A Brewing Pot of Christian Persecution (Chapter 5)
by Carl Parnell
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Christian Persecution in the Public Square
Christianity and Christians in general are encountering many types of persecution in the public square, even though many critics would disagree. Some of the more prominent examples include the removal of the Ten Commandments from public buildings, along with the banishment of prayer and Bible-reading. Christians throughout the United States are having their faith put to the test. Christians are facing many diverse circumstances in the public squares of America. This is caused by the anti-Christian forces that are attempting to ban the mentioning of God’s name in the public square.
The major attack against Christians in the public square occurs during the Christmas holiday season. The birth of Christ is one of the two main focal points of the Christian faith. Easter is the other main Christian event. Without the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity would not exist as a faith or a religion. If anti-Christian forces can destroy the importance of these two major Christian events in the public square, they could possibly destroy Christianity in America. According to Mychal Massie, a political activist and columnist, “It only makes sense that if the birth of Christ can be rendered of no effect, i.e. reduced to a non-consequential break in routine, ‘His’ death will be rendered of no effect, ergo, ‘His’ resurrection will soon also be reduced to just another vacation day.” (1) However, despite the religious importance of both holidays, the attack on Christmas is more prominent.
Even though many critics would disagree, there is a war against Christmas in America. In fact, there are countless examples to prove that Christmas is under attack by those who would eliminate God and Christ from the public square. First, many large corporations and companies have practically eliminated their support for Christmas on their property, except for attempting to get Americans to purchase their goods. According to Guy Adams, founder of Values USA, some of the well-known stores that have done this in the past are Target, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, K Mart, Sears, Office Max, J.C.Penney, Dell, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Walgreens, Kohl’s, Barnes& Noble, Staples, Marshall Field’s, and Kroger. (2) But, fortunately, some of these companies have changed their view about Christmas.
Who is responsible for the push for the anti-Christmas agenda in companies in America? The main culprit promoting the anti-Christmas propaganda in America is the American Civil Liberties Union. Some people have even labeled the organization as the Against Christmas Liberties Union. The battle against Christmas is at the forefront of the ACLU’s secular humanist agenda. According to Mr. Adams, “The ACLU is most assuredly behind the attack on Christmas, and the organization's anti-Christian campaign is hurtful to America and America’s culture. It's hurtful to you. Whenever a minority wields the power to force their views on the majority, as the ACLU has done, it infringes on your rights as a citizen of a democracy. I'm surprised that the ACLU hasn't already attempted to sue the Red Cross because its internationally-known symbol of hope, rescue, and charity is a CROSS. (2)
Mike Johnson, a pro-Christmas attorney from Louisiana states, “It's a sad day in America when you have to retain an attorney to say Merry Christmas.” (2) However, as stated by columnist Chris Adamo, “The real danger to America's future does not emanate from a display of the Christ Child on the courthouse lawn anymore than from the verses of a Christmas carol. Rather, it is present in any governing entity that presumes the authority to control thought.” (2) Therefore, as stated by Michael Zamorano, chairman of the Committee to Save Merry Christmas, “It's the height of hypocrisy for a corporation to make tens of millions of dollars selling Christmas presents, yet coldly refuses to acknowledge Christmas, despite the fact that most Americans want them to.” (2) Therefore, at Christmastime, Christians should purchase products from stores that support Christ and the true meaning of Christmas.
Another area in the public square where anti-Christmas views are promoted is the public schools. The ACLU and other secular humanist groups are fighting diligently to prevent America’s school children from getting involved with the Christmas season. They do not want students to see or hear anything that connects Christ’s birth with Christmas. In fact, public schools have renamed the Christmas season as the “holiday season” or “winter break” What a dastardly thing to do to the memory of the Son of God!
What are these anti-Christian and anti-Christmas groups doing to achieve their goals in America’s public schools? What Christmas symbols are causing them so much agony and stress? First and foremost is the Christmas nativity scene. Even though it has been the focal point of Christmas in America since the founding of the nation, anti-Christmas groups today do not share this opinion. To them, it would be promoting the establishment of a national religion in the United States. However, if over 90 percent of Americans claim to be Christian, it already appears to be the established religion in America. If this is the case, and it is, why are these minority groups controlling the affairs of religion in America and its public schools?
