Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays...Get Over It!

This is a double pack for the 2007 White House Card & Print. Print & card feature the east colonnade of the White House next to Jackie Kennedy's Garden.
Print measures 17 inches by 13 inches.
Artist - David Drummond
Price: $350.00

I see that the religious right is at it again, demanding that stores display signs saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”, and boycotting those that do not comply with their demands. Knickers are in a twist over President Bush sending out Christmas cards that read “Wishing you A Joyful Holiday” instead of “Merry Christmas”, and some people have reported throwing theirs away as soon as they saw its more generic message, since Bush claims to be an evangelical, born again Christian, and by gosh, ought to know better than to wish people a "Joyful Holiday"! The gauntlet has also been thrown down at the White House to rename its decorated tree a “Christmas tree” instead of a “holiday tree”. Could President Bush be harboring secret religious tolerance toward non-Christians by his actions this year? Perish the thought! His allies on the Religious Right won’t settle for anything less than a completely total Christian theocracy in this country!

I fail to understand why these same Bible totin’, Bible quotin’ people won’t stop for a minute to consider their demands for Christmas to be put back into the season when the bigger picture seems so lost on them. They keep making these religious demands for Christianity to be taught as science in the guise of Intelligent Design, for religious documents to be displayed in public buildings and for other blatantly Christian symbols to be part of everything from city seals to courthouses. Do they for one minute think that by doing this, that society will suddenly experience mass conversion to Christianity, thereby becoming upstanding and moral in the way they imagine? Have any of them ever opened their Bibles to see what hypocrites and Pharisees they have become? I may be a Biblical Unitarian now, but I was raised a mainline-liturgically-based-pew-sitter; and one who has travelled the Romans Road through pentecostalism. I know the Bible and I see first hand that the message of Christ has been lost on far too many who claim to be so-called “Christians”.

To wit: This idea that God favors the rich because of their industrious hard work that made them wealthy is nowhere to be found in the Bible. The Bible I know warns against excessive accumulation of wealth and material goods, saying that it is easier for a camel [Alternative translation! It should be "ROPE" - doesn't that make more sense?!] to thread the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.

Isaiah 10 says, "Woe to you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, who turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that the widows may be your spoil and that you may make the orphan your prey".

Hmmm, seems to me that those who chose to look the other way and neglect those who suffered so terribly during every natural disaster-act of God, need to stop for a minute and think about their negligence in allowing so many to die and suffer needlessly. Of course, Isaiah is Old Testament, so if you want a New Testament example, an exemplary one is James 1:27, which reads, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

So it seems to me that rather than waste tons of money and energy on worrying about whether we call this time of year “Christmas” or just the “Holidays”, I would suggest instead that these same people who are getting their knickers in a twist over that whole issue go to some social service agency, sign up to volunteer and spend a day in a soup kitchen doling out meals to the homeless, or sort clothing that goes out to the needy, or spend time in a nursing home visiting some lonely elderly people whose family might live too far away to visit regularly, or go to a prison and talk to some of the prisoners and make them feel a bit of dignity despite their incarceration.

Social service agencies have experienced massive budget cutbacks in these cruel times we live in that seem to favor the well heeled, the "haves" versus the "have nots", and as a result, more and more people are falling through the cracks of “the system”. If people truly want to put Christ back in Christmass, remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Pay heed to the words of Matthew 25: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."

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