With Remembrance Day now past people can feel free again to decorate their houses for Christmas without fear of retaliation. This is just one of the absolutely senseless debates which typify our age, and which make one fearful that perhaps the potency and ideology of the West is absolutely spent. What does it matter when one decorates for Christmas? Cannot someone both commemorate Remembrance Day and welcome this holy and sacred time of the year? Similarly, why does a plain, Christmas-red Starbucks cup create a backlash from those somehow claiming these plain cups demean the spirit of Christmas? Why do we have an endless and foolish debate about whether to say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Is there anything wrong with saying Merry Christmas if you are Christian or Happy Holidays if you are not? Should a public official not say both Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays when in a mixed faith company? These seem to be a non-issue, and yet so many on both sides of the debate seem intent on making it one. Must have nothing better to do.
Oh wait, that’s not quite right is it? We have millions of Christian and non-Christian refugees around the world looking to have just one wish granted this Christmas: A home. And along with that home, safety, security, freedom from oppression and the ability to raise their families without fear or anxiety. We have wars raging around the world where the Christian message of peace and good will toward all men seems a bad joke rather than something to aspire toward and embrace. We have people suffering under extreme poverty while developed nations like Canada and the United States quibble about the colour of their Starbucks cups.
In ages past Christmas was a time to aspire toward a global mission to bring peace and prosperity to all peoples. For people of the Christian faith to take up the call to create a New Jerusalem on this earth: To end poverty, stop war, cure disease and strive toward universal justice.
Now people at Christmas time worry about the names of Holiday trees and the Christianess or non-Christianess of bright red paper cups at major coffee chains.
How we have fallen from our universal ideals when such irrelevancies dominate our social debates and discussions. We live in wishy-washy age among the throes of our society’s fattened and cheapened materialist excess.
When will we as a society stop this incessant and meaningless naval gazing and once more begin to look toward those areas where people have real problems both abroad and at home? We must find ways to re-engage with the larger problems of our world or see it all begin to fall in around us; playing our fiddles while Rome burns.