War on Christmas?

War on Christmas?

According to a not-so-recent Fox News poll, 42% of respondents believe there is a “war on Christmas” going on in America.  From what I can gather from things my relatives and others post on Facebook, this means that in their minds, people should be saying “Merry Christmas” instead of less specific, more innocuous greetings like “Happy Holidays,” and when they use these more innocuous terms, they are declaring war against God, against Christianity, and against Christmas!  Starbucks was recently accused of being guilty of attacking Christmas because they decided to omit all imagery and other references to any specific holiday from their winter coffee cup.

Basically what’s going on here is that some Christians, empowered by such folks as Bill O’Reilly, have become deeply and personally offended that the holiday greeting used by others does not acknowledge their own superstitions.

May I gently remind all of us that not all people in the world believe that Jesus is the son of God.  For people that do believe Jesus is the son of God, this often has more to do with where you were born, not how right you are.

By forcing one’s will for others to acknowledge religious beliefs that they may not hold, we are in violation of the first amendment.   Freedom of religion implicitly includes freedom from religion.  Despite what our religious beliefs may be, we need to allow others the freedom to believe what they believe, as they should allow us to do the same.  At some point I may address the fallacy of the Christian Nation, but not now.

So next time someone smiles at you and says, “Happy Holidays,” smile back and say, “Thanks, same to you.”  Because anyone getting offended at two words, one of which is HAPPY, is not only ridiculous, but also 100% un-American.

The Next-to-least I Can Do

The Next-to-least I Can Do

Another blog.  Just what the world needs, right?  I know.  Blogging might be a good metaphor for life, though.  Generally speaking, there isn’t a whole lot of point to it, but it can be fun anyway.

So why another blog?  I suppose for much the same reasons anyone else writes a blog.  It is an outlet, a way to get things off my chest in a semi-constructive way, a vehicle for conversation, sharing ideas… whatever it turns out to be.  I understand that some people make a living writing a blog, but I have no delusions of grandeur there.

I like to think that I pay attention to politics and current events.  I listen to NPR on my way to and from work, so obviously I put a ton of time and effort into it. (Sarcasm!)  I have a habit, some would say a bad habit, of posting things to my Facebook page that I find interesting or provocative.  Often these things are articles about guns (control or violence or both), or whatever Bernie Sanders is talking about at the moment, or some ridiculous nonsense the GOP presidential candidates are saying.  (There is my bias. I will try to be nice.)  I came to the realization recently that posting on my Facebook page was literally the least I could do and still act like I give a shit.  Perhaps writing a blog is one notch above the least I can do, like, the next-to-least I can do.  Hopefully as an intended side-effect, it will also give my less-politically-minded Facebook friends a well-deserved break.

I also like music a lot, and vinyl records as the picture above suggests.  I’m the only person in my office that has a functional turntable in my cubicle.  Craft beer (IPAs mostly) and fine wine are among my hobbies as well.  I may write about any of those things, or whatever else is on my mind at the time.

The best I could hope for in writing anything is to start open and honest conversations about real things that are happening in the world.  I would like to explore topics beyond my own preconceived notions and prejudices.  I would like to better understand why people believe what they believe, and why I believe what I believe.  I would like to challenge myself to look beyond my own limited experience and understanding.  I welcome your involvement in that process.  I also encourage anyone who reads these words to challenge yourself as well in the same regard.  I will also try to post a relevant song at the end, because.. you know, music.  Music is good.  Or rather, good music is good.  More on that another time.

American psychologist Wayne Dyer once said, “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”  I hope that the few of us who might come across this blog could collectively aspire to not be guilty of that.


“If ever I would stop thinking about music and politics, I would tell you that music is the expression of emotion, and that politics is merely the decoy of perception.” -Michael Franti