Wednesday, December 14, 2005

12 Days of Kitschmas


And, of course, God highly approves of such commercialism, so BUY, BUY, BUY!

So, this morning I've been listening to the broadcast of this year's Advent Carols Service on BBC (online), which, although I'm an agnostic, has becomed a hard-wired seasonal tradition for me.

I'm in a pretty foul mood, and among other things was trying to cheer myself up. I think the reasons for my foul mood have to do with the so-called "War on Christmas" that Dobson et al are talking about, plus our society's war on the poor and middle class, the crass commercialism of it all, etc., all rolled into a huge ball.

Among the readings for the service was one from Malachi (there's nothing like an Old Testament prophet to catch one's attention):

"And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness (...) against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in [his] wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger [from his right], and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts."

There were a few more relevant verses (see above) about the coming of Christ (the first one, that is) having to do with bringing justice to the poor and oppressed.

So our society is cutting health benefits and pensions; it's cutting social benefits; it's basically cutting away the safety net that keeps many from sinking into poverty, and eliminating the ladders that allow people to rise out of poverty. And in the meantime, our society's emphasis is on sybaritic excess that puts the Romans to shame.

This, folks, is the real War on Christmas. This is the war on Christ's message. And the Church, by and large, is standing by and letting it happen.

(sigh) Maybe I need to find a place to volunteer in my community, and put my money -- no, make that my time -- where my mouth is. I've made a few charitable contributions this season, but they're pretty insignificant in the scheme of things...

Edit: I just found that the Bull Moose has said the same thing I'm saying, only better... (Rock on, Moose!)

A few more links:
Peace On Earth by E. J. Dionne, written in 2004, when Dobson et al tried the same schtick;

A very good post from The New Donkey on the subject


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