Lance Salyers on Christmas controversy

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Lance Salyers has posted his first blog entry in a few months, stepping out of hiatus with a post at Eternal Revolution about the War on the War on Christmas. He begins with vocal Christians who have their knickers in a twist over this year's White House Christmas Card, which has a Bible verse but also says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas":

This is just the latest in a series of skirmishes in the war to save our culture from itself. The call of Christ to help rescue fellow sheep that are lost often gets tabled for bigger missions, like ’saving Christmas’ by boycotting Wal-Mart, or ’saving marriage’ by boycotting Disney. How can the Enemy not love these morality crusades? They accomplish two things, neither of which are good:

1. They create an image of Christianity that is easily (and understandably) disdained: a shallow religion that concerns itself most with coercing others into an appearance of uniform morality.

2. They distract attention and divert resources of Christians away from doing the work Jesus actually calls us to do: bringing hope to the lost by personifying God’s love for them.

Lance goes on to suggest what we really ought to be doing to ensure that Christmas has meaning for us and for others.

I'm happy to see Lance posting again, even if this is only a brief cameo. I'm also happy to report that Lance's old URL,, is now back under his control. When he decided to step away from blogging for a while, he deleted his blog. A spammer grabbed the URL to take advantage of the strong search engine page rank the URL enjoyed, thanks to all of the links to Lance's writing on other blogs. (His is not the only blog to have been hijacked in this way. I wrote about this phenomenon back in October.) The spammer went away, or more likely was booted, the URL became available again, and I was able to help Lance reclaim it before some other spammer could get hold of it.


W. Author Profile Page said:

I suggest changing up the usual gift-giving traditions. Way back in September, we told our families not to give gifts to us for Christmas and instead give the money that would have been spent to a variety of Hurricane Katrina relief organizations. We figured we could sacrifice at least one Christmas for ourselves to help thousands of people in Louisiana and Mississippi who literally lost everything. Thankfully, our families have happily complied. And if any y'all get Christmas money this year, I encourage you to turn around and give it to Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, the Red Cross or any one of your favorite charities.

I now prefer to make "Happy Holidays" mean something. Or at least make them "happier" holidays.

Fr. Bryan said:

I agree with Salyers' statements over the "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" conflict. Are we better off concerned about having elected officials ethical and moral decisions are rooted in a strong religious faith? Or are we better off concerned over the wording on a Christmas card?

As for Wal-Mart, it is in the business of selling items at low prices. It is not in the business of proclaiming the birth of Jesus Christ. That's the business of Christian parents and whole families to proclaim to their children. It our business as the Church to proclaim to the world.

Perhaps a more important issue is that of some churches opting out of services next Sunday since this year Christmas falls on that day of the week. Both Christmas and the Lord's Day (Sunday) confront us with the person of Jesus Christ. Both should ask the Christian, "What is it that I believe about Jesus, and what does it mean to be His follower?" How we celebrate Christmas Sunday will say much about we answer these questions.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 21, 2005 11:48 PM.

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