Oh come, all ye offended…

 

This is not what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Yes, I know it’s been weeks since I’ve posted, that’s also what neither Christmas, nor this post, are about.

I am not one who worries about the “War on Christmas.”

In the simplest of terms, Christmas is the beginning of the Greatest Story Ever Told, but the climax comes when we celebrate the Resurrection. There’s a whole lot more to that story of course, but also not what today’s post is really all about.

Today I’m writing about why I’m offended by all of the people being offended.

A few months back the social media rage was to quote from Leviticus 19 regarding welcoming strangers. As in “let’s open the borders.” I’m not going to debate that here. But I will point out that, if you want to proof-text Scripture, you’ll need to read the next Chapter of Leviticus. Look it up, it will do you good. And it will show you why it’s not a good idea to pick and choose a random scripture to make your point.

But now, we have the Christmas season upon us and we’re seeing comparisons to Mary and Joseph and immigrants at the border. That’s nice sentimentality. But it’s not an accurate depiction of the Christmas story.

Look, we can debate immigration elsewhere, but get your facts straight about the story of Mary and Joseph.

  • Mary was not an unwed mother.
  • Mary and Joseph were not immigrants.
  • Mary and Joseph were not homeless. They traveled from their home to another city because of a decree by an oppressive government.
  • While Mary and Joseph were refugees to Egypt…again fleeing the oppressive government, they paid their own way (possibly from the gifts given by the Wise Men). And, when they got to Egypt they didn’t expect Pharoah to pay for their stay.

One of the most ludicrous statements I heard this past week was that Mary didn’t give God “permission” to impregnate her.

Uh…that’s not how this faith thing works. And please before you embarrass yourself, go read this passage from the first chapter of Luke.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:38

I understand, if you’re not a Believer, that doing what God asks of you can be a foreign concept. But you shouldn’t try to cherry pick passages to advance your own agenda. Read the whole Book and learn more about what happened to people who said “no” to God.

Look, I’m about people having their own beliefs and coming to their own conclusions. But you can’t rewrite history, and facts, and Scripture to fit your own cause.

For the record, my brethren on the more conservative side need to bookmark that.

The silliness extends beyond the distortion of the Christmas story.

Now, a radio station has stopped playing the classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” because it’s offensive.

And yet, Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC tweeted the other day:

I’m all about standards. As long as they’re consistent.

Among other insanities of the season.

Rudolph is problematic because of bullying.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is racist because Franklin sits on the other side of the table. Come on, let’s talk about how forward thinking Charles Schulz was for even introducing Franklin in the early 1960s.

It’s not just the holidays.

Don’t even get me started about PETA’s new campaign saying “Bring home the Bacon” is hate speech, or whatever lunacy they’re preaching today.

In some ways, I like to think that we’re a more enlightened society. But then I go on social media and realized that everything is offensive, everything is politically incorrect.

Whatever.

I have neither the time nor the patience to debate this with you.

Be a Grinch. Be offended.

I’m off to pop Rudolph into the DVD player, while I fry up some bacon, and set up the nativity.

Because, this is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown…



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Cover Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

It felt like I needed to write something

Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I.

The “war to end wars.”

While I’ve not been writing here much lately, it just didn’t seem right to let the occasion pass without recognizing the day.

The flag in the picture flew over the U.S. Capitol in honor of my father-in-law’s birthday in 1987. Yesterday, Veteran’s Day, it flew from our house to honor his service in Japan and the Philippines, as well as my father’s service in Germany and Korea, my stepfather’s service in the Pacific Theater, and the service of my grandfather, who, on the day the Armistice was signed 100 years ago, was in a military hospital in France recovering from exposure to mustard gas at the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne.

I’ve spent much of the last three years with World War I as I was researching and developing my script that told my grandfather’s story: Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy.

I’ve told you the story of how that came to be.

And so, I needed to mention it one more time, along with acknowledging a few others.

I try to honor their memory. I try to appreciate their service, their sacrifice, and that of countless thousands of others who have answered their country’s call.

More than forty years ago when I graduated high school times were different in our country. My generation saw the end of the Vietnam War and the end of the draft. I did not serve. It is one of my regrets in life.

But I have spent most of my professional life in government and public policy service. Not the same on any level, but my part in trying to make this world, and our country, a better place.

I have had the privilege for several years to participate in volunteer service at The U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum at Ft. Lee. My grandfather trained at what was a very young Camp Lee.

I was also honored to be grafted in as a non-veteran participant in The Mighty Pen Project, a writing project through the Virginia War Memorial, where veterans gather to share their stories through writing.

As I write this, our country seems really angry. We seem divided.

I used to think that I could fix things through the political process. I can’t.

What I can do today is be grateful for this country and for those who have fought to defend our freedoms.

I can also be grateful for the fact that, for now at least, we’re still free to argue about things. I don’t want to take that for granted.

That freedom was bought with a price that I didn’t pay.

My job is not to waste that.

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