It’s December, and once again people are talking about censorship and the “War on Christmas.”
Jordan Lorence from Alliance Defending Freedom has written one of the best articles I have seen on the topic. In it he addresses the two differing views on the War on Christmas.
On the one hand, he considers a person who is skeptical of the supposed War on Christmas; this person goes to the mall, sees Santa Claus, hears Christmas carols, and comes away thinking the War on Christmas is a fabrication. On the other hand, a Christian goes to the same mall, but notices the Christmas decorations consist of trees, snowflakes, and Santa Claus, and the carols are Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and other secular tunes; the signs in the windows say “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” They notice the Christian element is completely missing.
Some people will try to argue Christmas is originally a pagan holiday anyway—not a Christian one. Well, whatever pagan holidays used to be celebrated this time of year aside, the truth is for the past 1,600 years December 25 has been a day Christians pause to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Even Santa Claus, who many Christians do not celebrate and many tie to European mythology, is intrinsically connected with the Christian Saint Nicholas.
In the past two decades, however, Christmas’ Christian tradition has been slowly stripped away. It is now treated as a secular, wintertime holiday centered on good feelings and discount merchandise. And, as Mr. Lorence notes, many people are encouraged not even to say benign well-wishes like, “Merry Christmas,” because it might “offend someone.”
Benjamin Franklin very astutely noted, over 200 years ago in Poor Richard’s Almanack, that at this time of year, “How many observe Christ’s Birth-day! How few, his Precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.” These days, however, people don’t even want to observe Christ’s birth. I think that’s very sad.
The birth of Jesus Christ should not make us uncomfortable or offended. Jesus came to testify to God’s truth and save humanity. That’s something to celebrate.
If you’re looking for peace and hope this time of year, you won’t find it in snowflakes, silver bells, or sleigh rides. It’s found 2,000 years ago, lying in a manger. That’s why we celebrate this time of year.
If you take Christ out of Christmas, you take away the very reason to celebrate.