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John Brock: Truth is Christmas by any other name is still Christmas

  • Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We have all heard a lot of discussion in recent years concerning the “Assault on Christmas.” There is plenty of reason to believe that there has indeed been a secular effort to de-emphasize Christmas celebration in American Life.

I don’t need to reiterate the various efforts along these lines but we continue to witness attempts to change the “reason for the season.” Christmas trees have become “Holiday Trees”. Christmas holidays have morphed into “Winter Holidays” Nativity scenes are outlawed in public places. And, school children are being taught new secular words to old-time Christmas carols in a vain attempt to be “inclusive.”

Although over ninety percent of Americans say they observe Christmas and over eighty-five percent claim to be Christians, there has been a concerted attempt to eliminate the religious significance of the season. If not a religious observance, then what is Christmas?

Objections to Christmas celebration are not being led by other religions, for the most part, but by atheists, agnostics, self-appointed opponents of anything religious or, perhaps, they are just folks with too much time on their hands. Many from the Jewish community have indicated they enjoy the Christmas season and are saddened to see a diminished observance.

I had a Jewish friend in junior high and he said he enjoyed the season. I teased him about having his holidays and mine off from school. We laughed together.

Some retailers and government officials have stepped into a controversy that they do not seem to perceive how to handle the holiday season. It’s simple. Christmas is a “religious” holiday! Recognize it as such. It is sanctioned as a legal holiday by the federal and state governments as well as over one quarter of a billion Americans. There is no other explanation. Celebrate it however you choose but you can’t eliminate the religious connection. Christmas is undisputedly and fundamentally an occasion to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Businesses have run into a stone wall of resistance to their efforts of eliminating the word “Christmas” from their advertising, promotion and greetings. Most have seen the light and have rescinded their decrees to employees and ad agencies to forego mention of Christmas. The majority has clearly spoken. But some malcontents continue to fight the battle against Christianity.

Christians that I know do not wish to discriminate against other religious beliefs. They simply don’t want to be discriminated against for their own.

The attempts of the anti-Christmas crowd to obliterate Christmas observance may be based on something much more sinister than just Christmas-bashing. Many see it as an effort to make Secularism trump religion of any sort. A small but shrill group has succeeded in eliminating religious doctrine and practice from much of public life — prayer in school, at sporting events and other public places. And they have just begun as we have seen attempts to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance and off our money and public buildings.

It behooves Christians, a clear majority in America, to ensure that this never happens. Contrary to what the Secularists would have you believe, America was indeed founded on a Judeo/Christian foundation of a belief in God. This concept has been established time and again from the very early documents of this nation to the present day. This should not be allowed to change because mankind has flourished as never before under any other founding principle.

In less than two-hundred years, the US became the dominant force in the world. While other nations have built walls to prevent citizens from leaving their countries, American citizenship has become the goal of millions who traverse our borders — legally and illegally. We have become a bastion of liberty throughout the world. There is obviously a reason. And folks who adhere to the Judeo/Christian philosophy are certain they know that reason.

Christmas and celebrations surrounding the occasion have changed. Change will continue to occur. But, it is fundamental that we never forget that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Son of God, who came as man into this sinful world to offer redemption to all.

Most Americans profess this belief.

And the words of God’s angels, “… Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord,” hold significant and truthful meaning for those of us who celebrate Christmas. Let’s keep it that way.

Merry Christmas!

John Brock, a retired newspaper editor/publisher and college professor, lives in Georgetown County and can be reached via mail at this newspaper or by E-mail: brock@johnbrock.com

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