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一句“圣诞快乐”引发的“战争”

更新时间:2016-12-21 10:39:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How the ‘War on Christmas’ Controversy Was Created
一句“圣诞快乐”引发的“战争”

It’s that time of year again, folks. It’s time for the War on Christmas.

又到了一年中的这个时候,伙计们。圣诞之战(War on Christmas)到了。

What is that, you may ask? The short answer: a sometimes histrionic yuletide debate over whether the United States is a country that respects Christianity.

你可能会问,这是什么?简短的答案是:这是发生在圣诞期间、有时显得有点装腔作势的一场争论,讨论美国到底是不是一个尊重基督教的国家。

For the longer answer, keep reading.

想知道更长的答案,请继续往下读。

The idea of a “War on Christmas” has turned things like holiday greetings and decorations into potentially divisive political statements. People who believe that Christmas is under attack point to inclusive phrases like “Happy Holidays” as (liberal) insults to Christianity.

“圣诞之战”这个概念已经把节日问候和装饰之类的事情变成了制造潜在分裂的政治宣言。感到圣诞节正遭受攻击的人认为“节日快乐”(Happy Holidays)等更具包容性的短语是(自由主义者)对基督教的侮辱。

For more than a decade, these debates have taken place mainly on conservative talk radio and cable programs. But this year they also burst onto a much grander stage: the presidential election.

十几年来,这样的辩论主要发生在保守派的广播与电视谈话节目上。但今年它们在总统选举这样一个更大的舞台上活跃起来。

At a rally in Wisconsin last week, Donald Trump stood in front of a line of Christmas trees and repeated a campaign-trail staple.

上周在威斯康星州举行的一次集会上,唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)站在一排圣诞树前面,重申其竞选期间的主要言论。

“When I started 18 months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we are going to come back here some day and we are going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” he said. “Merry Christmas. So, Merry Christmas everyone. Happy New Year, but Merry Christmas.”

“当我在18个月前起步的时候,我在威斯康星州告诉第一批支持我的群众,有一天我们将会回到这里,再次说起‘圣诞快乐’(Merry Christmas),”他说。 “圣诞快乐。所以,大家圣诞快乐。新年快乐,但是,圣诞快乐。”

Christmas is a federal holiday celebrated widely by the country’s Christian majority. So where did the idea that it is threatened come from?

圣诞节是占国家多数的基督教徒普遍庆祝的联邦节日。那么,它在受到威胁的想法是从哪里来的?

What is “The War on Christmas?”

什么是“圣诞之战”?

The most organized attack on Christmas came from the Puritans, who banned celebrations of the holiday in the 17th century because it did not accord with their interpretation of the Bible.

对圣诞节最有组织的攻击来自清教徒,17世纪,他们禁止庆祝这个节日,因为它不符合他们对《圣经》的诠释。

Fast forward 400 years, and the idea of a plot against Christmas gained wide publicity when Fox News promoted a 2005 book by a radio host, John Gibson, that alleged liberal antagonism toward the holiday, according to Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

时间快进到400年后,根据费尔里·迪金生大学(Fairleigh Dickinson University)教授丹·卡西诺(Dan Cassino)的说法,福克斯新闻(Fox News) 推广了一本广播节目主持人约翰·吉布森(John Gibson)2005年的书,声称自由主义者对圣诞节怀有敌意,有人阴谋针对圣诞节这一想法由此得到了广泛宣传 。

Gibson said in an interview that he was “amazed” by the uproar his book caused.

吉布森在接受采访时说,他对自己的书所引起的哗然感到“惊讶”。

He said it primarily focused on an issue that rarely happens anymore: educators and local officials banning nonreligious symbols like Santa Claus or Christmas trees out of a mistaken belief that displaying them violated the Constitution.

他说,他的书主要关注一个已经很少发生的问题:教育工作者和地方官员禁止圣诞老人或圣诞树等非宗教符号的出现,而这是基于一个错误的观念,即它们有违宪法。

Gibson said the book had taken on a life of its own over the years — and that it had never dwelled on the political implications of “Happy Holidays.”

吉布森说,这本书几年来已经形成了自己的影响力,它也根本没有讨论“节日快乐”的政治涵义。

He attributed the firestorm to two things: The book’s take-no-prisoner’s title (“The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought”) and the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

他把这场风暴归因于两件事:这本书毫不留情的标题《圣诞之战:为什么自由主义禁止神圣圣诞节的阴谋比你想的还要糟》(“The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought”),此外就是福克斯新闻主持人比利·奥莱利(Bill O'Reilly)。

“It wasn’t really me. I think it was more Bill, to tell you the truth,” he said. “When Bill made it an issue, it went mega.”

“其实不是我。我觉得更多的是因为比尔,说实话,”他说。“当比尔对它大肆宣传时,它就成了一个大话题。”

Indeed, O’Reilly has returned to the theme of a war on Christmas again and again over the years. In 2012 he told viewers that liberals were “tying the Christmas situation into secular progressive politics” because they wanted “a new America, and traditional Christmas isn’t a part of it.”

的确,多年来奥莱利一次又一次地回到圣诞之战这个话题上。2012年,他对观众表示,自由主义者正在“把圣诞节问题变成世俗的进步派政治”,因为他们想要“一个新美国,而传统的圣诞节不是新美国的一部分”。

That argument became a sweeping shorthand for conservative anxieties, Cassino said.

卡西诺说,这个理由成了保守派的焦虑的简称,无所不包。

“They say the next step after saying ‘Happy Holidays’ is abortion on demand and euthanasia,” he said. “That’s a hell of a slippery slope, but that’s the argument being made.”

