WWJD in the War Against Christmas?

Because so many people are outraged that other people are saying things like, “Happy Holidays,” or that stores have signs which say “Xmas", I asked myself: What would Jesus do?

war-on-christmasAlthough not a Christian myself, I have read the New Testament several times. (Sound moral thinking is sound moral thinking, regardless of whether or not I agree with the direct divinity of the source.)  So I tried to imagine someone going up to Him and expressing anger that others weren’t calling the day of His birth by the right name. I like to think of Him pausing while washing the feet of the poor or feeding the hungry or befriending the most despised people in society and looking at the person with His infinite patience, “Oh, that’s too bad. Excuse me, I have important work to do.” And with that he would get back to preventing a crowd from stoning a woman to death or comforting the sick or teaching about the importance of having no God before God or treating your fellow human as if you thought they were also humans.

Whenever I hear someone say, “There’s no X in Christmas,” I am always tempted to ask, “But is there any Christ in Christmas?” I do not, because to do so would be to give in to my own ego and not treat that person with the love and patience he or she deserves. There are many great places to learn that and, while my personal preference is Buddhist,  it is also laid out very well in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Good texts, all.

Another fine take on this issue can be found at the website DefendChristmas.com:

We assert there is a war on Christmas. It is an old and unsettled debate. But it has nothing to do with television pundits, school grounds, city parks or Supreme Courts. The war on Christmas is fought in the home and in the heart.

The site’s mission is,  “to referee the passionate-though-misguided combatants in the War on Christmas. If we have to discuss these things — and evidently we do — then we will be a voice of reason for both sides of the debate and serve to provide simple reminders of “peace on Earth, goodwill to all men”. Amen to that.

BTW, if you are interested in a very good and very well informed discussion about how Dec. 25th came to be the approved date for His birth, please see this fine article from The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Concerning the date of Christ’s birth the Gospels give no help; upon their data contradictory arguments are based. The censuswould have been impossible in winter: a whole population could not then be put in motion. Again, in winter it must have been; then only field labour was suspended. But Rome was not thus considerate. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season.

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Christmas greetings from the Imperial War Museum

My favorite museum in London comes up with my favorite piece of holiday marketing material.

imperialwar-001

Had a lot of fun in London over the past week. Didn’t get to the Museum of Brands, though. Next time. Stayed in a flat 150 feet  from the Israeli Embassy so got to see the very peaceful demonstrations up close and was impressed by both the protestors and the London PD crowd control/riot squad. Biggest danger was risk of tripping  on a policeman. Hope to get back to London but still prefer Paris!

The Mrs. has a very good post on the real issues raised by visiting the War Museum and seeing the protests — go read it.

‘Tis the season for … holiday advertising mistakes

Red Bull wins this year’s Throwing out the Babe with The Manger award for being the first company I noticed to get in trouble for its holiday ads. Seems that an Italian priest took offense to a TV spot showing a fourth wise man bearing a can of Red Bull as a gift for Baby You Know Who.

Father Marco Damanti, from Sicily, wrote to the makers of the caffeinated energy drink denouncing their commercial as “a blasphemous act” and said on Monday he had received a prompt reply promising to remove it from Italian television.

Given that Christmas now means Capitalism With Bows On, it is difficult to see why Fr. Damanti singled out Red Bull for criticism.

Quoth Lehrer:

Hark the Herald Tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.

God rest ye merry, merchants,
May you make the Yuletide pay.

Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!

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Five things I DON’T want to find under the Christmas tree

mitten1) The Smoking Mitten: This innovative design from Tobias Wong utilises a metal ringlet perfectly placed and sized to hold your cigarette in the optimum smoking position.2) Designer Ice Cubes: “It’s ice is supposedly of such a high quality, that it comes in a resealable bag, to keep it fresh and pure in your freezer.
cross

3) Wooden Cross USB Memory Strap: What would Jesus store? I don’t know but apparently He can only hold 2GB of info. So much for being infinite.

4) CrustaStun: This allegedly more humane way to kill crustaceans lets you put the shelled creature into a shallow bath of brine, close the lid and then VOILA! the critters get an electric current that promises “to produce an instant anesthesia and eventually death.” [Note to self: Insert joke about adoption by the state of Texas here.]

crayon

5) A Crayon-branded beverage: I hope they taste better as a liquid than they did when I ate them as a kid.

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