Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The War on New Year

Just when I thought I could take a break from the Christmas Culture War I am hit by a new wave of religious bias: “Happy New Year.”

Every Wal-Mart greeter, “Happy New Year.” Every Kroger cashier, “Happy New Year.” Every postal worker, “Happy New Year.” Happy New Year, Happy New Year, Happy New Year. But whose new year is it? I’m a Jew. My New Year is Rosh HaShanah in the fall. Wishing me Happy New Year now either means you are very late or incredibly early. Either way it is insulting.

I walked into my Wal-Mart Super Store this morning and the elderly greeter wished me a Happy New Year. I just couldn’t let it go by.

“Do you know whose New Year falls on January 1st?” I said angrily. “Do you have any idea how you are being manipulated into denigrating America and American values? Do you?” She didn’t, so I told her. “It is the Shinto New Year, Shogatsu. Are you Shinto? Do I look Japanese? No. So stop foisting Shogatsu on me. I for one will not shop at Wal-Mart during this Shinto season for this very reason.”

I walked out without buying a thing; I urge you to do the same. And not just at Wal-Mart, but also at any store that is trying to trick you into celebrating Shogatsu.

Of course you may be thinking that January 1st is also the secular new year, but this is a scam. Calling January 1st “New Year’s Day” is a slap in the face to every believing Christian no less so than saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” The really special thing about January 1st is that it is the anniversary of Jesus’ circumcision.

Jewish boys (and Jesus was Jewish because his mother was Jewish, though the religion of his Father is in doubt) are circumsized eight days from their birthday. Count eight days from December 25th and you get January 1st. So again Christians are being robbed of their religion in this country, and we who are not Christian are forced to celebrate a holy day that is not ours (unless, of course you are Shinto in which case, “Happy Shogatsu). Outrageous. If I want to celebrate a circumcision I’ll celebrate my own (May 3rd for those who want to send gifts).

We have got to put the foreskin back in New Year’s. How should Christians celebrate Jesus Circumcision Day? The same way we Jews celebrate circumcision: with parties, gifts, white fish, and, to make it uniquely Christian, the ceremonial cutting off of the tip of the Christmas Tree.

So, I am taking stand, and I am asking you to join with me. No more “Happy New Year.” This country was founded on religious freedom and I can’t stand to see it weakened by godless Darwinians who hide the true spirit of the holy day behind the hoopla of a dropping a giant ball (looking suspiciously like the yellow Happy Face at Wal-Mart) on Times Square. No more. Happy Shogatsu!

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