Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bueller ...

Sorry for the long delay in posts. I've been getting slammed at work (in a good way) and just have not had the time.

CK's recent post on the "War on Christmas" is a good read. Never has such a pampered majority been so intent on casting themselves as the picked-on victims. Much as they would like to say that Christmas is only a religious holiday, you cannot deny it's secular significance. Christianity itself and Christmas owe more to non-religious and pagan rituals than they would care to admit. I, as a secularist and humanist, have every right to celebrate the holiday as I see fit.

CK's post reminded me of a Christmas rant, purporting to be by Ben Stein, "Confessions for the Holidays", that ended up in my Inbox this week and I got myself into a bit of a shitstorm because I took the time to point out to the sender (and the rest of my business referral group) that this message was not completely by who it claimed to be. It got under my skin for several reasons:

- It's yet another e-mail pushing the myth of the "War on Christmas"
- It's factually inaccurate
- It was sent using our group's group e-mail feature, which is supposed to be used for group business. Even if the e-mail was completely accurate as to its attribution, it is still not appropriate to send it in a business context.

The sender and several other people in the group believe that is OK because they agree with the sentiment that it pushed (regardless of the accuracy). I wonder if they would feel the same about the use of this feature if they disagreed with the viewpoint.

E-mails like this are sloppy. They are rarely by who they say they are by. It takes roughly 10 seconds to refute 99% of these. They ultimately say more about the person that forwards them than anything. Unfortunately, people that are sheep will not be as diligent with checking of facts when they hear something that reinforces their own prejudices. Going into anything with a preconceived notion is a dangerous thing ... just ask W.

And that is a lesson that any of us can take ... seek the truth even when it's unpleasant or difficult.


CyberKitten said...

Thanks (as always) for the cite. I too am getting more than a little annoyed with the annual 'War on Christmas' that is supposedly taking place on both sides of the pond. All that you need to do to disprove the whole thing is to visit your local Mall and see that Christmas is alive and definitely kicking...

Eric said...

no doubt. I had an inlaw forward some bunk about boycotting Target for denying charity to vetran's causes. 2 seconds of googling and a polite email advising the in law that it was bunk and not to believe everything he was forwarded. Those who forward without checking sources should have their email access suspended.

Laura said...

I generally check snopes after I get any type of bulk email like that. I actually have no problem with this Ben Stein one. He's right in a sense. America is not an Athiest country any more than it's a Christian country. I don't agree that people who believe in God are being pushed around though. I mean, they may be losing their dominant hold on the cultural psyche in the name of diversity - but tough titties. That's what diversity is about - rebalancing the power in society equally.

I think you're right that it shouldn't be sent via business email systems though.

dbackdad said...

Laura, I agree. It's not the Ben Stein part of the e-mail that's so much the problem ... though, I agree even it shouldn't be sent in a business environment. It's the added on part at the end (from the bottom of the snopes article) that is. It's not by Stein. It tries to tie his statement in with terrorism, prayer in schools, spanking your children, etc.. All things that I'm sure Ben Stein had no intention of encompassing.

Laura said...

Ohhhhh, I missed that part. I only read the beginning. That'll teach me, eh.

Merry Christmas & stuff.