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0 comments | Saturday, December 03, 2005

There's a lot of sentiment out there about folks saying "Happy Holidays". Many on the right and the religious right act as if the apocalypse is immanent just because after you buy your Christmas goodies you might hear "Happy Holidays" instead of the old standby of "Merry Christmas". This seems to me to be the type of one size fits all thinking that can only be accurately described as a brand of neo-fascism. Why in a country that has a constitutionally codified separation of church and state that this would be such a pressing issue, can only astound an observer looking upon this situation with fresh eyes. Of course, I'm not looking upon this newly, (this debate arises year after year in the U.S. this time of year) so I think I understand why this debate is trotted out again and again year after year. It's difficult to say how much of this momentum is driven from the grass roots, but I think large scale conservative forces are at work here as well.

The conservative movement hiearchy views this issue as a winner and whips as many Americans into a frenzy over it as they can. The right loves this kind of issue because it takes people's minds (not that their minds are already on these issues as much as they should be) off health care, labor rights, economic fairness, the treatment of minorities in society, etc., and stirs up a controversy about something that will not likely hit the pocketbook of the wealthy and big business. I want to leave a quote for everyone to think about in relation to this phenomenon:

...it was the thinkers of the Enlightenment who imagined a balanced and civilized freedom that did not impinge upon the freedom of one's neighbor. Put in the simplest terms, my right to life means that you must give up your freedom to kill me. This may seem terribly obvious to decent people. Unfortunately, in our neo-liberal era, this civilized sense of freedom has, like the dangers of fascism, been all but forgotten.

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