Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry X-mas

Every night when my husband comes home, he has to gets to listen to me rant about discuss something or other. Last night it was x-mas. Or Christmas. Or outrageous outrage.

"See," he said, "That was a blog post.  You should write this stuff."  I promised him that I would try to take out today's frustrations on the internet.

Scrolling on Facebook, you might get the impression that we live under the kind of oppression our forefathers escaped. I was tempted to respond to each and every malcontent: x-mas is not an assault on Christmas.

The confusion is obvious. We use the English letter 'x' to cross things out, so a holiday celebrating 'x' sounds delightfully, modern nihilist.  X-mas is a celebration of tinsel and Santa and magic and everything but Jesus.  Cross him out.  Get your battle gear on!  Suit up!  America hates Christians!

Except that it isn't true.

X is a symbol. It is the Greek letter, Chi, which is the first letter in Khristos, or Christ.  As a symbol, it has been in art and text for at least a thousand years and maybe much, much longer.  It is not difficult to find examples, many that most people would recognize.

You don't have to know that. It's a special kind of nerd. It doesn't bother me that not everyone knows or cares about Greek letters. What does bother me is people who should know- people with a platform and an audience, spout off without bothering to check. I am not asking for hard research here. Roughly fifteen seconds on the internet answers the question. Some of the biggest names in Christian leadership are spreading inflammation. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention, or some such thing.

Here's the thing.  There are plenty of actual arguments worth having. You want complicated questions, bound to inflame tempers, that don't have obvious answers?  I can list a few. You want to fight? We can do that. We can talk about immigration or torture or contraception or Obama.  We can talk about feminism. We can talk about mommy wars. It has been months since I have had a good argument about healthcare.  Or if you want straight non-controversial outrage, there is plenty of violence worldwide.

I was the second of six kids. One day, two of my siblings had been at it all morning. They were sitting at the breakfast table and already Dad had had enough. He took a cheerio from one of the cereal bowls and placed it between them.

"Let's see you fight about that!"

Seconds of silence. Then, one of them ate it.

"You ate my Cheerio!!"

Outrage is exhausting. This is silly.  Lets not fight about the easy stuff.  Merry (almost) X-mas, my friends.

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