I'm no longer Christian, but I was raised a devout Catholic. I grew up with a deep appreciation of the Christmas myth, that a divine creator could care so much about human suffering, imperfection and fervent hope for a better world. The mystery myth of what we called the Incarnation (literally, the "becoming of flesh") countered the notion of an aloof, impersonal and cruel god with a vision of a god who cares personally and deeply about humanity and human dignity, enough to come to transform human nature and offer a way out from a life of futility and tears. The Christian myth at once recognizes the deep imperfection of our societies, our suffering, and yet also affirms our fundamental goodness. God becoming flesh means humanity – all humanity – is worth it.
What all that has to do with the music at WalMart is beyond me.
Here in my town, a popular FM station switched over to all Christmas music, all the time at least a week ago. I usually find the vocal gynmastics and contortions of the "artists" in rotation to be so kitschy as to be unlistenable, but my partner likes the station, so I hear it a bit.
The other day, I heard John Lennon's Christmas song and it put a lump in my throat, given all that's going on.
War? On Christmas?
Let's bring our sons and daughters home, and stop sacrificing them to George Bush's intransigent vanity. Let's do it now.