President Obama has come under a lot of fire over the past week over the fact that he did not bother to go to Church on December 25. The typical loud-mouths on the right say this is yet more evidence that the President doesn’t buy into real American values and is probably some kind of Muslim sleeper agent.
I’m not sure about the Muslim-sleeper-agent part, but I do know that any criticism that the President was somehow undermining the holiday is hogwash. After all, when you put aside all of the parties and family obligations and travel nightmares and other distractions, the meaning of XMAS boils down to one thing: consumerism.
It is the time of year when we, as Americans, go out and buy each other gifts as a way of saying “I love you” to our family, friends and corporate America. It is a holiday that inspires amazing marketing creativity and clearance sales and an urgency to spend that helps business balance sheets creep into the black. It is a wonderful, all-American tradition and the happiest time of the year for many families.
But unfortunately that tradition is under attack by organizations that want to hijack the holiday for their own interests. Powerful groups— like the Religious Right—say that we should eschew gift-giving and spend the XMAS season donating our money to charities and praying in churches.
For many years these groups have been successful at rebranding XMAS as “Christmas” and making us all feel a little guilty about our unbridled consumerism.
But this year the President took a stand. By not attending church on December 25th, he said that he wasn’t going to cave into pressure from religious groups and instead celebrated XMAS in the all-American fashion: by feasting and exchanging presents.
Thank you President Obama for putting the “X” back in “XMAS.”