Regardless of what you think of President Trump, there’s one thing that he did this year that you probably agree with. It has to do with Christmas. During his campaign for president, Trump promised that he would bring back the word “Christmas” to the Christmas season. He complained about how he no longer sees the word anywhere in the stores during the Christmas season. He said that he was tired of seeing “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
Last month, when the official White House Christmas card was released, it included the old familiar greeting that we all grew up with: “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” Underneath the greeting were the handwritten signatures of President Trump, his wife Melania, and their son Barron.
During the eight years that President Obama was in office, every one of the official White House Christmas cards failed to mention Christmas. In place of the words “Merry Christmas” was “Seasons Greetings.”
Last year, in an effort to keep from offending people who were not Christians, Starbucks removed all the Christmas symbols from its traditional Christmas season coffee cups. The removal of the Christmas symbols offended Christians and other people who thought that the company was engaged in a ridiculous effort to prove that it was sensitive to the desires and beliefs of a minority of its customers.
By attempting to avoid offending non-Christians, Starbucks damaged its reputation with Christians and other people who cherish traditions that have existed for hundreds of years.
That’s what happens when people and companies attempt to change traditional ways of doing things so that certain segments of society are not offended. The effort itself ends up offending far more people than those who would be offended if the traditions were continued.
For those of us who see the Christmas season through a Christian religious lens, we are rightfully offended when our elected representatives and the businesses that we patronize bend over backwards to accommodate the people and groups whose primary goal is to remove any reference to or mention of God from every aspect of our lives.
A few years ago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered his support for a plan that originated with Alderman Joe “Proco” Moreno to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening a second Chicago restaurant. The reason the alderman and the mayor wanted to prevent the restaurant from opening was because the president of Chick-fil-A had previously stated that he was against gay marriage.
After several thousand members of the community backed Chick-fil-A, Emanuel reversed course and made a statement that he was in support of the gay members of the community, but that he was not planning on blocking Chick-fil-A from opening the restaurant.
To give you an indication of how the American public views Chick-fil-A, according to the most recent statistics, Chick-fil-A is currently the most popular and successful fast-food chain in the United States. McDonald’s Corporation is second.
You won’t see any Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays signs in Chick-fil-A restaurants. The company takes pride in its devotion and dedication to the Son of God.
There are numerous occasions throughout an individual’s life when the temptation arises to remain silent when he or she should be speaking out. Our Lord warned us that if we follow Him, we will be hated, ridiculed, and in some cases, killed.
During 2017, tens of thousands of Christians were tortured and murdered in other parts of the world simply because they were followers of Jesus Christ.
For those of us who were fortunate enough to be born and raised in the United States, we have no idea what it’s like to live in a country where Christians are persecuted and killed. Yet many of us lack the courage to stick up for our faith and defend the name of God. We take the safe route and remain silent when we hear another person use God’s name in vain. Or we fail to defend our faith when the topic of gay marriage or some other controversial topic is brought up.
The people who remain silent and are too cowardly to speak up for and defend God and His laws play a part in supporting the elected representatives and business owners who pander to the small but loud crowds of people who are opposed to the Christian traditions and fundamentals that we Christians hold dear.
One thing to seriously consider this Christmas season is whether you are doing your part in practicing the spiritual works of mercy of instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, and admonishing the sinner.
It is only through our prayerful and vocal support of our Creator and the faith that we cherish that we will be able to continue to practice religious freedom in our country and preserve it for future generations.
It should be of no concern to us that our beliefs and actions may hurt the feelings of others or that they may lose sleep over the fact that we are willing to celebrate our Christian traditions. We are children of God who were created in His image and likeness for the purpose of knowing, loving, and serving Him.
The best Christmas present you can give yourself this year is the permission to boldly and courageously praise and defend the Christ child who became our Savior and gave up His life so that you and I could enter into His Kingdom.
Dear Georgette and Harry –
This may sound strange to you (and others), but when the debates were on TV A LONG TIME AGO, I turned my TV to a “GIFT station” that was purchased through a GRANT that year; background pictures are all of God’s Creations, from mountains, rivers, trees, sky, all animal-creatures, (no human beings!) constantly showing with beautiful soft music (no words) playing in the background. The station, for us here at Nazareth Living Center, is 900. It is not shown on regular TV’s – only here at NLC. Since I made the decision NOT to listen to debates, or anything political, I’ve lived in peace with my time spent helping others who live here, in the activities I choose to attend,and the needed elevating my leg as often as I can, in my lounge chair; but MOST of all, in prayer. Oh, yes, I spend a
good amount of time at my computer, in correspondence with friends such as YOU; also, I receive several Homilies daily, from UND, White House Retreat here in St. Louis, Bishop Barron, and one weekly, from Fr. Alejandro Lopez, ofm, conv, who was at our Holy Family in Peoria, and was sent to Australia. There are also therapy times and trips to Doctor as needed – – – but – – – NOTHING on TV other than Channel 900 and 901 which is our Chapel Channel. That may sound extreme, but I’ve been at peace with Jesus Who lives within me and within each one whom I meet. I love receiving your weekly publications and responding to them! And I love you and your Family! Blessings and loving prayers! Sister Roberta csj
Thanks for this timely reminder. Regarding works of mercy, I really enjoy Fr. Michael Gaitley’s short book, You Did It To Me. We are using it for our bible study starting in January. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtVfqUkhPpE