Christmas in Australia comes with its own suite of unique sounds: the sizzle of the BBQ; the moist metallic twang of someone’s 20th tinnie being cracked open at midday; the manic screams of kids with mullets and undiagnosed ADHD playing surprisingly violent games of backyard cricket. For me, though, there’s one sound that means Christmas is truly here: the furious typing of red-faced and out-of-breath uncles commenting “IT’S ILLEGAL TO SAY ‘CHRISTMAS’ NOW” on the Facebook posts of their highly embarrassed relatives.
For what seems like decades, conservatives in this country have been railing at length against a concerted ‘war on Christmas’ being brazenly and doggedly fought by the PC police. Their complaining must be working because, so far, Christmas still gets two national public holidays and police haven’t yet been given extrajudicial powers to throw anyone who says ‘Merry Christmas’ into the slammer without a trial.
It’s a farcical annual concoction of confected outrage that centres around the horrifying fact that some places will occasionally – of their own volition – attempt to be accommodating by using a religion-agnostic holiday greeting. Nonetheless, it gets trotted out every year by conservative papers and their columnists with a level of seriousness that doesn’t at all reflect the reality of how it’s dumb as shit. It’s laughable and it should be laughed at.
Greens senator Nick McKim, not one to shy away from taking the piss, did his part in the War against the War on the War on Christmas with this succinct holiday message, directed at ultra-conservative Liberal Party senator and possible necromancer Eric Abetz:
You might recall that McKim got embroiled in a similar imbroglio around Easter time, after a similarly extremely obvious joke caused at least one Daily Mail writer to hyperventilate uncontrollably:
Treating staff to halal-certified holiday eggs and warmed non-denominational cinnamon flavoured geometrically decorated seasonal fruit buns. pic.twitter.com/0xSr7doxFO
— Nick McKim (@NickMcKim) April 12, 2017
Unsurprisingly, the same crowd that believe that the burqa should be banned have not been silent in insisting that avoiding using the words ‘Christmas’ or ‘Easter’ in a tongue-in-cheek fashion is a violent infringement on religious freedoms.
Andrew Bolt, the scowliest man in the universe, didn’t mince his words, ejaculating a brief post onto his blog with the not-at-all sensational headline ‘NICK McKIM DESTROYS CHRIST FOR CHRISTMAS‘. RIP Christ, completely destroyed by a Facebook post. Gone but not forgotten.
In traditional Bolt fashion, his take on it misses the point so spectacularly you have to wonder whether he was aiming for it at all:
Greens Senator Nick McKim is actually proud to strip Christ from Christmas. So he’s not just Christophobic but a cultural vandal. I can’t wait to see him try to take the Islam out of Ramadan, or is only one religion to be shown such disrespect?
Bolt might almost have a point if Ramadan, like Christmas, was recognised and celebrated as a national holiday in Australia even though it’s a religious observance and we are a secular country. Considering only roughly 50% of the population self-identifies as Christian, it’s not that surprising that Christmas would be somewhat divorced from its religious significance. Bonus points to Bolt for attempting to tack ‘-phobic’ onto the end of something in the hopes of it carrying the same weight as ‘homophobic’ or ‘transphobic’. Not quite how it works, mate.
Treasurer Scott Morrison was similarly incensed, taking to Facebook to describe either all of the Greens or just specifically those in the picture as “muppets“:
The Greens are actually opposed to Christmas! For many millions of Australians Christmas is a very spiritual time of year and central to their religious faith. For Members of Parliament to treat this important religious occasion with such disrespect is as offensive as it is disappointing.
Remember old mate from the Daily Mail who had a tizzy about the hot-cross buns tweet? You’ll be pleased to know the exact same guy is back in fine form with a nearly identical article about this Facebook post. He even took the time to rehash his prior piece, including this baffling series of sentences:
‘Treating staff to halal-certified holiday eggs and warmed non-denominational cinnamon, flavoured, geometrically decorated seasonal fruit buns,’ Senator McKim told his followers.
The Tasmanian senator’s spokesman Patrick Caruana confirmed in April was a joke about political correctness but he declined to say which brand the chocolates were.
Tell us what brand of bloody chocolates they were, Patrick, you politically correct fuck.
McKim dealt with criticism of the post with dignity and grace, by which I of course mean ‘more shitposting’.
In response to the criticism from Bolt and Morrison, McKim said that “Andrew Bolt is as good at humour as he is at not being a huge racist” and that he “won’t take lectures in religious harmony from Scott Morrison, who once told his Liberal colleagues they should exploit fears about Muslim immigration for political gain.”
Well fair enough. Happy holidays, everyone.