‘Masquerading of Spiritual Values Behind Generic Gingerbread’

Do you say merry Christmas, happy holidays, both or neither when
bumping into family, friends and strangers during the month of
Do you say merry Christmas, happy holidays, both or neither when bumping into family, friends and strangers during the month of December?

Does it matter to you what retailers say after you’ve spent your hard earned cash on goodwill gifts and festive decorations in their place of business?

If you’re bothered by the generic phrases that have replaced spirit imbued blessings, consider yourself part of the growing number of Americans who’d like to see the heartbeat of Christmas restored to the month of December. You’re one of many who’ve noticed that political correctness has donned the Grinch’s mask and quietly snuck off with our rich national traditions. And, you’d like him to return what he’s taken. Immediately!

According to CNN, Fox News and Scripps Howard polls:

n 96 percent of all Americans celebrate Christmas

n 90 percent recognize Christmas as the honorary birthday of Jesus Christ

n 88 percent feel that it’s okay for people to wish someone they just met “Merry Christmas”

n 87 percent believe nativity scenes should be allowed on public property

n 81 percent of those who won’t be in church for Christmas services will still have a tree and exchange gifts

So what happened to “the majority rules” in our democratic nation?

The Alliance Defense Fund has inspired 800 lawyers to join in the fight against the improper censoring of Christmas and has already won many of their cases.

“An overwhelming majority of Americans of all faiths agree that we should celebrate Christmas,” said ADF president, Alan Sears. “This is a time for goodness, giving, and hope – not a time for fear, intimidation, and the disinformation of agenda driven, anti-Christmas legal entities.”

The Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation have also joined the majority in this debate. President Don Feder said that even though the group doesn’t believe Jesus was the promised Messiah, they do feel that America is a Christian nation and that Christians should be able to celebrate their important holidays.

Feder said, “Jewish support of Christmas greetings and other holiday traditions stems from a recognition on our part that the war on Christmas is part of the overall war on religion in our culture.”

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Old English word for Christmas was Cristes Maesse, or the Mass of Christ, and was first used in 1038. Of course, no one knows the real birth date of Jesus of Nazareth but most realize that the honorary date chosen coincides with the winter solstice. That’s not a problem for believers who feel it’s appropriate to celebrate his arrival on the day when light breaks forth into darkness.

Irregardless of its origins, the ebbing spiritual overtones of this powerful holiday can be seen even in the Bay Area. We have holiday parades instead of Christmas parades (even though they’re filled with dancing Christmas trees, elves and Santa.) Our schools have winter breaks instead of Christmas vacations. And clerks finalize our purchases with, “Did you find everything you were looking for?” instead of wishing us a Christmas blessing.

The masquerading of spiritual values behind generic gingerbread makes me sad. I’m first in line to draw political correctness boundaries when someone’s feelings are being hurt with crude language or hateful actions but I don’t think this is about hurting anyone’s feelings. It’s about trying to placate a few angry folks who want to play Scrooge by insisting we not have peace or pleasure in their presence.

As the Grinch found out in Dr. Seuss’s famous book, no one can really steal Christmas. Not even when you’re motivated by spite. Not even when you successfully steal all the external trappings. The spirit of Christmas, with its holy message of unconditional love, simply cannot be outlawed or out litigated. A small group of dissenters can’t stop children from hoping nor can they stop angels from singing, “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth toward all men.”

Fifty-some years ago, our nation struggled with the idea of celebrating Christmas so soon after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. With Winston Churchill at his side, President Roosevelt decided that no one nor any act of hate should stop the festivities.

“Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practice them,” he said as he lit the national Christmas tree, “we set our faith in human love and in God’s care for us all men everywhere.”