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By Frederick B. Meekins
One might hypothesize that the health of a culture could be determined in part by gauging to what degree those in positions of influence and authority embrace the traditions and beliefs upon which the society rests or the amount of embarrassment these figures exhibit by distancing themselves from these once-cherished notions. If this is the case, then from the attitude towards Christmas taken by overseeing elites the Western world is in serious trouble with a considerably less magnanimous competitor poised to assert the cultural direction those in the realm once known as Christendom no longer seem willing to exhibit.
Objective sociological examination teaches that the Judeo-Christian ethic has enabled the nations employing it as their organizational belief system to ascend to unprecedented spiritual and material prosperity because of that worldview's ability to balance the potentially competing needs of the individual with those of the group. But as elites conspire to eliminate the trappings of Christmas in their quest for revolutionary liberation, they end up imposing a sociopolitical control more strident than anything concocted by the most repressed ascetic.
Secularists begin this epistemic purge by having the reasonably harmless celebration of Christmas recharacterized as something dangerous to one's mental health or a danger to the nation's conception of liberty. The Colorado ACLU, in cahoots with the Anti-Defamation League, filed a lawsuit demanding that a charter school in that state desist in all mentioning of Christmas, including ancillary renditions of "Jingle Bells" on the grounds of the harm and intimidation such jubilation inflicts upon Jewish students. With everything the Jewish people have endured over the course of their history, I don't imagine those actually in touch with their heritage and simply not as cover to hide their liberal posturing won't be too phased by cookies, punch, and verbalized good tidings of great joy.
From labeling Christmas a threat to mental stability it is only a few short steps to removing it entirely - often over concerns far flimsier than mental harm. Often the threshold for action is lowered to that of mere offense.
Even organizations themselves drawing upon Christian sources for inspiration are rushing to distance themselves from the holiday's religious connotations. According to WorldNetDaily, Red Cross stores in Merry Ole England weren't quite so merry this past Christmas as they refused to sell cards depicting traditional religious themes for fear of offending those in regions where the Red Cross conducts relief efforts. The official excuse reads, "Our neutrality is as important in the UK as it is in the conflict zone. We simply cannot put it at risk... Impartiality... in restricted access countries is vital for an international organization that treats people in areas of conflict."
If that's the case, then why invoke the values of care and compassion symbolized by the Cross? If neutrality is to be elevated to the status of the ultimate operational principle kind of like Star Trek's "Prime Directive" then why are we rendering assistance to the suffering and infirm to begin with; wouldn't a dispassionate objectivity simply look upon such individuals as the cost of cosmic humanism's evolutionary quest for a better species?
Wily PR experts within the organization claim the cross has nothing to do with Christian values but rather is a reference to the Swiss flag. But from where did these jovial Alpine inhabitants come across it, from their love of coo-coo clocks and hot chocolate? Most likely it stems from that nation's Christian past.
If that's such an offense to Muslims or other kinds of heathen, so be it. Let them wipe themselves out; they don't have to accept Western relief. We might be strategically better off in the long run.
By implanting reservations about Christmas in the mind of the common citizen, the forces of absolutist secularism move ever closer to their goal of eradicating the Christian religion as the foundation of this civilization. By making the sensitive squeamish about mentioning Christmas, they have moved us to the next level of their program of eliminating Christianity all together.
One might say that working together religion and history become the stream from which all knowledge flows. Tinker with one and you alter the other and eventually everything else with it; undermine one and you undermine the other.
Often the enemies of true religion attempt to elevate their position by postulating that the claims of religion have no place among the esteemed truths of history. But in the process, the facts of history are manipulated to fit a preconceived interpretation rather than allowing their interpretation to arise from reasonably undisputed facts as transpired in the case of the New York City school system putting the brakes on Nativity displays while giving green lights to Jewish Menorahs and Islamic Crescents on the grounds that the birth of Christ is not historically accurate while the other symbols possess a "secular dimension" apart from their religious significance.
To argue that the Menorah possesses cultural importance transcending its religious value while the birth of Christ possess no historical validity is to be straddling some mighty fine tinsel.
The Menorah earns a place in the Western consciousness because of the role it played in the events surrounding the Hanukkah account. According to the record coming down to us through the Book Of Maccabees, after expelling the forces of Antichous Epiphanes from the Holy Land and reclaiming the Temple, it was found that there was only enough oil remaining to burn for one day but it instead lasted for eight.
This either meant that some Jew messed up in accounting (not very likely) or that God interjected Himself onto the stage of history to contravene the normal operations of natural law for the accomplishment of His purposes. Such a contingency might be classified as a miracle.
