Good grief, bah humbug, and pooh pooh to the Whos. 'Tis the season for atheists to complain about Christmas.
New stories come out every year about schools banning candy canes, stores banning "Merry Christmas," and towns banning nativity scenes for the sake of an over-sensitive minority who want to throw any public celebration of Christmas on the banned wagon.
This year, "Winter Solstice" celebrators are making their appearance in Little Rock, AR. Elementary students from Little Rock Elementary School were scheduled to see "A Charlie Brown Christmas" play at a local church which was holding a special matinee for the school kids.
That is, of course, until one atheist parent decided not to content herself with simply not signing her child's permission slip lest her child be ridiculed for not attending. She instead decided to take the easier road for her daughter by being the parent that ruined the trip for every kid in the school.
According to ArkansasMatters.com, "The debate touched off in late November when a Little Rock parent told Freethinkers she is concerned her daughter could be subjected to ridicule if she did not let her child go to the show."
You read that right. The group complaining about children being exposed to religious beliefs call themsleves "Freethinkers."
The school district, refreshingly, supported the idea of the field trip and rejected the "Freethinkers" blockade of the Christmas story.
"Little Rock School District spokeswoman Pam Smith said the district does not endorse or encourage religious activities."
"Smith said the district, however, supports the school principal's decision to approve of the field trip as a cultural experience since the first and second grade teachers involved sent letters notifying parents of the show's religious content and providing them with the option of not allowing their kids to attend."
So it seems the show will go on? NOPE. In an impressive display of tail-tucking, the church hosting the field trip cancelled the matinee to ensure that no one would be offended by the Gospel of Christ during school hours.
On the other end of the spectrum of Christmas ridiculousness there is Santa Monica, CA which has opted to not allow a nativity scene for the first time in almost 60 years. The city is not cancelling the tradition because of complaints, but because last year another offended atheist put a sign up next to the nativity scene deriding Christ as a "myth." He must be another one of those "Freethinkers."
The Associated Press colorfully reports, "The atheist's anti-God message alongside a life-sized nativity display in a park overlooking the beach ignited a debate that burned brighter than any Christmas candle."
So while the church in Little Rock wilts at the thought of offending anyone, the atheists in Santa Monica do their best to poke in the eye anyone who believes differently than themselves in the Christmas season. Yet isn’t it the Christians who “push” their religion at Christmas time?
Here's the pragmatic, unvarnished truth. The only reason the Christmas season is such a big deal in this country is Christ's birth. It's not Winter Solstice, Hanukah, Kwanza, or even Santa Claus. People who want to celebrate those things are certainly free to do so, but none of them are the root of the Christmas experience in America.
We may have lost sight of it in our commercialized society, but the reason for the season is the celebration of the birth of the Messiah and that is a fact. That cannot be taken away from those of us who want to celebrate Christmas.
This is the time of year to slow down and remember that Christ was born to die for us stupid, petty, quibbling, and cowardly humans. Christmas highlights the best and worst of humanity. We see the sins that Jesus died for even as we meditate on His sacrifice.
Don't let the controversies distract you this Christmas. Let them be a reminder of why Jesus needed to be born.
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