“他们说,说‘节日快乐’后的下一步是流产市场化和安乐死,”他说。“那可是个大滑坡,但人们仍以此为理由。”

Is This a Real Thing?

是真的吗?

There is no evidence of an organized attack on Christmas in the United States.

没有证据表明圣诞节在美国受到了有组织的攻击。

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the annual uproar is based on “stories that only sometimes even contain a grain of truth and often are completely false.” He has spent years pushing back against it.

政教分离美国人联合会(Americans United for Separation of Church and State)执行总监巴瑞·W·林恩(Barry W. Lynn)牧师表示,每年都会出现的喧嚣建立在“仅仅是有时候具有一点真实性,通常完全是无稽之谈的故事”的基础之上。他在过去多年中一直对此进行反击。

“This politicizing of the whole issue is mind-boggling to me,” Lynn said, “and it has been for well over a decade.”

“把整个问题政治化这种做法让我觉得难以理解,”林恩说。“而且这种情况已经持续了十好几年了。”

He added, “They see this as some kind of a politically correct effort, but I see it as reasonable to not use Christmas references as just an accommodation of the reality of America.”

他接着说,“他们认为这是某种政治正确的行动,但我认为,不使用提到圣诞节的说法和接受美国的现实一样合理。”

People who believe that Christmas is under attack often blame the American Civil Liberties Union. Earlier this month, the ACLU in Indiana filed a lawsuit on behalf of a resident of Knightstown, Indiana, who objected to a Latin cross displayed atop the town’s official Christmas tree. The cross was removed.

认为圣诞节正在遭受攻击的人常常指责美国公民自由联盟(American Civil Liberties Union,简称ACLU)。本月早些时候,ACLU印第安纳分支代表该州奈茨敦的一名居民提起诉讼。这名居民反对在该镇官方的圣诞树树顶上悬挂拉丁十字架。后来,该十字架被取下。

Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU program on freedom of religion and belief, said his organization has also defended people’s right to engage in Christmas-related activity, including a Pennsylvania inmate who wanted to organize a communal prayer.

ACLU宗教信仰自由计划负责人丹尼尔·马奇(Daniel Mach)表示,他所在的组织也捍卫人们参加圣诞节相关活动的权力,包括宾夕法尼亚州一名犯人的权利。这名犯人想组织一场共同祈祷的活动。

“Christmas celebrations in this country are alive and well,” Mach said. “And as long as the government itself isn’t promoting religious doctrine those celebrations are entirely constitutional.”

“这个国家的圣诞节庆祝活动盛行,”马奇说。“并且只要政府自己不宣传宗教教义,这些庆祝完全符合宪法。”

What does the “war” look like in practice?

这场“战争”在现实中是什么样子?

Many conservative groups have rallied to defend Christmas, lobbying for decorations in public schools or town halls. One group, the American Family Association based in Tupelo, Mississippi, publishes a “Naughty and Nice” list every year to castigate companies it believes are “censoring ‘Christmas.'”

很多保守派团体举行集会,保卫圣诞节,并通过游说,争取装饰公立学校或市政厅。其中一个团体是总部设在密西西比州图珀洛的美国家庭协会(American Family Association),该组织每年都会发布一个“不良与友善”(Naughty and Nice)名单,严厉批评其认为正在“审查‘圣诞节’”的公司。

“There are secular forces in our country that hate Christmas because the word itself is a reminder of Jesus Christ,” the group said on its website. “They want to eradicate anything that reminds Americans of Christianity.”

“我国存在一些世俗力量,它们憎恨圣诞节是因为这个词汇本身就会让人想起耶稣基督,”该团体在自己的网站上说。“它们希望消除会让美国人想起基督教的一切。”

Entries on the 2016 naughty list include Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and Victoria’s Secret. Starbucks has come under fire for several years for seasonal cup designs that emphasize winter weather or social harmony over Christmas greetings.

2016年的不良名单中的上榜企业包括Barnes & Noble、百思买(Best Buy),以及维多利亚的秘密(Victoria’s Secret)。多年来,星巴克(Starbucks)因节日杯具设计强调冬季天气或社会和谐而非圣诞问候而备受抨击。

“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”?

“圣诞快乐”还是“节日快乐”?

The greeting “Happy Holidays” has been in use as a Christmas greeting for more than 100 years. But it has grown in popularity in recent decades as people have tried to be inclusive and sensitive to those of other faiths and the nonreligious.

用“节日快乐”作为圣诞节期间的问候用语已有100多年的历史。但最近几十年,随着人们试图对信仰其他宗教和不信仰宗教的人们表现出包容和善解人意,这句问候语变得更加流行。

The controversy appears to have shifted opinion about the proper greeting. Cassino wrote in the Harvard Business Review this month that the number of people who said they preferred to to hear “Happy Holidays” has decreased sharply in the past 10 years, from 41 percent to 25 percent. “Merry Christmas” remained popular. Indeed, President Barack Obama, a Christian, has frequently uttered the phrase.

相关争论似乎改变了对恰当的问候语的看法。卡西诺本月在《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)中写道,过去十年里,自称更愿意听到“节日快乐”的人数急剧减少,从41%跌至25%。“圣诞快乐”仍颇受欢迎。的确,身为基督徒的贝拉克·奥巴马总统就经常说这句话。

It should be noted that Jews, Muslims and others who do not celebrate Christmas often say they are not offended by a hearty “Merry Christmas.”

应当指出的是,犹太人、穆斯林和不庆祝圣诞节的其他人士常常表示,他们不会因为一句热情友好的“圣诞快乐”而觉得自己受到了冒犯。

So perhaps there is hope for peace on earth, or at least cable television.

因此,或许还是有希望在地球上,或者至少在有线电视上实现和平。

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