Monday, December 18, 2006

Do I repeat myself?

Very well, then, I repeat myself.

The War on Christmas rages on, from both sides. Athenae notes the FoxNews side; the MadPriest is determined to take the Christmas out of Advent.

But there has always been a war on Christmas. Dicken's Christmas Carol is our cultural touchstone, but read through it in vain to find any mention of Luke or Matthew or even a reference to a creche. True, there are people going to church on Christmas morning (and it isn't even a Sunday!), but no mention of what they do there, and only the merest mention of Christianity in the bathetic tale of Tiny Tim. None of our cultural touchstones for Christmas, the ones we all agree to, are too distinctly religious, actually. The Christmas Tree? Charlie Brown? The Grinch? The Night Before Christmas? Santa Claus?

The war actually goes back to the Puritans, if not before. We've never comfortably reconciled the religious observance of Christmas with the secular observance of a holiday; and we're not likely to start anytime soon. The irony, of course, is that the very heart of the Nativity story is humility and humbleness, attitudes that make it impossible to fight any kind of war, especially in the name of the Prince of Peace.

And me? I'd rather let them know it's Christmas. But it's not even morning in America; or mourning in America.

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