Dueling Twins

Christmas


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The 'Dueling Twins'

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Enter the 'HALL' of the Dueling JAMES Twins!

Christmas is the one time of year when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ....
Bart Simpson

Point:

“War on Christmas”
or Simple Politeness?
 
by James Hall from the Left

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I’ve often said “Happy Holidays” to my Jewish friends and to those whose religion I don’t know, and never knew that I was participating in a liberal plot to destroy Christmas until Jerry Falwell told me it was so.  (Full disclosure: I also say “Merry Christmas” to family and friends I know to be Christians.  I send Christmas cards and put up Christmas lights and buy Christmas presents, too.)

 

I always thought that saying “Happy Holidays” was just being polite.  Saying “Merry Christmas” to someone whose holiday this month is actually Hannukkah or Kwanzaa would be like having your Muslim grocer wish you a pleasant Ramadan, or your Hindu professor urge you to be reincarnated into a higher caste.  Awkward, that: would you say ‘no thanks, that’s not what I believe’ to a friendly gesture or just keep quiet?

 

People have been saying “Happy Holidays” for years.  Now the phrase has become a war cry for the Christian Right.  They are taking aim at those of us who use it, including much of the business community.  They want stores and businesses to proudly claim they are in business for Christ by putting up “Merry Christmas.”  Funny, I thought that Jesus threw the money-changers out of the Temple.  Now the Christian Right wants to turn Macy’s into Christ’s Commercial Temple, and they are holding business’ feet to the hell-fire.

 

Still, isn’t it absurd to claim that retail business, whose biggest season is during the Christmas season, is out to destroy Christmas by saying “Happy Holidays?” Conservative Christians used to deride the commerciality of this season; now, it appears, they want to co-opt it.  But how many pagans will be saved in a Radio Shack or a J. C. Penney’s?

 

Reverend Falwell’s offensive includes taking back the Christmas Tree for Christians.  You can’t call it a Holiday Tree anymore, even though many non-Christians do.  In Japan, where the people are largely Shinto or Buddhist, they put up trees and enjoy the shopping.

 

Strangely, there’s no mention of any Christmas Tree in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth.  The only mention of a tree is in Jeremiah 10:2-4, where the prophet specifically admonishes his people not to decorate their homes with trees, as a number of pagan religions did to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  The early Church Father Tertullian said the same, as did the Pilgrim Governor of Massachusetts, William Bradford, who banned all “pagan mockery.”  The first American church to put up a tree was in 1851, and many of its parishioners accused the minister of paganism.

 

So, Reverend Falwell, whose tree is it?  If anyone has a right to ‘take back’ the tree, it’s the people who first used it, the worshippers of Druidism and Baal (if any of them still exist).  No, Reverend, let’s be charitable and share the tree with anyone who wants it—it’s not ours to keep.

 

Maybe the separation of Christ’s name from the commercial institutions and buying season isn’t such a bad thing after all.  Maybe Christians should focus on the Christmas Story and not on what’s written on advertising flyers and store signs.  Maybe we shouldn’t worry about what store clerks are wishing shoppers or what trees are publicly called and keep Christmas in our hearts.  Happy holidays to you all.

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Rebuttal:

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War on Christmas, Part Two
 
Once again the claim that America was established as a 'Christian nation' is used to justify impoliteness to non-Christians.  I'm not sure what that claim means, exactly, because America was never exclusively Christian.  Not then, not now.  Just like today, the founding fathers represented a mixture of religions, including non-Christian Deist, Unitarian, and even some atheists.  The founders deliberately refused to establish a national church or offer religious tests for office.
 
What America does stand for, then and now, is religious freedom, the right to worship as one chooses, which is what all groups coming to America sought, and should have.  That means a public space that is religiously neutral, allowing all to worship in their ways.  It's that public neutrality that has allowed so much diversity and vitality in religion in this country, more than in any other place in the world.
 
Yet some want to spoil that wise public policy.  We've fought these battles before.  Ironically, Falwell and his army of Liberty Council lawyers, and the Family Research Council are going after business at a time when the limits of Church and State are well known, and there is little controversy over religious displays in public areas, so long as other displays, including secular ones, are also permitted.
 
No one is trying to destroy the public expression of religion in the commercial sphere.  Note that the ACLU has never filed a brief forcing a business to forgo a Christmas party or promote a "Happy Holidays" season.
 
It's the Religious Right that has intruded into this sphere, attempting to bully businesses to see it their way.  Wal-Mart and Sears aren't government property.  In their attempt to boycott the use of "Happy Holidays" at these stores, religious conservatives are actually telling the owners of private property how to run their businesses and what to do with their property.
 
Let's debate whether Jesus Himself would be in favor of Merry Christmas signs in Burdines or Macy's.  I will leave it up to my esteemed colleague to show me where in the Bible Jesus ever demanded that the public square be made his.  In fact, his comments on the practice of public displays of piety (Matthew 6) in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving were overwhelmingly negative.
 
One wonders how far this Children's Crusade of Falwell's will go.  If 'Happy Holidays' is threatened by Liberty's legions of lawyers, how close are Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus to legal limbo?  Will the Sugar Plum Fairy, Charlie Brown, and the Toy Soldier join the Reverend's hit list?  Will "Jingle Bells" no longer jingle?
 
Let it go, Jerry!  This mess of Christians claiming the commercial buying season and ownership of ambiguous symbols like the Christmas Tree only serves to dilute Christ's real message.  Conservative Christians used to know this, but in their zeal to fight wars of culture and raise funds for future political action, they have apparently forgotten it.
 
