Author Topic: Twas The Month Before Christmas  (Read 5055 times)

Mike Gehlhausen

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Twas The Month Before Christmas
« on: November 20, 2009, 11:02:34 AM »
( Circulating the Internet )

Twas the month before Christmas

When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.

See the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday!

Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
MERRY CHRISTMAS
Christ is The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!

iowakatie1981

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2009, 01:16:44 PM »
Sad, but true...Reminds me of this, which I can't remember where I found anymore, but it's still good...

If Christ had been born today

And Joseph went up from Galilee to Bethlehem with Mary, his espoused
wife, who was great with child. And she brought forth a son and wrapped
him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no
room for them in the inn. And the angel of the Lord spoke to the shepherds
and said, "I bring you tidings of great joy. Unto you is born a Savior,
which is Christ the Lord."

"There's a problem with the angel," said a Pharisee who happened to be
strolling by. As he explained to Joseph, angels are widely regarded as
religious symbols, and the stable was on public property where such symbols
were not allowed to land or even hover.

"And I have to tell you, this whole thing looks to me very much like a
Nativity scene," he said sadly. "That's a no-no, too." Joseph had a bright
idea. "What if I put a couple of reindeer over there near the ox and ass?"
he said, eager to avoid sectarian strife.

"That would definitely help," said the Pharisee, who knew as well as
anyone that whenever a savior appeared, judges usually liked to be on the
safe side and surround it with deer or woodland creatures of some sort.
"Just to clinch it, throw in a candy cane and a couple of elves and snowmen,
too," he said. "No court can resist that."

Mary asked, "What does my son's birth have to do with snowmen?"
"Snowpersons," cried a young woman, changing the subject before it veered
dangerously toward religion. Off to the side of the crowd, a Philistine was
painting the Nativity scene. Mary complained that she and Joseph looked too
tattered and worn in the picture. "Artistic license," he said. "I've got
to show the plight of the haggard homeless in a greedy, uncaring society in
winter," he quipped. "We're not haggard or homeless. The inn was just
full," said Mary. "Whatever," said the painter.

Two women began to argue fiercely. One said she objected to Jesus'
birth "because it privileged motherhood." The other scoffed at virgin
births, but said that if they encouraged more attention to diversity in
family forms and the rights of single mothers, well, then, she was all
for them. "I'm not a single mother," Mary started to say, but she was
cut off by a third woman who insisted that swaddling clothes are a form
of child abuse, since they restrict the natural movement of babies.

With the arrival of 10 child advocates, all trained to spot infant
abuse and manger rash, Mary and Joseph were pushed to the edge of the
crowd, where arguments were breaking out over how many reindeer (or
what mix of reindeer and seasonal sprites) had to be installed to
compensate for the infant's unfortunate religious character.

An older man bustled up, bowling over two merchants, who had been busy
debating whether an elf is the same as a fairy and whether the
elf/fairy should be shaking hands with Jesus in the crib or merely
standing to the side, jumping around like a sports mascot.

"I'd hold off on the reindeer," the man said, explaining that the use
of asses and oxen as picturesque backdrops for Nativity scenes carries
the subliminal message of human dominance. He passed out two leaflets,
one denouncing manger births as invasions of animal space, the other
arguing that stables are "penned environments" where animals are
incarcerated against their will. He had no opinion about elves or candy
canes.

Signs declaring "Free the Bethlehem 2" began to appear, referring to
the obviously exploited ass and ox. Someone said the halo on Jesus'
head was elitist. Mary was exasperated. "And what about you, old
mother?" she said sharply to an elderly woman. "Are you here to attack
the shepherds as prison guards for excluded species, maybe to complain
that singing in Latin identifies us with our Roman oppressors, or just
to say that I should have skipped patriarchal religiosity and joined
some dumb new-age goddess religion?"

"None of the above," said the woman, "I just wanted to tell you that the
Magi are here." Sure enough, the three wise men rode up. The crowd
gasped, "They're all male!" And "Not very multicultural!" "Balthasar
here is black," said one of the Magi. "Yes, but how many of you are gay
or disabled?" someone shouted. A committee was quickly formed to find
an impoverished lesbian wise-person among the halt and lame of
Bethlehem.

A calm voice said, "Be of good cheer, Mary, you have done well and your
son will change the world." At last, a sane person, Mary thought. She
turned to see a radiant and confident female face. The woman spoke
again: "There is one thing, though. Religious holidays are important,
but can't we learn to celebrate them in ways that unite, not divide? For
instance, instead of all this business about 'Gloria in excelsis Deo,'
why not just 'Season's Greetings'?"

Mary said, "You mean my son has entered human history to deliver the
message, 'Hello, it's winter'?" "That's harsh, Mary," said the woman.
"Remember, your son could make it big in midwinter festivals, if he
doesn't push the religion thing too far. Centuries from now, in
nations yet unborn, people will give each other pricey gifts and have
big office parties on his birthday. That's not chopped liver."

