In the meantime, I want to leave you with this one final link. A couple weeks ago I posted an article I wrote about the whole Christmas/Holiday fiasco. Yeah, I know you're tired of hearing about Fox News' latest contrived controversy and that you are sick of the boisterous, sky-is-falling emails circulating by the zealots and "ditto-heads" who listen to Rush and Coulter and O'Reilley, but this is something you really ought to read.
Anna Quindlen authored a wonderful essay on this topic for this week's edition of Newsweeek and as luck would have it, Newsweek actually allows online readers to read their columnists' offerings free of charge. Those who favor articles infused with inflamatory, profane remarks and lots of RANTING and RAVING should probably ignore it, as it doesn't have any of it. What it does have is perhaps the only level-headed contribution to this discussion -- a discussion that we wouldn't be having if not for the fine folks at Fox News changing the topic away from Bush's flailing approval rating. But that's beside the point.
Without further ado, here's the link:
Frankincense in Aisle Five!
And if you're unwilling to click the link without a teaser, here's a couple paragraphs off the tail end of this article.
The cycle of the devotional year has once again wound around to the anniversary of the Nativity, and now the foolishness is all fa-la-la-la-la. It is surprising to discover that some believe the enduring power of the story of the child born in Bethlehem to be so shaky that it must be shored up by plastic creches in town squares and middle-school concerts. Apparently, conservative critics are also exercised by the fact that various discount stores have failed to pay homage to the baby in the manger, in their advertisements, their labeling and even their in-store greetings.
It is hard for me to figure out how a snub by a home-improvement center can diminish Christmas one iota. A flu epidemic carried off as many as 50 million people around the world in the early part of the 20th century, surely a disaster to shake the faith of even the most devout. Yet the holy day endured. Through plague and war, famine and invasion, the tale was told and the lesson learned, of love for neighbors, of charity toward the poor. Carols were sung in foxholes and prisons.
O ye of little faith, who believe that somehow the birth of Christ is dependent upon acknowledgment in a circular from OfficeMax! According to the story, Jesus threw the money-changers out of the temple, saying that they'd made his father's house into a den of thieves. By any stretch of the imagination, does that person sound like someone who would hanker to be formally recognized at Sears and Walgreens, as though his legacy depended upon being given pride of place among redundant hand appliances and teddy bears in Santa hats?