The Christian View Of Christmas
War on Christmas? Bah, humbug! There is no war on Christmas, at least not here in the United States.
After years of unrelenting and annoying drumbeats by people who insisted on going to “war” for no apparent reason, I actually haven’t heard much about it this year. Maybe because I’ve stopped paying attention. Or maybe because fewer folks are willing to make it an issue. Because, hello, fake war is fake. It’s shibai and most of us know it.
In fact, I was doing a pretty great job of ignoring the tired meme until a Facebook (and real-life) friend posted an article by a man who used to be one of those people who bought into the “war on Christmas.”
Father Peter-Michael Preble, an Orthodox priest with the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas, says he used to be insulted when someone said “happy holidays” to him. He was “peeved” when he read about a Christmas display being rejected. But then: “I started seeing news reports about how Christians are being treated in other parts of the world, and suddenly it all seemed so stupid.”
If you are a believer in the so-called war on Christmas, Preble would like you to ask yourself a few questions.
“Are you, as a Christian, prevented by anyone from setting up a Christmas tree in your home? Are you, as a Christian, prevented from attending the church of your choice on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Are you, as a Christian, prevented from saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to anyone you choose? Or when you hear ‘Happy Holidays,’ do you respond with ‘Merry Christmas’? Have armed rebels stormed your church or home and taken you hostage or shot you in the street just for being a Christian? My guess is the answer to all of these questions is no.”
Father Preble says the real war on Christmas has nothing at all to do with displays or salutations. It has everything to do with that homeless family living in a car or a shelter, or people in our own country going hungry. It’s about jamming shopping malls instead of going to church or worshipping quietly in your own home. It’s about seeing real, actual, life-and-death war waged against Christians (I would add, anyone) elsewhere in the world and doing nothing about it.
When you look at it that way, it really puts it all in perspective.
You need to ask yourself: “Am I getting upset about all the wrong things?”
As Christmas day approaches, I again will remind myself that the real measure of a person lies not in whether one says “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukah.”
It’s how you treat other people and how you live your life.
Happy days to us all.