Shortly after he graduated high school, my son told me that he wished to join the military.
At first, I was taken by surprise. I never expected him to make such a bold decision. Of course, I love my son, but he's always been particularly weak and pathetic, and I knew that basic training would eat him alive. But, as every parent knows, sometimes you have to let your child make their own choices.
"Which branch?" I asked, trying to sound supportive. "Army? Navy? Air Force?"
My son just laughed, shook his head, and said, "No, Dad. I would never join one of those. After all, you know how much I hate things like honor, discipline, and pushups. I was thinking of joining a brand new branch of the military. A branch where I don't ever have to risk my life. A branch that's been specifically designed so that I can feel like I've served my country while doing as little as humanly possible."
And just like that, my son signed up to be a Social Justice Warrior.
It seemed fine at first. He joined at a time when our nation was more or less at peace. His basic training involved little more than perfecting his passive aggressive Facebook posts and starting sentences with the phrase, "Well, actually…" I still remember how excited he was when he called home to recite from memory his particular unit's updated version of the Rifleman's Creed. "This is my tumblr blog!" he shouted into the phone, "There are many like it, but this one is mine!"
Soon, though, things took a turn for the worse. After he came back from his first tour in the Hashtag Wars, I could see that he was changing. The glimmer in his eyes faded away, as did the spark in his smile. He wasn't sleeping the way he used to, and I would often catch him gazing out into nothingness with a thousand-yard stare while repeatedly uttering the words, "Comment section. We forgot about the Comment Section. We lost so many good men in the Comment Section."
Times were hard, but I knew he'd bounce back. I didn't know much about the SJWs, but I was convinced that things would be fine and that my son would go off to war, become a hero, and come home to run a major shrimping company alongside a legless drunk.
But then, the worst happened.
On Monday morning, I walked past my son's room thinking of how I made him clean it up and make his bed before he left. I always believed that a clean bedroom was the best thing a boy could have upon coming back from war. As I passed the doorway and headed to my own room, the doorbell rang. I walked down the stairs, taking one more glance into my son's room, and opened the front door. I was greeted by two men wearing uniforms and stern faces. I dropped my morning cup of coffee as they reached out their hands, offering their condolences as they presented me with a folded American flag in the wake of such tragic news.
My greatest fears were realized: My son had died in the War on Christmas.
When the officers left, I sat there on the front steps of my porch and openly wept, something my SJW son had informed me men should do more often. I wept for myself, I wept for my son, and I wept for his high school sweetheart Esther, whom he had promised to marry upon his triumphant return from the war. They were to be wed in a world free from Christmas' tyrannical reign. A world in which all holidays were celebrated equally. Sadly, that day would never come, and Esther would have no choice but to continue having her own religious holiday ignored while being forced to celebrate every Christmas by seeing a movie and eating Chinese food with her family.
I was told that this year's battles were worse than ever. Reports show that in Trump's America, Christmas Fanatics have grown stronger with every tweet The Donald sends. I thought of my son out there in the vanguard, tweeting things like "Sure, Kwanzaa was made up. But if you think about it, all holidays are made up." But it was all to no avail. My son's idealism was no match for Christmas, and in the end, he was overpowered by a sultry, lady-leg lamp shade and reruns on A Christmas Story on TBS.
I knew it would be hard to carry on after the loss of a son, but it's made all the more difficult by the constant, nagging reminder that the War on Christmas is far from over.
I was out today, buying knick-knacks at a dollar store because my office hosts a white elephant gift exchange and I hate literally everyone I work with. As my transaction at the register wrapped up, the cashier turned to me with a taunting smile and said, "Merry Christmas."
"No," I said, my hands clenched around my dollar store shopping cart. "My son did not die for your Santa. When you speak to me, you make damn sure you wish me a 'Happy Holidays.'"
The cashier and I proceeded to get into a twenty minute fistfight.
I've recently submitted an application to be a Social Justice Warrior. It's my responsibility to pick up where my son left off, and we can no longer allow our sons, daughters, and non-binary kids to fight in a war our generation helped to create.
So for all the other parents out there, I have to ask: When will it end? How many more of our children must die before we finally put an end to the War on Christmas?