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There Is No “War On Christmas,” Unless You Count The Battle For Christian Supremacy

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The Real War is Against Non-Christians

It’s finally (finally!) December and the terribleness that is 2016 is nearly over — but not quite yet. Across the country, folks are pulling their boxes of Christmas decorations out of the basement or the attic, untangling string lights and swearing to themselves they aren’t going to go overboard on the cookies this year. 

Well, most folks are. The rest of us are just sitting here enjoying the twinkling lights and hoping these next few weeks pass pretty quickly.

Christmas isn’t my holiday. I’m very much not a Christian (I’m a decently observant Jew), and aside from a severe jealousy of Christmas lights when I was a kid, I’ve never really been drawn to the holiday. I’ve never really wanted a tree in my house and I’ve never really felt left out. Dec. 25 is just another day for me.

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest — I’m not one of those folks who gets sick of being bombarded by it day in and day out like some of my friends, though I certainly understand their frustrations. 

To be honest, I kind of like how everyone seems to get a little bit nicer this time of year, and not all of the music is bad. “All I Want for Christmas is You” is one of the greatest songs of all time, and more than a few Jewish folks are responsible for the older classics. But acknowledging and accepting that I live in a majority Christian society doesn’t mean I define this as the Christmas season, or that I feel like I’m missing something, or that I care in the slightest whether someone says, “Merry Christmas” or not.

That really pisses some folks off, like America’s least favorite former Congressman, Joe Walsh (pictured): 

For the record, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, and other non-Christians don’t typically celebrate Christmas. What makes Joe’s tweet art, though, is what he said just a few days earlier: 

Ironically, Joe’s right. There’s no guaranteed protection from being offended, but wow, he’s really offended. But my personal favorite came just last night: 

Aside from being factually incorrect, it’s just absurd. If we take away Christmas at this time of year, you know what we have? Another day, just like any other. Dec. 25 would still exist. No catastrophe would take its place and no one would disappear from the Earth because of it. 

(I suppose I shouldn’t go further without acknowledging the other December holidays, but let’s make something clear: Hanukkah is NOT the Jewish Christmas. That it falls around the same time as Christmas is a fluke. Hanukkah was established before Christmas was on the scene and it has absolutely nothing to do with peace and love and goodwill toward all. In fact, if anyone tells you that Hanukkah is about peace and love and goodwill they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. Hanukkah celebrates a bloody insurgency against an oppressive, fascist regime in defense of religious freedom. It’s also incredibly low-ranking in the hierarchy of Jewish holidays.) 

Joe Walsh and his friends aren’t fighting a “War on Christmas.” They’re fighting for Christian supremacy. Just like everyone else who publicly decries the lack of enthusiasm about Christmas, Joe Walsh is a Christian supremacist. Joe Walsh hates real religious freedom. Joe hates that there are other religions and he hates that folks are passionate about beliefs he hasn’t personally approved. 

If folks were truly secure in their religious beliefs we’d never, ever hear the phrase “War on Christmas.” If they truly cared about observing their holiday the best way they know how it wouldn’t matter what their neighbors or anyone else did this time of year. 

If you happen to see me and wish me “Merry Christmas,” more times than not I’ll just smile politely and say, “You, too.” I’ll do the same exact thing if you wish me, “Happy holidays,” “Happy Hanukkah,” or any other seasonal greeting, because unlike Joe Walsh, my faith doesn’t depend on the validation of strangers.

Robbie Medwed is an Atlanta-based LGBTQ activist and writer. He’s never really been interested in joining the War on Christmas but is strongly considering it now just to annoy Joe Walsh. His column appears here weekly. Follow him on Twitter: @rjmedwed

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Adam Schiff Prosecutes the Case Against Ginni Thomas on MSNBC After ‘Stunning’ Revelations

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The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee offered a brutal analysis after a bombshell new report on efforts by Ginni Thomas seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

“Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post. The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud,” the newspaper reported.

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace interviewed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for analysis.

Schiff, a former federal prosecutor who was the impeachment manager during Trump’s first trial and is a member of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, was asked by Wallace if the select committee would interview Ginni Thomas.

IN OTHER NEWS: GOP finds new scapegoat for baby formula outrage

“There are several stunning things to me about what is publicly known and has been revealed about Ginni Thomas. Here, she is weighing in with state legislators in Arizona, seeking to get them to essentially send a bogus slate of electors, that didn’t represent who won the popular election in Arizona,” Schiff said.

He referenced legal proceedings over the subpoena of “coup memo” author John Eastman.

