Several well-meaning, left-leaning friends posted this on Facebook recently. And I kind of get it. There's a lot of hyperbole about a "War on Christmas" that's going on. And I agree, there really isn't a war specifically on Christmas. It's more of a war on Christians. The atheist left would be quite content to call it the holidays and drink themselves stupid at office parties and sleep with co-workers and get expensive presidents. Just so you don't talk about Jesus. He's such a party pooper!
Yeah this meme makes it sound like the idea of a war on Christmas is all completely imaginary, the nightmares of a paternalistic oppressive religious right that's just looking for something to complain about. The thing is, there is actually a real reason why some people think Christmas (at least the religious-based version is under attack. It's called lawfare by the left. It means suing anyone who offends you and trying to get people to stop doing things that trigger your delicate sensibilities. They use lawyers like howitzers and they attack towns and individuals and public institutions to make their point.
When people sue your town to make you take down a manger scene that's been put up every year by the town council for more than a century, you get the idea that your faith is being pushed out of the public culture. When you, a supposedly free citizen get told by the arbiters of culture that as a free citizen that it's rude to say anything more than Happy Holidays, then you get the idea that something is amiss. Lots of folks these days are being so instructed by their bosses to go neutral with their Christmas greetings. Yeah some of it is silly hysteria by certain jumpy souls in the church, but some of the anger over the issue is not coming from their own imagination. It's being generated by the snowflake generation that gets triggered over every little thing and thinks it's there turn to oppress somebody for doing things they don't like.
Many mainstream Americans (non-leftists anyway) are a little tired of being told (as we were in the above meme) to "shut up". Sure we can say Merry Christmas and "God bless you" and we can put up mangers and wise men in our own yards, but in practice, we do so at our own risk. There is an actual element of the post-modernist progressive Marxist atheist anti-Christian culture that will come into your yard and vandalize your nativity scene. You take a risk that some thin-skinned leftist/enviro-terrorist is going to pull down your tree, set fire to your manger or harass your kids. It DOES happen. It's in the news a lot.
True it doesn't happen very often, but that's the thing with terrorism. Its effect is far more widespread than the few incidents. The idea that some random thugs have shot up schools, makes parents worry about their kids' safety and makes schools set up metal detectors and have armed off-duty sheriff's deputies walking the halls with guns on their hips. It makes nervous snowflakes want to confiscate everyone's guns.
So it's not some fake thing Christians are trying to gin up any more than calls for gun control are a fake concern and aren't the product of actual terrorist attacks on schools, theaters and shopping malls. If you don't believe there is hatred for Christians and conservatives, try wearing a What Would Jesus Do? hat or (worse) a "Make America Great Again" hat downtown to the mall or a farmer's market or the park. It may not happen, but once you've had some anarchist spitting and screaming in your face, it does make an impression that some folk out there genuinely hate you. Now I've always thought America was already pretty great so I don't have a MAGA hat, but if I did, having someone snatch it off my head makes me think we as a society are headed in the wrong direction civility wise.
I was on a bus a couple of weeks ago and had a strange person sit down beside us dressed in black with chains and a dog collar and demand that my wife acknowledge that his gender was "puppy". He can be whatever he wants to be I suppose. I don't care, but I got the strong impression from him that I shouldn't disagree with his view of his own sexuality or he might bite me.
I guess some of the "War on Christmas" paranoia (and it is paranoia to some extent) comes from the general and increasing war on Christianity as a whole. Currently, if you are persecuted for your religion, the odds are it's because you are a Christian. The murder of Christians for their religion currently leads the statistics when it comes to people being murdered for their religion. Jews would probably be ahead of us, but they've learned to go heavily armed into places where Christians go armed only with food and medical supplies and the odd Bible or two.
I wouldn't be so quick to judge people as unreasonably anxious over the anti-Christ in Christmas rhetoric we see - mostly from lawsuits against our towns and businesses and schools. President Trump took some heat from the leftist media for his speech at this year's tree lighting ceremony the other day. And he actually said Merry Christmas at the end with a note of something like defiance in his voice, but then he's not afraid. He has secret service. Us ordinary Christians don't and when that rare random angry leftist jumps us in the grocery store because we triggered him or her or hir or Fido, it tends to make us believe that someone is definitely trying to marginalize us through (so far) mild to moderate terroristic threats.
I think that behavior should be firmly dealt with. The Cleburne, Texas Police once put a high school football player in jail for three days in his jogging shorts for flipping off a 63 year old English teacher. She was stopped at a stop sign and he was jogging past. He flipped her the bird and called her a f@$#% b@#$#. A nearby neighbor on his front porch witnessed the incident and called the cops. They picked him up three blocks away and cuffed him. The charge was terroristic threat. The judge wasn't amused later and let him think about his behavior in a cold jail cell. I think that's appropriate. I also think it's appropriate to put a religious fanatic in jail who tries to disrupt a funeral of a gay person or a soldier and uses threatening language.
What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I think it would help us all to requre that we be more civil to one another. To threaten harm to someone or to deliberately cause them to fear for their safety should be punished to the letter of the law. If we did that with consistency, I think we'd create a more civil society, and that's something we can definitely stand to have more of - civility. Especially at Christmas.
And of course we can say Merry Christmas or "God bless you" or whatever. It just seems that we should be able to do it without some angry snowflake shaking their bony fingers at us. You know it used to be cranky old Sunday school teachers that did that. Now it's 22 year old lesbian feminists, Marxist political science majors, and militant anti-facists with the bony fingers. Ironically it's the supposedly tolerant left that is using the same techniques to battle "perceived" facism that the actually facist National Socialist (Nazi) brownshirts did against the Jews.
As Christians I suppose we should be honored to be the target of Antifa and other progressives' hatred as the Jews were targets of the national socialist in Germany. Having actually read chapter 22 in our World History books, however, it makes us a little afraid. People like that tend to go after the harmless - those who they can bully and intimidate and who won't shoot them for it. And we Christians are peaceful people by nature. We'd rather avoid that sort of conflict.
We have homeless and hungry people to feed and shelter, the sick to heal and the lost to find. And we do it ourselves. We don't wait for the government to get around to creating a program to do it. We've seen the gaps in the government welfare system. I spent 45 years creating nonprofit organizations to address the monumental gaps in the government welfare system.
Sometimes, when I get verbally assaulted by these people, I want to just shout, "Hey, we're doing some good here. Leave us alone!"