This is an article I wrote recently for the local paper.
There has been a great deal of conversation, articles, and BLOG posts referencing the “war on Christmas” as if there was an all-out effort to do away the holiday or that there might actually be an organized effort to do so. Be assured it is never going to happen in a capitalistic country — too much money to be made.
The question really has more to do with the spirit of Christ and whether or not there is an effort on the part of some to minimize the Christ-Spirit during the holiday season. That, I believe, is worth talking about.
First, let me say a few words about what I mean when I refer to the Christ-Spirit. It is, in my opinion, living the teachings of Jesus and it is what Jesus himself longed for others to do. The Christ-Spirit is being compassionate and kind, accepting and tolerant, generous and giving; it is being Christ-like in what we do. Is there an effort or a war against that? Some might think so. There has been, after all, several trillion dollars spent on a twelve-year war that literally devastated a country, overthrew a government, and created a situation where over one million people are homeless while also giving birth to a militant organization bent on doing away with all freedom of religion. That does not speak of compassion and acceptance. There has been a rising tide of refusal to accept refugees to our shores, an increase in the number of people who are homeless in this country, and an increasing intolerance of the religious practices and customs of others; that certainly speaks against the Christ-Spirit of compassion and justice being alive in the world. And on the day after we celebrate a spirit of gratitude by gathering around tables overflowing with an abundance of food; we are witnesses to a stampede of greed in stores across the country.
If there is a war on Christmas, it is certainly not being led by the people who design the Starbucks seasonal coffee cup.
I do not believe that there is a war on Christmas. I believe that the Christ-Spirit, the Christmas Spirit is alive and well and continuing its struggle against the abuses that have been around since long before the birth of the Christ-Child. I believe that Christmas is being defended when the live re-enactment of the birth of Jesus to refugee parents is celebrated here in town. I believe that Christmas is defended when communities of faith here in Sturgeon Bay celebrate a worship service for those who are depressed, alone, and for whom Christmas is a difficult time. I believe Christmas is defended well when schools and churches and businesses here don’t just tolerate all manner of people but openly accept everyone into their midst. I believe that Christmas is defended when, as individuals, we show care and compassion, justice and mercy, and promote peace among those with whom we share this planet.
I have seen Christmas defended by an eight-year-old child collecting money to support a foster child program and an eighty-year-old offering “words of hope” to friends. I have seen Christmas defended in July and January. Christmas is a compassionate community willing to work together. Where do you see Christmas defended? Where can we, as the community we are here, defend Christmas together? Each in her or his own heart, nothing can take the spirit of Christmas away. Blessings Friends.