Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Commander in Chief on the Wrong Side in the War on Christmas?

The Washington Post reports that those manning the barricades in a last ditch defense of Christmas have a new atrocity to report in the fight against the secular humanists. Is it the souless retail industry this time? No, to the dismay of the those standing between Christmas and the outer darkness, President Bush himself has sent out cards wishing a happy holiday season:
"This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Bush "claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one," said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it."
Religious conservatives are miffed because they have been pressuring stores to advertise Christmas sales rather than "holiday specials" and urging schools to let students out for Christmas vacation rather than for "winter break."
Unlike the heathen retailers, Bush is getting the benefit of the doubt from some Christmas zealots:
One of the generals on the pro-Christmas side is Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss. "Sometimes it's hard to tell whether this is sinister -- it's the purging of Christ from Christmas -- or whether it's just political correctness run amok," he said. "I think in the case of the White House, it's just political correctness."
William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, is less forgiving:
At the Catholic League, Donohue had just announced a boycott of the Lands' End catalogue when he received his White House holiday card. True, he said, the Bushes included a verse from Psalm 28, but Psalms are in the Old Testament and do not mention Jesus' birth.
Mr. Donohue may have forgotten that Jesus was born into a Jewish family. The NYT reports that Christmas is being injected into the debate over Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito:
Fidelis, a conservative Roman Catholic group, has begun an Internet advertisement and plans to buy radio commercials with a similar theme as early as next week. "Judge Alito ruled against the A.C.L.U.'s attempt to scrub away our religious heritage," a narrator says, recalling an opinion Judge Alito wrote upholding a Jersey City display including a Nativity scene and a menorah.
Hey guys, relax. It's Christmas we're talking about. Remember, "On earth, peace, good will toward men"? Remember Charlie Brown and his little tree? Why do some Christians insist on fighting over Christmas?


Blogger jason said...

What do we see pop up the "About Bill" menu tab on ?

"Recommended Holiday Gifts"

That does it. Christmas is done for.

9:18 AM, December 07, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, it's "on earth peace among people of good will." Any undergrad Greek student knows King James got this one wrong.

Second, there's one set of rules for Jews and Christians, another set of rules for everyone else. Some years ago in Silicon Valley, some sore-butt bureaucrat decided that San Jose couldn't have a manger scene on the city square. But a statue of an ancient Aztec god? Sure, no problem!

The local churches raised a huge stink about it, and the city officials knew their hypocrisy was exposed.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Luke 10:32-34

11:12 AM, December 07, 2005  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

You are absolutely right about the translation. I cited the King James (which I rarely use) because of the resonance the phrase has in our tradition.

As for the passage from Luke, it is quite true that Jesus spoke of conflict as well as peace. But I don't think it makes sense to divide Christians over whether department stores and town squares should explicitly celebrate Christmas.

As a person of faith, it is up to me to live my faith tradition, in my home and in my heart. I don't ask society's institutions to recite the Nicene Creed or the Lord's Prayer on my behalf. Whether a department store display a creche or the president mails out a million Christmas cards -- or whether they simply extend holiday greetings has little effect on my own religious practice.

2:19 PM, December 07, 2005  

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