Wanna get a snorting, eye-rolling rise out of your basic, latte-sipping, secular Liberal sophisticate? Just pronounce the three-word phrase: “War on Christmas”. Smirks will fly, chortling will commence, Bill Maher and other progressive God-haters will chime lip-smackingly in: “There’s no such thing!”
But of course there’s such a thing as the “War on Christmas” — because there’s definitely an ongoing, never- expiring War on Christ. The evidence for both are plain as the nose on Rudolph’s face — but I wouldn’t expect that to be acknowledged by the same bunch that largely denies the threat of Jihadist Islam, the catastrophe of the sexual revolution, the destructiveness of the contemporary welfare state, the gathering disaster of Obamacare, and so many other modern, glaring Lefty pathologies.
Hostility to all things Jesus-related, all things Gospel, all things Christian is surely metastasizing in Western Civilization, the United States in particular. Let’s stipulate: animosity in America toward Bible-believers hasn’t reached ISIS’s heart-stopping, Middle Eastern levels — but it’s more likely to get there if Christians, or even mere defenders of the First Amendment, don’t call out anti-Christ trends at their first appearances. Gang violence in American urban centers hasn’t reduced them to Escape-From-New-York conditions yet either. So, are the Crips, Bloods, MS-13 therefore not a problem to be addressed right now? In the same way, persecution of Christians in this nation, admittedly, is tame compared to what’s being endured by the church in Syria, Iraq, and much of the Islamic world — that doesn’t in any way deny it is, in fact, taking place; and intensifying.
Student prayers and references to “God” appallingly forbidden at graduation ceremonies; bakers, florists and photographers strong-armed into serving homosexual weddings; Roman Catholic nuns forced to subsidize employees’ birth control methods; pro-life Christians required to underwrite abortion-financing health insurance. No signs of animus toward traditional Christianity in any of that? Puh-lease.
The War on Christmas is simply a subset of broader agitation against followers of Jesus and His message in general. For many, the holiday’s unpardonable element is those scandalous, first five letters: C.H.R.I.S.T. Thus, anything associated with the birth of the Savior, even tangentially, is more and more regularly being minimized, kept at arms length, even treated with contempt.
Take this year’s great Starbucks-Coffee-Cup contretemps. The franchise’s previous Christmas designs were anything but monuments to Christ-centric devotion — majoring on images involving winter scenes, snow-flakes, Frosty, festive ornaments, poinsettias, etc. Christmas-ey, yes. But “religious” in any way? Hardly. Still, when the chi-chi coffeehouse unveiled 2015’s cups, even those stylistics had vanished; replaced solely by the color red.
Objections erupted from certain sectors, putting Starbucks on blast for a perceived “anti-Christmas” agenda. Others, including not a few Christians, scoffed at the complaints as much over-reactionary ado about nothing; anti-War-on-Christmas hysteria.
And, sure enough, an unadorned, crimson cup would be no big deal — if this development were being contemplated by itself, in a cultural vacuum. Taking into account Starbuck’s corporate reputation, however, it’s doubtful it’s an undercover booster of the Family Research Council, Heritage Foundation, or traditionalist Americana. The company has unreluctantly shown itself anything but conservative- or Christian-friendly (vocally pro-homosexual, abortion-funding, trafficking in anti-white reverse racism, down on second Amendment rights.) Observers, then, wouldn’t be unreasonable suspecting the coffee-chain, once more, is playing to type: gradually succumbing to Leftism’s elitist, eww-yucky-poo sensibilities toward anything — snowmen included — which might plausibly be linked to December 25th’s celebration.
Terresa Monroe-Hamilton sums up nicely: “Christians are not outraged by red cups. We are outraged that Merry Christmas and Christianity as a whole is being purged from society.”
Of a piece with this trend: “Silent Night”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and the like regularly scrubbed from public school Christm — err — “Winter” Concerts; at town commons and government facilities, nativity scenes as unwelcomed as coal in the stocking; department stores and other places of business ruling allusions to the “C” word verboten — including innocent “Merry Christmas” greetings.
Newt Gingrich has lately reflected: “The effort to erase our religious heritage is at no time more blatant than during the Christmas season.”
Happily, in a considerable swathe of pop culture Christmas conviviality stubbornly prevails for now — because normal folks still delight in this “most wonderful time of the year”, despite politically incorrect disapproval. The Scroogey secularists never rest, mind you; they’ll be back, pestering with their bah-humbug in 2016.
None of this should surprise anyone acquainted with the biblical record — obviously. Jesus predicted it would come: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (Jn 15:18). This mordant reality awaited Him soon after His birth (Matthew 2:13); and stalked His early disciples decades later (Acts 8:1). It turns up presently in pagan barbarians’ abroad beheading Christian men and children, violating pious women, driving them from their homelands, torching their places of worship. It manifests itself, yes, less viciously but acrimoniously enough, in the giddy mockery of outspoken Christian figures like Hesiman-trophy-winner Tim Tebow for his Scripture-based sexual purity; in a particular brand of rancor reserved for the likes of presidential candidates Ben Carson and Ted Cruz who unabashedly knit their faith in Jesus into their political presentations; in reflexive touchiness directed toward anything which has about it the whiff of honoring Christ’s birthday.
Forewarned is forearmed. Believers ought to audaciously lift up Christmas because they audaciously lift up the Christ rejected by the scoffers. The very reason the irreverent disesteem the season should serve as motivation for those who worship the One it memorializes.
A war on Christmas? You betcha – so by all means say the word: “Christmas”. Croon those Christmas carols. Imbibe Christmas conventions. Onward Christian – onward Christmas – soldiers!