One Nation Under…

I was raised a Christian. Lutheran, specifically. And never, not even once, have I felt persecuted. Not even close. So I find it particularly mind-blowing when I read and hear so many Christians bemoaning a War on Christmas or a War on Christian Values. We live in a country that is populated with a majority of Christians – by a long shot. So how is it possible that there is a systemic persecution of Christians? Well, the fact is, there isn’t…

This is not a Christian nation.  A nation which operates after the example of Christ does not turn its back on the least of their citizens.  It does not revel in overindulgence and extravagance.  It does not disparage, denigrate and dispose of those in need.  No, we are most certainly NOT a Christian nation.

If there is an actual threat to the spirit of Christmas, it is coming from the overdose of materialism that permeates our everyday lives and detracts from Christ’s message of hope and his specific example to love those who are despised, not from the choice to say Happy Holidays. Since when is the spirit of Christmas threatened by mere words? So what if the person behind the register at the store says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? Do you believe that mere words equate to the kindness and love that really exemplify a Christian life? Is your faith threatened by this? I would hope not.

We as Christians are charged to live as examples to others, but how often do we really exemplify the best of our beliefs? I can say I do not do my part nearly enough. The real threat to Christian values is within each one of us. Yet, too many of us are eager to point fingers at others, at how bad or wrong or sinful they are. How many of us are willing to turn the mirror on ourselves and improve our own characters and live as examples? It’s much more challenging.

The demographics of the US are changing.  That happens… things change.  But how do we face change?  Do we demonize those who are new to our experience.  Or, do we treat them as human beings and show them love and kindness?  It saddens me that too many Christian leaders vocally encourage and incite hatred and fear rather than love.

We (yes, I am lumping all Christians together, because we are all responsible for one another) have become Pharisees, lost our humility, and reveled in personal gain. Meanwhile, we continue to despise the poor and characterize them as lazy, view the homeless as bums and psychotics, make jokes of alcoholics and drug users, and basically turn our backs on everyone that Jesus would have sat down with and broken bread.

No, Christians are not being persecuted, there is no war on Christmas, Too many Christians have turned their backs on those who really matter, on those who really need help. It seems we have declared and waged war on each other, and on what we proclaim to be our own beliefs. We have lost our way.

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