It seems that every once in a while, I feel compelled to write a blog article that ticks off many of my “own kind”. (By “own kind” I mean generally conservative, Bible-believing Christ followers.) This is one of those posts. So here I go….
I’m really quite weary of the annual hullaballoo about how the evil atheists/secularists/liberals/Democrats/communist pinkos are trying to remove “Christ from Christmas”. Quite frankly, it has been going on all my life as far as I can tell. (As exhibit one, I would use the long-debated use of “X-Mas” in place of “Christmas” which actually has quite a logical and historical explanation which one can find HERE, but which, I’m regularly told means nothing because today’s “X-Mas” users really are still trying to take “Christ” out of “CHRISTmas”. But I digress…) The skirmish became a “war” when FOX News
talking, er, shouting head, John Gibson wrote a book entitled “The War on Christmas“ which became a seasonal best seller. In it, he used alleged and real incidents of attempts by whackjobs, nut cases and actual enemies of the Gospel who are trying to remove the religious significance from the “holyday”.
But sometimes, in my always humble opinion, we just make ourselves look like fools. At least I hope it is that and not something more ethically distasteful like trying to exploit a non-controversy for the purpose of fundraising. Speaking of that, here’s the one that lit my fuse today.
Citizenlink.com sent out the hot story of how the U.S. Government is forbidding our elected officials from saying “Merry Christmas“. You can find the link to the story HERE. If you haven’t been seeing it on the conservative news networks and right-wing blogosphere, basically their contention is that a memo written and distributed this month which reminds members of the U.S. House of Representatives that the law prohibits the use of their free mail (at least free to them, it’s actually paid for by our tax dollars) privileges, also known as “franking” to wish people “Merry Christmas” (or Happy Hannukah or Happy New Year or Blessed Kwanza or whatever). This is sold as yet another overt attempt to prove that Christianity is under attack from the dark forces of the radical left and we must stand and defend our holiday or Christianity is doomed.
OK, OK…just so you know that I’ve not turned pagan and am secretly part of a conspiracy to turn Christmas back to a Winter Solstice event, let me say it here and now: “Jesus is the Reason for the Season!” (Yep, I said it. Burrell Cliche’-Fest is alive and well. Now may I never say that tired, old phrase again. Seriously.)
But FRANKLY (pun intended), the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives has a policy against wishing constituents “Merry Christmas” is NOT an attack on Baby Jesus. You have to read the whole policy. In a nutshell, it is to prevent (additional) frivilous use of this “perk” enjoyed by the many millionaires who stroll our halls of Congress from sending out even MORE junk mail everytime there is a holiday of any kind — be it Christmas or birthdays or weddings or retirement or Eid or deaths or divorces or any other cause for celebration. All such franked mail is included — not just Christmas. Can you imagine how many millions of dollars and millions of tons of junk mail could be sent out every stinking holiday if they had this privilege? While we amass debt at breath-taking rates every single second, this is just one small area in which the government has shown a bit of restraint. If our beloved congress people want to congratulate their constituents and wish them “Happy Everything“, they are not forbidden to do so. Just don’t do it on the taxpayers dime! Use that big ol’ fat campaign chest you’re sitting on (and which they can keep personally when they retire.) I could not care less if Sue Myrick (R-NC) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) wish me a Merry Christmas. It’s not like they personally sign them and include their family newsletter or anything.
What really irritates me about this (and actually, there are SEVERAL things that irritate me), is that it is cynical ploy to get Believers all worked up and fuming and making declarations about the godless Democrats and so on and anyone who has a room temperature IQ and will take 10-minutes of reading time will see that this is completely bogus. It makes us look like fools to those who DO take the time to find out what is really going on. We can’t scream about wanting a more fiscally-responsible government and they pitch a fit when they spend tons of cash on sending us meaningless greeting cards. It’s absurd. The 1st Amendment is alive and well and this is not some evil conspiracy to silence people of faith. Far too few people actually read beyond the headline and thus draw (the desired) opinion that this is a religious liberty issue. It’s simply dishonest to make this policy about the 1st Amendment.
Here’s the real deal… we’ve already destroyed much, if not most, of the religious signficance of Christmas. Seriously, celebrating the birth of the Christ child is a side-bar at best in a month filled with gross materialism and consumerism, gluttony,indebtedness, insane busyness and for many too much booze. Sure, the 3x per year church attenders get their fix of religiousity at the annual Christmas Eve Communion Service in which millions of people participate in a sacred church ordinance unworthily. Sure, many of us set a nativity set on top of the TV or the bar. Yep, we drop a buck in the red kettle or send a shoebox to an Ethiopian child. But when it comes right down to it, I don’t think Jesus feels honored by the way we celebrate the alleged (and probably inaccurate) date of His birth. He probably feels sad.
Whether or not there is a “War on Christmas” we know that there is a spiritual warfare that happens every day of the year. It began in heaven, took root in Eden and will not be settled until the end of this age. Everyday the genuine believer should face spiritual opposition if they are seeking to live Biblically and authentically. Scripture tells us that the Gospel will be a constant offense to the non-believer. It has the stench of damnation for those who the condemned. It is a Sword and not a dove to those who reject the Bible, repentance, Jesus and grace. That’s the real “war” we face.
We don’t need additional evidence that this country is headed to hell in a handbasket. It is evident all around us. So let’s quit making a big deal out of non-issues and make the Christmas season a celebration of the Gospel by sharing it with someone, not shouting at them.