Al Earley writes a “religious point of view” column for the Middlesboro Daily News in Kentucky and is pretty damn sick and tired of what has happened to Christmas.
I believe God is quite angry with what we have done to Christmas. New phrases describe the shopping experience like “Black and Blue Friday” and “Holiday Holocaust.” Stores and Christians are running away from Jesus so fast so they can be perceived as politically correct.
He’s not alone. Those who want to remember Christmas as a religious holiday say the shopping and party gluts that now mark the season are anything but sacred.
What sins do you have that you need to take more seriously? Do you hate your sins as much as God does? Do you get caught up in all the shopping and other trappings of Christmas to “get that Christmas spirit”? When you go to church do you expect the choir, or the band, or the pastor to make you feel good so you will get that Christmas spirit?
Statistic gatherers who have a field day on Christmas note that more than 500 people in this country are seriously injured in incidents on “Black Friday.” Some are trampled. Others receive broken bones because they are knocked down in the holiday rush.
In California, we saw a holiday gathering San Bernardino turned into a horror after a man and woman killed 12 and injured 21 a massacre that appears to be a terrorist attack. Police afterwards gunned them down in a hail of bullets on a street not far from the attack.
From another perspective, however, those who feel that an armed America is a safe place equate guns and religion and Christmas.
Black Friday set a record in gun sales and requests for background checks around the country. Floyd County gun safety instructor Jim Conner reports a rush by those who want to qualify for concealed carry permits.
Religious zealot Jerry Falwell Jr. in Lynchburg says if more people carried guns they would be able to take the law into their own hands and shoot down terrorists and other mass shooters.
There is even a flyer from the National Rifle Association that says: “Jesus wants you to be armed.”
Popular this year are bumper stickers that show Jesus with a gun. In some, he is using a semi-automatic pistol. In others he has an assault-style weapon, suggesting the son of God is also a man who is in an “armed and dangerous” mood for this celebration of his birthday.
Not to be outdone, there are plenty of images with Santa armed and ready for action.
Is this in the Christmas spirit?
God, we hope not.
Have a Merry Christmas and take cover. You might survive to the New Year.