You've Got to Be Kidding

Friday, December 02, 2005

You've Got to Be Kidding

Are the wingnuts and televised rabble-rousers really doing the stupid liberal-conspiracy-to-kill-Christmas rant again this year? It's getting to be as familar as It's a Wonderful Life, only insane and hateful rather than warm and endearing.

Hell, I'm a Jewish liberal, and I can't wait for Christmas.

And I'm not talking about the "secular" side of it, or at least not just that. I'm looking forward to the carol service on Christmas Eve and all of the other celebrations of the birth of You-Know-Who (we liberals apparently hate to say His name even more than wizards dislike saying Voldemort). I don't believe in Christian doctrine, which means I don't believe in the entire underpinning of the holiday. But I can appreciate and even enjoy religious ritual and expression by people of other faiths, particularly when I happen to be married to them.

What I don't like is having the government engaging in religious ritual and expression, and that includes Judaism (don't laugh; it has happened in New York and gone to the Supreme Court). But what Christians do and say and believe is entirely up to them, and I will never support anyone who attempts to censor private religious expression. (By "private," I don't mean that it's done out of public sight; for instance, kids should (and do) have the right to pray on school grounds).

One more reason to be happy this season that I'm in the Netherlands. Of course, there's no Establishment Clause here, and my kids' public school is awash with celebrations of Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas's Day), including images of the Saint with his mitre (with a cross on it, of course) and his black-faced Al Jolson-style sidekick Zwarte Piet.

So have a good Sinterklaas on Monday, everyone, and try not to let Bill O'Reilly ruin Christmas for you.

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