Another Christmas symbol that disturbs the ACLU and other anti-Christmas groups is the singing of Christmas carols, especially “Silent Night.” They believe that the words of this song would promote Christianity above other religions, too. But, as stated earlier, since the majority normally rules, Christianity is the religion of America. All other religions should have the freedom to worship, but not at the expense of degrading the Christian faith. Therefore, symbols of Christmas and Christianity should be permitted in public schools without government or judicial interference.
Some other specific examples of public school banning Christmas symbols are:
1. Kindergartners at a public school in Oregon were invited to bring cards to a Christmas party, but a teacher barred one student from distributing his holiday greeting because it mentioned Jesus Christ. (2)
2. In Illinois, children in most elementary schools must now sing "We wish you a happy holiday" instead of "We wish you a Merry Christmas." (2)
3. Numerous school officials, including some in Arizona, have considered it unconstitutional and offensive for students to make any reference to the religious history of Christmas in a class project. (2)
4. Many public schools have banned even "instrumental" versions of traditional Christmas carols. In other instances, the words have been rewritten to reflect a humanist secular worldview. (2)
It is obvious from the aforementioned examples that public school systems in the United States have lost their mind in their effort to discriminate against Christianity and Christmas in their schools. Ultimately, the saddest part of the attack on Christianity in the public schools is that other religions are being spotlighted at the expense of America’s majority religion.
Christmas is also being attacked by local and state government officials. According to Guy Adams, state government workers in Illinois cannot say “Merry Christmas” while at work. Also, in Rhode Island, local government workers cannot decorate the lawn of City Hall with Christmas lights and decorations. (2) Also, according to the Catholic League of Religious and Civil Rights, there are many more examples of local governments banning Christmas symbols in their cities and towns. Some of these examples are as follows:
1. La Grange, KY—Town officials decided not to display a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn. The reason given was that they feared a lawsuit from the ACLU.
2. Somerville, MA—Mayor Joseph Curtatone publicly expressed regrets for calling Somerville's “holiday party" a Christmas Party. "I apologize for the mistake," Curtatone said, "and to anyone who was offended by it."
3. Denver, CO—The city's annual Parade of Lights, sponsored chiefly by NBC affiliate KUSA-TV, banned the words "Merry Christmas" from all floats, as well as all Christmas songs. Parade spokesman Michael Krikorian said the decision to discriminate against Christians was made "out of respect for other religions in the region." Meanwhile, the parade honored homosexual and lesbian American Indians as "Holy People."
4. New York, NY—Mayor Michael Bloomberg insisted that the City Hall Christmas Tree was really a "holiday tree.” (3)
As seen in these examples from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, local and state governments are proving themselves to be anti-Christian and anti-Christmas every year. Therefore, it is extremely important for Christians of all denominations to join together and fight the attacks of Satan at the symbols of Christmas and Christianity. When Santa Claus gets more attention at Christmas than Jesus Christ, something is definitely wrong with America’s concept of the true meaning of Christmas. According to Jon Christian Ryter, a commentator and advertising executive for the Washington Times,
Over the past two or three decades, Santa Claus has pretty much replaced Jesus Christ as "the reason for the season" due to the power of advertising and the success of the merchants of Main Street who managed to blur the symbolic religiosity of Christmas by commercializing the holiday. The change was subtle and non-offensive to Christians at first, with images of a venerate Santa Claus worshipping the baby Jesus in manger scenes. By inserting the myth into the reality, the reality of Christ became blurred and indistinguishable from the mythical Santa Claus. As a result, both are rapidly becoming mythical in the minds of an increasingly secular America. (4)
1. Massie, Mychal. “A Little Pain, A Lot of Gain” WorldNetDaily. 10 June 2006
2. Adams, Guy. “The Battle Against Christmas” Renew America. 11 June 2006
3. Donohue, William A. “2004 Report on Anti-Catholicism” Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. 14 June 2006
4. Ryter, Jon Christian. “Why the World Wants to Get Rid of Christianity” NewsWithViews. 16 June 2006
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