Fox News would never steer us wrong. To go along with that gold standard, one of Fox's premier personalities (What, you didn't expect me to call her a journalist, did you?) has declared, without any room for doubt, that these two historical figures, Santa Claus and Jesus of Nazareth were White. Period. End of discussion. Here's Megyn Kelly and her panel to set us all straight.
This entire conversation is based on an article by Aisha Harris in Slate.com. In that piece, Harris suggests that other races could represent Jolly ol' Santa, or maybe even a penguin. Despite Megyn K's assertion to the contrary, Santa isn't real and therefore he doesn't have to actually be White. He could be Asian. He could be Black. He could be... well, even a penguin. That way the racial stigma of Santa wouldn't be ingrained in children of other races, thinking Santa isn't really for them.
Now the argument against all of this by Megyn Kelly and her Fox panel is demonstrative of their shallow thinking. Start first with Santa. According to Kelly, he was real. Sorry Megyn. Santa is a legend. Now historians over the years have said that he was based on a real character - Saint Nicholas. Underline the word 'based,' not he really was Santa Claus. Santa is about as real as Sherlock Holmes or James Bond.
Wikipedia does a pretty good job of giving the genesis of today's legend of Santa Claus:
The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, was part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Christian bishop and gift giver Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. Over time, traits of this character and the British folklore character Father Christmas merged to form the modern Santa Claus known today.
So if this iconic character is nothing more than legend, why can't he be of another nationality? What harm does that do? Why doe's Megan feel she must promote racial stereotyping UNLESS she herself is racist?
Now for the suggestion by Aisha Harris in her piece that perhaps an answer to the racial issue is to turn Santa into a character that is animal like -- in this case a penguin. That's crazy. We all know that can't be, because as the crack Fox experts pointed out a penguin can't carry all those gifts. C'mon. Let's get real here.
Okay, a penguin can't carry all those gifts but white Santa can? What rationale can you be using to draw that conclusion? And say, how big is that sleigh that he can stow all those gifts? And how strong is that team of flying reindeer led by Rudolf the Red Nose wonder? That sleigh must be much bigger than even Noah's Ark to carry all those toys. That's a lot for 8 reindeer to pull through the sky. I hope Santa's careful who's roof he parks it on because something that size would surely crush my house, and most of my neighborhood.
Let's get real here. Santa is a fictional character and should be treated as fun -- not discriminatory. And he belongs to the imaginations of all people, not just White people. He could be any race, color, nationality or animal species. Who cares just so long as he brings you the gifts you wanted for your holiday.
Now moving onto Meagan's other low wattage statement of fact-- Jesus is White? Really? Unlike Santa, Jesus most likely did exist as one person. But look at where he came from? Asia. Yes, Bethlehem is in what is modern day Israel and Israel is technically Asia. Now the inhabitants of that region, from the statues and paintings that still remain indicate the Pharaohs and his/her followers had African features -- dark skin, larger lips, and bone structure. One thing none of the artifacts indicate is that any of the people of that time, born in that region, have the more modern-day, typical White features, unless they were the Romans. I don't think anyone's claiming Jesus was the love child of Mary and one of the invading troops.
I'm not sure where Meagan went to school, how much anthropology she knows of that era, but it's evident that she's not correct, once again.
So let's stop the stereotyping and the stigmatizing of iconic people, real or fictional, to suit just one self-serving purpose. Leave Jesus and Santa Claus alone. It's what they represent, not the pictures of who they may be that matters. Megyn and panel, try checking your bigotry at the door before you come on camera next time.
You really owe the world an apology. And in the spirit of Jesus and Santa, we're most likely to grant it.
If you're not familiar with Stan Freberg (a comedy genius), then watch the video above and then please do yourself a huge favor and get to know him better. He was a huge influence on me personally, and is rarely mentioned any more. His satirical talents and wicked sense of humor were unprecedented back in the 1950s and '60s.
Which leads me to the Los Angeles Times an op-ed by Jonathan Zimmerman (who teaches history and education at New York University). He chronicles the deteriorating meaning of Christmas as it devolved into blatant commercialization to satisfy corporate greed and the insatiable global obsession with profit.
