Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Christmas in Schools?

As we look toward Christmas, we can expect some arguments about nativity scenes in government locations. Christmas, after all is said and done, is when Christians of all denominations acknowledge the human birth of Jesus Christ. Christ, as they see it, was fully human, but miraculously also fully God.

Christmas is not a secular holiday, even though a great number of people celebrate it as such. A day off of work, a chance to share time with families, and a sense that we should care more about those around are not important exclusively to those with faith, of course. But, 'Christ'mas is not the same as, say (hypothetically) "Good Will Toward Men" Day.

The question is: to what degree should government organizations, from the White House to the public library, tip their hat toward Christmas?

If the answer is "They should do nothing," then there should be work that day. Floating holidays aside, which cater to all beliefs or nonbeliefs, it cannot be a mandated holiday.

No Christmas parties. No gifts. No Christmas trees. Say what you like about the secular history of a Christmas tree, it is now only a Christmas tree. Nothing else. Put one up, and that's what it is.

If the answer is yes, then, this opens the door to every other religious holiday, including Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, Hindu, and whatever other religions have at least one government employee present.

In each situation, the matter has absolutes, and progressions. To have 'X', in each case, there is a correlating 'Y'.

Your thoughts?

5 comments:

Dinah Soar said...

Our Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion also recognizes the Creator and the fact that we are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights. That Creator is Jehovah God...the God of the Bible, the Old and New Testament. And the writers of the Constitution were very pointed in that fact by their express language. There is no misunderstanding their belief in a Creator or who that Creator is. Each of them attested his belief with his signature.

From that worldview the framework of our nation was built on the Judeo-Christian ethic. The law of our land is based on the Old Testment law.

If our founding fathers saw no conflict with a nation being "Christian" while allowing individuals religious liberty, why then should we?

What,I say, has changed? Nothing as far as I can tell. Our nation and our government still operate under that same constitution...that same law...and that same world view.

There should then be no problem continuing as we started: a Christian nation that allows its citizens to not be Christian if they so choose.

Our Constitution says Congress shall pass no law that bars the establishment of religion. For our nation, i.e. our government to observe Christian holidays and its Christian heritage is in no way imposing a "law" on its citizens. They still have the freedom not to be Christian.

And being a Christian nation, we have every right to expect any national observances to be Christian and to refuse national observances of other religions.

Refusing to nationally observe another religion in no way bars the establishment of that religion...why would a Christian nation observe a Wiccan or Hindu, etc. holiday? It wouldn't.

Resilient Hawk said...

Here's the sticky whicket (sp?): Are we, in 2007, when so few Americans actually attend church, a Christian nation?

If religious liberty is limited to Christians, then yes. But it is not limited. Who is not freeto worship their god? No one. All are free, Wiccans, Muslims and Christians.

In this, we may be one nation under God, but many Americans dispute which god. Even Thomas Jefferson did. He famously ripped out portions of the Bible he didn't agree with.

The freedom not to be Christian is not the same as the freedom to be something. A big issue many Christians in, say, a country in what is called the 10-40 window (largely Muslim-domninated countries), have, is that to be Christian, they must 'not be Muslim.' Muslim laws, as seen there, allow for the persecution of a raped woman. True freedom is not free so longer as the default position is religiously biased.

I see no evidence that we are a Christian nation. I see Christian culture, but not much faith. Christians themselves, in America, still abort as many babies, have as much premarital sex, and divorce just as often as nonChristians. And that is just the easy stuff.

Dinah Soar said...

1. "Are we, in 2007, when so few Americans actually attend church, a Christian nation?"

Church attendance does not a Christian make.

2. "All are free, Wiccans, Muslims and Christians."

All individuals are guaranteed freedom of religion, but not all religions are guaranteed a place in our national government. Our Constitution and the intent of our founding fathers makes it clear, that our nation was rooted and founded in the Judeo-Christian ethic, and it alone.

3. "In this, we may be one nation under God, but many Americans dispute which god."

It doesn't matter what/who we as individuals think is god...it is quite obvious that the Constitution and the intention of the authors of that legal instrument refer to the Creator Jehovah God.

Individuals have the freedom to worship the moon god, the sun god, whatever god they fancy...but our national observance of God is to be the God specified by our forefathers.

4. "Even Thomas Jefferson did. He famously ripped out portions of the Bible he didn't agree with."

Most Christians aren't in agreement on every point. That is to be expected. The framers of our Constitution were in general agreement--they believed in a Supreme Being, the Creator, Jehovah God, and they based the laws of our land on the Biblical law, particularly the "ten commandements".

Citizens of this country don't have to agree with our founding fathers...in fact the fathers gave them, guranteed them, religious freedom...but they made it clear, that as a nation, we were founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic. And as long as we are a nation bound by the Constitution we have no authority to do otherwise, unless we ammend that legal document accordingly in the method and manner it allows.

5. "The freedom not to be Christian is not the same as the freedom to be something."