James Hall, From the Left

Counterpoint:

Christmas is for celebrating CHRIST

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We all should know that Jesus was not born on December 25th or during the winter season.  Heck, in this secular culture some even argue that HE did not even exist.  So why should it be surprising that so many 'PC' devotees' are so dedicated to purging the Savior from the public square?  The American empire has become a pagan Saturnlian culture.  Saturnlia was the greatest festival of the Roman year, and was marked with great feasting, gift-giving, dancing, playing, and relaxing. Homes were decorated, work was suspended, and there was general merry-making done by all.
 
Only an odd fellow would seek to defend the practice of a pagan celebration.  But that is exactly what the elves of evil secularism want you to do.  Their objection is directed towards a simple objective.  Remove Christ from society.  Those gnomes of multifariousness fanaticism have no room for the array of Christian believers.  Their version of tolerance requires that the intention and purpose for the Good Shepherd tradition must serve up lamb upon the altar of diversity.  A tree as a symbol is not their problem.  No, it is the idea that a land settled as a Christian country must forgo that heritage for the sake of the multicultural high priests of acceptable and appropriate attitudes. 
 
The vast believing majority must subjugate their essential values and mainstream religion to the ecumenical will of heretics.  That's exactly what is being argued when a society marches down the road of purging the spiritual revealed truth for the practice of a false worldly worship.  No particular church has the only message, but there is only one gospel that offers the promise of salvation.
 
So sorry to offend the thin-skinned non-Christians!  Since when do outsiders get to make the rules for a celebration that has the central focus on the Redeemer?  The Christmas observance should discard all those plastic trees and use the real symbol of the Christ.  Therefore, strip those decorations off of trees and replace it with the simple Cross . . .
 
Salvation through the Son of God is the message.  Why not chuck the commercialism of those phony "Happy Holidays" and ignite a candle of light by erecting the cross of deliverance?  The Falwell's are not the gatekeepers of the faith.  But surely the 'so called' Rev. turned lawyer Barry W. Lynns' of the world are but secular choir-boys in the Black Mass of a Satanic social order. 
 
The marketplace of commerce needs to cater to customers in order to prosper.  Public holidays are mere government contrivance for civic distractions.  Adoration of the Lord is permanent submission to the will of God.  Coupling the materialism of sales with the spirit of HOPE is superfluous at best but seriously detrimental when it becomes ingrained into the culture.  If you want to be polite then be charitable.  However, succumbing to the motive of politeness at the price of denying the essence of your faith reminds of the cock crowing thrice.   
 
If the spirit of cheer is your bag for a holiday merry, then old Saint Nick can dole out to you the presents of joy.  But if your purpose for remembrance on the long-established day called Christmas is to worship the gift of Deliverance, than raise up the Cross of Salvation.  The best reward for non-believers on this day is the example of the glory in the gift of grace.  Don't let all those trees block your view of the promised land . . .
 
James Hall aka SARTRE 

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Final Word:

Sophistry is the evangel hymn from which the religiously neutral chant.  The mortal sin for these all-inclusive preachers has the missal text of a devoted heretic.  Falling into the trap of the Falwell canard is hardly the issue.  Those who fashion a fable of distraction surely have forgotten the lesson in The Parable of the Dishonest Steward – Luke: 13-15

 

13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

14 And the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things; and they scoffed at him.

15 And he said unto them, Ye are they that justify yourselves in the sight of men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

 

Those who worship under the ministry of diversity and claim that such relativity produces vitality in religion, demonstrate their greater love of public neutrality.  As long as faithful believers are forced to obey the commandment of multicultural ecumenism, their sham inclusive church is served.

 

In the marketplace of commerce, how and with whom one spends their money seems to be a basic liberty that the bible ensures.  Like the artificial Christmas Tree, those modern day Pharisees - unpleasant persons - want you to adopt a false shame for behaving badly.  Accepting a secular tolerance for even intolerant religions may seem both modern and progressive!  However, such an ethos requires that the lowest divisor of commercial economy, equate to equal adherence, with the faithful celebrator of the reason for the Holy Day. 

 

Their secular holiday just is not equivalent.  The season is a remembrance of Christ; period.

 

All those trees will not make the “Cross of Christ”.  Yet, how many of those saintly open-minded Scribes would allow the happy vitality of the season if all those trees lost their branches and needles and stood straight and upright with just one horizontal timber to support the faith in salvation through the Messiah?  So we are suppose to swallow that the ACLU is charitable by demanding a neutral Caiphas public policy?  Pray tell, what other blasphemy is necessary to endure in the quest for “Simple Politeness”?

 

The message of the Bible Gospel includes both Old and New Testaments.  Fulfillment by the later does not do away with the former.  Is not that the message of true tolerance?  Is not that the real role of witnessing the Good News . . . for all to hear and receive the gift of grace to believe? 

 

Not so for the ‘Princes of Politeness’.  Let no Divine King take the place of the creed of public neutrality.  So goes the joyful fallacy of a happy holiday, in a universal collective community. 

So goes the secular society, never allow the country’s Christian founding tradition go unchallenged.  So goes the great society of human invention, the civic chaos is but an illusion.  

Don’t be humiliated into thinking that it is unchristian to speak out loud and clear in the public square your submission to the Son of God.  Just maybe a non-believer may receive the Spirit of the season.       

 

James Hall – ‘The Right’


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Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day....

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