He starts out by mentioning everyone's favorite former Alaskan Half-Gov, Exploita McSellBooks, by noting her rage at "angry atheists"... as she hawks her own commercial Christmas products for all the personal gain she can wring out of them.
Take it away, Jonathan:
Despite what Palin and Wildmon would have you believe, the first war on Christmas was waged by devout Christians. The holiday wasn't a reflection of their religious heritage; instead, Christmas was a sin against it.
Start with our Puritan forebears in Massachusetts, who between 1659 and 1681 made it illegal to celebrate Christmas. (Lawbreakers were fined 5 shillings.) As the Puritans correctly argued, there was no historical or biblical reason to think that Christ was born on Dec. 25. The date was chosen because of its proximity to the winter solstice, making Christmas a pagan holiday in Christian garb.
But there was more.
Yes, there was much more. Please follow the link to learn all about it. Read it and weep, Sarah Palin. Zimmerman ends with this:
The most important war over Christmas was fought between God and Mammon, and it ended long ago. I don't have to tell you who won.
Now because you've been good, fake Santa brought you all a special treat:
The inimitable and brilliant Jon Stewart manages to sum it all up in one sentence:
By the way-- You're upset with a department store, because in their effort to get you to buy a Swarovski crystal Hello Kitty snowman figurine, they're not invoking Christ's name enough.
You just gotta wonder why there was no one there to stop them. Just incredibly boneheaded.
NORTH PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A holiday joke or offensive message? A North Palm Beach pastor didn't think anything was wrong with the message; however, others didn't agree.
"It was not really offensive, just poor taste," said Rabbi Alon Levkovitz with Temple Beth Am.
Humor lost on those who called the church demanding the sign be taken down. "I heard someone say, 'Christmas is easier to spell than Hanukkah'. It made me smile," said Butzberger.
"I think it's the wrong message to send to their members, but, as a Jew, I am not offended," said Levkovitz.
He says it is merely the comparison of faiths that is offensive. "If the church tries to celebrate one of the most important holidays by putting down another faith, it's definitely not the spirit of Hanukkah or Christmas."
The Bush family of blunderers is at it again. First it was GHW 'no new taxes' Bush, then the ever-challenged scion GW 'Iraq is my game' Bush, and now older brother, Jeb 'Lost in the' Bush. Can a family really be that misinformed collectively? Two Presidents and a governor and not a penny of common sense among them?
Well, seems the Bushes could easily be a sketch on SNL once again -- "Meet The Foot-in-Mouth Family."
According to HuffPo reports,
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called out President Barack Obama for closing the U.S. embassy to the Vatican, questioning whether the decision was political "retribution" for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
Here's the actual tweet: (from @JebBush on Twitter)
Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.
There's just one small problem. The Vatican Embassy isn't actually closing. It's moving. A bit of a difference there, but subtly has never been a Bush family trait.
For cost saving purposes, some $1.4 million per year, the current standalone embassy will relocate to a larger compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, as well as the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. New address. Same embassy.
Okay, it's possible Jeb the dunce missed this, but then to accuse Obama's decision as being a political "retribution" for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act. That takes some balls. And Jeb doesn't have them.
Apply this logic and see where it takes you. Obama is closing (or moving) the US facility to the Vatican, Pope Francis's home, because of fear over the the Catholic Church's take on healthcare? That's what Jeb's saying. But it's also not true. The Church is absolutely for the Affordable Care Act.
It was just a few days ago that the Pope, the Holy See, came out publicly and nailed the US Republicans to the holy cross for their discarding the poor in favor of the almighty dollar?
Doesn't Jeb have a TV or radio? Is he too ignorant to know how to turn it on? You can't have missed the Pontiff's speech. Even Fox News covered its contents, before labeling Francis a heretic.
Pope Francis, in his first apostolic exhortation has condemned the trickle down economics, the mainstay of the Reagan-GHW Bush fiscal plan. Pope Francis also denounces tax evasion and economic inequality, and he exhorts governments to ponder a saying that “not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood.”
