Wait, don’t answer that question.
When I sent in my article on putting Christ back into Christmas to the Harper and Anthony papers, also sent it into the Wichita Eagle as well. After hearing absolutely no response what-so-ever from them, I simply resigned myself to the idea that they were a big media conglomerate and had stifled free speech……or it was just over the word limit. Either way I wasn’t expecting it to get printed.
Then comes the Sunday edition. I don’t actually get the Eagle so my uncle (thanks Clint!) sent the family an email informing us all that I made it onto the editorial page. It turns out that they printed my article with very few edits, and even included a picture. Which is really strange because I didn’t send them one. Of course, I had to go check out the online version of the article.
Now for the ignorant buffoon part. One of the developing features of the series of tubes known as the “internets” is the practice of having a comments section following things like online versions of newspaper articles, blogs, Youtube videos and other questionable contributions to the internet. While in certain circumstances it allows for some interesting dialogue on a particular topic, in the newspaper realm it simply functions as an amplifier for any moron with too much time and a computer.
And of course, I had to read the comments attached to my article. Keep in mind that in the grand scheme of my theology and political views, this letter ranks somewhere between singing Kum By Yah and eating freshly baked bread. It’s not exactly controversial and the main point was to come together in spite of differences.
So naturally, the comments turned into a naked display of hatred, anger, theological ranting, scripture quoting, atheism touting and all around contempt for other human beings. You know, uplifting stuff.
And of course, there were the expected pot shots at me. My favorite so far is the following:
“wichitabeacon wrote: Alan you are an ignorant buffoon. Christ has NOTHING to do with Christmas. He was not born then, it was a pagan winter solstice celebration that the Christians used to co-opt the locals. Christ has Easter, that one is his with adequate documentation. Lets give Christmas back to the humanists who understand that piece and and good will toward man does not require a divine inspiration.
GO GO SANTA”
Two observations: 1) I think you mean “Peace” and not “Piece”, unless you were referring to pie and 2) making the argument for a humanist ethic of “good will toward man” carries a little more weight when you don’t start by calling someone an “ignorant buffoon”. But hey, what do I know, I’m just an ignorant buffoon.
Ahhhh, tis the season to be merry!