Monday, November 30, 2009

Rebutting the "War on Christmas" meme

We went to DairyStateMom's church yesterday, which I always find bracing. For the First Sunday in Advent, the senior pastor introduced what will be a series of sermons on the 4 canticles that punctuate Luke's narrative of the birth of Jesus.

She also took time to admonish (in a gentle and humorous but nonetheless firm manner that is her hallmark) those in the congregation who wanted Christmas carols in the liturgy before December 24. And in the same vein, she addressed the overweaning commercialism that surrounds the holiday, and made the cogent point that Christmas is not found in those commercial venues, but in the church.

Which strikes me as the ultimate rebuttal to the phony claims of a "war on Christmas." As The Rev. John Buchanan at 4th Presbyterian in Chicago said in a sermon some years ago (and I'm liberally paraphrasing), the commercial adoption of "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings," besides being sensitive to the multicultural and multi-faith world we live in, renders to God the things that are God's: Intentionally or not, it respects the religious dimension of Christmas by not trying to appropriate it.

Update: The Rev. Victoria Weinstein, a/k/a PeaceBang, preached on Christmas commercialism this weekend, too. I like what she had to say.

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