1. Religion & Spirituality

Fight the Terrorists by Spending Too Much & Going Deeper Into Debt

Buy, Buy, Buy this Commercial Holiday Season

By

Buy, Buy, Buy this Commercial Holiday Season: Fight the Terrorists by Spending Too Much

Buy, Buy, Buy this Commercial Holiday Season: Fight the Terrorists by Spending Too Much & Going Deeper Into Debt

Image © Austin Cline, Licensed to About; Original Poster: National Archives

Rather than make sacrifices in order to fight the war on terror, something everyone was asked to do during World War II, people today have been told that the best way to help the terrorists lose is to go about their business as if nothing was wrong. They should go out and spend money to help the economy and thereby make America a better, if more debt-ridden, place. What better time to get out that message than the Christmas holidays?

Businesses, usually a bastion of conservatism, are leading the switch from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays. Why? Offending people's religious sensitivities is bad for business. What businesses realize, but conservative Christians are refusing to accept, is that America's religious pluralism is on the rise and, therefore, it's inappropriate to assume that everyone is a Christian who celebrates Christmas (not even all Christians celebrate Christmas, it should be remembered).

It simply makes good business sense (and is more polite) to use a generic greeting that covers all holidays. You can't encourage people to spend money and buy your goods if you unthinkingly treat them as if they were generic Christians.

If Christians want to "defend" Christmas and restore some religious meaning or content to it, that's fine -- but they are going about it the wrong way. They can't turn the tide of commercialization, secularization, and tolerance in how modern American culture celebrates this time of year. Trying for force the culture to change by attacking the use of greetings like "Happy Holidays" is just silly.

Christians might, however, be able to convince individual Christians to turn away from all that and focus on the religious aspects of their holy day. If enough Christians change, perhaps the culture will as well, but the focus should be on what Christians do as individual Christians. How likely is this, though? Aren't Christians more likely to respond to the commercials to just keep buying more things?

The above image is based upon a World War II poster that simply contained a generic Christmas message. Since the Magi, or Three Wise Men, are best known for bringing three very expensive gifts to Jesus, I thought that they would be great to represent the message that people need to keep buying and spending in order to keep the terrorists from winning. Then again, weren't the magi from the Middle East themselves? Who says they shouldn't be treated as terrorist suspects? What are they really hiding in their packs?

  1. About.com
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Agnosticism / Atheism

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.