Politics and the Church – Where’s the Church? [Part 27]

We will continue this week with situations where secular, god-haters continue to try to tear a traditional holiday…Christmas…from the annuls of our Christian nation’s foundation.  When Christian leaders take a stand the seculars are not always successful.  Always looking for a hero, I believe one has been found by the name of Terry Calhoun.  Terry was the mayor of Rainbow City, Alabama.  That ‘notorious organization’ Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent him a terse letter…the only kind they know how to send…demanding that the town remove its nativity scene. [Sarah Palin in conversation with Todd Starnes, December 2014].  Unlike some of our ‘stall-worth’ education executives, he told the Wisconsin atheists to go back to Wisconsin  and eat cheese curds. In his words he said,”As long as I am mayor, I’m going to do what I think is right, and I’m not moving the manger scene.” [“Nativity Outrage: Alabama Town Threatened With Lawsuit Over Religious Scene”, ABC Inc., TKRK-TV Houston, December 21, 2014].  The mayor was sent a whole shipment of candy canes.  I suppose the folks from FFRF went home to their crying towels and coloring books.

Next the FFRF tried to bully a fire station in Utica, New York.  As they found out, it wasn’t very smart on their part.  The firefighters had posted a holiday sign outside Firehouse No. 4 declaring “Happy Birthday Jesus. We Love You”.  An FFRF lawyer fired off a letter complaining about how it is ‘bad policy’ for a government agency to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  The FFRF fretted that the message excluded, among other people, Muslims. [“Utica Fire Chief Says ‘Happy Birthday Jesus, We Love You’ Sign Is Here to Stay”, STATter911, December 17, 2014].  Fire Chief Russell Brooks said,”Well, there’s a good reason for that.  We aren’t celebrating the birthday of Muhammad on December 25.”  The firefighters decided to stand their ground.  Chief Russell told television station WKTV that the firefighters erected the sign after the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001.  He further states,”9/11 brought a lot of the guys closer to God, and they just wanted to show their faith in Jesus.  They had no idea a controversy would arise.” [Ibid].  I thought it must have taken a ‘local’ to put the FFRF on to this ‘problem’.  Satan has his minions working all over.

The next attack came from the scrooges at FFRF in Piedmont, Alabama.  FFRF ‘demanded’ the town drop the “Keep Christ in Christmas” theme for the annual holiday parade.  The town actually complied but with just a slight twist.  They allowed all the parade entrants to post the theme on their floats and trucks and tractors.  On the night of the parade virtually every parade float was promoting the reason for the season:”Keep Christ In Christmas”.  [Robert Richardson,”Piedmont Parade Unofficially ‘Keeps Christ In Christmas'”, Sinclair Broadcast Group, December 4, 2014].  FFRF should know that if they mess with Alabama they are liable to get ‘their tide rolled’.

It’s always so pleasant to recognize a victory now and then but getting back to the reality of the attacks we must return to the University of Tennessee where Christmas party planners were told to leave Baby Jesus and Santa Claus at home.  (And all along I thought U of T was in Tennessee and not California.)  Their ‘famous’ Office for Diversity and Inclusion released an ‘unofficial’ edict calling for the campus to host holiday parties that do not emphasize religion or culture.  The organization warned campus groups to ensure that their holiday party was not a Christmas party in disguise. [“Editorial on Diversity”, University of Tennessee Daily Beacon].  “Celebrate your religious and cultural holidays in ways that are respectful and inclusive of our students, your colleagues, and our university”, the Diversity Office went on to state. [Ibid].  When the university’s media office was contacted the position was somewhat modified.  They said that the holiday policy was not an official policy.  It was only a list of suggestions for inclusive celebrations. [University of Tennessee Media Relations Department in communications with Todd Starnes, December 2015].  What were some of these suggestions?  Here is some of the recommended nonsense:

*   Holiday cards should be nondenominational.

*   Decorations should not be specific to any religion or culture.

*   Refreshment selection should also be general and not specific to any religion or culture.

*   Holiday parties should not play games with religious or cultural themes.

[“Editorial on Diversity”, University of Tennessee Daily Beacon]

(Non-denominational crying towels and coloring books are OK)

The recommendations drew the ire of alumni, including Rep. John Duncan, a Republican from Tennessee.  He said the people he represents are disgusted by this and people all over the country are sick and tired of all this political correctness. [John Duncan in communications with Todd Starnes, December 2015].  Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey echoed the congressman’s concerns.  He said that these suggestions call into question the very purpose the university’s office of diversity serves?  Students don’t attend college “to have their values and traditions undermined” he further went on to say. [Ron Ramsey in communications with Todd Starnes, December 2015].

Sometimes it takes the threat of losing Christmas for people to have any backbone.  I’ve often believed that one way to check out a person’s position on Christmas is for the policy to be if one celebrates Christmas and all that goes with it they can have the Christmas holidays off from work/school.  Otherwise it’s a normal work/school day.  See who all shows up!

Next week we will continue looking at just a few of the many attacks on Christmas.  Needless to say Christmas has satan and FFRF in an up roar.  That makes the holiday all that more meaningful!

– Bob Munsey

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