Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Attack on Christmas: KNOCK IT OFF!

Santa Womanby Jim Bouchard

If you’re one of those Grinches who wants to eradicate Christ from Christmas…

…KNOCK IT OFF!

I don’t identify myself as Christian and I frankly don’t give a damn whether you are or not. Still, I acknowledge that Christmas is about the baby Jesus, I enjoy the spirit of the season and I’m definitely not offended if you want to wish me a Merry Christmas.

First of all, Christmas is about Christ. End of story.

Christians celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. The holiday has, over time, come to represent the spirit of charity and giving so essential to those who practice authentic Christian principles.

Merry Christmas is a warm greeting intended only to express compassion in the true spirit of the season.

If you’re offended by any of that, just don’t be.

Next- there is no constitutional basis to prohibit Christmas displays or celebrations in public places.

The separation of church and state as a constitutional issue is a myth. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, the United States was founded primarily by a group of Christian men who instilled the values and principles of their various sects in nearly every area of law and government.

Being extremely intelligent and farsighted individuals, they also, in order to protect their own religious freedom, codified the free expression of religion for all American citizens.

The 101 version of the separation of church and state comes from a series of debates and letters, largely credited to Thomas Jefferson, who advocated for a strong “wall of separation” between any church and the federal government to avoid the establishment of a state religion- something the founders knew about and feared greatly.

The modern expansion of the idea of a wall of separation started with a lawsuit (Everson vs. Board of Education) over the state of New Jersey using tax money to pay for school bus rides for kids going to private, and particularly parochial schools. At that time, the SCOTUS ruled that the 1st Amendment had not been violated- because transportation was paid for all kids regardless of religious affiliation and because state, not federal funding was involved.

Putting up a Christmas tree, or even a nativity display, doesn’t violate the 1st Amendment in any way shape or form. It would be a violation if Congress ordered you to put up a Christmas tree.

Here’s an interesting viewpoint from Penn Jillette…

I find it particularly interesting that so many groups want to put up purposely offensive displays in public places simply to make a statement in what they perceive as the interest of fairness. This is why we now have Wiccan holiday displays alongside Jewish and Christian symbols of the season.

Frankly- I don’t give a damn if the Wiccans or the Church of Satan want to put up holiday displays, but to do so simply as an attack on their Christian neighbors is, well…

…just plain stupid.

There is no traditional Wiccan observation of the birth of Christ and I could not find any particular Satanic holiday centered on gift giving and acts of charity. If those of you who worship goats, Pagan gods or Old Scratch himself want to join the party, so be it.

If you’re just trying to ruin someone else’s fun- get a life! (And your own holiday! Maybe we’ll enjoy that one too!)

To Christians…if you’re offended that someone doesn’t believe what you believe…KNOCK IT OFF!

You’re preaching tolerance, love extended to all mankind, etc., etc. Well then, get on with it!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t defend yourself against direct attacks, but nobody is throwing you into the Coliseum with a bunch of lions here. If some atheist wants to spend his own money on a billboard that proclaims Christmas is a myth, just get over it! (I was going to say put up your own billboards- but you’ve been doing that for quite a while!)

You’re not going to persuade that guy to believe any more than he’s going to persuade you not to. You’ve got better things to do.

If you believe…then believe.

And finally to the Atheists (capitalization intentional in the spirit of fairness)…

If there is no God- what the hell is the big problem?

Atheism has become to some a cult as fervent as some of the most extreme examples of fundamentalist Christianity or radicalized Islam. Your rights to not-believe are secured by the 1st Amendment; why can’t you just leave the God fearing peoples be?

I’m the first one to get aggravated, though not necessarily offended, by someone proselytizing. My personal beliefs are, well, personal- and I don’t appreciate anyone stuffing their own beliefs in my face.

Having said that, I welcome and embrace any expression of positivity, respect, love and charity in this difficult and challenging world. I appreciate and support the good work of people of faith in many areas of society- as long as they’re respectful and tolerant of others.

Christmas is about love, family- if you’re lucky enough to have one, hope, renewal and kindness. If you don’t want to celebrate- don’t!

But- the next time you want to get your undies in a bunch because there’s a Christmas tree in your town square or someone wishes you a heartfelt “Merry Christmas…”

…KNOCK IT OFF!

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Jim Bouchard is a nationally recognized speaker, media guest and author of THINK Like a BLACK BELT.

Learn more about Jim at these sites:

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Santa image courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Duck Dynasty Debacle: It’s NOT a “free speech” issue…KNOCK IT OFF!

By Jim Bouchard

“CONGRESS (emphasis mine) shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”

CONGRESS!

Free speech is not free and the 1st Amendment does not give you the right to say whatever you want…without consequences.

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame ruffled some feathers when he was quoted in a GQ interview fundamentally condemning what is, in his view, the sinful act of homosexuality and male prostitution. Putting aside any references to incest or any other redneck allusions I might be tempted to make…

…Phil exercised his right to free speech. It was published. A&E fired him. End of story.

The 1st Amendment is there to protect against the government gagging us. There are plenty of legitimate challenges to freedom we can debate on that front.

For those waving the “free speech” banner- here’s my attempt to enlighten you:

Let’s say someone pitches a tent on your front yard and proclaims they have the right to live anywhere they’d like. Are you violating that person’s rights when you tell them to get lost?

 Wouldn’t it be a violation of your rights if a government agency intervened and commanded you to allow the squatter to occupy your private land?

A&E is a private company. They own the time and space on their network. They’re free to choose who they’ll air on their network- or not.

Phil Robertson is free to express himself. He did. Now he owns the consequences.

A&E is exercising their rights as well…and they’ll face consequences too. They’d likely face far worse consequences if they didn’t boot the duck man given their audience. You might choose never to watch them again in response to their treatment of Robertson. You might applaud their decision to turn their backs on profit in support of the gay and lesbian population.

Legally- nobody is in the wrong here.

You can agree with Duck Man Phil or not- as of this writing, you’re still free to hold your own ideas. You might think he’s a champion of true Christian values…you might think he’s an intolerant, ignorant redneck asshole…

…but you if you think this is a free speech issue- you’re just plain wrong.

Knock It Off!

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