Friday, December 26, 2008

The War On Christmas, The Jews, And Other Half-Baked Conspiracy Theories

In the spirit of the season, I wanted to respond to an article that crossed my path via filtrbox. Written by Edmund Connelly, the article, entitled, “Merry Christmas. . . NOT!,” is a pretty scathing diatribe squarely placing the blame on Jews for the ‘War On Christmas’.

In fact, the article, in two parts, blames Jews for everything from the removal of religious Christmas symbols from the public sphere, to a larger war on Western culture.

“Why does it matter that Jews control Hollywood? In essence, it matters because it represents the loss of power of one group-majority white Christians-to a group with a long history of hostility toward the people and culture of the West. Jewish control of Hollywood has been a crucial means for dispossessing majority whites from their place in the country they built
Quoting Kevin MacDonald “The Judaization of the West means that the peoples who created the culture and traditions of the West have been made to feel deeply ashamed of their own history - surely the prelude to their demise as a culture and as a people.” And, as I argued earlier, the treatment of Christmas shows how Jews “have been able to translate this hatred of Christ and his birthday into increasingly scandalous imagery, thanks to their domination of Hollywood and TV studios.”

Connelly uses the ‘fact’ that Jews control Hollywood as a starting point to attack all of the recent movies about or involving Christmas. He goes even further, looking at all of the movies related to the Holocaust which come out around Christmas as proof positive that Jews are out to subvert Christmas.

“Sadly, Jews have been able to translate this hatred of Christ and his birthday into increasingly scandalous imagery, thanks to their domination of Hollywood and TV studios.”

Connelly also uses the examples of all of the Christmas songs written by Jews (White Christmas, Let it Snow, etc.), to point out that the Jesus has been removed and replaced by secular symbols.

“Of course, this “compromise” to take Christ out of popular culture was a great victory for Jews, for it allowed the hostility many Jews felt toward a Christian majority to find vent without the Gentiles really noticing.”

Let my first point of rebuttal be an acknowledgment that, although there are indeed a great many Jews in Hollywood, that the Holocaust remains a focal point in the Jewish collective consciousness, and that Jews frequently removed Jesus from the songs they wrote, all of these facts add up to BUPKIS.

The fact that Connelly is willing, even eager to see something sinister in the aforementioned points is really far more indicative of his world view than any larger facts.

OHMYGOD! Jews left Jesus out of Christmas songs!

Yea, about that. . . is anyone actually surprised that Jesus wouldn’t make it into a song written by Jews? There is nothing remotely sinister about that. The Jewish song writers were coming to grips with assimilation and identity in a very mixed America, filled with distinct ethnic communities. These songs represented an effort to create a super-ordinate group culture that everyone could feel a part of. Perhaps instead of blaming Jews for willingly corrupting Christmas, it might be valuable to harangue all of the consumers that made those songs among the most popular of the Christmas season.

The same point holds true for movies. The vast majority of movies that are made by major studios are done so for their ability to make money, and they are released accordingly. Christmas represents, from a business standpoint, a great time to release a movie. It is a time when families are together, and lacking anything better to do than talk to each other, they are often looking for an easy way to pass a few hours without any awkwardness or arguing. Movies provide just such an escape.

And when you consider the ill effects of sitting around with family too long, perhaps Connelly should be thanking the Jews of Hollywood for keeping domestic disturbances down.

Not to mention that time off of work makes it easier to justify taking a few hours to go to a movie.

The truth is that the movie industry is an industry like any other, and though it has the ability to potentially shape views of culture, it exists to make money. Imagine if Christians, who still represent a majority demographic in this country, were to stop consuming things that they found to be subversive. With the purchasing power that they have, how quickly would that subversive content disappear from the shelves?

So, why should movies involving the Holocaust, one of the most dramatic events in the history of the industrialized Western world, continue to be made and to find box-office success?

Maybe they are well done, usually requiring the seriousness absent from many of the thrillers/slashers/comidies/action blockbusters that are so commonplace.

Maybe they appeal to universal human nature to see good in times of darkness.

Perhaps, because this event, more than any other in recent history, illustrates the dangers of the very lines of thought contained in Connelly’s piece.

Or maybe the 5 million Jews in this country are simply enough to ensure the success of any movie that comes out. If every Jew in the country sees it, that equals big bucks, right?

The idea that Jews are somehow aiming to take down Western culture and civilization is preposterous. Jews have more freedom in the United States than virtually anywhere else in the world. We know it and are grateful for it. We also have a stake in seeing that America continues to be a beacon of those freedoms.

Therefore, it is not only erroneous to accuse Jews of wanting to subvert American culture, it is completely counter to the truth. This truth is that Jews have a vested interest in the preeminence of American culture

Connelly contends that Jews hate Christ and therefore hate Christmas.

I don’t really think that there are many Jews who dislike Jesus. Really, I don’t think many Jews think about Jesus much at all. I don’t think Jews dislike Christmas either, in fact, there is quite a lot of evidence to the contrary, that Jews like Christmas so much, that many Jewish families have Christmas trees.

There are two points at which I get a bit uncomfortable around Christmas; Kitsch… the first being the non-stop consumerist drum beating, the never-ending Christmas music which starts earlier and earlier every year, etc. and the second, Jesus as the Christ.

I have no interest in preventing anyone else from observing their ritual, but I do believe in a neutral public space in which I don’t have to constantly be bombarded.

I think that what Connelly probably doesn't understand is that the secularization of Christmas is effectively an evolution due to capitalism, and since he blames Jews for Marxism and Socialism, it would be hard to blame Jews for capitalism too.

The thinking goes something like this, how do you take a holiday in which large amounts of money change hands in the form of gifts, bonuses, etc, and make even more money off of it? Get more people to participate in the exchange of goods and services. To do that, make it apply to an even larger number of people.
Namely: Secularize it.

On this 5th day of Hannukah, when we recollect an uprising against Hellenistic, materialistic values, I think that there are some important things to remember about the way that we consume both material goods, culture, and information. Just as the content available guides our consumption, so does our consumption guide the future content.

Consume wisely.

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