Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Happy Holidays"

The "holiday" controversy continues. This past Saturday, folk in Norman were upset because what had previously been called a "Christmas" parade was now being called a "holiday" parade. Focus on the Family has been threatening boycotts of stores, like Target, that advertise holiday sales rather than Christmas sales.

Have these people nothing better to get upset about? Are there no poor to feed? No prisoners to visit? No widows and orphans to comfort?

Somehow, this shift is supposed to represent an oppression of Christians. I must admit that I, for one, do not feel overly oppressed.

Last week when I was discussing the traditions surrounding St. Nicholas, I alluded to the pagan origins of those traditions. Brother Dave e-mailed an article from Christian Century which goes into greater detail about the pagan origins of the holiday in general.

Now, I imagine Focus on the Family (FoF) has problems with Halloween as a pagan holiday. But, so far as I know, this group does not have similar problems with Christmas or Easter, both of which are usurpations (as Dr. Omed would have it) of pagan holidays. Logical consistency would suggest they would welcome any disassociation of Christ from this pagan holiday.

But see, the modern conflict is not with the old religions. Christianity more or less won that battle a little over a thousand years ago. FoF would have us believe the modern conflict is with humanists and secularists.

Along with Bull Moose and New Donkey, I believe the real threat is commercialism. As I mentioned a week ago, this is a system which suggests we can measure our worth by the number or quality of the objects we possess. By implication, this system asserts that objects have more value than people.

I should think people of goodwill — regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof — would agree this is a false teaching. Any living creature, from amoeba to human, has more value than a human-created product, however artfully made.

Christ is not put back into Christmas through advertising. Christ is put into Christmas when we incorporate his teachings into our lives.

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