The holy rollers are getting out their Bibles and thumping them hard. They've been on the cell phone with The Great Lord, and he's apparently not real happy with getting the boot from the annual holiday hootenanny in Balboa Park.
No longer will it be called Christmas on the Prado, a hog-wild beerbust to honor lil' Baby Jesus. Now it will be called “Balboa Park December Nights,” giving it all the spirituality of an ice skating show at Sea World.
The people who organize this shindig swear that the name change has nothing to do with the religious implications of “Christmas,” which, of course, no one believes.
Dropping Christmas from the title of the holiday fest is seen as a major sign of Armageddon by every preacher east of the 805. On this one, they've got plenty of people on their side, including all the guys who voted for Bush because they're sick of them int-a-leck-tuals and the soccer Moms who get all their news from Oprah.
They all agree that this is another shocking example of political correctness run amok. Soon you won't be able to praise God in the Pledge of Allegiance or root for the Redskins, and that means we're already on the boarding ramp for the river Styx.
It's easy to agree with the thumpers that this whole political correctness thing is getting out of control. Heck, it's getting to the point ya' can't make one good crippled lesbian joke without some righteous suburbanite wanting you burned at the stake.
But this Balboa Park hubbub is not about political correctness. Political correctness is reminding your neighbor that it's uncool to call the bartender a “faggot.” Political correctness is deciding that it may not be wise to make a comment about your secretary's hooters, no matter how impressive they may be.
This holiday spit-down doesn't have squat to do with political correctness. It's all about public agencies staying out of the religion game, which anybody who didn't vote for Pat Robertson for president might agree is a generally good thing. It's one of the fundamentals of this country, which the thumpers would know if they hadn't skipped social studies classes to bake sugar-coated crucifixes for the holiday dance.
See, the U.S. is not a Christian nation. This may shock some thumpers, but it's true.
The Puritan zealots who founded this country knew that introducing religion into government in anyway was really bad ju-ju. And in those days, bad ju-ju meant hundreds of years of slaughter and general mayhem, with an emphasis on mass killings and witch burning.
So they made the big move to keep religion out of politics, the very thing that separates us from, say, the Taliban. It's called separation of church and state, and boy does that bug the thumpers, who feel we should all be singing hymns at City Council meetings.
The thumpers just can't understand why putting a cross on Mt. Soledad bugged so many people. But one thing is for sure-none of the Holy Rollers want a 20-foot Star of David planted on Mt. Soleded.
That's why it's better for government and public agencies not to get involved in the whole religion business. As soon as they endorse one, they screw someone else. If you want to turn a parade into a tribute to the Miracle in the Manger, you're just flipping the bird at all of the Festivus and Pagan Watusi supporters.
Unfortunately for the thumpers, the courts tend to agree with this wacko position. Judges strike God from the Pledge of Allegiance and remove crosses from public lands because they're following a lil' thing called the law-not because they're getting lap dances from the Dark Lord, as the thumpers believe.
Under the law, everyone is free to slaughter wild beasts and sacrifice goats to honor whichever holiday season tradition they prefer. But public agencies should stay out of it. That's how it works.
And, man, that really pisses off the thumpers. They wrap themselves up in the flag and call the wackos “un-American,” when in fact it's the thumpers arguing against the very principles at the root of the country's political structure. To them, the holidays are about paying homage to the Miracle in the Manger and they really don't really give a damn about Buddhists, Muslims, atheists and all those other heathens.
On at least one level, it's easy to feel sorry for the holiday fest folks, and not just because they seem to be entertainment handicapped. When it comes down to it, they did the right thing, a wee detail that is lost in all the PC jokes. In the real world, it's not a bad thing to show a little sensitivity to people who may not say their Hail Marys every night.
But the thumpers say Christmas is ruined. In protest, organizers of the tree-lighting ceremony yanked the Christmas tree from the annual event, which right there destroys the whole ambiance. After all, how can you salute the Baby Jesus without a well-decorated pine tree?
Now all that is left for traditional holiday revelry is fellowship, love and Pottery Barn gift certificates, and that's no fun.