Keeping Christ in Christmas

Who’s Honoring Christ and Christmas?

Retailers? Congress? Let’s see…

First, retailers…

In the mid 90’s, godless forces in our country launched an all-out campaign to take Christ out of our Christmas, at least in the public square.

Sad to say, a look around our shopping malls and a quick scan of those countless catalogs delivered daily indicates that their campaign was pretty successful.

Again this year, references to “Christmas” are noticeably missing from many displays and promotions.

And so we join others in encouraging you to patronize those retailers who do feature “Christmas” in their cards, decorations, greetings and promotions and to contact the home offices of stores where products and decorations referencing “Christmas” are noticeably absent.

Such efforts are not in vain!  Thanks in large part to the vigilance and leadership of our friends at the American Family Association, our message has been heard and has made a difference.  This year’s list of retail “grinches” is much shorter than last year’s.

To assist in this campaign, another of our national partners, Focus on the Family, has compiled an extensive scorecard of retailers and their Christmas promotion policies.  To view their scorecard, complete with contact information, click here.

Next, Congress…

On Tuesday of this week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

Sadly, the vote was not unanimous.  Nine members voted against the resolution, ten refused to support it and simply voted “present,” instead; and 40 did not vote.

Perhaps the “no” and “present” voters were bowing to the so-called “separation of church and state” principle?

Evidently not.

All but two of the representatives voting “present” or “no” on the Christmas resolution voted in favor of a resolution recognizing Ramadan, which passed by a 376-0 vote in October.

Possibly they objected that in addition to recognizing “the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world,” and acknowledging “the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith,” the resolution also rejected “bigotry and persecution directed against Christians,” and expressed “deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.”

Whatever the reason, constituents deserve an explanation as to why elected officials would honor Islam and Ramadan while refusing to recognize Christianity and Christmas.

The following voted “no” on the Christmas resolution (H.R.847) and “yes” on the Ramadan resolution (H.R.635): Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Diana DeGette (D-Co.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fl.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Fortney Stark (D-Calif.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.). Those who voted “present” on H.R. 847 and “yes” on H.R. 635 include: Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).

And finally, what about all of us?  What are we doing?

Patronizing those retailers who include Christmas in their promotions, products and decorations and refuse to bow to the god of political correctness is one small but still significant step that each of us can take toward restoring this nation to the uniquely Christian foundation on which it was founded.

Supporting elected officials who recognize through an ineffectual but still significant resolution the role that Christianity has played in the history of this nation is also important.

But with respect to our mission – as individual Christians, as members of His Church, and as Citizens for Community Values – there is something more important that we can do during this season.

Over 2,000 years ago the one God, Creator of the Universe, arrived on earth in a lowly manger, lived a humble life of self-sacrifice, and submitted to an ignoble, excruciating death in order to set us all free from our bondage to sin.

The political and religious establishment of His day was incensed at the very suggestion that such an unlikely Leader had anything to offer them.  Many of those in such roles today react in like manner.

That important something, that each of us can do, is to demonstrate – in all that we do – the real reason for His humble birth, life and death.

Will the world see in us this season – however rushed we might be, in whatever circumstances they may encounter us – the true peace and joy that can only be found through the redemption He came to bring?

That we may all experience such peace and joy, and demonstrate it in a way that creates within others a desire to know its Source, is our prayer during this Christmas season.