(warning, inchoherent angry blogpost)
I received another one of those 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season' emails this morning. The ones that go one about Political Correctness and Crass Commercialism. This one really angered me, partly because it was factually incorrect and also dated. It talked about Madonna cds, and Kwanzaa, of Dan Rather and Bill Clinton. It made an unsupported assertion that the Senate is eliminating Jesus from just about everything and then it talked about stores promoting Ramadan!
(Ramadan started in August this year and finished in September. The last time it coincided with Christmas was 10 years ago!)
...and to top it all off it was written in bad poetry!!!
I found myself getting angry as I drove into work. Every year I receive emails like this one. Emails claiming that 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' is actually a secret christian song (false) or that the Candy Cane is a symbol of Jesus (also false). Why do we need to Christianize everything to make it acceptable? Even the date of Christmas was picked with that in mind. Christians 'stole' the date of Christmas from the Winter Solstice and the Festival of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun and the celebration of Mithra!
I get angry emails complaining about people saying 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas' that seem to forget the fact that there is more than one holiday going on right now (Hannukah anyone?) or complaining that people are writing Xmas instead of Christmas without knowing the history behind it or the fact that it was Christians who started writing it that way!
I began to rant in the car.
"Christians are so hypocritical, the only difference between their Christmas celebrations and the rest of the world, is the fact that they go to church. They still spend as much on gifts as everyone else. They just spray some 'Jesus' on the top. If they really cared about 'Jesus being the Reason for the Season' they would stop sending out factually incorrect emails, step away from their computers, and be Jesus to the world this Christmas time!"
By the time I heard the commercial on the radio about 'Lottery Scratch Cards' being the perfect Christmas gift tradition I was in a fowl mood.
...and then I looked inward.
I saw how my Christmas doesn't differ that much from everyone else. I'm spending too much on gifts when many people have no money to purchase necessities. I'm obsessing about Christmas Dinner when many people have nothing to eat.
As a church musician at Christmas time a lot of my energy is spent facillitating Christmas for the congregation, but what about those who never darken the door of the church?
I need to be asking myself how I can be 'Jesus for the world' this Christmas. Maybe I need to make gifts to charity in other people's names instead of buying them things they don't need...
...that's a good start, but I need to 'Jesus for the world' every day, not just one season of the year.
I can say nothing...
I have no right to complain about others...
Guilty as charged...
(and to the friend who sent me the email, I know you were well intentioned, sorry for my rant!)