Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Where are the Christians?

This is probably as good a time as any to comment on what appears to be a new Christmas tradition in the making. I'm referring to the renewed fighting in the 'war on Christmas' that I've noticed in recent years flaring up around this time. Someone notices a public display of a Christmas message, complains, and controversy ensues. This year, I saw it erupt in the news story of complaints over a Christmas message on the Saskatoon bus service in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The following is not an untypical reaction: "Buddy, I am about as atheist as they come. There is not even a hint in my mind that a god may exist. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!"

Atheists, and just about everyone else embracing Christmas. Conspicuous by their absence, however are the Christians who don't appear to have anything to say about the matter. I'm surprised to see nobody identifying themselves as Christian denouncing the public Christmas displays or defending the complainants.

I see no Christians complaining about the public displays of febrile consumerism. No complaints over public displays of elves, flying reindeer or gifts under trees. I suggest these are doing more harm to the Christian spirit of Christmas than these Saskatoon complainants ever could. I can't understand how Christians who take their faith seriously are happy with state sponsored celebrations of Christmas that muddy the message of universal love in the gospels and pollute the sanctity of their holidays with pagan symbols.

The liberal values of our society separate the church and state. It's to prevent clerical power from gaining undue influence over our lives. I think though it works both ways; the separation also protects religion from encroachment by the state. Consequently, these days we see that the more true Christian meaning is drained of Christmas, the more non Christians will speak up in defense against the (almost always) heretical public displays. When atheists defend Christmas, Christians should begin to worry.

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