The Spectacle Blog

Re: “A Touch Wearying to the Spirit”

By on 12.20.05 | 3:12PM

As a part of Hitch's "Scrooge You" article, he cites this article, saying, essentially, that when Christians are arguing in favor of celebrating Christ in the public square, from Christmas music in shops to greeting card corrections, they are essentially committing the same terrible, terrible deed as the North Koreans celebrating the birthday of Kim Jong Il:

Let's just say that the birth of the Dear Leader is indeed celebrated as a miraculous oneâ€"accompanied, among other things, by heavenly portents and by birds singing in Koreanâ€"and that compulsory worship and compulsory adoration can indeed become a touch wearying to the spirit. ... Our Christian enthusiasts are evidently too stupid, as well as too insecure, to appreciate this.

Coming from England, Hitchens knows well that there have long been traditions in place in both English-speaking countries, revolving around Christmas specifically. Though I will not be signing any petitions with Bill O'Reilly, I'm no less a Christian enthusiast who can't help but wonder why people have made the conscious decision to omit Christmas.

Those who similarly wonder are just being culture conscious, and further are aware that the established culture does not spring from the collaboration of public entities, but from the persuasive ability of the few. The criticism levelled at these people is simply an indictment of their often populist, or simply angry, rhetoric -- but the commodification of Christmas, and its supposed interchangeability with other winter holidays will obviously work people up, for fine reasons, none of which Christopher Hitchens refutes but for an argument that to do so would victimize himself and other athiests like him. Why, Mr. Hitchens, you've been found guilty of what you yourself have charged Christians of.

Too bad.

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