Ten Reasons I’m Not Fighting in the War on Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! I know this issue of the War on Christmas isn’t new this year, but for some reason it’s still lingering and taking a lot of the joy out of Christmas for a lot of people. I think it’s very sad how Christians have let this notion of a War on Christmas steal their joy over the birth of Jesus instead of just enjoying the season, being thankful for God’s gift of Jesus, and maybe having a positive effect on their world. So, I thought I’d post this to help you to relax, be joyful or maybe think a little bit differently. So, here are ten reasons not to enlist in the War on Christmas.

  1. The Puritan leaders, those Founders and Beacons of Judeo-Christian ideals, fought their own “War on Christmas.” This is from History of ‘Plimoth Plantation’ by William Bradford (spelling modernized and ‘ye’changed to ‘the’ but nothing else altered).

On the day called Christmas Day, the Governor called them out to work, (as was used) but the most of this new-company excused themselves and said it went against their consciences to work on the day. So the Governor told them that if they made it matter of conscience, he would spare them till they were better informed. So he led-away the rest and left them; but when they came home at noon from their work, he found them in the street at play, openly; some pitching the bar, & some at stoole-ball, and such like sports. So he went to them, and took away their implements, and told them that was against his conscience, that they should play & others work. If they made the keeping of it matter of devotion, let them keep their houses, but there should be no gaming or reveling in the streets. Since which time nothing hath been attempted that way, at least openly.

So, not only were these men wrong (“uninformed”) for celebrating Christmas in the first place but also their Theocratic leader banned public celebrations because it went against his conscience. You may say, “Well, they were still allowed to celebrate indoors.” That is true. He reluctantly did let them, and we should take the example of those who were content to do so.

  1. Christmas is still as dominant and ubiquitous as it has always been on TV, in stores, and advertising. It has just changed shape slightly so that the businesses behind these media can attract more customers, which is what it’s all about for them. Kohl’s still sells at least 21 different Nativity sets, and a search for nativity sets on Amazon.com yields over 5,000 results. And TV commercials still use Christmas symbolism and traditions even when they don’t use the word “Christmas.” Here’s an example:

It’s still all about Christmas even though the word Christmas is not used.

  1. Notwithstanding #2, Christmas is not about what the stores do to attract customers. Christians used to despair of the “commercialization of Christmas.” Now, look at what one prominent Christian public figure whom many other Christians admire has said:

“I love the commercialization of Christmas because it spreads the Christmas cheer.”—Sarah Palin

Now, she may or may not have gone on to say that there is much more to Christmas than presents, etc., but this statement is a wake-up call to Christians, I believe, to take a step back and think about what’s really important. Commercialization isn’t inherently evil, but is it the most important thing? Far from it.

  1. The New Political Correctness…Keeping the “Christ in Christmas” is akin to a new Political Correctness. People have been upset over the use of ‘Xmas’ or ‘Holidays’ instead of ‘Christmas’. Well, if we’re going to slice words up, how about this? The Greek letter X or “chi” is used in “Xmas” because it represents Christ. And, the word “holiday” is simply a compound word that combines the words ‘holy’ and ‘day’ to make ‘holiday’. So, we are not losing the religious implications in either of these. But, you may say I’m making something significant out of details. Yes, I am, but so are people who insist on using the word ‘Christmas.’ The word ‘Christmas’ is meaningless unless there’s real thought to the significance of Christ’s birth, and we should be making sure that people know the significance of Christ’s birth and not be so concerned with whether or not someone says “Merry Christmas” to us as we’re leaving their store.
  2. Cynical Christmas Commercials…The New Political Correctness has resulted in store advertising using the word Christmas earlier and earlier (this year I heard it in early October, and I hear that Kmart used it in September). Again, many times this is without any real significance beyond the buying of presents.
  3. The U.S. Postal Service does, contrary to popular opinion, still sell stamps with the Baby Jesus and the Nativity on them. Just check out their web site. There are several of them, and they’re pretty easy to find.
  4. Defending ‘Christmas’ gives Christians a bad name. Given all these other reasons, Christians are seen as whiny and snobby.
  5. There is no War On Christmas. There is not a concerted and combined effort by those who are not Christians and don’t celebrate Christmas to prevent you from celebrating the real meaning of Christmas. There are people who dislike the religious aspects of Christmas, but they are not keeping you from them. And the Baby Jesus came for those people just as much as He came for you. How you respond to them may have an impact on them for the better (see #7).
  6. There are other Holidays during the “Christmas Season” that Christians celebrate…Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s….and *gasp* Kwanzaa. They are not mutually exclusive. If you don’t believe it, look it up.
  7. No matter what anyone else does or says you can still celebrate the birth of Christ in whatever way your conscience dictates!

Dobson and Stowe?

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing RightWingWatch.org.  I’m simply using their video because I didn’t find this clip anywhere else.

I’m also not making a final judgment on Mr. Dobson’s book, Fatherless, because I haven’t read it (yet).  I am going to try my best to read it.

But, independent of the quality of the writing in Fatherless, let’s examine the claim that Fatherless might be the modern-day Uncle Tom’s Cabin (“This is this,” Beck says and Dobson seems to completely agree with the assessment).

I recently read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, so I can speak to the standard set by it.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a complex novel that, while it does not leave its message to interpretation, is complex in its methods.  Stowe uses themes like humility, Christian faith and redemption, and racial and gender roles to tell a complex story.  It’s not just about the cruelest brands of slavery.  It demonstrates how even the slaves’ best conditions were unjust and degrading to everyone involved.

It displayed the everyday life of everyone involved in the slave system.  It had flawed characters, like St. Clare who ultimately achieved salvation through faith in Christ, and it had characters like Senator Bird who believes in the legality of slavery (specifically fugitive slave laws) but takes the opportunity to help a slave escape.

In short, Uncle Tom’s Cabin shows the slave system as it was…right then.  It didn’t speculate.  It didn’t predict.  It was a story of now…in 1851.

Also, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this complex novel so that she could change prejudiced minds.  It was published first in a major magazine read by people who needed convincing.  Fatherless would have to reach beyond a very conservative, predominately Christian audience (and change minds) to have the same impact as Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Fatherless, which is set in the future, is very much open to the inherent pitfalls of speculation and prediction.  Interpretation of current attitudes, economic and political changes, and changes in medical technology are just a few of these.

I definitely hope Fatherless doesn’t ignite a war given these inherent issues.

Again, I can’t say Fatherless is a bad novel.  I haven’t read it, but is it Uncle Tom’s Cabin?  Well, only time will tell.  I guess I have to concede my predictions are open to the same vicissitudes as the novel.  It seems unlikely though.

Has anyone read it?  How does it measure up?