Here we go again! Outraged “Christians” here in Starkville recently threatened a local popular restaurant with a boycott because its marquee had used the shorthand “Xmas” instead of spelling out “Christmas.” The malicious, godless owners were taking Christ out of Christmas! They were replacing the title of the Savior with a generic, meaningless symbol! Another evidence of the attempt by liberals keep us from remembering “the reason for the season”! Never mind that what looks like an “X” in “Xmas” is not an English letter at all, but instead is the monogram of Christ, the Greek letter “chi” (c ) as in the famous “Chi Rho” symbol (cr). It’s seen all the time in ancient icons. But ignorant people simply assume that there’s a conspiracy or someone is out to denigrate their faith, not that they could be wrong. They don’t take the time to find out facts.

If these “Christians” want to be outraged over something, how about:

  • racial injustice, gender bias, and homophobia;
  • income inequality;
  • animal cruelty;
  • constant war;
  • the influence of corporate lobbyists on Congress;
  • real persecution of people of whatever faith?

And then there was the (probably fake) Peanuts cartoon I saw that somebody posted on Facebook, complaining how “it’s really strange America is the largest Christian nation in the world, and we can’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’” To quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!” America is not a Christian nation. A nation in which the majority of people belong to a church or profess Christianity is not a Christian nation. If we were a Christian nation, we would care for the poor, welcome the stranger, tend to the sick, and serve the public good instead of the interests of a powerful few (see Matthew 25:35-46, which is a judgment of nations). As Stephen Colbert has famously said: “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition…and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

As for the complaint about limiting greetings, of course we can say “Merry Christmas!” But these “Christians” complain they are being persecuted and their free speech curtailed when we are all encouraged to practice inclusiveness in word and action, such as recognizing that there are at least two other holidays around this time of year and that not everyone is a Christian. News flash: loss of power and privilege that you have had for years and years does not equal persecution. Someone saying “Happy holidays” to you in a store or on the street is not a slap at your faith. And I would think that people who claim to worship and follow Someone who called on us to love our neighbor and said he came not to be served but to serve would act kindly and with understanding toward others, especially those who do not profess Christ. Instead, these folk seem to think Christianity is a religion of domination and exclusion, and that our words ought to be used as clubs and swords against “unbelievers,” “secularists,” and “sinners.” The celebration of our Lord’s birth thus becomes a glorification of everything he and his mother (Luke 1:46-55) stood against. The arrogance of these people is appalling!

Ignorance. Arrogance. A lethal combination. God deliver us. Come, Lord Jesus!

© 2014 Tom Cheatham. All rights reserved.