As I quickly checked my email, I found the following “poem”:
Twas the month before Chris tmas
When all through our land,
Not a Chris tian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Chris tmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Chris tmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Chris tmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Chris tmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday !
Please, all Chris tians join together and wish everyone you meet
Christ is The Reason for the Chris-tmas Season!
If you agree please forward, if not, simply delete.
(Spelling and division of words, e.g, Chris-tmas(?) in the original)
This poem stopped me dead in my tracks. As I sat at the table, I thought about the congregation I was going to go visit. A congregation of Christians that exists in a land where the government has decided which religion is the “right” religion, and it is not Christianity. I thought about the people in that congregation whose families have been Christians for 2000 years, the families who first became Christians when Christ actually walked here in Jerusalem. I thought about how those families can only travel to Jerusalem if they have the right color permit. I thought about how the members of that congregation can’t get to hospitals whenever they need to because they live on the wrong side of a 30 foot high concrete wall that was unilaterally built by a Government that has decided which religion is the “right” religion. Frankly, I wondered how Christians in my own country could truly advocate what is written in this poem, in the name of Christ. And so, I have composed the following response:
Also, I cannot understand how requiring religious displays on civic property in December to represent all religions, not just Christianity, somehow constitutes taking away “the reason for Christmas” or "eliminating Jesus in all public matter." Jesus has not been eliminated by the inclusion of symbols or other religions, he has been added to. What a generosity of faith it shows to include others at a time when they have been historically excluded. What better way to demonstrate what it REALLY means to be a Christian than to lovingly and openly welcome those who look different, act different, talk different and YES, believe differently. If we are able to do this, then Jesus has not been eliminated from all public matter, he has been glorified, he has been exemplified and he has been worshipped in the most public of ways.
Merry Christmas to you and Happy Holidays to those whose beliefs, although different from mine, are just as strong and important to them as yours are to you.