Sunday, December 07, 2008

Keeping Christ in Christmas

I've spent many hours watching Christmas movies and specials on both the broadcast and cable networks. And the references to the religious aspect of the day are few and far between. In fact most of the movies concern variations on "A Christmas Carol" or danger to Santa and the North Pole or the problems of his children or elves, etc. And this is only television.

In general society there has been and is an attack on Christmas from many sides. It seems that any type of 'Christmas' sentiment or display in public is case for a court battle. Or the party in question simply gives in and removes what was there.

This commercialization of and attacks on Christmas has gone too far. I realize that I grew up at a time when the religious nature of Christmas was still fairly strong. But now, not only do the children of the Country not know our religious heritage and special days, they aren't even brought up with a religious attitude. How are they supposed to understand right from wrong? Or even why?

This year, the University of North Carolina removed Christmas trees from its libraries at Chapel Hill NC because of several complaints.

Per the Charlotte Observer: "The trees, which have stood in the lobby areas of Wilson and Davis libraries each December, were kept in storage this year at the behest of Sarah Michalak, the associate provost for university libraries...Michalak's decision followed several years of queries and complaints from library employees and patrons bothered by the Christian display, Michalak said this week." [Scrooge call your office!]

Florida Gulf State University simply banned all open expressions of Christmas.

Per USA Today: "...The newspaper says FGCU administration has banned all holiday decorations from common spaces on campus and canceled a popular greeting card design contest, which is being replaced by an ugly sweater competition...University President Wilson Bradshaw, citing "legal limitations," [anybody know what that nonsensical phrase is supposed to mean?] told the faculty and staff in a memo that many public institutions 'struggle' with how best to honor and respect all traditions during the holiday and FGCU is no exception...He says the decision was not an 'attempt to suppress expression of the holiday spirit.' Staffers will be permitted to display holiday decorations on their desks, but not on their office doors or in common spaces..."

From World Net Daily: "At a time when Americans of many faiths – and even no faith – gear up to celebrate Christmas this year, a first-grade teacher in Sacramento Co., Calif., says she's been ordered by her principal not to utter the word "Christmas" at school...The 24-year education veteran, who wishes to keep her name and the school anonymous at this time, claims she and two fellow instructors were told that use of the word "Christmas" in the classroom or in written materials was now prohibited."

And Bill O'Reilly writes: "Just in time for the Christmas season, Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire has insulted Christians all over the world...Inside the state Capitol building in Olympia there is a traditional holiday display featuring a tree and the Nativity scene; perfectly appropriate since the federal and state Christmas holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem...But this year Gregoire decided to add another item to the display...Standing alongside the baby Jesus is a giant placard designed by atheists that reads: 'There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.'"

These are just a few examples of what's happening in our society. It's mind boggling. It seems the anti-Christ is arriving in many guises and in public places. Even retail stores and malls have changed 'Merry Christmas' to 'Happy Holidays.'

I recently read the story of a thirty-four year old woman who grew up areligious [thinking the Bible was just a book of fairy tales], became an agnostic, an atheist, spent time involved in modified Satanism and traditional Satanism, and finally settled down to some sort of Christianity because her new boyfriend is Christian. While doing all this she married and divorced a drug-addicted man, and spent too much time in an abusive and brainwashing relationship. This is not the way to live---going from one mess to another. Her parents neglected her upbringing, leading to the later difficulties. We have to try to prevent this sort of thing. We need to instill in our children a minimum sense of religion, anyway. We owe it to them to try. We're the parents, remember? We have a responsibility.

With many of our public schools prohibiting any sign of religion at or near the schools and church attendance down, one has no reason to wonder at the lack of religious thoughts at this time of year---not for Easter either. Much of it is due to cowardice in the face of ACLU threats. [Please, may I have a Christmas present: dissolution of the current ACLU?]

Children are now more interested in electronic games and cell phones [and Easter bunnies and candy] than they are of any religious significance of the day[s]. Creches are hidden if not forgotten. Many children don't see or have never seen the interior of a Church. Sadly, some of the older ones don't care about the day and its meaning or the attacks on it every year. They just want to go and see the new movies which open on December 25th.

We as a nation are forgetting that religious tolerance was a contributing factor in the setting up of our original colonies. It was a stalwart basis for the general responsibilty and work ethic of our new American country. And it was on the minds of the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Our Country should be striving to "form a more perfect union" and not to deny religious expression anywhere except the basements and hidden caves or catacombs. Haven't we seen enough of that already?

Agnostics, atheists, and the infamous bastardized ACLU have joined together [though still a very small minority, mind you] to stifle religious expressions anywhere outside the home [for now, anyway.] While minorities should always be respected, they should not have the power to shut down expression in the majority. The majority rule has fallen prey to the minority 'rights' people, thus forcing our Country to become more and more areligious and forgetful of our common heritages and continuing religious rights.

Whether it be Church or Temple, Christmas or Channukah, let's do better to celebrate the season as it should be: with reverence, memory, and humility. It's a celebration of God. The gifts and movies can come later.

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