War, What Is It Good For?

Mike DeVries posted today on something I’ve thought a lot about this holiday season but haven’t really blogged about it. That’s a good thing because Mike has framed it much better than I would have. He links to an article from Belief.net that offers a sane outside perspective on the “war on christmas” and it’s very much worth your time to read.

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8 thoughts on “War, What Is It Good For?

  1. Okay, so in America these small minority groups can try and stop us from saying the Pledge, take down displays of the Ten Commandments, the Cross, any sign that has the word “Jesus” in it period, and from praying in school.
    I wonder what would happen if I moved to Israel and got some other Christians to join me in trying to force their society and government to take down displays of the Menorah, Stars of David, no more public prayer at the wailing wall, etc.????
    I wonder what would happen in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, oh wait…..I’d be killed, that’s right.

  2. Marcguyver,

    Does the article I link to suggest that Christmas trees and manger scenes shouldn’t be displayed? Does the article talk poorly about the Ten Commandments? I would hope not since the article is written by a Jewish Rabbi (They believe in the Ten Commandments too). I’m wondering if you are actually commenting on my post or if you are just using this as an opportunity to act like a bully and show hostility towards those who practice a faith different than your own.

  3. I do wish that somehow it was just easier to wish goodwill towards others as they celebrate this time of year. It’s hard because Happy Holidays is the best solution we’ve come up with, but it doesn’t really convey our desire. Although inclusive, it’s generic.

  4. I’ve honestly never understood the argument over things like the Pledge in school, Ten Commandements in courthouses, etc. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t make me a better Christian, I doubt that it makes others better people. How many adults actually wake up and say the Pledge when they wake up? Same with the Ten Commandments. What advantage does having the Ten Commandments posted hold over non-Ten Commandement courthouses? It just seems like something powerful has been turned into nothing more than a prop. And, when I hear people are offended when they see ‘Merry Christmas’ exclusively, I don’t throw a fit, I start saying ‘Happy Holidays’. It’s not so hard.

  5. Hey Zach, I’m not in the least bit trying to come off as a “Bully” I’m just curious as to what the response would be by other cultures and nationalities if the same type of thing that seems to be occurring here in America would also occur in their homeland.

    It seems to me that an attack on our very culture is definitely taking place. Maybe they’re not as successful as they’d like to be, but when you’ve got people getting symbols like a simple cross being removed from “City Seals” in California, then I’d say there is a definite ‘attack’.

    Sorry if you think my comments have been offensive.

  6. Marcguyver,

    I don’t think you’ve been offensive at all. I know where your frustration lies and to some extent I can relate to it. To be completely honest, I’m not very worried about issues such as the display of the Ten Commandments or school prayer but I can certainly recognize why those issue are important to many.

    but whether or not you think there is an attack on Christian culture, i don’t think that has anything to do with my actual post or the link i referenced. I can undertand if my post was saying “i think it’s good that we remove all things Christian from our society”, but that’s not what the intent was of the article i linked to. The article, which i thought was written with a fair amount of respect for Christmas, was simply pointing out that there are other faiths and traditions that celebrate spiritual events this time of year and that it’s not incredibly terrible to recognize that fact. to focus so much on this season as only “Christmas time” is being a bit disrespectful to the minority traditions in this country.

    If you had a friend who you knew was Jewish, would you wish them a “Merry Christmas”? I suggest that if you did, it would be pretty rude. If you would agree with that, then let’s assume you are addressing a large variety of people at once. Maybe there are some who celebrate Hanukka or maybe some are Jehovah’s Witness who chose not to celebrate Christmas. How do you address this group of people if you want to be as kind and understanding as possible? You could say “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” or you could be an insensitive jerk and say “Merry ——-” (insert my tradition here and knowingly exclude those who aren’t the same as i am).

    i think you are nice guy and can understand that as Christians we are called to be understanding and kind, not exclusivist and arrogant. Afterall, shame on our arrogance while celebrating the fact that our loving God came into our world in humble poverty.

  7. I hear ya, Zach.
    I’m curious, just throwing this out. If I moved to Israel, should I be “offended” if someone wishes me Happy Hanukah?
    I see the point you make of not being “offensive” just for the sake of being “offensive”; but I’m wondering why as an American, a Christian American, I have to be so concerned all the time about the “minority” groups that come to our Country and their cultures and traditions.
    I’m not saying that we should just forget about them and their beliefs, but I think the onus is on them to adopt our cultures and beliefs, not the other way around.

    Enjoying the dialogue.

  8. If we are to follow Jesus, the onus is ALWAYS on us to show humilty and kindness regardless of if we are the majority or the minority. Obviously, this is not easy and it’s the path less taken. That doesn’t mean we can buy into the idea that we are entitled to enact cultural dominance. We must think first before we reach out for what “we deserve”.

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