Pastor Joshua Nink, right, prays for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as wife, Melania, left, watches after a Sunday service at First Christian Church Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong).
It’s the time of year when decorations go up, lights are displayed, presents are purchased and wrapped, and…Christmas is attacked?
A common theme in the recent past, around this festive season, is the idea that the holiday is under assault by a left-leaning American society. If the words “Happy Holidays” or the less popular “Season’s Greetings” is spoken in place of “Merry Christmas”, suddenly, that sweet babe in the manger is threatened with extinction.
If Barack Obama represented everything antithetical to Christmas tradition and meaning, then surely Donald Trump is an ambassador for its restoration and protection, right?
Unfortunately, the Right as a whole has a problem with politicizing Christianity and connecting everything from the church straight to Washington, D.C., and vice versa. While there is overlap, because legislation affects our lives across the board, there is a tendency to project a savior complex onto GOP presidents. If a Republican is in the White House, then that person must be the answer to every real or imagined dilemma faced by the faithful.
Except they’re not.
Despite claims to the contrary, Barack Obama said the words “Merry Christmas” during his tenure at the White House. Even though that’s the case, some still insist that President Donald Trump brought Christmas back to the country and to our nation’s capital. Though the man himself even made a campaign promise to do just that, the assertion is a foolish one at best.
Christmas doesn’t need saving by President Donald Trump or any other politician. Why? Because Christmas has never left and more importantly, will never go away.
If department stores revert to “Happy Holidays”, Christmas remains.
If politicians or celebrities refuse to mention the religious reason behind the season, Christmas is untouched.
If that one anti-religious/atheist relative of yours insists on writing “Xmas” on everything from greetings cards to social media posts, the truth of Christmas continues to shine brightly.
And yes, even if Sean Hannity reports on a “Christmas siege” happening in some lefty New England state, nothing has really happened to the holiday.
Republicans, Donald J. Trump is no spiritual leader. He is not the voice of Evangelical Christianity, though many who identify as that cling to him as a sort of political messiah. His morality is shaky at best and according to the man himself, he’s not deeply rooted in fellowship with the Almighty. So why, by saying a phrase that hasn’t ever left, is he saving the day?
Answer: he’s not.
Christmas is so much more than a festive cup at a popular coffee chain that may or may not showcase angels, wise men, or shepherds. Christmas is not a hymn or classic carol that highlights that night, long ago. Christmas is not contained in a gift, decoration, or phrase.
In fact, if the outward expressions all disappeared, the story and the hope of Jesus Christ, the sinless savior who was born of a virgin, would be as strong as ever. Because the Christmas season, for all its wonder, is found in only that alone.
While I appreciate the desire to celebrate, not everyone will and if they do, it may not be your way. Freedom of religion is important, but be careful not to place so much power within one phrase, action, or one person.
Christmas is just fine, and its enduring message has nothing to do with the man in the Oval Office.