"Let me get back to you," Mary said.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2009, 02:16:17 PM »
It has always amused me that in order to get nativity scenes on public property - where they do not belong - the pious proponents must agree with the courts that the nativity scenes are not "religious," but "cultural" and agree to have them diluted with Frostys and Rudolphs.
To me, that has always been the profaning of the sacred scene, the willingness of people to say that it is not sacred.

Pilgrim

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 02:28:07 PM »
Your amusement is duly noted. Might it also be suggested that in light of that preceding your amusement, such a response possesses a certain "scroochish" quality?

Tim
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Charles_Austin

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2009, 02:30:39 PM »
Why "scrooge-ish"? Because I do not want to dilute the sacredness of the nativity by saying "Oh, no, it isn't 'religious,' it's just a symbol of this time of year."?

I'm all in favor of Nativity Scenes. We should put them on our church lawns, even in our own front yards; and hang around them to tell people what they really mean to us. They don't belong on the lawn of the town hall.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 02:33:43 PM by Charles_Austin »

Pilgrim

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2009, 02:43:33 PM »
Your post Charles, seemed to suggest "amusement" at what is essentially syncretism, and to even suggest support of or acquiessence to the same. Proclaiming the incomprehensibility of the Incarnation is the joyuous task entrusted to us in the midst of an unbelieving or jaded world. That would seem to me to be more wothy of our best efforts, which is what I read in the two initial posts.

Pr. Tim Christ
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2009, 02:49:29 PM »
Your post Charles, seemed to suggest "amusement" at what is essentially syncretism, and to even suggest support of or acquiessence to the same. Proclaiming the incomprehensibility of the Incarnation is the joyuous task entrusted to us in the midst of an unbelieving or jaded world. That would seem to me to be more wothy of our best efforts, which is what I read in the two initial posts.
Christians were syncretic when they adopted the pagan holiday to the sun-god as the day to celebrate the nativity of our Lord. Biblical evidence indicates that birth was not likely in the winter.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Pilgrim

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2009, 02:57:11 PM »
Brian,

You might to do a little more homework on how the church arrived at its choice regarding the dating of Christmas. It's far more involved than your simple assertion would suggest.

Pr. Tim Christ
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

edoughty

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2009, 03:00:59 PM »
I guess I don't understand the kerfuffle here.

Even if (and that's a big if) Christ was born in mid-winter, I have no particular need to hear "Merry Christmas" from store clerks or from government employees during the month before Christmas or the days after, any more than I expect to be wished an observant Lent.  "Have an expectant and appropriately preparatory Advent" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, anyway.  I am aware that there are other holidays from other faith traditions at approximately this time of year; c'est la vie and good for them.  I don't celebrate Hanukkah, but I don't begrudge Jewish folks the kosher section of the grocery store or the seven-foot menorah in the entryway.

I don't think it's appropriate, with separation of church & state, to have religious symbols on government property and would rather government be simply neutral and stay completely out of it.  I agree with Charles here; far better that we who do anticipate and celebrate the Festival of the Incarnation on Dec 25 be the ones who show our own faith on our own church lawns, our own homes, by our own actions.  

jpetty

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2009, 03:04:49 PM »
Very timely.  It fits well with Fox's annual "war on Christmas."  Leave it to conservatives to try to turn Christmas into yet another "culture war" issue.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2009, 03:07:09 PM »
Pastor Christ writes:
Proclaiming the incomprehensibility of the Incarnation is the joyuous task entrusted to us in the midst of an unbelieving or jaded world. That would seem to me to be more wothy of our best efforts, which is what I read in the two initial posts.

I respond:
Yes, indeed. But we should not insist on doing it on town hall property, or diluting our witness just so that the state appears to let us do it.

iowakatie1981

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2009, 03:13:56 PM »
Very timely.  It fits well with Fox's annual "war on Christmas."  Leave it to conservatives to try to turn Christmas into yet another "culture war" issue.

Leave it to liberals to see nothing wrong with the "religious left" attempting to dilute the message and ministry of Christ into nothing more than quotas and I'm-ok-you're-ok so that they might be invited to sit at the "cool kids" table. 

I don't have to worry about the government telling me to shut up about Jesus, the church is handling that just fine on its own. 

jpetty

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2009, 03:31:37 PM »
Who told you to "shut up" about Jesus?  Let me know and I'll go beat 'em up.

iowakatie1981

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2009, 04:00:27 PM »
Well, let's see...

Every time someone manages to preach a 10 minute sermon that doesn't once mention Jesus...(ok, maybe once...)

Every time I am in a small group that sets out to study local art and connect it with the Gospel, and as we are preparing our presentation, I say, "we should have something to say about the Gospel here," and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy.

Every time we read an article for class that belongs in a sociology or anthropology class, and my friend asks, "This is interesting, but what does it have to do with Jesus?" and the professor stares at her like she's from Mars.

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."

Every time "mission" is defined as polite interreligious dialogue whose point is not to bring the Good News but simply to learn how to get along with others.

The "implicit curriculum," in educational parlance, is "shut up about Jesus."  Just sayin'...

And yes, every one of these examples has actually happened...

GoCubsGo

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 04:21:20 PM »
Well, let's see...

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."


When did this happen?  Which bishop?  Just curious though, sadly, I'm not surprised.