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12.07.2005    |    Lighten up
The furor among some Christians over the White House "Christmas" card, which does not mention Christ or His Mass, is misplaced anger. The card, which wishes its recipients a "happy holiday season," does include a verse from Psalm 28. So, it's pretty clear that the Bushes are believers. No matter. From the front page (!) story in the WaPo:
Many people are thrilled to get a White House Christmas card, no matter what the greeting inside. But some conservative Christians are reacting as if Bush stuck coal in their stockings.

"This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Bush "claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one," said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it."

At the Catholic League, Donohue had just announced a boycott of the Lands' End catalogue when he received his White House holiday card. True, he said, the Bushes included a verse from Psalm 28, but Psalms are in the Old Testament and do not mention Jesus' birth. [well, this is a matter for some debate...e.g. Isaiah 7:14]

"They'd better address this, because they're no better than the retailers who have lost the will to say 'Merry Christmas,'" he said.
A few points. First, does anyone doubt that George and Laura Bush are the most sincere Christians to inhabit the White House in many a year? Isn't this much, much more important than what is on a greeting card? If you doubt this, perhaps this might refresh the memory.

Second, isn't there something just a little disturbing about self-professed Christians who find the time to complain about such a "vain display" as a Christmas card? The Bushes are sensitive to the fact that some Americans are not Christian. This makes them, if anything, more, not less, like Christ -- because they still profess Him as Lord.

Third, and last, the Bushes will be criticized for not being evangelical. Well, as our Lord said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's" (Matthew 22:21). Given the need to keep church and state separate, it is an entirely foreign notion that our head of state be expected to evangelize for his faith.

So, people, lighten up. Celebrate our Lord's Advent with a joyous heart, and know that He will come. And I suspect He would not especially care if a modern Caesar says, "happy holiday season" along with a picture of the White House pets.

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Blogger Barbara said...

I saw nothing wrong with their Christmas card. People do need to lighten up and 'get over it'! I'd have been honored to have gotten one of those cards myself!

10:09 PM, December 07, 2005  
Anonymous Amy said...

Thanks, you beat me to the post. I have the Christmas card on my desk, waiting to be blogged about. Now I don't have to.

12:48 PM, December 09, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.