Until this afternoon I have always said, “Merry Christmas” when greeting people this time of year. I didn’t know anyone – of any faith or of no faith at all – who minded. No one had ever even hinted to me that it was offensive to them. Oh I had heard about the hullabaloo around it from tv news clips. But, in my opinion, that was the media’s usual manufactured bunch of nothing.
For my part, I was not offended when someone wished me “Happy Hanukkah,” or “Happy Holiday,” or even “Happy Festivus!” I will take a friendly greeting whatever its form! By all means, bring me into your tradition, make me feel a part of what is important in your life, and I will never be offended. Teach me something new! Likewise, I am happy to invite you to come and share what is important in my life too.
But after hearing Trump on TV this afternoon gleefully making “Merry Christmas” into a political statement of power instead of love — into a political tool of abusing those who are not Christians instead of walking alongside of them, I will no longer say “Merry Christmas” for fear of alienating and hurting the very people I want to offer a greeting to and who I hope will greet me too.
Do you see what is happening? A man, who by his own admission is not a follower of Jesus, has used the birth of Jesus to alienate all Christians from people of other faiths. Yes, I realize a group of Christians put him up to it. However, it is diabolically evil for anyone to use the birth of Christ as a political tool – a tool that separates and divides. And, yet, that is what is happening.
God have mercy on us all!
From now on, I have found a pleasing alternative. I will be wishing everyone “Feliz Navidad” to both separate myself from politicians and Christians who think the birth of Jesus is a political tool to exploit and to also offer a show of support to my undocumented Hispanic brothers and sisters!
Check out April’s Books, the Disorderly Parable Bible Studies, for group and individual study.