As sure as brightly hued leaves are a sign of autumn, Sarah Palin's media appearances are a sign that she has a new book to pimp. After promoting her book of Christmas cheer on Hannity, she spoke about it on yesterday's Fox & Friends where, after trashing food stamp recipients as a bunch of lazy slugs who vote Democratic because of the free stuff, she proceeded to let us know how much she loves the Baby Jesus - you know, the same Jesus who, according to Christian tradition, talked about loving and helping your neighbor.
The gang on the curvy couch could hardly restrain their glee about Palin's new tome which, as Steve Doocy shouted, is "just in time for Christmas." Palin shouted "wo-ho, yes it's jolly." (Real Algonquin Roundtable here!) Hasselbeck gushed over the book which she described as "wonderful, wonderful tribute to what Christmas really is." Under the name of the book, the chyron described it as "Protecting the Heart of Christmas." In response to Hasselbeck's question of what Palin wants us to learn about Christmas, theologian Sarah gave us this gem:
"There is an inherent link between faith and freedom and if we are not allowed to exercise [her arms went up as she looked to heaven] our expression of faith whatever that faith may be, then we will be a less, less free country. And much of this has to do with the ability, the right, the opportunities to celebrate the real reason that we have Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season and those who are so politically correct [bonus points for mention of a popular Fox & Friends bête noir] who would say, 'Eww, you gotta, you can't say that anymore or you're gonna get sued,' well, I'm empowering people to understand that no, we have our constitutional protected rights [Doocy says "sure."] to stand up and celebrate the way that we deem necessary."
Doocy gushed about how, in the book, Palin talks about her fond memories of Christmas past which include Christmases on snow machines. He noted that the book has a recipe for moose chili. Cutesey Christmas photos of a young Sarah were shown. While the gang shouted, in unison, "no, no," Palin said the book wasn't political or "in your face." Rather, it talks about "faith and freedom and what it means to be an American and exercise our faith..."
Poor Christians. What with the churches being shut down and clergy persecuted for having Christmas services. No constant drone of treacly Christmas music and gaudy decorations in stores. Oh, wait, that's not happening. Never mind. Salon's Daniel D'Addario says it best:
"...There is no coordinated campaign against uttering Christ’s name but rather, a seeming gradual shift over decades to awareness that not everyone celebrates Christmas. “Happy holidays,” for those who say it, is not disrespectful but a catch-all phrase to which the hearer can impute anything she wants; presumably Palin’s faith in the Nativity is not so weak that a person failing to mention Christ in alluding to the celebration could shake it...'Wish me a Merry Christmas,' she dictates, but such proscription, rather than other folks’ well-meaning attempts to include everyone in a happy, celebratory time of year, seems deeply antithetical to what we’re constantly reminded is the Christmas spirit."
Anyway, Newshounds Ellen sent me this fabulous link to a review of Palin's book in which there is a talking Christmas tree that channels Palin's voice. And when you hear it, you will rejoice in the reality that enough Americans voted smartly in 2008!
We are INUNDATED with “Christmas,” seemingly beginning earlier and earlier every single year. A co-worker told me that she’d gone into Wal-Mart ON HALLOWE’EN night, and the store already had CHRISTMAS displays up—candy and toys and gift wrap. We’re already reading how more and more of the Big Retailers are going to open at 6PM on Thanksgiving Night to start their big “Black Friday” sales. Online? We’ve been getting e-tailers advertising “Christmas deals”—even before the glorious “Cyber Monday.” And for crying out loud—we just celebrated Veteran’s Day a couple of days ago and Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, and these FoxNoise jackasses are concerned that there’s a “War on Christmas?”
What does it really matter if a retailer wants to embrace a diverse consumer population by having their clerks and greeters wishing a fairly generic “Happy Holidays” instead of the more exclusive (by which I mean, exclusionary) “Merry Christmas?” The first rule of business is “Keep a customer happy and spending money in the store.” If that meant that retailers could boost profits by hiring only hot male and female employees and having them wearing nothing but speedos and bikinis, they’d do it in a heartbeat. (And if it meant having their employees offer some more, um, personal service to the customers, they’d do that too.)
Hell, I’d be willing to bet that if a store serving an overwhelming Hispanic clientele chose to wish customers “Feliz Navidad” that the FoxNoise folks would raise a fuss over that as well, simply because the sales clerks wouldn’t be using the actual word “Christmas.”
And as for that whole “reason for the season” crap, please. People were celebrating the Winter Solstice long before the mere notion of Jesus came along. The Romans, in fact, held Saturnalia around the Winter Solstice, and it’s amazing that Saturnalia endured in the Roman Empire well into the 3rd and 4th centuries—right about the same time that Christianity was taking hold of the Empire (heck, the last days of the festival included gift-giving—I wonder why that sounds familiar?). Then, too, there’s the fact that NO ONE knows when Jesus was actually born. The early Church, in fact, believed Jesus to have been born in the early Spring (when shepherds would watch over their flocks by night) but the date was changed because of the conflict with Easter (the much more important Christian festival for the Church—even up to the 18th century; in fact, the Church considered Easter to be SO important because the earliest known written Christian stories revolve around the Passion—not to mention the fact that only one of the Gospels goes into any significant accounting of Jesus’s birth and only one other even makes note of anything before Jesus started his ministry). And the Church decided, “Well, we’ve got the great Easter ceremony near the Spring equinox, and it’s really uncomfortable in summertime, and the Savior’s birth doesn’t really fit into a harvest theme at autumn, but, you know what? A bunch of pagans have parties and feasts at the Winter Solstice, celebrating the Sun’s getting longer, so what say we co-opt THAT holiday and call it Jesus’s birthday? I mean, sure, people have been celebrating His birth for centuries whenever they feel like it, but it just seems like we’ll be more, oh I don’t know, official if we have just ONE day to be THE day, but we can go ahead and let the festivities run a week or two beyond. No objections? Well, then, good. So be it. Now….what should we call it? It needs a good name. All suggestions will be considered.”
This woman infuriates me.