Quotable irony

I delved into WORLDmag.com for ideas for this post and found an opinion piece by Warren Cole Smith about the ongoing “War on Christmas.”

First of all, Jesus is most certainly not the reason for the orgiastic spending spree modern Christmas has become. I certainly think anyone should be able to say “Merry Christmas” if he or she wants to. But given what this holiday has become, there’s a part of me—a big part of me—that wants to keep the Jesus I worship as far away from this commercial debauchery as possible.

Secondly, there are the words themselves. “Christmas” is derived from “Christ’s Mass,” an expression first recorded in the 11th century. “Holiday” is a word derived from “holy day,” an expression that likely has an even more ancient, and no less religious, derivation. Indeed, the phrase “Merry Christmas” was unknown until the 16th century, and it connoted the idea of a Christmas that was—shall we say—festive. In other words, “Merry Christmas” may have been a medieval euphemism for “bottoms-up.”

And, he points out, the advertising they need to “Keep Christ in Christmas” costs money to make, and therefore costs money to buy. Just look at all the crap available via World Net Daily and that’s just bumper stickers.

What was once a quiet and solemn occasion to honor the birth of a baby has become completely commercialized and above and beyond everything the original holy Christian day had been set aside for.

The bottom line here is, well, the bottom line: The Christmas wars are a financial windfall for the organizations that whip up this frenzy. The Christmas wars have become, ironically, the ultimate commercialization of Christmas.

I’m not saying that there are times when we Christians shouldn’t stand up for our rights, but when we fire all our weapons in such a meaningless skirmish, we alienate potential allies, and we have no ammunition for the battles that matter.

Huge challenges face our culture and the Christian church: abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage. These are battles worth fighting, battles we must win, battles with too few warriors in the fight. And we’re wasting our time with “Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays”? Our priorities are badly out of whack.

Including all the priorities he just mentioned, as far as I’m concerned. This is totally off the topic of my post, but those are battles I hope they don’t win because the world needs to move beyond the biblical rules about marriage and sex that are ridiculously out of date and have no bearing on the reality of daily life for the rest of the population that doesn’t believe every word of that book. Secularism isn’t evil incarnate and it’s troublesome to see Christian groups trying to enforce rules that restrict everyone, just because their groups claim it’s “wrong.”

There is no good reason to ban gay marriage. It cannot wreck the sanctity of a heterosexual marriage unless one partner finally admits he or she is gay and seeks divorce. Just because it’s a “sin” in a Christian’s eye doesn’t mean it has to be illegal. Gambling and alcohol also lead to “sin,” do they not? It’s still legal to get drunk and lose money. Sins have no legal standing, no matter how much Christians might wish it so.

There is no good reason to say all abortion must be illegal. Better it all be legal and full of rules that must be followed to the letter and make the whole procedure above board and safe for any woman who feels the need to seek it out. There are good reasons to have this option available and perhaps women can be counseled if they have bad reasons. Rabbits, hares and coyotes have a far more sensible arrangement than we do, that actually reflects the ability of their environments to sustain their populations.

There is no good reason to be against the advertising and filming of sex, unless the battle is against stuff that involves children or sadistic violence against women. Sex is not unnatural nor should it be considered a sin. That kind of thinking is what likely leads to so many sexual hangups. What goes on between consenting adults is up to those adults, and those adults alone. I agree there is a lot of sexuality in advertising that kids will see, though. It is up to consumers to bully advertisers into changing their advertising methods. If enough people stand up to say enough is enough, maybe they’ll stop seducing people into buying a commercialized wet dream.

Which brings us back to commercialized Christmas, after all. Decide for yourself what the reason for the season is and live it as best you can.

It is completely unnecessary to insist others follow your lead. They might do so anyway, but at least the choice will be theirs.

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