My annual rant about the non-existent war on Christmas. There just isn’t one. No one is telling you not to celebrate Christmas. All I’ve ever heard from is a few folks don’t want to have to celebrate it nor their tax dollars used to promote it. Nothing wrong with that.
Why is there nothing wrong with that? Mostly the first amendment to a pesky little document we call the Constitution. It rightly calls for a freedom FROM religion, usually taken to mean the government can’t promote one religion or another. Nothing wrong with that.
Why is there nothing wrong with that? Because we tend to think in terms of not having a problem with the government promoting OUR religion. But what if the government was promoting, implicitly or explicitly, a religion you’re not comfortable with. And let’s limit the selection pool to Christian religions, you know, just for conversations sake.
It wasn’t so long ago that most Catholics thought Protestants were going to hell. Maybe they still do. And most Protestants thought Catholics were going to hell, some even believing the office of the Pope is the anti-Christ. So, are we going to promote Catholic faith or Protestant.
Okay, let’s limit the selection pool to Protestant faith systems, you know, just for conversations sake.
Protestants have some differences of opinion such that there are thousands of denominations in the United States. So strong are these differences of opinion that some faith groups do not recognize others as being Protestant much less Christian. Even amongst the Lutheran branch of Protestants in USAmerica there is serious disagreement over the validity of the other synods (branches).
Not to mention a story a colleague told me over breakfast several years ago. He was an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) pastor serving in Arkansas. The local evangelical church leaders weren’t sure if he wasn’t pastoring a cult.
So then. Which Christianity should the government support?
Not to mention, if you need a government action to protect your system of faith then your system of faith needs some work. Look what happened to Christianity when Rome made it the official state religion. Yes, it spread world wide but it took a bloodbath and a ton of bureaucracy to get it done. Thanks a lot, Constantine.
Our job as followers of Christ is not to worry about the government supporting our faith system. That would be a serious mistake and given the decline of the Christian church in USAmerica these past few decades, it could be a fatal one.
What’s the appropriate response if you say Merry Christmas and they say Happy Holidays in return? Thank you would be a very good place to start.
There is no war on Christmas. Seriously.
(cover image courtesy of The Good Men Project at https://goodmenproject.com)