The Phony “War on Christmas”

Rich Simpson has some cutting words for Rick Perry’s “Strong” ad, Fox News, and the so-called “war on Christmas” [an excerpt and link are below].

The “war” on Christmas is a pernicious off-shoot of what we have known, for decades, as the “culture wars.” What’s true, is that various factions in our society hold different ideas about important things. Two of the battlegrounds in these “culture wars” are:  morality (including, but not limited to, sexual morality); and patriotism (what does it mean to love America?). Religion is naturally brought into the fray, but please, don’t blame God for that.

Many of the differences and disagreements in our society are worth serious conversation, but serious conversation gets mocked in most (not all) public discourse today– especially when the public discourse gets highly politicized. Highly politicized public discourse is happening whenever the desire to “score points” for your side, trumps a disinterested, fair-minded love of the truth. No one can ever be totally disinterested, but it is possible to love truth enough to recognize one’s own biases, and to engage in humble self-reflection.

How we manage public language around this time of year does matter– and on that, at least, we might find initial agreement between those with differing ideas about whether the tree on the town square is a “Holiday Tree” or a “Christmas Tree.” Both sides agree that words matter.

And if we can agree that words matter, then that agreement can become a promising start for the kind of listening that is the precondition for “Peace on Earth.”

Here’s Rich:

In any event, I prefer to keep the Christmas greetings in church – not because I think faith can be segmented from real life but because I seek to build bridges and find common ground with all of God’s children who seek good will for all, and peace on earth in this time. Moreover, I’m not sure that a Christmas greeting at Walmart or the mall makes me somehow feel more special. At the very least it cheapens and distorts and commercializes what matters so deeply to me; the Incarnation. If I hear one more time about ABC-Family’s 25 days of Christmas I am going to scream! For the record, it’s still Advent, and there are twelve days of Christmas that culminate in Epiphany! I don’t expect ABC-Family to preach that. But I’d so much rather they call this the 25 days of Solstice than distort my tradition!

Happy Holidays!

via Rich’s Ruminations.

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