As you may have read on the internet, there is a poem making the rounds entitled “Merry Christmas” and containing the usual rant of the religious right about how “persecuted” the poor babies are by not being allowed to impose their religion on everyone at this time of year. Below is the poem I wrote to reply to it (as well as the original “Christian” poem that inspired it, which follows). Please feel free to circulate it to all your friends.
'Tis the end of December and once more this year,
Religious conservatives are bending our ear
Pretending they’re martyrs but using their votes
To shove their religion down everyone’s throats.
“Not a Christian was praying”? That I very much doubt!
You can pray almost anywhere, indoors and out.
You can pray in your church, in your home, in your car,
You can pray on TV, on a phone, at a bar!
You can pray in a chat room, preach your faith far and wide
You can wear your Christian crosses with pride
You can print magazines, or email any place
To tell everyone of “salvation and grace”.
You can show baby Jesus on your lawn in a manger
You can shout “Merry Christmas” to a friend or a stranger
You can send Christmas cards to through the mails far and near
As millions of Christians do quite freely each year.
You can sing Christmas carrols in churches and halls
And if the owners invite you, you can sing them in malls
I love to hear carolers singing to please us
Even though I don’t believe in your Jesus!
But what you can’t do in this land of the free
Is impose your beliefs on him, her or me!
Or use public places **ALL **our taxes have paid for
To push your own faith – that is not what they’re made for!
So what should the teacher be expected to do?
Impose Christ on atheist, Muslim and Jew?
So what if the stores say “Happy Holidays” to all?
Is it only good Christians who shop at their mall?
I know that to Christians this time of the year
Is supposed to mark the birth of their Saviour dear
(But a fact that is old, oft-repeated and worn
Is that nobody knows what date Jesus was born).
So I wish you Merry Christmas my Christ-loving friend
In the new year I wish you peace and joy without end.
Go to Church Christmas Day, worship just as you please
But remember to be thankful when down on your knees
That under our laws ALL believers are free
With Christians no worse and no better than me.
Here for reference purposes is the original poem circulating on the Internet:
Twas the week before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a " Holiday ".
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, cheques and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe’s the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penney’s and Sears
You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-is-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate “Winter Break” under your “Dream Tree”
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS,
Not Happy Holiday !