That condemnation, my dear readers, is of the Republican Party platform and programs. It is though, what the the church says is categorically "unchristian."
So letting logic dictate, if anyone wanted to shut the Vatican Embassy down, it would be Bush's GOP party. Fortunately, no such move is planned. A cost cutting effort to bring our budget under control is being exercised by Obama. It's called fiscal prudence, not political retribution. That's the Tea Party's game, not Obama's or the Democrats.
Jeb, you're the acorn that didn't fall far from the Bush-- but the fallow one that never took root. Time to abort.
Why do Republicans really care about Israel? Is it their compassion for the Jewish state or is it their right-wing religious Christian zealotry? Do they truly care what happens there or does it have to do with belief in the rapture, the destruction of the world?
It's a pretty complex issue. This week former President G.W. Bush is going to be speaking at a fundraiser. That's not uncommon for an ex-president. But what might be is to whom he's speaking. The group is rather controversial, John Hagge's Cornerstone Church.
CORRECTION: THE GROUP GEORGE W. BUSH WILL BE SPEAKING TO IS THE MESSIANIC JEWISH BIBLE INSTITUTE, NOT John Hagge's Cornerstone Church. My apologies for mixing up the two groups. DG
Yet those who have been featured and feted guests of honor at their annual fundraising event read like a who's who of extremist right wing Republican policy. Oliver North, Glenn Beck and Rick Santorum. Now GW. In my post yesterday, entitled, If Only This Was A Book. Watch The Trailer I pointed out some insane plans Bush had for dividing up Israel to bring it in line with the boundaries required for "The Apocalypse" and "The Rapture." It seems with this speaking engagement, he hasn't given up on interference with the Jewish state or the religious beliefs of millions of Jews.
Would you read this book? Here's the plot line, and it's a real pot boiler in tensions and intrigue:
A seemingly benign governor gets elected President of the United States. He's a fairly simple man, both in style and intellect. He's vulnerable to suggestions from his staff which the political party leaders chose for him. He didn't mind. He was a simple king.
Pressure begins to build in the middle east. A crisis is looming so the President, who's hardly traveled outside of his own country, delegates the management of US foreign policy-making to a small inner group a religious fanatical group of anti-Semitic, right wing Christians.
This clandestined group holds secret, yet official meetings with leaders of the middle east and their apocalyptic Christian groups. Together they chart a path for the United States to clear the way for a second coming of Christ.
Sounds kind of Dan Brown conspiracy-like, doesn't it?
This collective group draws up plans for the realignment of Israel's borders to be exactly as those foretold in the bible to bring about the apocalypse and ultimately the great Rapture.
The top guy in the US President's policy making for Africa and the Middle East works in secret with the extremist Christian apocalypse believers to assure them that the President had given permission for the "believers" to divy up the Gaza Strip and still be able to meet the bible's specifications. All Jews must be rounded up and forced into Israel so the Messiah can come down and remove them off the face of the earth, thus allowing for the full destruction of our planet, aka the rapture.
When the President gets wind of this plot, he surprises the plotters and reveals that he too is anti-Semitic and approves the plan. Everything is being secretly prepared for the impending arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Complicating the plans is a single reporter who, while investigating another unjustified conflict in the region begun by the President and his warmongering staff, gets wind of these apocalyptic rumors. While looking into the plausibility of these acts against humanity, he's caught and forced to confront the Chief White House National Security adviser. Immediately the stonewalling and threats begin. Denials fly and while buying time, the half-crazed President's plot to bring about the end of the world continues in motion. It becomes a race against time.
The more the official denials come from the administration, the more implausible their refutes became, until ultimately it becomes almost impossible to stop the ticking clock. And in an plot-twist ending worthy of it's undoubted best seller status...
Oh, I don't want to give away the ending of the story for you... You'll just have to read it yourself, or better yet, watch the book trailer starring Rachel Maddow:
Kind of scary, isn't it? GW Bush and Adolph Hitler with similar plans for the Jews - convert and destroy. You can't make these things up. Only ask yourself why we let these people rise to power.
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