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Have Yourself a Moral Little Christmas!
by Leslie Sheridan
December 24, 2004

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Dear Fellow Humans:

At this time of year, more than any other, we are reminded of some of the better characteristics associated with being human: acceptance, charity, compassion, love, selflessness, etc.  This year, we have been especially reminded of “morality” and “family values.”  However, “morality” and “family values” it seems, have been hijacked from what I remember them being as a kid.  

Webster's defines “moral” as: ethical, right behavior, sanctioned or operative of one’s conscience, virtuous and noble.  Mmm ... If Santa and/or God are making a list and checking it twice, the US did not do well last year, and is certainly not doing well on moral values this year either.  

Why has the new version of “family values” circumcised gay rights and a woman’s choice about her own body?  Why does “family” not include everyone, including our whole earth family in every country?  Who would Jesus include?

As a nation, we have neither been ethical nor virtuous.  We began a war last year, which was based on lies.  This war has now killed over 100,000 Iraqis and over 1000 Americans, and worsened poverty as a result of spending on “military might” rather than domestic travesties toward humanity.  

What happened to “thou shalt not kill?”  Are our leaders reading a different Bible than the one I have on my shelf? What if the people killed were their own?  What if they were your family or friends? Then, might the killing cease?

"I witnessed the horror of war, the firefights, the ambushes, the excessive use of force, the abuse of prisoners. Acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role in the military. By putting my weapon down I chose to reassert myself as a human being."

-- Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia

Where do we get this preposterous idea that one must kill people to “win” peace?  Who would Buddha bomb?  Peace is not won through the killing and maiming of humanity, or the destruction of the planet that supports us.  It is won by choosing peace.

Some sit in church and/or temple each week.  Why is it that many churches/temples have remained silent about the killing that the U.S. is doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Sudan, etc., as well as the deaths that occur as a result of poverty and lack of healthcare?  

Some “moral” shepherds preach things like turn the other cheek, love your neighbor as yourself” every week.  Yet during the litany of lies by our government, by our media and by many major corporations, and the killing of human beings, many spiritual leaders have remained silent. (Except of course, those that told their congregations how to vote, namely for the very regime that is committing immoral acts against humanity both here and abroad.)  Spiritual organizations and leaders need not turn the other cheek on morality.

News flash: God is not a Republican or a Democrat!  It is time for “moral” leaders to speak up and act to change the behaviors they see happening in our world that are diametrically opposed to what they preach every week.  Otherwise, they are hypocrites, and religion becomes hypocrisy.  And, we are hypocrites if we keep pretending to espouse the high ideals of humanity, while at the same time destroying it.  

If we do not get angry about man’s inhumanity toward man, it is time for a major conscience check!  Without conscience, we are less than human.  We must then turn our anger into positive action as God’s (or Great Spirit’s) hands and feet on the planet!  To do this, many must drop their rationalizations, denial, disengagement, financial attachments to blood-stained money, and their apathy.  We are the ones we have been waiting for!  There is no “they!”

Someday at Christmas men won’t be boys,
playing with bombs like kids play with toys. 
Someday at Christmas there’ll be no wars,
When we have learned what life’s really worth,
they’ll be peace on earth. 

– Someday at Christmas, recorded by Stevie Wonder

We are complicit in murder and destruction if we are funding, working for, taking money from, or buying products from any person or organization that is helping drive an agenda of global US hegemony, genocide, poverty for some and kickbacks for wealthy. We are murderers on both a physical and spiritual level.  Denial, rationalizations and apathy will not erase this fact.

This holiday season, let’s ask Santa and God for a revived conscience!


P.S.  For those of you who might think it inappropriate to write about such things during the holidays, there are Holiday Carols for the “Moral” Majority on below for your holiday “enjoyment.”  Envision your own children and family while singing them.

Have Yourself a Moral Little Christmas                        
A Black Parody by Leslie Sheridan                                 
© December 2004                                         
Have yourself a moral little Christmas,                   
Do you part, go fight!                                                
From now on,                                        
the body count will be out of sight.                       
Have yourself a moral little Christmas,                        
Bash the nearest gay,                                      
From now on,                                        
your conscience will be miles away.                    
Here we are in Patriot days,                                
with less rights than years before.                              
“Faith”-based friends who are dear to us                       
making money from the gore.                                  
Through the wars we all will kill together                          
As your hate allows.                                      
Hang the freshest corpse upon the highest bough.        

And have yourself a moral little Christmas now.

I'll Be Gone for Christmas                               
A Black Parody by Leslie Sheridan                                  
© December 2004                                         
I'll be gone for Christmas                                 
You can’t count on me                                         
You’ll have woe as I meet foe                                 
In endless killing sprees                              
Christmas Eve will find me
Where no love light gleams                             
I'll be dead by Christmas                              

I’ll see you in your dreams   

Deck the Halls
A Black Parody by Leslie Sheridan                                  
© December 2004                                         
Deck the hall with urn of Holly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
In the name of wartime folly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our black apparel
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
Cease all sounds of Yule-tide carols
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
See the fallen youth before us.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Grab a gun and join the chorus.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Follow me in moral measure.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
While I kill off all our treasures.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Fast away the conscience passes.
Fa -la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Hail the War Chief, lads and lasses
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Kill we joyous, in denial.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la 
Heedless of the human trial.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
I’ll Be Home for Christmas                               
A Black Parody by Leslie Sheridan                                  
© December 2004                                        
I'll be home for Christmas
With my new fake knee                                                    
I’ll have new wheelchair in tow                                  
And horror you can’t see                                  
Christmas Eve will find me
Where a pistol gleams                                     
I'll be dead on Christmas                                          
To end my nightmare dreams

Black Christmas
A Black Parody by Leslie Sheridan
© December 2004
I'm dreaming of a black Christmas
With lots of caskets in a row
Where the fresh tears glisten
to hear silence in the snow.
I'm dreaming of a black Christmas
with acts of “military might”
where bombing is moral and Right
And denial reaches new heights.
I'm dreaming of a black Christmas
May poverty not be your fight
May your days be moral and Right
And may all of your corpses be white.

Leslie Sheridan is a poet, activist, and consultant living in Sonoma, CA. She has been writing a daily online peace and justice newsletter almost every day since George W. Bush began bombing Iraq in March of 2003. To subscribe to her free newsletter, The Carpe Diem Voice, send an email with “P&J” and you’re the state in which you live to