“And you know, the judge in California, Judge Carter and the case involving Eastman, this lawyer, describes what the former president was involved in as a criminal conspiracy.”

“That was a conspiracy to interfere with the joint session, to defraud people, and here you have the wife of a Supreme Court justice engaged in a parallel effort to get Arizona to improperly cast aside the votes of millions,” he charged. “And also to add to it, her husband, on the Supreme Court, writing a dissent in a case, arguing providing records to Congress that might have revealed those same emails.”

READ MORE: The Buffalo shooter had a toothache — an extremism expert explains the bizarre reason it matters

“That conflict of interest just screams at you,” Schiff said.

Watch the segment below or at this link.

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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‘Fear-Driven Alliance’: Conservative Explains Why Far-Right CPAC ‘Opportunists’ and ‘Paranoids’ Are Meeting in Hungary

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The rise of authoritarianism and fascism growing within the Republican Party was discussed by the opening panel on MSNBC’s “The Reidout” on Friday.

Host Joy Reid noted how the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being held in Hungary this year, which is ruled by strongman Viktor Orbán.

“They have elections, of a sort, but also hamper voters’ abilities to make informed choices and heavily control the outcome that the elections are essentially a show,” she explained. “These are the autocratic dreams of a far-right leader obsessed with solidifying a Christian monoculture and who, in 2014, declared his intention to build an illiberal new state citing China, Russia and Turkey as role models. Flash forward to today where CPAC, the once conservative gathering that is now simply a cesspool of the far-right running amok, is holding its conference in Budapest.”

For analysis, Reid interviewed conservative writer Tom Nichols.

Nichols warned “there is a nihilistic, fear-driven alliance here with a group of opportunists, and I want to get back to this issue of about Hungary, the really dangerous thing here is that some of these people believe very deeply in — in some of this stuff and yet others, and I would say people like [Tucker] Carlson and Matt Schlapp and some of the other people capering about in Budapest, don’t believe in any of this and don’t believe in anything of this other than the extension of their own personal power and wealth.

“And when you have this coalition of shallow, empty opportunists along with with a group of paranoids, basically, then you have a really dangerous movement because each side has to keep upping the ante to kind of justify why they are doing the things they are doing,” he explained.

“A lot of this is an act, but the problem is you then paint yourself into a corner… You have to start actually trying to put forward policies and carry things out that, that make you look as if you believe the things that you’re doing. And then after a while, whether it’s an act or its opportunism is no longer relevant: You have become the thing you’ve been prancing about and pretending to be,” he explained.

Watch the segment below or at this link.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Catholic Archbishop Defies Vatican by Banning Speaker Nancy Pelosi From Holy Communion – via Twitter

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Calling her stance on abortion a “most serious scandal,” and a “grave evil” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone publicly announced Friday that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, whose district encompasses his diocese, is now banned from taking Holy Communion.

Archbishop Cordileone, a far right activist who repeatedly has challenged Pope Francis, is now in violation of directions from the Vatican to not politicize the Sacraments. Cordileone’s very public decree – made via Twitter – comes just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on a case that is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, an the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” Cordileone tweeted, an apparent attempt to embarrass to the greatest degree possible the Democrat who is second in line to the Presidency,

“I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically [sic] repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone wrote in that letter to the Speaker.

Fox News calls it “an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion,” but in fact other extremist archbishops have taken the same stance against other notable Democrats.

Catholics believe the Pope is God’s infallible representative on earth. Last fall Pope Francis chastised far right Catholic bishops in America who were gearing up to ban President Joe Biden from receiving Holy Communion. In June the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) overwhelmingly voted to move toward chastising Biden for his abortion stance, despite the Vatican issuing a clear warning they were not to do so.

President Biden is a devout Catholic who personally opposes abortion but knows as President it is his role to uphold a woman’s right to choose, something has has worked strongly to support and strongly believes in.

“What must the pastor do?” Pope Francis said, The New York Times reported last September when a reporter asked him about President Biden and abortion. “Be a pastor, don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.”

“I have never refused the eucharist to anyone,” Pope Francis told reporters. The Times aded Francis said bishops should be pastors not politicians.

The Pope also told reporters, “communion is not a prize for the perfect,” and “the eucharist is not the reward of saints but the bread of sinners.”

The San Francisco Chronicle adds that Pope Francis “welcomed Biden for a private meeting at the Vatican last fall and Biden said the Pope told him he was a ‘good Catholic.’ Biden received Communion at St. Peter’s during that trip.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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