Sunday, December 19, 2010

Facebook Follies: Save Christmas, Kick Out Immigrants

Today's Facebook Folly is this inane rant:
We Can't say 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' anymore, We Now Say 'HAPPY HOLIDAYS ! We Can't call it a 'CHRISTMAS TREE', We Now Call It a 'HOLIDAY TREE,Because it might offend someone! They call it 'CUSTOMS', We Call it 'TRADITIONS'.This is 'OUR COUNTRY!' If U Wanna Live & Work here have Some RESPECT! If U Dont like it, GO HOME! If u agree with this, PLEASE post as ur status. OH, By the way.♥☆MERRY CHRISTMAS!♥♥☆ ♥
This rant is even less rational (if that's possible) than the usual "war on Christmas" and immigrant bashing that I too often see in my Facebook newsfeed. I couldn't make any sense out of the connection between the "I'm not allowed to say the word 'Christmas' anymore!" part of the rant, and the "GO HOME!" part. I'm thinking that's because there isn't any connection--other than the same people who whine about the "war on Christmas" are frequently also immigrant-fearers. Like my friend who posted the rant apparently is. 

Paranoia strikes deep.

I don't usually say anything to my friends about their regular Jesus-praising, praying, and Bible quoting on Facebook. But I will confront bigotry whenever I see it, and if the bigot wants to defriend me, on Facebook or in real life, *shrug*.

So I asked the friend who posted that rant some questions that I thought might help me her "get" what I she didn't "get":

1. Who is stopping you from saying "Merry Christmas"? And when, where, and how have you been stopped from saying "Merry Christmas"?

2. If you said "Merry Christmas" to someone, what would happen?

3. Who is stopping you from calling the decorated tree in your house a "Christmas tree?" If you referred to it as a "Christmas tree," what would happen to you?

4. What's the difference between a "custom" and a "tradition"?

5. Do you realize that many native-born Americans do not celebrate Christmas? They are already in their country, they are already at "home," and they have every right to continue to live and work here.

6. Do you realize that many of the recent immigrants are Christians who celebrate Christmas, and so are not the least "offended" if you wish them a "Merry Christmas?

[Blogger's note: by the time I got to this part of composing my questions to my friend, I was feeling increasingly irritated, and, therefore, more sassy, as is reflected by what followed...]

7. When did the law change so that immigrants are not allowed into the U.S. if they don't agree to always say "Merry Christmas," and never say "Happy Holidays"? Or are you now in charge of U.S. immigration law and policy?

8. It appears that you are offended when someone wishes you a "Happy Holiday," rather than "Merry Christmas." Why do you have the right to be offended by "Happy Holidays," but some other American doesn't have the similar right to be offended by "Merry Christmas"?

9. Since you're demanding respect, do you respect the rights of other Americans, including those who choose to say "Happy Holidays"? Or do you believe that everyone should be required to say "Merry Christmas" and to refer to their decorated tree as a "Christmas tree"? I mean, it's not like the U.S. was founded on the principles of freedom of religion and freedom of speech...oh, wait!

10. How is anyone's saying "Happy Holidays" harming you?

Oh, by the way, I thought the lovely ♥♥♥'s in your post reflected the love expressed in it. Truly in keeping with the spirit of good will towards all during this holiday *gasp!*--yes, I indeed said HOLIDAY--season.

[What I didn't say to my friend, but really wanted to is this: "And as for me posting that rant as my status: pfffftttt!"]

The friend who posted the rant replied with this cogent answer to all my questions: "I have rights too!!!! And I shouldn't have to 'press 1 for English' either!!!"

Uh. Huh. Well, that settles it. I now understand, clearly, exactly how some or all English-as-second-language immigrants are preventing you from saying "Merry Christmas" and putting up a "Christmas tree." And why they need to leave the U.S. immediately as a threat to your traditions (of Christian privilege and anti-immigrant intolerance).


  1. You have, um, interesting Facebook friends.

  2. I've seen those identical statuses (stati?) from people on FB. Where do they get those, pre-loaded and ready to use, sort of like a gift card? My main question is, may I use your reply? So far, I have just been biting my FB tongue.

  3. Because I often see this type of FB status message posted by different friends who don't know each other, I think the behavior is caused by some kind of highly contagious, brain-eating virus that's spread, and made more virulent, by mindless cutting and pasting.

    Feel free to use whatever you want.

    Amazingly, the friend whose post led to my rant hasn't defriended me (yet). I don't know if I'm so gol' darn lovable in real life that she's willing to overlook my godlessness and bleeding heart liberalism, or whether she just doesn't want to lose me as a Farmville neighbor.

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