Oops. El Presidente and Laura sent out 1.4 million Christmas cards (estimated cost of postage alone = $518,000) that wished their supporters NOT a "merry Christmas" but a godless "happy holidays."
According to today's WashPost, the mullahs are up in arms over this incredible lapse. They've been working hard to convince everyone that there's this big liberal plot against Christmas, and here's El Presidente himself serving the devil!
"This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Bush "claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one," said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it."
The mullahs are nothing if not intolerant. They demand obedience. But what are they really asking of us?
Say "Christmas," they insist. Say it morning, noon, and night. Advertize "Christmas Sale" in your store circulars. Put "Christ" back into WonderBras, reduced for quick sale!
But ... and by the way, O my brethren ... the meaning of "Christmas" brings a little baggage of its own for us Southern Protestants out here. "Christmas" means literally "the [Catholic] Mass of Christ." "Mass," incidentally, signifies the Catholic church rite by which the body and blood of Christ is literally given to believers to eat and drink.
So let's all say this in unison, to satisfy the mullahs: "Merry Catholic ritual in which we eat Christ's flesh and drink his blood." And don't forget to take home extra eggnog for your Christmas entertaining!
What's wrong, again, with saying "Happy Holidays"? Any fool can plainly see that "holiday" meant originally "holy day." It's Catholic too, naturally, but without all the gore of the Mass. If you're really an evangelical Protestant (as you claim to be), you'll probably cavil a bit at the Catholic trappings of that greeting too.
So what's a rigid Protestant mullah to do? Maybe we should invent our own new greeting: "May the commemoration of the Birth of Christ signal the takeover of the American culture by the raving, intolerant tyrants of the Radical Right." You can make it look festive with some garland and red ribbon.
Yeah, that's the ticket!