I disagree. You can be Christian if you want or not...our government cannot legally force an individual to be anything religiously. But our government can legally observe its Christian heritage and foundation as intended by the founding fathers and it should refuse other religious observances....our founding fathers did not include other religions and they all most certainly existed then in some form or another.

Having a nativity on the courthouse lawn and observing Christmas does not prevent a Hindu or a Wiccan or whatever from practicing his personal religious beliefs. He is free to practice his religion within the parameters of the law.

6."A big issue many Christians in, say, a country in what is called the 10-40 window (largely Muslim-domninated countries), have, is that to be Christian, they must 'not be Muslim.'"

If you are Christian you are not Muslim and if you are Muslim you are not Christian. A Christian is a follower of the Messiah Jesus Christ. Jews are not Christians. Hindus are not Christians. Wiccans are not Christians. Buddhist are not Christians, etc. and vice versa.

I think so many Amercians have so little knowledge of the Bible they do not know what a Biblical Christian is, and this muddies the water when it comes to this whole issue.

Also, other countries may have this issue you spoke of. But in America you can be Muslim. You can be Christian. But there is no such thing as a Christian Muslim or a Muslim Christian. You either follow Christ or you don't.

7. "True freedom is not free so longer as the default position is religiously biased."

There exists no postion that is not religious....religion is merely a set of beliefs...atheism is a religion...humanism is a religion. The default postion cannot be devoid of religion. It will always be religiously based...our founding fathers knew this....and they set the default religion that is based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, i.e. Christianity.

8. "I see no evidence that we are a Christian nation."

You many see no evidence in the life of individuals, but no matter....nationally we are established in the Constitution to be a Christian nation with a Christian framework of laws by which we are bound.

9. "Christians themselves, in America, still abort as many babies, have as much premarital sex, and divorce just as often as nonChristians. And that is just the easy stuff."

Yes, Christians are sinners. When they don't follow the law of Christ they don't cease to be Christians, they are simply disobedient Christians.

If a child disobeys his earthly father he doesn't cease to be a son/daughter. In the same regard, when a Christian has an abortion, divorces, has sex outside of marriage, etc. it only proves he is a diosbedient child of God....it does not prove he is not a Christian.

God's people, I speak of Jehovah God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, have oft been disobedient and they were disciplined accordingly. But they were still His people.

I add, if in the U.S., there were no Christians, our nation is still officialy a Christian nation per its foundation and the intent of the founding fathers and should observe accordingly, until such time the Constitution is changed or destroyed.

Resilient Hawk said...

I'm of quickly to work, so I can't respond to everything now. Most clearly though, is a presumption of intent. We cannoy presume intent, but, at best, surmise it.

As for Jefferson, he didn't believe Christ alone aaved, that God was a living deiety (he was a deist, not a theist), thought Christ was just a good teacher, and did not consider the Bible the Word of God.

As yo the law of our land based on the OT, that explains abortion, gay marriages.

Help me out. I'm not a great student of the Constitution. Where does it say 'Christian'?

A nativity scene on a courthouse lawn does say that the court house prefers Christianity, true. Excluding whatever a Wiccan might prefer, in deference to the nativity scene, sure sounds like we are promoting something.

Maybe it is just me, but the Wiccan person has no way to avoid paying the taxes that paid for a plastic, graven image of Jesus.

Dinah Soar said...

My bad....I've basically been lumping together the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and our Constitution and referring to them as the Constitution, which with a capital C would mean "the" Consititution, but I've meant to use the word in the small "c" sense, defined as: the system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like, is governed.

The reference to the Creator, et al I'm referring to is found specifically in the Declaration of Independence...

I find your blog interesting and thought provoking...but I don't have the time to devote to explaining my personal beliefs...the short answer is our money says "In God we trust" (and it is referring specifically to the Jewish God Jehovah), our pledge declares "one nation under God"....at least it did when I recited it daily in the 1950's and 1960's---back when we could pray in school and when my husband's school began each day with a Bible devotional and prayer...and he went to public school...by the way...we no longer have public schools..they have become government schools...the government dictates...we the people, the public have litte or no say...

Our laws are based on the 10 cammandments and in...can't remember if it's the House of Rep, or the Senate....there is a profile of all the great lawmakers but only Moses is depicted full on....

The cap of the Washington monument says: Laus Deo, praise be to God...

Here's a link that lists some of the Biblical references that appear all over our capitol:

http://www.floridabruce.com/scripture_in_washington_dc.htm

Must these be removed to satisfy a few? and offend the rest of us Christians?

The Christian religion is still in the majority in the U.S. I don't plan to sit idly by and watch our government change to suit the preferences of those who are not Christian.

As for those Wiccans paying taxes that provide a nativity...they could be civilly disobedient like others have when disagreeing...those colonists who rebelled against the King of England and started the revolution did...the Wiccans could refuse to pay taxes...

I pay taxes for a lot of things I don't agree with...as do many others...

But out nation is not a democracy...it is a republic. There is a huge difference.

Got to run...there are others who are more educated and address these issues much more intelligently than I and they make an excellent case...I hope you will check into them.