How would Jesus celebrate Christmas?

Posted in Faith on  | 4 minutes | 4 Comments →

I hate to sound like the grinch but in many ways, Christmas bums me out. Not what it stands for, but what it’s become. I absolutely loathe the corporate usurpation of this holiday, and it saddens me to see people flinging themselves headlong into it. Of course, the companies simply respond to the people, so this usurpation really says more about the state of individuals than anything else. We wouldn’t be increasingly bombarded with consumer propaganda if we, as individuals, took more seriously Jesus’ command to love not the world. What follows is an updated version of a piece I wrote ten years ago.

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When History Is Art: The “True” Meaning Of Easter

Posted in Art, History, Religion on  | 5 minutes | No Comments →

I’ve never been a huge fan of holidays, at least not throughout my adult life. I mean, what kid doesn’t love them? You get time off from school, people often give you gifts, and sometimes you even get to dress up funny or scary and collect free candy. But as an adult, and a “religious” adult in particular, I find myself increasingly less enthused with them.

Christmas was the first to go on my “I so love holidays” list, for reasons I’d rather not digress into. In my experience, every argument given to support observance of holidays can be given in support of living holy everyday. Sure, holidays are good because we get to see friends and family, or because they prompt us to more deeply consider our convictions, or because some of us spend them giving to the poor, but people ought to have these things at heart every single day.

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My Response To Jack Waldvogel

Posted in Legislation, Religion, Responses on  | 3 minutes | No Comments →

Dear Mr. Waldvogel:

I read your recent letter to the Petoskey Public School District, and as both a native Michigander and a believer myself, I'm concerned. While I understood the point you made about Thanksgiving, may I suggest that you've possibly compared apples to oranges? You asked,

..if God can be inserted into Thanksgiving either directly or indirectly, why must we refer to Christmas Break as the Winter Holiday Break?

Granted, the Pilgrims at Plymouth certainly believed in and thanked God, but there is nothing in the concept of gratitude that necessarily entails or precludes religious beliefs, so the word Thanksgiving can effectively convey a secular purpose. Christmas, on the other hand, does not share such luxury of neutrality: the word itself contains a specific reference to a specific member of a specific religion – that not all Americans or Michiganders share.

You said,

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