It's not a new topic or anything, but what happened to the concept of religious freedom? I've been hearing all these stories lately about cashiers or customer service people saying, "Happy holidays" to a customer, and the customer jumping down their throat, saying things like, "There's only one true holy day in this month, and one day everyone will realize it!"
It's kind of scaring me. I know that most people are fairly sane when it comes to this sort of thing, but what if it's not a phase? This country was founded because the pilgrims fled England to get away from religious persecution. So what if it builds up to that point again? If we don't make some changes, I think that's actually possible in 50-100 years. So where will we go? Back to England? Mexico? Outer space?
It's entirely possible that this little blurb made absolutely no sense. I'm not bashing Christians. Some of my best friends are Christian. I'm speaking out against extremists. Maybe nothing I've said seems too extreme to anyone else, but it just strikes me as ridiculous when I hear about people getting all bent out of shape over something like Christmas. So people give gifts and like Santa Claus. SO THE HELL WHAT? It's a free country, people can celebrate how they like. So someone says "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Are they supposed to magically discern which people are Christian, which are Jewish, who celebrates Yuletide and who celebrates Kwanzaa? Makes no sense.
Murderous Santa Display Draws Stares
By DAVID B. CARUSO
NEW YORK (AP) - It's usually easy to tell where a person stands in the culture wars, but whose side is someone on when his Christmas decor is a blood-spattered Santa Claus holding a severed head?
Joel Krupnik and Mildred Castellanos decked the front of their Manhattan mansion this year with a scene that includes a knife-wielding 5-foot-tall St. Nick and a tree full of decapitated Barbie dolls. Hidden partly behind a tree, the merry old elf grasps a disembodied doll's head with fake blood streaming from its eye sockets.
No one answered the family's door to explain on Tuesday, but Krupnik told the New York Post it was a statement about the commercialization and secularization of Christmas.
``Christmas has religious origins,'' he said. ``It's in the Bible. Santa is not in the Bible. He's not a religious symbol.''
More than a few people passing by the Krupnik and Castellanos brownstone were a little puzzled about the message behind the massacre. There were a few signs the macabre theme is a year-round thing - the facade of the building was covered with leering gargoyles. A statue of Death, hooded and grim-looking, stood outside.
Peter Nardoza, 81, of Manhattan, shook his head and chuckled.
``Sick, sick, sick,'' he said. ``What kind of a world is this that we live in?''
Ronnie Santiago, a deliveryman on his route, speculated that something bad must have happened once to the homeowner at Christmas. A few spectators wondered whether the campy gore would bother children.
The family is far from the only one making an editorial comment this year on how Americans celebrate Christmas, although it may be the only one doing it by depicting Santa Claus as a killer.
Pope Benedict XVI complained this week that Christmas festivities have been ``subjected to a sort of commercial pollution.'' Christian conservatives have launched campaigns to reintroduce a religious component to Christmastime decor in schools and public squares, chiding even President Bush this year for sending out cards wishing supporters a happy ``holiday season.''
But despite the home's gruesome exterior, some visitors got it.
Bucky Turco, 31, of Manhattan, said the display captured how he felt when watching someone costumed as SpoungeBob SquarePants promote products at Rockefeller Center.
``This is brilliant,'' said Turco.
Walter Garofalo, a musician from Brooklyn who wandered by wearing a black bandanna covered in skulls, was awe-struck.
``I wonder if these people would let me use this as our next album cover,'' he said. ``It's perfect!''