Merry Hitchmas and to all a good night.

Another year has come and gone without Christopher Hitchens.  He was particularly polemic around christmas time and I stumbled on this article in Slate which I’d like to share here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It sums up my feelings around the holidays quite eloquently.

As he explained in “The Moral and Aesthetic Nightmare of Christmas,” Christmas is like North Korea:

The core objection, which I restate every December at about this time, is that for almost a whole month, the United States—a country constitutionally based on a separation between church and state—turns itself into the cultural and commercial equivalent of a one-party state.

As in such dismal banana republics, the dreary, sinister thing is that the official propaganda is inescapable. You go to a train station or an airport, and the image and the music of the Dear Leader are everywhere. You go to a more private place, such as a doctor’s office or a store or a restaurant, and the identical tinny, maddening, repetitive ululations are to be heard. So, unless you are fortunate, are the same cheap and mass-produced images and pictures, from snowmen to cribs to reindeer. It becomes more than usually odious to switch on the radio and the television, because certain officially determined “themes” have been programmed into the system. Most objectionable of all, the fanatics force your children to observe the Dear Leader’s birthday, and so (this being the especial hallmark of the totalitarian state) you cannot bar your own private door to the hectoring, incessant noise, but must have it literally brought home to you by your offspring. Time that is supposed to be devoted to education is devoted instead to the celebration of mythical events. Originally Christian, this devotional set-aside can now be joined by any other sectarian group with a plausible claim—Hanukkah or Kwanzaa—to a holy day that occurs near enough to the pagan winter solstice.

I miss you Hitch.  You do help me get through the holidays, though.

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2 Responses to Merry Hitchmas and to all a good night.

  1. For what it’s worth, as a Christian pastor, I dislike much of the cultural Christmas celebrations as well, though for difference reasons. The incarnation is something rather more interesting, scary, and mysterious than Hallmark would have us believe. May Hitchens RIP – the world is less interesting with him gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • persedeplume says:

      Thanks Drew, for your visit and comment.

      It is a religious holiday. One that I don’t observe unlike many in the atheist community. When I left the faith I felt it important as a matter of principle to make as clear a distinction as I could could between then and now on matters of ritual and belief.

      I fully support people engaging in whatever beliefs they feel bring them peace and enrichment. I would fight to preserve those freedoms for all faiths. I would not see one have a primacy over all the others. I advocate for complete separation of church and State. So you might understand why I get fussy and need of a nap around christmas time. 🙂

      Like

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