For some reason, many movement conservatives have decided that Christian celebrations are no longer complete without bizarre paeans to their own religious vanity. With more than 6 months until the War on Christmas hysteria can be drummed up again, the National Review seems to have decided that Easter is a worthy target as well, and the infamous Charlotte Allen should do the honors.
The gist of the her complaint goes something like this: “It’s just awful that cooking magazines don’t take time out to bemoan the crucifixion, am I right, ladies?” Oy. Veh.
What’s always so baffling in these sorts of articles is how these writers manage to turn the choice of people or businesses to be more ecumenical in their holiday celebrations into, as Allen calls it, a “campaign to force everyone to say, “Happy Holiday!” The very idea that there is such a sinister campaign is, of course, absurd, but the paranoia and simple incapacity to distinguish between a voluntary lack of partisan religiosity and some sort of totalitarian thought campaign its what’s troubling. And, amongst religious conservatives, all too common.
Statements like the following never fail to stun me with their sheer obliviousness:
Still, it is sad and disconcerting that the oldest and holiest of Christian festivals is simply ignored by the media (and almost everyone else), and that Christians have acquiesced to the near-disappearance of their highest feast day from public consciousness.
But of course, the only reason “Christians” have “acquiesced” is that they apparently, voluntarily, aren’t as interested in promoting their religious observances as if it were a QVC product. And so what? If, on the other hand, lots of Christians decide that they don’t like the state of affairs that so troubles Allen, they are perfectly free to make a big fuss out of the fact that they are Christians celebrating Easter. The point is, it’s a choice, as it should be, not the unfolding of a conspiracy.
Allen concludes by quoting St. Augustine of Hippo: “We are an Easter people.” Who is such a person, though? In our society: whoever wants to be. But if someone isn’t an Easter person, who is Allen, exactly, to tell them that they must be?
Of course, head-slappers are something of an Allen specialty. She’s the same writer who concluded that, jumping off the idea that women were stupid enough to love Obama, that women are in general “kind of dim” and maybe should just get back to what they do best: birth babies and clean houses. She denied that women were a historically oppressed minority (though to be fair, she’s right about the “minority” part being wong). She declared in 2005 that writer Michael Lewis was correct that “Katrina was the best thing to happen to New Orleans.”
This latest article is a worthy addition to that record: a profoundly foolish ode to self-obsession. Her religious practices, her observance are what she looks for everywhere she goes… and society be damned if it is not made in her image.
HT: Dispatches from the Culture Wars