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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy/Merry/Feliz/Joyous/Blessed [insert holiday of choice here]!

In Defense of "Happy Holidays" | 9Marks
3.    The outrage over "Happy Holidays" seems to be motivated at least in part by a sadness that things have changed in our culture (though the folks over at Psychology Today think it has something to do with the allure of victimhood).  But one way or the other (to modify the words of Rick Pitino) Ward Cleaver isn’t walking through that door anytime soon. 
I especially liked the second reason he gave, about how we should be more concerned over how stores treat their employees rather than whether they train them to say "Happy Holidays" or "Happy Christmas".  Another thing I forgot to mention is that I had a discussion on an online forem about this several years ago and one of the people arguing for "Happy Christmas" only policy was saying that he (I'm pretty sure he identified himself as male) didn't want to commercialize Christmas, but wouldn't go to a store again if one of their employees told him "Happy Holidays"- which in effect commercializes Christmas.  But it was mainly third reason that I responded to (I added a link to snopes.com showing the alleged "Holiday trees" and changed the first word in the last paragraph from "As" to "On"):
Although your third point touches on this a little, I think it goes deeper than that.  One of the "Top Ten... theologically flawed statements" of Christian social conservatives that Ed Dobson talks about in his book Blinded by Might: Why the Religious Right Can't Save America (which he co-authored with Cal Thomas) is the belief that "{o]ur government must reflect our Christian values" (pp. 169, 172).  Replace "government" with "culture" and I think you find one of the prime motivations behind the "attack on Christmas" mentality.  But, as Dobson goes on to state on p. 172, "Jesus did not expect the world to reflect his values of the values of his disciples.  In fact, he predicted the opposite".
I think that we Christians need to ask ourselves whether we really need validation from the world.  It the Bible is true, then it is true and no amount of cultural disbelief or even outright antagonism can change its truthfulness.
On a similar note, I hope all who read this will do their part in refuting the nonsense that the Obamas have begun calling the White House Christmas trees "Holiday trees".  Whether one agrees with his policies or not, it damages the credibility of our witness when we engage in spreading, at best, untrue rumors (and, at worst, outright lies), especially when there are so easily disproved by any number of photos that show a sign with the words "Christmas trees" attached to the cart bringing them to the White House

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