Thursday, December 13, 2007

How's that War on Christmas going?

A couple of thugs, one tattooed with pictures of Jesus, beat up a guy on a subway train in New York because he wished them a Happy Hanukkah when they offered a greeting of Merry Christmas.

It all began when Adler, his girlfriend, Maria Parsheva, and two other pals boarded the subway at Canal Street bound for Brooklyn and someone in another group wished them "Merry Christmas."

Adler and his pal Angelica Krischanovich responded: "Happy Hanukkah."

One of the group immediately hiked up his sleeve to reveal a tattoo of Christ.

"He said, 'Happy Hanukkah, that's when the Jews killed Jesus,' " said Adler.

The group says that Adler and his group were drunk and taunting them first, of course. No one else has corroborated that part of the story, especially when the primary suspect in the assault already has a hate crime on his record. Sounds like a bunch of thugs just being thugs -- but does anyone else feel a bit nervous that this is the sort of response that knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers are going to think is a good thing?

Celebrate the holidays however you want -- Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Winter Solstice, whatever. Nearly every religious and quasi-religious group has a winter holiday, and the early history of Christianity coopted the Roman winter festival, just like the romans coopted earlier holy days.

No one, ever, has suggested that Christians can't celebrate Christmas with all the religious fervor they can muster. What they don't understand, apparently, is that they can't force everyone else to celebrate in a way that they define.

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