

Besides, simply using the word "Christmas" doesn't, in and of itself, express reverence for Christian values or traditions. Does it soothe Donohue's nerves to know, for example, that this Internet news site used the headline "It's a Christmas Price War" instead of "It's a Holiday Price War"?

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