But if He was willing to extend a few measly drops of oil for His people at the time, why wouldn't He intercede in a manager in Bethlehem with the salvation of all mankind - both Jew and Gentile - at stake? Why, in the eyes of New York school officials, are we to accept one historical account surpassing the parameters of normality but not the other?
One might expect such nonsense to emanate from the bowels of New York City since it is, after all, renowned as a cesspool of liberalism and there are some people even mass tragedy of historic proportions won't change. The attempt to eliminate public recognition of Christian belief and culture is probably a greater danger when undertaken by institutions purporting to be more wholesome and American in nature.
The Carroll County Farm museum in Westminster, Maryland exists to remind this rapidly developing suburb of the Washington/Baltimore Metropolitan Area of its more agricultural past. As such, one would assume those entrusted with its upkeep would endeavor to execute their responsibilities as custodians of such a heritage with the utmost respect and accuracy.
Each year, the Farm Museum decorates the house and grounds, providing visitors a glimpse into the wonders of Christmases Past. Yet if the tour's official program is to serve as any kind of guide to the kind of Christmas spirit being promoted in the name of the good people of this reasonably conservative Maryland county, it is one of post-Christian revisionism.
The purpose of the publication titled Origins Of Christmas Traditions is quite self-explanatory. However, the document goes out of its way to avoid those inconvenient facts clashing with the pagan/secular hegemony liberal opinion makers wish to foist upon the American people.
For example, regarding stars as decorations, the text reads, "Stars have held religious significance for many cultures. Three stars represented God for the Babylonians; the Egyptians believed gods controlled specific stars; the six pointed Star of David became the symbol of the Hebrew nation; and the Blackfoot Indians associated every star with a human spirit."
That's all well and good, but it would leave Paul Harvey hanging as it's only part of the story.
When families gather in their homes each December, it's not the glories of ancient Egypt they assemble to honor at this stage of our cultural development when fathers stretch to place this beloved ornament atop the tree. It's rather the Star of Bethlehem mentioned in Matthew Chapter Two that guided the Wise Men to the Christ Child that this gesture commemorates.
it is not enough for those out to alter our nation through attacking its foundations to casually omit an inconvenient fact here or their. These subversives have no qualms about resorting to outright fabrications in pursuit of their cause.
Regarding candy canes, the Christmas tour booklet records, "Legend has it that the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral...asked the sticks be bent to symbolize a shepherd's crook...No one knows when the red stripe was added; it appears on Christmas cards of the 20th century."
No one? That's a rather absolutist proclamation coming from relativists. Is it really that no one knows or that no one can provide a satisfactory answer secular enough in nature?
The mystery of the red stripe is not that much of an enigma. And frankly, the Carroll County Farm Museum's exposition of the candy cane is as half-assed as a lop-sided mule cart.
The candy cane was not only designed to resemble a Shepherd's crook, but also doubles as a "J" standing for Jesus when turned upside down according to some sources such as "The Legend Of The Candy Cane". The white has come to symbolize Christ's purity and the red no one wants to talk about the Blood He shed for our sins.
But while the once-Christian West blushes in embarrassment at its historical traditions in a manner a similar to teenagers at the site of their baby pictures, there is a competing outlook increasingly in our midst that does not shame away from its public manifestations as characteristic of many so-called Christians and that has no qualms about imposing its beliefs upon others often through means harsher than reasoned persuasion. But perhaps the most disturbing thing about it is the complicity and complacency of Western thinkers and leaders in their own conquest.
For while the radically tolerant do everything within their power to sweep Christianity under the rug, they gush with a multicultural naivete in enthusiastically going out of their way to accommodate the public display of Islamic rites and practices. In the eyes of some liberals, when Islam comes into view the Humanist's ballyhooed separation of church and state suddenly gets as lost as a needle in the Arabian Desert.
An excellent yet disturbing example of this phenomena occurred at a public library in England where a church was forbidden from placing a notice about its Christmas service on the bulletin board because such an act might be seen as endorsing a particular religious preference and thus offend adherents of other faiths but where librarians had previously held an
official function recognizing the end of Ramadan. An allegedly "Conservative" councillar remarked of complaints about the inconsistency in
the Telegraph, "I am appalled at the attitude of these so-called Christians making such a fuss about this policy. The way they have reacted to the children's party is just shocking." In other words, you'd better be quiet and have a smile on your face as we toss you to the lions.
This font of jurisprudence continued, "It is quite a different thing having a party organized by a library to promote Cultural understanding and accepting notices for religious services." Thus it is proper for a government agency to endorse a hostile religion bent on the destruction of almost everything good and pure but an ecumenical crisis of monumental proportions erupts for simply allowing an independent, non-affiliated ecclesiastical entity to place a notice in a forum which by definition ought to be open to promoting community events.
