Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Controversy

         Although I live in an area where Christmas and public displays featuring Christian symbols are not only accepted, but usually expected, each year there seems be more more controversy surrounding the "offensiveness" of Christmas. Everyone who is reading this knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am of the Christian faith. If you aren't aware, I hope to make it more clear in the future. My point of view is shaped by my faith in Jesus Christ and my unwavering belief in the Bible. So, while I try to be open-minded and willing to listen to others, bottom line for me is trying to be the person I believe Jesus would have me to be. I am often a failure, but it is my goal.

The following link is to a news story I recently watched about Christmas trees causing psychological harm to non-believers. My first response was, "What?!?" Click on here for God Discussion. Read the article and watch the video for yourself. I really would like to hear the opinions of others. I guess I have never thought about a Christmas tree being a Christian symbol. Personally, I don't have a tree up this year, but I am going to be home alone. I think they are beautiful and enjoy looking at them, especially at night with only the lights on the tree glowing. But the tree itself does not make me think any more or less about Jesus. Actually it seems to be one of the less controversial aspects of Christmas. Even non-believers seem to have no problem with a decorated tree...or so I thought. I am also including a link to an article about Biblical, pagan, and secular symbolism concerning Christmas Trees. This link will also lead you to other articles surrounding Christmas symbols and beliefs.

Separation of church and state is an issue that continues to be debated. One of the scenes in the upcoming film from Pathlight Entertainment, Beyond The Farthest Star , is the burning of a nativity by a US Senator. Watch writer/director Andrew Librizzi talk about the film's  burning the Nativity scene.

Some have told me that they find that such a scene in a faith-based film to be offensive. Most change their minds and agree that the dramatic statement can and will lead to discussion. I think that keeping things hidden in the dark or refusing to acknowledge them are wrong. Some within the church have become so afraid of offending either fellow believers or non-believers that we timidly huddle together in silence. I don't know how this scene will eventually play out on screen, but I applaud the decision to address the matter. Personally, I have seen many things on public property that I found to be offensive, but none that tempted me to commit arson. But, I digress, and the point I am hoping to make is that the very name Christmas seems to shout that it commemorates Christ.

I don't see Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, or whatever winter holiday anyone else chooses to celebrate being protested. It would never cross my mind to do so, nor do I protest those who prefer to focus on Santa, reindeer, & presents. Actually the excessive gifts and materialism does bother me, but I don't begrudge people celebrating however they want. The hype of the season makes me feel more isolated and left out than any particular symbol that may be publicly displayed. It is all I can do to keep my mouth shut when I hear, what to me is the bizarre question of, "Are you ready for Christmas?" I never know how to answer.

I realize that it is extremely doubtful that Jesus was born this time of year, but that is a side issue for me. I celebrate the fact that God came to earth as a man to sacrifice Himself in atonement for my sins every day. However, December 25th is when those who have placed their faith and trust in Him choose to celebrate His birth. Am I simply not acknowledging protests of other faiths? Again, the area I live in is not very culturally diverse. Baptist vs Methodists is to be more likely than Christian vs (fill in the blank). I am not one of those who goes ballistic if you choose to wish me a Happy Holiday rather than a Merry Christmas. I don't care if you refuse to say anything to me. However, I do object to unfairly targeting symbols of the Christian faith during the time chosen (for whatever reason) to celebrate the birth of our Messiah. If you don't believe, just don't celebrate not tell me that I can't because you disagree with my belief.


Lori said...

"LIKE" I totally agree with you. It seems there are so many protests against Christian symbols,but we are expected to tolerate others' without a second thought. I was at a school meeting and we were trying to come up with themes for the bulletin board. I suggested stockings,candy canes and stars, but they were all turned down due to conflicts of people's religions. I was really taken by surprise at that! To think things have gone so far that we have to be careful about what to post on a bulletin board! sad but true.
Keep up the terrific blogs :)

Cindy said...

Thanks Lori!! It hasn't gotten too bad here yet, but I see signs of it approaching. :/

Debra Brown said...

Cindy, I think you have pretty much said it all. Thanks for your random thoughts.

Debra Brown said...

II noticed that the elementary students had a menorrah sent home to color. Why is that O.K. when they can not have a nativity scene or a cross? Santa is fine, and all of the Halloween characters are fine but just try to throw in a picture of the nativity and all chaos breaks loose. Our school system needs alot of prayer. Thanks for your Random Thoughts. I think you said it all.