Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Bovine Excrement of the 'war on Christmas'

The contrived "war on Christmas" is the bread and butter of Fox News and other assorted bobble-heads this time of year. They give the Comedy Channel a run for their money in expressing their faux outrage.

Christmas.....the most accommodated holiday in America.

The general gist of the 'coverage' revolves around commercial entities using their free market latitude to have their employees wish customers a Happy Holidays, rather than a Merry Christmas. The premise is to be inclusive of valued customers of many religious faiths who share a holiday during this time of year, and those of no particular faith. This of course seems a tad ironic given that these same commercial entities have diluted the religious aspect of the Christian holiday [based on Pagan foundations] being so utterly diluted by crass commercialism so as to be a cartoon caricature of its original meaning...which doesn't get the same contrived push-back by these defenders of 'traditional America'. This controversy is recycled and trotted out every year around this time...all the while the proponents take advertising dollars from those who would otherwise end up on someones 'naughty list'.

The kicker, is that both 'Christian friendly' retail outlets and those bobble-heads making their living on these kinds of controversies, are guilty themselves of often wishing their audiences and shoppers the very same Happy Holidays.

The other controversy involves the placement of religious symbolism in or on government property. This argument brings forth the meaning of Constitutional clauses and original intent, but sadly lacks reason and logic in much of the discussion. I might ask specifically, what tangible benefit exists for such displays. I get the argument of 'what's the big deal'.....and they don't personally offend or bother me.....but to argue for such action, one needs a logical position. Given that adherents to the Christian faith have no shortage of  time and place to display and admire religious symbology in the private sphere, I've seen much emotion from that position, but not as much reason. Does faith for some require constant public validation, to be fulfilling?

I rather like Steve McKinion's take on this:

Christianity’s most potent enemy is not a secular culture, but a religious one. Authentic Christianity and secularism have little, if anything, in common. Observers can easily distinguish between the two. Religion, on the other hand, can masquerade as true faith. Meaningless offerings of “Merry Christmas” by unbelievers and mindless attacks on non-Christians are just two examples of a cultural Christianity gone mad. Christians should be offended by the unbelievers who claim the name of Christ — like Fred Phelps and the other morons at Westboro Baptist Church — rather than the unbelievers who don’t. The latter group is just honest, the former take the name of my Lord in vain and are an embarrassment to those who genuinely know Christ.

The Christmas season is, and should be, a wonderful time of celebrating family, friends, gift-giving, and helping out the less-fortunate. But Christians understand that those practices are cultural, not necessarily Christian. If we really want to make sure that we keep Christ in Christmas, we’ll do so when we practice and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God conceived of a Virgin, crucified for our sins, and resurrected to give life to all who believe. Enjoy the season. Enjoy the Gospel. Just don’t confuse the two.

Two other points of view:

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State." - Thomas Jefferson

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