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Merry Christmas? You Bet!

Commentary by Greg Lewis /
December 13, 2004

I sense that the tide is beginning to turn against the values (or lack thereof) which left-leaning liberals have relentlessly promoted to, not to say forced down the throats of, a majority of Americans for the past half-century or so. During that time, the Left has established what can accurately be called a philosophical hegemony over the public discourse. Leftist positions on virtually every important issue have been, during the past 50 years, aggressively promoted in American colleges and universities and through the venues of popular culture, particularly films and music, and in print and television news media. And those positions decidedly include the suppression, not to say the denial, of expressions of the human spirit.

The beginning of the end of the Left's control over which ideas are admitted into the arena of public discourse has recently taken the form of small rebellions against such things as the notion of what is considered acceptable (read "politically correct") communication. I've been pleased to notice that, for instance, there is a strong movement toward reinstating the greeting "Merry Christmas" into the vocabulary of the acceptable.

The reasoning seems to be something like this: I celebrate Christmas, and a majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, and Christmas is a federally recognized holiday, and furthermore, Christmas — celebrating as it does the birth of Jesus Christ, whose message was one of love and hope and redemption and brotherhood and embodies values that no one could possibly construe as negative — represents for all humankind a reaffirmation of universal values which we are remiss in not sharing and promoting. And as such, the ACLU notwithstanding, there's nothing wrong with anyone who celebrates Christmas wishing anyone else, even those who don't celebrate this Christian holiday, a Merry Christmas.

Those of us who are Christians and who do take Christian holidays seriously have been backed into a corner during the past several decades by those who would somehow pronounce that our celebration of our faith is "un-American," that it violates the civil rights of others who don't happen to be Christians. In other words, if those of us who celebrate Christmas say "Merry Christmas" to a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist or anyone else who doesn't happen to be of our religious faith, well, we're somehow offending them. It's as if by wishing a Merry Christmas to a Muslim we're saying "Yo, Muhammad, my spiritual leader trumps your spiritual leader."

Which is, of course, absurd. When I wish a Merry Christmas to the people I meet during my day-to-day dealings, I'm saying something like, "I hope you'll share my joy during this season that is special to me and to other Christians, and I hope you'll acknowledge Jesus Christ's message of brotherly love among all people of the earth. We, no matter what our ethnic or religious roots might be, are children of God."

It is the suppression of the fundamental spirit that informs the Christian religion, the notion that all the people of this world are brothers and sisters in spirit and that we must, no matter what religious affiliation we were born to, transcend denominational limitations to come together in the spirit of love and harmony . . . it is because those on the Left seek to suppress this expression of Christ's message, this outpouring of love, that they who would deny Christian Americans the right to express their spiritual beliefs align themselves with the very forces that would prohibit all of us from the right to express what I would argue is the fundamental component of our existence: the human spirit.

For that is, finally, what is missing in the nihilistic aggregation by those on the Left of their multitude of reasons that we should be denied the opportunity to acknowledge, in schools and in legislative and judicial chambers and in every public venue in America, our deference to God, to an Infinite Intelligence that informs every aspect of every process, not only on this planet, but in the entire universe.

We have for too long allowed leftist judges and philosophers and teachers and politicians — who (and we can certainly feel pity for them in this regard) are unable to admit to the existence of an Infinite Being and who thus deny themselves the transcendent experience of God's love — to impose their shortcomings on us.

It is our season to celebrate our spirituality, our fundamental certitude that the God of Creation is present at all times and in all places in our lives. And if many people are unable to understand that they have only to "draw nigh to God" in order that God will draw nigh to them and grace them with Infinite love and wisdom, we can nonetheless certainly find it in our hearts to wish them a Merry Christmas and in doing so express to them our hope that they will someday understand what we know in our hearts to be true: that God's love is leading us to a time and place where all humans, in the manifestation of God's love, realize that we partake of the Divine and that the Divine admits of an infinite variety of forms of expression, and that by looking beyond those forms which God has directed would manifest on earth, we can acknowledge our common humanity, our spirituality, and live as one people on this planet we have been given to share.

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