A Tender Unitarian Christmas II: Yankees and Jews Slapping Norwegians
I like Garrison Keillor. There, I said it. Not everyone on the Chronicles staff agrees. But that is not the point of this yuletide tale.
A fellow editor who shall remain nameless (for job-security reasons) sent me a link to GK the Lesser's latest editorial, "Nonbelievers, please leave Christmas alone." (Apparently, the title-writer did not get the memo from Bill Hybels about "Seekers.") The link was to the Baltimore Sun, and I enjoyed the article very much.
So much so that I thought I would share it with some friends. So I sought the uniform resource locator from the Chicago Tribune, where I normally read GK. And what do you know? Some of the piece is missing.
Some of it is not missing, of course, because there is a there there. The there that is there is stunning enough for the Trib, as it follows up a healthy dose of nerd-bashing with some unvarnished Unitarian excoriation:
If you don't believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn "Silent Night" and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism and we Christians have stood for it long enough.
But here's the part that apparently works in Baltimore but not in the City of Broad Shoulders:
And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write "Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we'll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah"? No, we didn't.
And just to make matters worse, the Baltimore Sun allowed GK to get all Aristotelian with his A and non-A, which clearly is not appropriate for in the town that Billy Sunday couldn't shut down:
Christmas is a Christian holiday—if you're not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don't mess with the Messiah.
Naturally, Jeffery "IDF" Goldberg of the Atlantic let out a Geschrei upon reading GK: "I was pretty sure I didn't enjoy listening to Garrison Keillor even before I read what he had to say about Christmas music."
Across the pond, the Independent's Dominic Lawson pooh-poohed Keillor the "curmudgeon" and (ignoring GK's slights on nerds and Unitarians) naughty-naughty'd him with a rather ominous turn of phrase: "Don't blame all of that on the Jews. Irving Berlin is not the Anti-Christ." In the process, he scolded Christians for trying over the centuries to "de-Jew Jesus" and blamed THAT on . . . ready? . . . "the Roman Emperor Theodosius." Graciously, Lawson left "aside the murky matter of anti-Semitism." I mean, you weren't even thinking about anti-Semitism, were you? You weren't? Not till I brought it up? I didn't bring it up. I clearly said I was "leaving it aside."
Yes, that Babe was both a Jew and God. And no, Christians won't leave either truth aside.
I suddenly have the urge for a powder-milk biscuit.