Christmas Opinion

Christmas is Peace

They are making merchandise of Christmas and all who celebrate it. All of them. Bill O’Reilly. Sarah Palin. The American Humanist Association. Freedom From Religion Foundation. All of them.

Those of us who keep Christmas year round know when Christmas is getting closer because these guys start blowing their horns. Once Christmas is over they don’t care about Christmas. It has suited their purposes, advanced their agendas, sold their books, and reached all their converts.

These people are no different than any retailer or business who gets more bang for the buck when it comes time to drink the nog. As Stan Freberg said “Christmas has two S’s in it and they are both dollar signs”.

How low will they go?

The Freedom from Religion Foundatio, whose base goal is to remove religion from the dialogue, advances itself by embracing atheism. Atheism is not the problem. It is a victim, much like Christmas itself. I know many atheists who celebrate Christmas in their own way for their own reasons. And they are, frankly, embarrassed by the likes of FFRF who use Christmas to push the squelching of religion.

Their latest ploy is to claim they are celebrating the Winter Solstice, even going so far as to say they celebrate the unconquered sun. (Only they say it in capital letters, the Unconquered Sun). Do they know what that means? The Unconquered Sun is a reference to Saturnalia, the Roman celebration of Saturn — a god. So the FFRF is now embracing a god to gain converts to the ranks of the godless?

They have invented a black and female baby…to worship? Seems really far out to me, a pure exploitation of Christmas and an aimed offense at what is held sacred by others. It ought to be a crime.

But on the opposite ends of things there’s Bill O’Reilly who claimed the other night that it is his job to defend Christmas and that Christmas was declared a holiday in acknowledgement of the Judeo-Christian roots of the USA.

That’s about as dumb as a bag of rocks. O’Reilly is about as poor a researcher of Christmas as the FFRF. (But it suits his purposes).

Christmas was made a federal holiday because of a labor dispute. That’s the cold truth. Federal workers in Washington DC did not get Christmas off and they resented it because their counterparts in the private sector did. So they passed a law and if you ever read the declaration making Christmas a holiday you’ll be shocked to learn what dry legalese it contains. Instead of soaring rhetoric about peace, love and mistletoe it reads like a car rental contract. There’s nothing about Judeo-Christian roots in it.

But facts don’t seem to stop Bill O’Reilly. Or the FFRF.

But for those of us who keep Christmas — those of us who are here and living it day to day — we love every part of the holiday except this part. Christmas to us is best explained in the words of the angel to the shepherd — Peace on earth and to all men goodwill.

You don’t have to believe in God to embrace that. You don’t have to wave the flag to embrace that. You don’t have to sell books, bumper stickers, or television shows.

But peace is what we should be promoting with Christmas. So too with goodwill. We see that every day in our communities and we see it from people of all walks of life from all over the world.

Just not from the media and those who have access to it.

Father of 7, Grandfather of 7, husband of 1. Freelance writer, Major League baseball geek, aspiring Family Historian.

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