I read this the other day on a fellow believer’s space. I find the same things have been taking place in Canada. The question begs to be asked. Why is it that out of every belief system in the world that Christianity is the one that needs to be excluded? It’s ok to teach anything else in the schools other than Christianity. It’s ok in the workplace to talk about anything else as well, but try to talk about Jesus or ask to have a bible study during your lunch hour and it is taboo. This article is written by a retired Jewish doctor but it hits home as to what has been happening in North American society. Christmas just accentuates it.
Deck the Hall With Nothing at All
David C. Stolinsky, M.D.
Dec. 12, 2005
News Item: College dean orders Christmas tree removed from school lobby after student complains of feeling "excluded."
There must be something wrong with me. Unlike many people, I rarely feel "excluded." If I don’t participate in a celebration, I don’t feel "offended."
Even worse, I can’t see how removing a Christmas tree is "inclusive." How can excluding something be "inclusive"? Nor can I see how we favor "tolerance," "sensitivity" and "diversity" by being intolerant of the beliefs of the majority of Americans. Perhaps I need to get in touch with my feelings of "exclusion."
This year fewer people wish one another "Merry Christmas." Instead, in an effort not to give offense, they say "Happy holidays." In an effort to further "diversity," they decrease it.
Obviously, Christmas means the most to Christians, who make up the vast majority of Americans. Yet non-Christians can also enjoy the beauty of the season, and they can honor the holiday without observing it – unless they are eager to take offense.
I spent my early years in a small North Dakota town where my parents and I were the only Jews. The Christmas lights and caroling at school didn’t bother me. On the contrary, I enjoyed this happy time.
Later we moved to San Francisco, where my public high school had an annual Christmas program. It was organized by a Catholic priest, so I came to love the Latin words to "Adeste Fideles." There were many non-Christian students like me, but nobody complained. Those who didn’t wish to attend could go to the library, so there was no compulsion – only enjoyment of the beautiful program.
My parents explained that this wasn’t our holiday, but it was the holiday of most Americans, so I learned to honor it without observing it. I enjoyed the beautiful lights and music, the Christmas trees and the good cheer.
My parents grounded me in my religion, so they had no fear that seeing a holly wreath or hearing "Silent Night" could cause me emotional trauma. In fact, they would have found the idea laughable. They knew I was stronger than that.
I learned that there is nothing wrong with being different – that going along with the crowd is not always required. I learned that my worth derived from what I did as an individual, and not from mere membership in a group.
And I learned that being different didn’t mean I was better or worse than anyone else, just different. I never believed that belonging to some clique or "in" group would mean much in the long run.
Equally important, I learned not to be easily offended. When someone wished me "Merry Christmas," I replied with the same words. It wasn’t my holiday – so what? A colleague wished that my day would be merry. What could be offensive about pretty decorations and good wishes? What really is offensive is objecting to these beneficial things.
Why is it that some Americans take offense when Christmas lights are hung, or when people display the flag after the worst terrorist attack in our history? What offends people reveals a great deal about them.
The ease with which people take offense today is a manifestation of childish narcissism and intolerance: Why should I adapt to all the people around me? No, I insist that they adapt to me.
When babies are hungry, they want to eat now. As children grow, they learn to wait until the meal is ready. They realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. They begin to accept that other people have needs and feelings as legitimate as their own.
But narcissists remain in an emotionally infantile stage. They expect 298 million Americans to adapt to them. They don’t like colored lights? Go to court and have them turned off. They don’t like Santa Claus? Have the school kick him out. They don’t like a Christmas tree? Have the dean throw it in the trash.
They don’t like the word "Christmas" because it denotes the birth of Christ? Insist that "holiday" be substituted. But what holiday is it? Millard Fillmore’s birthday?
And for "Christmas" substitute "winter holiday." Instead of the birth of Jesus, celebrate the winter solstice. Of course, nature imposes no moral obligations on us – which may be the real reason for the change. God has Ten Commandments; trees have none.
What about the "wall of separation" between church and state? Jefferson, the author of that phrase, attended weekly Sunday services when he was president – which were held in the Capitol Building at public expense.
Advocates of the "wall of separation" were strangely silent when liberal clergy came to the White House and "laid hands" on President Clinton to empower him to resist Republicans. But imagine the furor if conservative clergy came to the White House and prayed for President Bush to have power to resist Democrats.
