. . . “I am the voice of one crying out
in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’”
As the prophet Isaiah said.
John 1: 23
A campaign ad running now in Iowa for the Perry Campaign vows to end President Barack Obama’s war on religion, a war conservatives all across the Fox News and conservative talk spectrum are trumpeting includes a war on Christmas itself.
First of all, President Obama has been extremely respectful of the many faiths Americans profess. And conservatives would do well to recall that our founders, though overwhelmingly Christian in some form, did not place a religious test in the Constitution or prominently in the Declaration of Independence. The First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause sets up a separation of church and state so we do not have to fight over whose faith or lack thereof must have government support.
Last August, over seventy leading Christian leaders stood up and asked for the attacks on Obama’s perceived lack of faith to stop. They pointed out that on numerous occasions the President has acknowledged his Christian faith openly and honestly and with fervor. We also would do well to recall that Abraham Lincoln, though using the language of the Bible to great advantage, was not a regular member of any church. On the night of his death, Good Friday, he was found in a theater and not a church. He rarely attended. Yet no one attacks him for it historically the way they do Obama who does have a more established faith and better church attendance record than even Lincoln did. As to whose faith was the deeper and more reverent, only the two men and their maker know.
Conservatives have yet again, like a year ago, lashed out at liberals for their attacks on Christmas and the inability of Christian believers to celebrate the coming of Jesus the Christ to this Earth. They do not get it. They miss the fact that millions of people professing a belief in Christ spend more time and effort at the shopping mall and with the coming of Santa Claus than they do with their faith in Advent, the part of the Christian calendar when we wait for the coming of the little baby Jesus, the savior of the world, who comes to us in such gentle simplicity and modesty, but with such great import for the future of humankind.
That more quiet, yet deeper contemplation of the meaning of Christ’s advent on the Earth just over two thousand years ago gets shunted aside by a mass market consumerism that is many times stronger and more injurious to Christians and their faith than anything Obama has done or will do. No parent wants to deprive children of the pretty lights and Christmas Trees (Yes the Holiday Tree Thing Was PC Overkill but Harmless to True Believers in Christ) but to miss the great gift of God this season to all of us is the great tragedy that Perry and the Fox News pseudo-Christians just miss completely.
If any of us truly professes Jesus Christ as our Savior, and goes to one of God’s houses here on Earth to celebrate his advent here with us: Emmanuelle, God with Us, then nothing President Obama can say or do will matter at all. It does not. Church doors have not been locked. And the hearts of Christians who really do profess the faith and live in the Spirit awaiting Christ’s return know they are not threatened by all the bustle and hustle that Satan or the force of evil in our world throws our way. Better to make us run over them like some big NFL running back and score a faith touchdown by worshipping our Lord and celebrating his birth to us then to sit and moan and complain that somebody doesn’t celebrate it to your own satisfaction. Religion is not about public display anyway. It is written in the scriptures. Jesus gives us advice on it.
Struggles for Justice Owner/ Operator and Editor, Thomas Martin Sobottke says, “I know where I will be this Christmas. I will be in God’s house with Jesus and will look heavenward for that star, an Angleic miracle of the paranormal in the skies, those shepherds who proclaimed his birth, and the three mystics from the East who brought the baby gifts fit for the King he is. I will proclaim Jesus as my Savior and then do my best to be in full communion with him through the Spirit. Anyone who wishes to join me can simply put down the gift wrapped Christmas of Santa Claus and all the meaningless hype and the material things, and go in search of spiritual treasures you may amass in heaven with him. Go find any group of professed believers in your community and ask them to tell you about the greatest gift God ever gave us in Christ Jesus.”
A Merry Christmas to you all!