Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Merry Judgemas!

I am a Christian. I'm pretty sure you all know that by now. And because I am a Christian, I celebrate Christmas. I give Christmas gifts, I have a Christmas tree, and I listen to Christmas music. I say "Merry Christmas" to others without reservation, and I have nativity scenes in my home. I have the right to do so because I am free to worship the God I want and celebrate the holidays I want. Because I'm an American. And you know what? Nobody has ever tried to take that right away from me.

So why, then, are we Christians (and I use the term "we" very loosely here because I'm pretty nauseated to be associated with this particular group of Christians) trying to take that right away from others?

Exhibit A. Focus on the Family's "Stand for Christmas" website.

This is appalling.

The point of the website is to get people to share feedback about which retailers are "Christmas-Friendly" and which simply "want your patronage and your gift-shopping dollars" and don't "openly recognize Christmas." If you take a few minutes to browse the comments from users of the site, you'll see startlingly ignorant statements such as these:

"First thing I notice is that they are only playing non-Christian Christmas songs (Jingle Bells, etc.). Unacceptable. I ask a clerk, "What is the reason for the season?" and I get back "What?". I buy a shirt and when they ask me what kind of wrapping paper, I reply that I want nativity paper or something showing the baby Jesus. They say they only have snowflakes and snowmen and green/red paper. What does green and red have to do with JESUS?"

"Never heard any Christmas music and was never told "Merry Christmas". When I said "Merry Christmas" the employees would just smile. It didn't 'feel' like Christmas at all!!!!"

"Kohl's entire 47-page Sunday newspaper insert ad used the word Christmas twice. Other than the first page reference to a Christmas Countdown sale, they have avoided any use of the word Christmas. What is it they are celebrating?"

And, my personal favorite:

"Very offended by the recent [Gap] advertisement. How dare they suggest we celebrate what we want? This is a Christian nation."

How dare they suggest we celebrate what we want? As in, how dare they suggest we have any kind of freedom of religion in this country? Oh yeah, I forgot about the part of the Declaration of Independence that says that only Christians deserve freedom of religion.

Now, to be fair, Focus on the Family itself clarifies in its open letter to retailers that its appeal is "not to encourage retailers to be exclusive but to be more inclusive by notably featuring the word Christmas with other possible labels such as 'Happy Holidays' or 'Season's Greetings.'" While their list of "other possible labels" is a little too short, in my opinion, I think they made their point a little better here.

But upon first glance of the website, this is not what the world will see. What the world will see is one-sided, selfish, ignorant Christians who care about nobody but themselves and spit hateful comments at people who celebrate anything else. Gosh, I sure don't want to be a Christian if they act like that. And nobody else will either.

We as Christians are supposed to be showing Christ's love to everybody no matter what as a witness. Instead, we're alienating them with our judgmental, close-minded remarks. I am not going to convince anybody that Christianity is worth anything if I act like a jerk when they disagree with me.

Want to fight the "war on Christmas?" (Though I'm still not quite sure there even is one). Say "Merry Christmas" to others. Don't worry about what's politically correct if what's politically correct doesn't suit you. The end.

It comes down to this: there are people in America that believe different things than you do. There are people who live different lifestyles. Those beliefs and lifestyles could very well be wrong, stupid, or sinful. There are a lot of stupid people in this world. But our job as Christians isn't to judge and hate them for that. Our job is to show them Christ's love through our words and actions.

And the Jesus I know (the one who's the "reason for the season") wouldn't scream at somebody for saying "Happy Holidays" to Him.

17 comments:

Jessica Latshaw said...

okay, wow.

that comment about only wanting wrapping paper that has the nativity on it is laughable. I mean, I've never even SEEN nativity wrapping paper!

And the separation between church and state is a super important amendment for all of us. Giving each of us the right to choose who and how we worship without allowing the state to intervene is something that is special about America. Even at Christmas time. It allows some to wrap their gifts in nativity scene paper and some to wrap it in stars of david.

Mallory said...

Amen, sister! Stuff like this makes me nauseous.

Jess :) said...

TOTALLY with Jessica on this one:

WOW!

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on (what I know will be one of my favorites this CHRISTMAS season) such a well written post!! You go girl! :) That was just AWESOME!

Second, yikes!! I can't believe that some 'Christians' seriously think that is okay. Whoa...

Again, well said and THANK YOU for that!

Kate Craig said...

amen!

Tiffany said...

Love. This. Post.

Amanda said...

I'm surprised and saddened that I'm not surprised by that article. You're exactly right in your post though, right on Mandy!

VacaSanto said...

You're really my kid but more than that, somewhere under all that Hornbuckle wrapper you're still a Crawford.

http://jimcrawford.blogspot.com/2009/12/its-crawford-thing.html

Jaymie said...

Amen sister!

Keli said...

Very well spoken. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was so saddened when I looked at the website you had posted to see comments that people had left when marking a place as "offensive." What a well written post to continue to enlighten those who consider themselves christians.

Kelley said...

amen, amen, amen. As much as I wish more people would recognize the real reason for the season, I don't want to force my beliefs on anyone. I want them to see the love of Christ through my actions and behavior towards others.

If I wasn't a Christian, I don't know if I would want to become one seeing how small minded and hateful those people seemed to be!

Anonymous said...

saw this post today and thought about how it was the opposite of your blog...

http://logozzoblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-have-i-done.html

Jenni said...

Mandy, i loved this post and I am in complete agreement with you. I am SO confused why so many Christians expect a secular world to behave like "Christians"?

Dana said...

I started a discussion about this on my Facebook page. I am in agreement with you. How can we expect others who are not Christians to celebrate a holiday they way Christians do (or are supposed to)? Boycotting a store because they sell holiday tree's does nothing to them. But to us, if we are doing it, it build's our pride in our "good works".

A friend sent me your blog link. Great post. I'm a member of SCC too.

Amanda said...

I saw your comment on MckMama's blog so I popped on over here to see what you had to say. I really like what you posted! I have been thinking the same thing--why in the world does saying "Happy Holidays" mean that you are trying to take Christ out of Christmas? I very much want Christ in my Christmas but I am not the least bit offended by a card that says "Season's Greetings." I wish our focus would shift from fighting stupid battles to loving people into a relationship with Jesus.

Kingdom Mama said...

I'm just seeing this because of the link on your Valentine's Day post. Just had to say that I wrote this exact same post!!

Well, exactly the same only mine was shorter, void of funnies and completely inadequate compared to yours;)

Prudy said...

I kinda sorta went not necessarily off, but gave my opinion on the whole boycotting stores that don't allow their clerks to say Merry Christmas. My opinion, it is the holidays. Get over it. There is more than just Christmas going on, and boycotting a store isn't going to do any good.

But anyways....