Santa Is White. It’s Ok To Think Homsexuality Is A Sin. Ripping Off Amazon Is Not Honorable. And Die Hard Is A Christmas Movie
This is what passes for news around the holidays but I think there’s a broader an important point underlying these silly stories.
Let’s start with Santa’s race. He’s white. He’s mythical but he’s always been portrayed as whiteand guess what? That’s ok. This notion that black, Asian, Latino or whatever else can’t related to Santa and the values he supposedly represents (beyond presents) is dangerous to a society trying to move beyond race.
Do Martin Luther King Jr or Nelson Mandela have nothing to teach non-black children because they don’t look like him? I find it hard to believe that people advocating for “Santa has to look like me” would find that a palatable notion. I certainly don’t think it’s true.
So if heroic black men can serve as role models for children of all races, why can’t Santa maintain his traditional appearance as a jolly-fat white guy while representing the values of love and sharing?
This is not to say that only white people can’t dress up in Santa suits anytime they want, even if it’s to make fools of themselves. But the image of Santa as we know him in America, while commercialized and more recent than most people may think, does have its roots in northern Europe. This is a fact. True self-esteem can not be built on lies simply because it’s convenient and feels good.
As for Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s comments…they were not hateful. They were not threatening. They were not demeaning. They were simply an accurate recitation of traditional Christian (and just about every other religion’s) teachings on homosexuality. You may not agree with them, and I as a non-religious person don’t, but that doesn’t mean what he said isn’t an accurate reflection of long held beliefs.
Personally I’m glad society in general has gone from treating gays as mentally ill to perfectly normal members of the community in such a relatively short period of time. What I’m not glad we’ve done is created a social standard where we must pretend the past doesn’t exist and that society has always been this way.
Gays have fought long and hard for acceptance in society as a whole. What no one should insist upon is that others be ostracized for not celebrating their sexual orientation. The same behavior gay activists abhor, an intolerance for who they are, is what they are now trying to impose on others.
I hate to break it to people but being gay isn’t the highest value in life. In fact, like everyone’s sexuality, it’s rather uninteresting to most everyone else. Please get over yourselves and grow up.
You should note that Robertson also included straight people who sleep around in his list of people who are sinners and damaging the culture. Not to get too personal but as a non-celibate single man, I’m guessing I was included in that. My reaction? Vast and overwhelming disinterest in his opinion. I have zero interest in what he thinks about me or in seeing him condemned for it. We’d all benefit from gay activists taking a similar attitude.
No matter who you are, there will be people in this world who won’t love you or like the things you do. Accept this and move on. You want people to take a live and live attitude towards you? You better show the same courtesy to them.
Which brings us to Matt Yglesias and Josh Barro arguing that it’s ok to pretend to be a parent to get a discount from Amazon.
Let me say upfront I don’t think this scam is a great moral outrage. If Amazon really cared they’d have some sort of verification system in place. That doesn’t make lying right or noble, it just doesn’t signal to me some sort of decline of society as we know it. People cheat. The world goes on.
My problem is with these two nitwits is they are elevating their dishonesty to some sort of noble action. Yglesias’ original column on it is like a kid who pulled one over on his parents but he’s too stupid to pocket the win. He has to let everyone know how clever and bold he is. Ooooohhhhh…fake baby name! Matty you’re so edgy! And look you outsmarted the big bad corporate behemoth, oh aren’t you the tough guy!
Opening an unlocked door with a big sign on that says “Howdy! Come on in” doesn’t make you a world class jewel thief. In this case bragging about your supposed exploit makes you dishonest AND a schmuck who doesn’t have enough class or common sense to keep your mouth shut about your dishonest activities.
Meanwhile, Barro writes a long column about how scamming a discount is actual the mark of economic realist. Nonsense. If you’re upset that you’re not eligible for a discount from a retailer because you aren’t in their targeted demographic the rationale and honest thing is to shop at retailer who either caters to your demographic or does not price discriminate against you.
That you do not have the decency to either suck up the fact that Amazon didn’t offer you a discount or shop somewhere else, doesn’t elevate your dishonest workaround to acceptable or intellectually praise worthy. You’re a cheat. Worse than that, you’re too stupid to realize that bragging about your cheating makes you look like a fool and diminishes any credibility you have.
Or it should. And that’s what these stories have in common. We are elevating new values, unattached to any morality beyond the power to enforce them through the infliction of social punishment over longstanding societal norms.
You may think that these longstanding societal norms are antiquated and should be replaced but don’t complain when people push-back. One of the biggest myths is that conservatives are the aggressors in the so-called culture wars. From Christmas traditions and expressions of religious faith to family structure and basic honesty, the left is constantly working to rewrite the rules. They have turned calls for tolerance into a campaign of conquest. Too many people who might be predisposed to traditional values laugh off these individual challenges as inconsequential. But as each inch of ground is ceded the territory conquered by the left continues to grow. By the time some find a battle they think worthy of fighting, the war will be lost.
As for Die Hard being a Christmas movie. The science is settled.