Friday, December 07, 2007

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Las Vegas Christmas ornamentMore than ten years ago, I wrote an article called "A Moral Case for Christmas Commercialism," which appeared in a good number of newspapers around the country, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Las Vegas Review Journal, Kansas City Star, and others.

I slightly revised the article in 2003 and it appeared in a few more newspapers, eventually landing on this weblog in 2004, as one of my first posts.

Every year about this time, two things happen: (1) the number of visitors to that post skyrockets and (2) I get an invitation to talk about the article from one or more radio talk show hosts, usually in distant cities. It's one of those gifts that keep on giving.

Earlier today, a program called "State of Nevada" on KNPR-FM in Las Vegas broadcast an interview with me, which was recorded on Wednesday afternoon. The show was split into three principal segments, described on the show's web page like this:

We'll talk with political science professors Ted Jelen of UNLV and Jim Richardson of UNR about Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech, and the role of religion in choosing a president. Then we'll speak with the director of the Western Folklife Center and two cowboy poets about the upcoming National Cowboy Poetry festival in Elko.

Then: We'll discuss holiday commercialism with the star of a new documentary "What Would Jesus Buy?" The Rev Billy Talen and his Stop Shopping Choir crossed the country calling on Americans to curb their consumption in the film that opens in Las Vegas Friday.
Apparently I was the "counterpoint" to the Reverend Billy, who is no stranger to me. (He was a guest performance artist at the Virginia Film Festival in 2003, and I have posted a video of his wonderful First Amendment protest in New York earlier this year.)

You can listen to the interview here.

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