The advocates remain silent when schools teach kids about the "Holy" Koran and the "Prophet" Muhammad, and tell them to adopt Muslim names and pray to Allah. But imagine the uproar if schools taught kids about the "Holy" Bible, the "Prophet" Moses, or the "Messiah" Jesus. Imagine the furor if kids were told to adopt Biblical names and pray to Jesus.
Require college freshmen to read the Koran? Teach school kids a radical environmentalist agenda that resembles pagan tree worship? No problem. But the Ten Commandments in front of a courthouse? A Nativity scene on a city hall lawn? Santa Claus or carols in schools? Christmas vacation instead of "winter break"? Never!
Apparently the "wall of separation" has a door that opens only to enemies of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It should be renamed the "wall of alienation." The goal of its proponents is to alienate us from the roots of our culture. A tree cut off from its roots can’t live long.
Similarly, some people feel uncomfortable when flags appear everywhere and signs proclaim "God bless America." They demand more "sensitivity" and "tolerance."
Polls reveal that 95 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. How is it "inclusive" to exclude this vast majority? And 90 percent believe it is the birthday of Jesus Christ. How is it "tolerant" not to tolerate expression of this belief?
What about sensitivity and tolerance for the deepest beliefs and feelings of the majority? What about appreciation for the charitable work done at this season, and for the Salvation Army Santas ringing their bells and collecting donations in their kettles?
And what about gratitude? Our country, whose freedom and abundance we enjoy, was founded by Christians who used the Bible as one of their principal guides. Instead of the eagle, Ben Franklin proposed this for our Great Seal:
Moses standing on the shore, and extending his hand over the sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand. Rays from a pillar of fire in the clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by command of the Deity. Motto, "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God."
And what did "wall of separation" Jefferson propose for the Seal?
The Children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Are we to believe that Franklin and Jefferson didn’t understand the "wall," but the ACLU knows better? And what about Washington, who was president of the Constitutional Convention? He knelt in prayer at the opening of the Continental Congress. (See http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc006409.jpg)
We are told that the men who wrote the Constitution didn’t understand it, but the ACLU does. This means, in effect, that we have no Constitution. This means that judges have the power to order us to do whatever they like, and forbid us from doing whatever they don’t like.
That’s liberty? No, that’s despotism, dressed up to look like "law." A dictator is still a dictator, whether he wears a brown uniform or a black robe.
Wisely, the Founders provided that no one sect would be allowed to dominate. They established a secular government for a religious people. But now, some distort freedom of religion into freedom from religion. They take offense at anything that does not accord with their own beliefs – or lack of belief. Like all narcissists, they insist that the world revolve around them.
Specifically, they believe that moral principles can be handed down from one generation to another without any Source for these principles. This belief requires a leap of faith just as much as does a religious belief.
There is no historical basis for the belief that a purely secular society can retain its moral principles over the generations. In fact, Western Europe is proving just the opposite. Yet we are betting everything we have that this belief is correct. Is this a wise bet?
Why should I feel "excluded" when I am surrounded by fellow Americans? Why should I feel "offended" when I am enveloped by good will?
- Is there too much happiness in the world? Is there a shortage of sadness and grief? Does hearing "Joy to the World" really cause a problem?
- Is there too much friendship in the world? Is there a deficiency of hatred and strife? Does "Peace on earth, good will toward men" really sound hurtful?
- Is there too much tolerance in the world? Is there a lack of egocentric intolerance masquerading as "tolerance"? Is there a lack of narcissistic insensitivity disguised as "sensitivity"? Do we really need more people insisting, "All of you must adapt to me"?
- Is there too much moral courage in the world? Do we need more cowardice in the face of a noisy minority of ingrates?
- Is there too much fellowship in the world? Is there a dearth of hostility and ill will? Does a hearty "Merry Christmas!" really give offense?
- Is there too much light in the world? Is there a scarcity of darkness and gloom? Do pretty lights really cause distress?
A wise man said that it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. But what would he have thought of those who curse the candle?
This Christmas season, don’t be intimidated by those who hate the Light. John 3:19-20 says that this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Shine the Light the Lord has given you always and never give into fear. Fear is not of God. Be bold, stand up and let the world know that Jesus loves them.
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