A Christmas Story


Like my father, I am not especially religious, but before the election I earnestly prayed, “Please save my country.” Millions of us received an answer to similar prayers, an early Christmas gift. How this came to be is beyond the understanding of us ordinary humans. Whether it is some kind of cosmic intelligence, the Hindu Brahman, the Native American Great Spirit, or even an old man with a long white beard, we are forever grateful. The prayer was not only for us, but all humanity. The country for which we prayed carries the torch for “All men are created equal,” a concept originating on the first Christmas. The Founders’ philosophical trail started there. Jesus was not just for one group or class. As the little drummer boy sings, “I am a poor boy too.” In the spirit of Christmas there are no “deplorables.”

It has been said that one reason people flocked to Jesus was the love people felt in his presence. I caught a hint of that from the remarkable warmth of my Uncle Charles in his later years, and from my beloved Aunt Norene. She could forgive those who trespassed, just as The Grinch and all of Whoville did in the end. A man approached me at her funeral, telling me how lucky I was (thinking I was her son). He had a bad reputation in town, but when he did some work for Norene, he was treated like family. That was the Christmas spirit, and he never forgot.

At my age, one reflects often on what was done in the past, some of which we had just as soon not remember. Despite past moral failings, we hope to still be accepted as worthy human beings, the same hope that others have of us. Perhaps we remember at Christmas that we all travel through life in leaky boats. Those who give some thought to how to patch the leaks may enter the season singing, “I feel you Christmas. I know I’ve found you.”

Judging from the frequent reflection of the bird on my TV screen, I am not prepared to unconditionally love all my fellow man.   Sorry Uncle Charles and Aunt Norene. They might have said it is not for me to judge since God will deal with the evil. Fidel is already receiving a very warm judgment. The devout Hindu or Buddhist might likewise leave it to the law of karma. A painting I saw on a temple wall in the Thai countryside could have come straight out of Dante’s Inferno. The change in Scrooge came after he witnessed the effects of his own karma. I can forgive others, but I think evil should be resisted.   Otherwise, there will be no one to carry the “All men are created equal” torch. Where would we be now if had we not resisted in World War II?

Like my father, I try to live life based on values. Without a well thought-out, realistic set of them, we wouldn’t know what to resist. Like my father, I try for the integrity to hold to those values, though I don’t know if I can match his. My prayer was that we not lose the values of our founding. The direction we have been going based on the “values” (if they can be called that at all) of the left sets us against each other and steals from one to benefit another. In the progressive world, Santa’s sleigh is filled with stolen goods and lumps of coal.

A government without our founding values does not hesitate to wield the full weight of its power against those who disagree. What is likely to follow the application of progressive “values” is not the Christmas spirit but tyranny. The Che and Castro admirers refuse to see the moral contradictions and conflicts with reality. Seeing might uncover what The Moody Blues called “thoughts they cannot defend,” so they continue to believe the real world is whatever they wish it to be, as in the John Lennon song Imagine, and the Bernie Sanders slogan. “A Future to Believe In.”

Meanwhile, in the real world, it is the Christmas season. I am always lifted up by the almost mystical quality of my feelings this time of year, as if the spirits of Jesus and The Buddha had come down to be among us for a while. Is this feeling merely our wish for a more loving world? If it seems magical, perhaps it is.

A world with the Christmas spirit does not allow a Castro, Pol Pot, or Stalin, or permit the use of force against others. Such a world has many Uncle Charles’s and Aunt Norenes, and has learned the lessons of Scrooge and The Grinch. It is a world where “All men are created equal.” To have a world more like this is why I often post something here. I feel a special love for all those who write and comment at this site and elsewhere. Their efforts help to answer my prayer to save our country and the moral grounds on which She stands. I wish you all a merry Christmas!