I’ve been relatively uninterested in the whole "war on Christmas" uproar, but after hearing Dobson talk about it on his show, seeing Honda’s bastardization of "We wish you a Merry Christmas", Stacy’s article at Newsbusters, and the big flap over the 2005 White House greeting card not containing the word Christmas, I wanted to comment. I’m not really sure if this battle is worth fighting.
Why Fighting The War on Xmas is Dumb
Taking on this issue with such vehemence probably looks very silly to non-conservatives who want a more pluralistic society. I mean, many people are celebrating their own religious holidays, so why shouldn’t retailers be more inclusive? For them, it’s about sales, after all – they’re probably not complicit w/ the ACLU trying to remove religion from the public marketplace.
Also, we are kidding ourselves if we think that trying to put financial and public opinion pressure on vendors via boycotts is really aiming at the heart of the problem – the fact that our preaching of Christ is not compelling, loving, or sacrificial enough to change people’s minds and hearts. Fighting such superficial indicators makes us look superficial – I mean, if we get retailers to say "Merry Christmas," are we now that much closer to being a Christian nation?
Why Fighting the War on Xmas is Essential
As anyone familiar with Christian renewal theology will know, the battle is fought simultanouesly on three fronts, based on the tripartate model of man (body, soul, spirit). In the most superficial realm, the physical (body) realm, we legislate. But more critically, we also fight in the soul (mind) arena by educating people, and by compelling argumentation. Lastly, we war in the spirit by living and preaching the gospel, to change the spirits of individuals.
The war on Xmas isn’t really meant to hold on to whatever vestiges of Christianity we have left in our country. It’s meant to push back against the pressures of groups like the ACLU who are trying to force religion out of public life in the name of plurality, tolerance, and the ever misunderstood, and fascist application of separation of church and state. Even Jewish organizations are realizing that this is another front in the war on faith. I’m sure they have in mind the famous holocaust poem
First they came for the Jews, but I am not a Jew so I said nothing,
Then they came for the Catholics, but I am not a Catholic so I said nothing,
Then they came for the Unionists and Industrialists but I am neither so I said nothing,
Now they are coming for me and there is no-one left to say anything!
Jews recognize that persecution progresses like the frog in the kettle – little by little until it is too late.
Is this Really Anti-Christian Persecution?
Is this persecution like that going on in North Korea and China? Of course not. Is this really unjust persecution? No. Is this whole battle about Christians freaking out over something inconsequential? I think so. If some small number of Christians wants to spend effort on this, I say let them – it’s a free country, and who knows, it may turn out to be an important battle in hindsight. But I doubt it. I’m not going to follow along and waste my time on this one.
What We Need to Focus On
I think what is more consequential is that it is an indicator that we are no longer a Christian nation. What we need is to put more money into preaching and missions, service ministries that change lives, and political actions that really matter, like:
- defeating Roe v. Wade and providing the support mechanisms necessary for helping unwed mothers and others who don’t want to care for their child
- preserving traditional marriage via definition of marriage amendment(s)
- supporting religious liberty both here and abroad