Tidings of Comfort, Joy, and Hurt Feelings
Tis the season for all the hustle and bustle and business. Yes, you guessed it, the time for all of the ACLU attorneys to be rushing to courthouses to protect the sensibilities of the irreligious by ensuring that nativity scenes and Christmas trees remain in closets until all appeals are exhausted. Now, before you stop reading and take an anti-emetic to avoid losing your lunch at some reason-for-the-season lecture, just give me a second...
I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas. Yes, Christmas. Jesus, celebrating the birth of my savior, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Yep, good old-fashioned unvarnished, unmixed, bible-believing, politically incorrect defining Christianity. About as unwashed as it gets. My behavior does not always (and if you ask some, "ever") reflect that, given that I can be a cynic, a little rude when people are behaving in what I determine to be a stupid way (and that happens often, especially in D.C. traffic), and a little bit of a hothead. But despite my personal shortcomings, I am joyed by the season and what it represents. But the season is becoming more of a time where irreligists (my term for those who try to squelch expressions of faith, wherever expressed) twist the joy into an opportunity to focus the world on their alleged emotional and political fragility and the debilitating impact faith celebrations have on it.
I heard this morning on Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" of children, in a religious setting who were sending care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, fearing to send Christmas wishes in order to avoid the potential of offending a soldier who may disagree with the holiday for some reason. Of course, ANY wishes for the holidays would be welcomed by any soldier. And I would be honored if someone spread to me good wishes from their own faith rather than trying to "clean up" a holiday greeting. But the problem is that we have sunk to the level where people of faith have been cowed into hiding their joy for fear of "offending" an oversensitive irreligist by the mere mention of a sincerely held belief in something greater than Barbara Streisand.
What a truly vexing time of year this must be for such folk. The lights both gaudy and tasteful, the singing, the happiness and well-wishes, the children playing, the efforts at interpersonal reconciliation, the taking of stock in blessing, the giving of gifts of goodwill, the candy, pies, festive drink, and yes, of course, the church attendance. It's easy to see how such savagery can affect the conscience of some.
But seriously, the insinuation that people restrict expressions of their faith on the off chance that someone with different opinions may be offended, is patently obscene.
People have had it with the "separation of church and state" mantra, and would rather exclude smarmy hypersensitive spoilers than teach their children that their faith is an object of shame. Because while we don't like to needlessly offend our fellow man, we also don't like to bossed around by an oppositionist minority who aren't happy until the rest of us are quiet. And the time has come for those of us of faith to make clear that our good will won't be used as a weapon against us.
We need to think differently about faith. It's what got people across the ocean and to this land. I would argue that it's why we have been blessed as we have been, from a quasi-feudal society in the early 1700s to the economic, military and political superpower in the early 21st century. It's what holds families and marriages together despite the things we all know take place in families and marriages, because the power isn't in the practice, but in the One we worship.
Excluding faith from our public life is the exclusion of a gigantic part of American history. No, we can't just teach the children that America was about Columbus enslaving the Indians, whites enslaving blacks, the civil war over slavery, the KKK, women being denied the right to vote, segregation, the New Deal, the Great Society, Vietnam, Roe v. Wade, the decade of greed, gay rights, the Clinton impeachment, the stolen election of 2000, the tyrrany of Bush, and dooming the Afghans and Iraqis to live under a regime not selected and supported by the U.N.
But this whole matter of separation of church and state, as professed by the ACLU and Barry Linn types, is a farce, as their own actions advance a creed into the public sector. Because irreligion IS religion. It is a system of values which does not value religious expression, but more often seeks to silence it. As such, it is an exclusivist religion. In other words, the state has adoped an official religion, by acting in such a way to endorse a particular faith--irreligion-- over others and prohibiting the free exercise of any of those others. But really, this is simply a favoritism of a few unhappy people with lots of money to hire opportunistic attorneys. And its time that we come out of our shells and just enjoy the holidays for the true blessing they are.
Because who are they to cram their religion down our throats?
Pass the wassail & let's make merry this holiday whether the grumps like it or not!!