Keeping things in perspective…
This is an updated version of what I wrote last year, as the situation has not improved.
If you like short videos, then please watch this spot-on musical video. It is musically conveying the same message that I’m trying to do here, verbally…
As a minimum, Christmas is a remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ. (Note the “Christ” part of the word Christmas.) As a historical event, it is something that anyone of any faith (or even atheists) can choose to acknowledge and/or celebrate — just as anyone can acknowledge and appreciate the historical event Hanukkah is based on
Why Christians would give such emphasis to that birth, is due to what Jesus Christ stood for. (Carefully read the New Testament for specifics.) The bottom line is that His message was one of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Shouldn’t we all support that?
Centuries later, various related secondary religious traditions evolved in parallel with the birth of Jesus Christ’s remembrance. One is Saint Nicholas — now translated to what we in the US call Santa Claus… Another is the Christmas Tree, which also has some religious connotations (here is one explanation).
Regretfully, we live in times where secularization is all the rage, and Religion (and the Bible) are out of vogue — is it any wonder that we can no longer even have respectful discussions about our different perspectives? What happens now is that one party will bludgeon the other with the moral superiority card (SEL, CRT, DEI, Woke, etc.). Other responses that fall into this category are phony virtue signaling and absurd relativism.
Humans instinctively need a moral code, so the reason that all these happen every day is that we are abandoning what was a widely shared value system: Judeo-Christianity. But since the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Bible, etc. are old-fashioned, here are three questions to ponder:
- Where is this new set of “moral standards” and “virtues” publicly posted?
- Who has the credentials to create such an official list?
- Where does the authority come from to enforce adherence to such standards?
One excuse for this secularization is the assertion that some people espousing Religions have a long history of going off the rails.
We need to be clear that when there are bad events associated with a Religion, it is the people involved who are the problem, not the Religion. For example, when some early Catholic Popes were evil men, that was not a reflection on Jesus Christ or His Church, but on those individuals. (Similarly, when the US has Presidents who are self-serving, it is not a reflection on the Constitution, but on those people.)
An experience I recently had is one of many that puts this secularization of our society, including Christmas, into focus… Every year my wife and I snail mail Christmas cards to select friends and family. Every year we chose a Christmas card with a clear traditional birth of Jesus Christ theme. (We then usually add a wintry personal picture plus an informative few paragraphs about what’s up with us.)
This year I again went to where we have been buying such cards: Vista-Print (which is a large purveyor of a wide variety of products from business cards to wedding gifts). I started like I always do and selected: 4×8 cards —> Christmas —> religious. Hmmm: all of the “religious cards” were just photos of family members, Christmas trees, etc.
What struck me was that there was not a single religious card (i.e., about the birth of Jesus Christ), a star over Bethlehem, the three wise men, etc. In the past, Vista-Print had multiple options for these. I then did several searches and nothing came up.
I decided to call the company and see if I was doing something wrong. I chatted with a pleasant customer service person. After much looking on her part she confirmed that Vista-Print had no 4×8 Christmas cards with any Christ-related scene!!
As polite as I could be (not my forte), I strongly objected to this startling and unacceptable degradation of Christmas. She agreed with me and suggested that I submit a request for Vista-Print to make up a “custom” card. I had seen that and there was a $10 cost involved! She said I would get a credit for that.
I followed her directions and submitted a request for a Christmas card with a religious scene on it. (IMO it’s mind-boggling that I would have to do this.) Sure enough by the next day I was emailed a religious scene Christmas card to use, and I did. I’m sure in Vista-Print’s files that they have over a hundred nativity, etc. scenes to use on 4×8 Christmas cards, but that they chose zero in 2023 is disturbing.
As a scientist, I’m a curious person (take that any way you like), so I decided to see if Vista-Print was an aberration or the norm. For comparison, I decided to check out Walmart’s 4×8 card options, since they are another major seller of Christmas cards. I looked through their online site to see how many nativity scene Christmas cards they were offering, and again I found none… Same for Shutterfly and Snapfish.
My closing Christmas thought is this…
Since we are experiencing unprecedented threats to our personal freedoms and lives, maybe we ought to re-think our commitment to God. As American’s participation in Religion has steadily gone downhill, the evil and incompetence we are seeing on a daily basis has steadily increased. Draw your own Critical Thinking conclusions, but IMO that correlation is not a coincidence.
In summary: Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
I hope that you and your family have a happy, holy Christmas and holiday season!
©2023. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.