But if those making tolerance their purpose in life really want to embrace Islamic values, who are we to complain? I would have no problem with having four subservient wives required to beckon to my every call and who could be properly be put in their place should they dare get out of line. For supposedly longing for understanding, these libraries are appalling ignorant of the world as it actually is despite being surrounded by books, instead preferring their own little La-La Land.
Yet there is more at stake than the luxuries and privileges currently enjoyed by uppity feminists. For while the culturally effeminate might cringe at any truth beyond their beloved pseudo-truth that there is no truth, their Islamic counterparts aren't as assured of the propriety of keeping one's beliefs to oneself. In fact, many of this persuasion are fanatically insistent their ideas are best for you to live by as well whether you want to or not.
Americans had better know what they are in for before they allow adherents of this religion to acquire to much influence or to increase in number beyond what is socially prudent. For though it might come as a surprise to those intoxicated by contemporary leftist conceptions of tolerance, activist Muslims aren't exactly renowned for devotion to classic democratic-republicanism or traditional conceptions of innate liberties.
Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, the Saudi official who formulated the religious curriculum used their and in Islamic schools abroad essentially making him the terrorist counterpart to Bill Bennet, believes slavery is still appropriate under Islamic law and that any Muslim who says otherwise is an infidel (and we all know what Muslims of the good sheik's persuasion want done to infidels). He also opposes elections, political assembly, a free media, and wants to behead Muslims criticizing the Saudi brand of Islam.
Apologists might counter that such sentiments represent just one faction within the Islamic faith just as not all Christians agree on how their faith should be implemented either. But if Saudi Arabia is to Islam what the Vatican is to Roman Catholicism, such an assertion would insinuate that what those speaking on behalf of the Pope had to say is of little diocesan consequence. While this analogy is not absolute, it is not without merit since the Saudis propagate an ecclesiastical influence beyond their kingdom by sponsoring mosques and religious schools around the globe.
Some Christians sensitive to the less than kosher origins of December festivities due to their pagan origins before they were baptized with Christian meaning might think it trivial to elevate Christmas to the level of one of the major battles of the epic culture war gripping American and world civilization on almost all fronts. But whether you're inclined to have a holly jolly Christmas or not, you have got to realize that "the holiday season" isn't going anywhere; the issue rather becomes whose ideas are going to predominate the day in the minds of men.
Some Neo-pagans are more than happy to oblige Christians forfeiting the day over the occultic origins of certain symbols by reimbuing them with their ancient pre-Christian meanings. For example, one sect of nature worshippers suggests decorating your "solstice tree" with pagan symbols. Instead of placing an angel atop it, I guess you'd hang Al Gore or Oprah Winfrey figurines from the branches.
Likewise, more than fruity garden heathens are out to co-opt the festive time at the end of December in support of their own nefarious agendas.
Traditionally, merchants have used the noble sentiments of Christmas to both spread goodwill while earning a little profit at the same time. However, since the word "Christmas" has been denigrated to a level lower than profanity in the annals of liberal lexicography, statists and corporatists are compelled to fabricate another celebration around which to organize and promote values.
In the revolutionary spirit of the new holiday order, the Bank of America this December sponsored the advertising plastered across the bags the Prince George's Gazette was delivered in. This bag was not covered with quaint trees or cute elves wishing all a Merry Christmas. Instead the bag read, "Kwanzaa brings the gift of community together in celebration of family, unity, and pride. Bank of America Kwanzaa gift cards are a perfect way to remember those you love this Kwanzaa."
To bad such a crock can't be bagged inside the bag it was scribbled across. Use to be the sentiments expressed above were placed within a Christian context in recognition of the Christmas spirit, but in light of the meaning of Kwanzaa, are they even something we want to celebrate?
In the multiculturalist ethos of the early 21st century, Christianity is bad mouthed in part on the grounds of being "exclusionary". After all, Christ Himself said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Pretty narrow, eh? But if you think so, isn't Kwanzaa even more so?
For while the gift of Jesus is available to anyone coming unto Him regardless of race or ethnic background, Kwanzaa is for the Black community alone. If it's racist for white folk to prefer the company of other white folk, to patronize white businesses for no other reason than that they are owned by whites, or to feel a certain sense of accomplishment for having simply been born white, then why should black ones get a free pass? Without Christianity to infuse them with meaning, unity, community, and even family become nothing more than pawns in the onward march of socialistic racialism.
Christian thinker Ravi Zacharias once observed that culture is the effort to provide a coherent set of answers to the existential questions that confront all human beings. If attacks such as these continue, Americans might end up losing more than their eggnog and stockings hung by the fire. They could wake up one Christmas morning and find themselves without their country as they once knew it as well.
Copyright 2004 by
Frederick B. Meekins
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