Every year Jon Stewart does a great job skewering the folks (especially those on Fox News) who cry about there being a “War on Christmas”. Last week my pastor posted something on this and it went viral pretty quickly. There is no real war on Christmas. It’s not even worth talking about. I work in retail and trust me – nothing that’s going on there has anything to do with what actual Christmas is about. Also, I don’t need my faith reinforced by the marketing at Target. I’m all good.
This clip is really funny, a great example of how Christmas really is everywhere and the whiners need to stop. Ok, yes, I get that the initial story was about having a nativity in a public part, but you know what? I don’t think there should be nativities on public property because that’s the government showing preference to one religion. So put a nativity in your own front yard and leave the rest of us alone. The rest of it is about how those folks who don’t celebrate Christmas are bombarded with it at every turn, which is true. I’m sure the people for whom Christmas is not a primary holiday don’t see it as being threatened.
The second part of the story is a clip from Bill O’Reilly’s show where he repeatedly asserts that Christianity is a philosophy, not a religion. Consider my mind blown. What? It’s got philosophical elements, yes, but not a religion? I can’t even begin to talk about how wrong that is. Not a religion. I’m not doing this as an investigation of truth or knowledge or studying knowledge and concepts. If anything I think that’s what Christianity has to fight to keep from becoming.
Jesus is God With Us. A connection to the Holy. The offer of total love, acceptance, healing, grace and community. Maybe I missed the part where Socrates offered eternal life and an unbroken relationship with God, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t. Jesus shows us how to worship, how to be salt & light, to live in such a way that we change the world.
O’Reilly’s statement that Christianity are rightly called friendly fire because in reducing Christianity to a philosophy, he is really admitting that the celebration of Christmas need not be more significant than it has become – cheesy decor, shiny things and materialism. If it’s just about a philosophy, then who cares? But if it’s something more, then it deserves more careful observance. No, there is no War on Christmas, but Bill, those are what my grandpa would call “fightin’ words”.