War on Christmas?

Some insist it’s the “War on Christmas.”

In some places of business, in some schools, in some government offices, saying “Merry Christmas” may bring you a scowl or even a reprimand.

“Happy Holidays” is the politically correct thing to say.

Some of my co-religionists sputter back, “But Jesus is the reason for the season!” and then shout “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” with the same anger and zeal as Lenin’s Marxist mobs shouted “Peace, Bread Land” or “All power to the Soviets!” . . . right before then gunned down the Tsar and his entire family in a basement.

I’m a Christian. So, I say Merry Christmas. If you want to reply “Happy Holidays,” “Good Solstice,” “Happy Hanukkah,” or even “Bah! Humbug!” I don’t care.

But I know that Jesus Christ was more likely to have been born in the spring, when shepherds – those guys mentioned so prominently in Luke’s Nativity account – were in the hills with the newborn lambs. And, I know history tells us that the Roman Catholic Church likely latched upon a number of pagan celebrations of that time when the light ends its retreat and the days begin to grow longer.

The symbolism was perfect for the spreading Christian church. Light. Hope. Rebirth. Community. Charity. 

That fact doesn’t lessen the holiday for me. Squinting one’s eyes shut and sticking fingers in one’s ears to avoid the truth about the holiday’s origins, though, well that takes some of the enjoyment out of it.

Such disputes seems akin to the shepherds and magi getting into a fist fight over the manger.

And none of them were Christians. The shepherds likely were Jewish, the magi perhaps Zoroastrians.

So, we should know better, right? Merry Christmas to all humans of good will, then.

So, let me share something from commenter, author, actor and sage Ben Stein, penned for this holiday season from his unique perspective as an “outsider” who has no trouble with Christmas tradition:

“My confession:

Ben Stein: Christmas, from the outside

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God ? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein”

Amen to that.


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