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Without apology, Merry Christmas

By Henry Lamb
web posted December 20, 2004

People who want to take "Christ" out of Christmas should be pitied -- to a point. These folks see Christ as the leading character in an ancient book of fiction, and are offended by people who express a different perception. These are the same folks who want to take "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and the "Ten Commandments" out of public buildings. They even want to take Christianity out of American History!

Christmas is the time of year that inspires the best human attributes in people -- charity, forgiveness, compassion -- epitomized by a lowly carpenter in stories that have survived centuries of challenge. It is, indeed, a pity that there are people who fail to recognize that Christmas is a celebration of these best of human qualities.

In the spirit of Christmas, these people should be pitied, but they must not prevail.

The same book that tells about the humble birth and the acts of love and kindness demonstrated by the central figure of the Christmas celebration, also describes the point at which the abuse of love and compassion requires stronger action: "...he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple."

The tiny handful of malcontents who are offended by Christ in Christmas, or by the influence of Christianity in the shaping of America, need to be "driven from the temple," so to speak. While they are eager to proclaim how deeply they are offended, they care not that their actions are even more offensive to the rest of society.

Every year, the anti-Christ malcontents grow bolder, more aggressive, exert more influence through the use of lawsuits, and the threat of lawsuits. Every time a school decides to ban traditional Christmas music, students are deprived of a wonderful musical experience, and an opportunity to celebrate the most important aspects of Christmas. The vast majority of people are denied their right to free expression -- to satisfy the whims of a few.

When city fathers so fear a lawsuit that they deny the display of a nativity scene, they offend the vast majority of their citizens -- to satisfy the whims of the few. If the majority does nothing, the malcontents will prevail.

Christianity is as much a part of America as are the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of rights -- all targets of the anti-Christ malcontents. None of these ingredients can be expunged from the American experience.

It's time to "make a whip of cords" and drive these anti-Christ malcontents from the halls of influence.

The majority of people can elect governors and presidents who will appoint judges who are not offended by the reality of Christianity in American history. The majority of people can elect Senators who will confirm these judges. The majority of people can elect state legislators, county commissioners, and city councilmen who are not cowed by threats from the anti-Christ malcontent minority.

People in every community can organize and support elected officials who stand up and say no to the demand to remove Christ from Christmas, or Christianity from public life -- and replace those officials who acquiesce to the demands of the malcontents.

The vast majority of people know that expressions of Christianity in public life is not state-imposed, nor state-sanctioned religion. Anti-Christ malcontents -- including some judges -- severely distort the First Amendment by claiming that religious displays violate the separation of church and state. The state may not make, or interpret, laws that either "establish" or prohibit the "free expression" of any religion.

The mere sound of a Christmas carol, or the sight of a nativity scene or a menorah, or the reference to God in the Declaration of Independence or the Pledge of Allegiance -- does not constitute the establishment of a religion. People who are offended by these experiences are, indeed, to be pitied. They are not, however, required to appreciate, nor to participate in the Christian experience. Nor do they have any right to require, or to expect the rest of society to conform to their anti-Christ values.

America requires no one to practice any religion; nor does it prohibit anyone from practicing any religion. This First Amendment guarantee is a fundamental principle of freedom. Every time an anti-Christ malcontent succeeds in forcing the removal of a nativity scene, or prohibiting the singing of Christmas carols, the "free expression" of religion is denied, thereby eroding this fundamental principle of freedom. This erosion must stop!

To these inconsiderate, anti-Christ malcontent mischief-makers, we offer a few words of advice: get over it! And, without apology, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

 

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