So a rich family in downtown NYC has put up a Christmas display. What's the issue?
1. The family is Jewish (non-practicing)
2. The Christmas display showcases a bloody santa, with dagger in hand, surrounded by decapitated Barbie heads hanging from the tree above.
This has caused an uproar. Many people are disgusted, they say its despicable, a total 'no no.' They don't want their kids to see it, and say it can ruin Christmas. "It's stupid" says one quote.
Where should I begin?
First of all, we live in America. This is obviously a use of their First Amendment. While it may be on the gross side of free speech, they are making a statement, and EVERYONE should stand by their right to say it. Otherwise, who'll protect YOUR right to free speech?
Second of all, thousands if not millions of people have Christmas and religious displays in front of their abodes for the Holidays. So, displays are ok so long as the conform to what other people have in terms of Santa, lights, Nativity scenes, and deer? I thought todays youth were AGAINST conformity as a whole. Maybe that movement has already ended.
Third of all, we live in a nation that is becoming MORE religious, not less. With abortion rights STILL up in the air, and the need for the separation of Church and State in actual debate in some places, I think its a good idea for people to put up messages of secularism. In other words, keep your laws off my (bloody Christmas Santa display)/body.
Fourthly, this display is protesting the commercialism of Christmas. Thats the main point. It shows the display owner's cynicism towards what this Holiday has become. So, if you're worried this will ruin your child's perception of Christmas, why not just buy them more gifts? That'll shut them up.
Fifth, I simply cannot believe that people are aghast at this display, when television has much much worse to offer. I recently watched an hour long special on torture on the History Channel. That show disturbed me. But did I ask them not to air it? The point is, there is more violence on TV that kids see every day then there is on that lawn display. In other words: Get over yourselves people.
Finally, I personally agree with that bloody Santa image. Maybe not for the same reasons that it was erected in the first place, a statement against commercialism, but rather because I get annoyed by all the Christmas 'cheer.' I don't celebrate Christmas, and when the hubub about the Holiday reaches a crescendo I often find myself having murderous thoughts. It makes me understand why people would rather live surrounded by others who share their beliefs, rather than those who feel the need to say Merry Christmas to you on the phone whether you celebrate it or not.
I will address the Devil's Advocate before I end this column. "What if someone put up a bloody Menorah?" Good question. However, I am certainly biased. When people trash Judaism, I think Anti-Semitism. However, that being said, I can perfectly understand where some people are coming from. People associate Santa with their childhood, the way I think of a Driedal or perhaps gelt (chocolate coins wrapped in gold.)
So, I won't say that people are dumb for being offended and hurt by this bloody display, because I would be if the table was turned.
But, when the Christmas carols come, and the radio spouts nothing but X-mas songs, all I have to do is remember the image of a bloody murderous Santa, and I can feel all right with the world, 'cause someone in the world is all right with me.