When I saw a news report the other evening of children being taught new words to a song we've sung for years - "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" - I was saddened to hear "We Wish You a Splendid Holiday."
I know now that it's just a matter of time that the "Merry Christmas" greetings will be gone. Look around your town. Notice the "Holiday" greetings and not "Christmas." It's happening right before our very eyes.
Start singing the songs; go down the streets of America singing to your heart's content. Get some of those wash-off markers that these kids use to write on their car windows when they're rooting for their hometown football team. It's easy to do, and if a torrential rain washes it off, write it on there again.
We've got to get this message out. "Go Tell It On the Mountain . . . that Jesus Christ is Born." Sing it, speak it, be a billboard for our Lord.
The story of this "Baby Jesus" alone has brought about more goodwill at this time of year than any other day we celebrate. How can we sit back and allow Him to be snuffed out of our lives?
Is it Jesus, or is it His followers that the "offended" don't like? What kind of revulsion galvanizes one to campaign so vehemently against the mere mention of His name, the mere singing of a carol, or the mere visual of a sign that says "Merry Christmas?"
I can listen to my own boss at work use some of the vilest words and follow up with, "Excuse my French." I may cringe inside at his damning of God's name, but I tolerate it. So if you don't like me wishing you a "Merry Christmas," I'll say, "Excuse my joy." You may cringe that I celebrate the birth of Jesus, but just tolerate it.
I cannot be concerned that "Merry Christmas" offends you. If I'm not careful, the day will come when saying I'm a Christian will offend you.
I'm offended that you're offended. How about that?
When we get to a point that we can no longer take part in a tradition we hold dear, we have no choice; we either defend that tradition or we give it up to those who say NO. That's it . . . period. So, which will it be?
I'm not giving up my "Merry Christmas" joy to anyone. If I know of someone that celebrates another holiday during this time of year, I will be glad to wish them whatever holiday they want. Just tell me what it is and I'll shout it to the world and wish you a grand celebration.
Lileks has had some very interesting thoughts on this subject this week as well. See this example, in which he rebuts comments made by blogger James Wolcott. Don't bother to look at Wolcott's site; Lileks repeats the relevant comments in his post.
Someone asked me why this is such a big deal now, when we all know "Merry Christmas" has been systematically stamped out for years. It's because we're starting to fight back, and the other side can't stand it. That means it will get much worse, but that also means we have to fight all the harder. Get angry about this, folks, and then as I said earlier, pray for those people who hold Christians and Christmas in so much scorn.
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