A friend recently gave me a sleeve of stickers to affix to my Christmas cards that read “Keep the Christ in Christmas.” While I strongly agree with the sentiment, I fear it may be too late. Anyone who has seen news footage of idiots duking it out over the last X-Box 360 on the Wal-Mart shelf would have to agree that the War on Christmas is over and the materialists won.
And they aren’t even magnanimous in victory. They’re rubbing it in our faces. Have you seen the latest Honda commercial? It features the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” — a secular ditty if ever there was one — only the ad wizards changed the words and mangled the tune to recast the song as “We Wish You a Happy Holiday”:blockquote> em>We wish you a happy holiday br> We wish you a happy holiday br> We wish you a happy holiday br> And a happier new year /em> /blockquote>
Advertisers seem to have given up on trying not to offend anyone and have instead come to realize offending Christians is inevitable. Whatever. As the man said, I’d rather push a Ford than drive a Honda.
It’s only natural, I suppose, that Christ should be robbed of His Big Day. Everywhere we turn in the common culture, the Jesus of the Bible has been replaced by the Jesus of the Da Vinci Code. For example, my wife and I hosted two couples over the Thanksgiving weekend. Perfectly willing to shatter the rule about not discussing religion at the dinner table, I brought up the subject of Unitarianism, as two of our guests had attended a Unitarian church over an extended period of time during the 1990s and early-2000s, though they no longer do. They believe in a god, they were swift to assure me, but they were unwilling to accept the divinity of Christ. Was he a great moral teacher? Of course. All you need to do is read the Bible to know that, they told me. But the idea that He is God is simply too much for them to grasp. In other words, God may not necessarily be dead, but Christ sure is (though, it must be stated, He’s well known for His comebacks.)
It is fortuitous, then, that Mr. Clive Staples Lewis has once again entered the public dialogue by way of the December 9th cinematic release of his masterwork of children’s literature The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Certain to be among the year’s blockbusters, it will also serve as one of those “water cooler” cultural moments. While a tad subtler than Mel Gibson’s graphic The Passion of the Christ, TLTWTW will nevertheless similarly find us talking about Christianity again.
But it is Lewis’s works in the field of Christian apologetics that provide the best ointment for the open sore of Jesus-was-just-a-really-nice-guy-ism. More than anything Lewis wrote in The Chronicles of Narnia, this blurb from his The Case for Christianity eviscerates the proposition that Jesus was a great moral philosopher, but in no way divine:
I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.”
That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse….You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great humanteacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.
Ah, but there is a third option, my guests argued. The Gospels were written some forty years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. Isn’t it possible that He was just a wise teacher but that His followers embellished the stories about His teachings to include his claims of divinity?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?