Monday, December 26, 2005


Day after Christmas: Lord's name in vain?

Taking the Lord's name "in vain," in the 10 commandment's sense, means using it in a disrespectful or irreverant manner, but there's a pointed ambiguity. The more common contemporary meaning of "in vain," of course, is fruitless, pointless or unavailing. And it makes you wonder: who is taking -- or using -- the Lord's name pointlessly these days?

The Christian right got its collective nose out of joint because W the Boy President sent out holiday cards that didn't say "Christ" or "Christmas." And now there's this whole book by one of those Fox News clowns about the liberal "War on Christmas."

But isn't the greatest secularizing "threat" to Christmas the whole retailing angle? Having an economy that depends on a societal frenzy to buy stuff at Christmas time seems to drain more religious meaning out of the holiday than does the blandly pluralistic salutation "happy holidays," which merely recognizes that not everyone is religiously celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Happy-Holidays-Tux shoppers
Which is the bigger "threat" to Christmas?

Why doesn't the Christian right take issue with that? Is it that they're just too pleased to go pray at Wal-Mart the other six days of the week?

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