So, a local member of the clergy is running for city council. I don't criticize, because I am myself an elected official, having been elected to the school board for some years now. However, I had to laugh out loud when I read the reasons WHY he said he was running for council. They included a comment about how, in the founding days of this country, people who weren't professing Christians and active in their congregations didn't get elected. As if the good ole days of witch-burnings and Puritan overbearing in public life is something to be CELEBRATED. (I won't point out what those early Christians would have thought of his religious tradition, which wouldn't be much. We've come a long way, congregationalists.)
And since it's Advent, it's also time for the annual "War on Christmas" ridiculousness that gets peddled about by some of my brothers and sisters in Christ, including this fellow. Permit me to point out that in the "good ole days" when only professing Christians got to hold public office, CHRISTMAS WAS OUTLAWED. One is tempted to say, "Dude, learn some history," but it seems indelicate. UnChristian, even. So I shall not say it.
His statement of intent to file also included his belief that there is a war against Christianity in this country, with "no prayer in schools," the Ten Commandments being removed from public buildings, and the supposed mocking of Christians. (Backbencher dryly noted that if there's a war on Christianity, it certainly isn't happening in this little corner of SW Iowa.)
Well, I happen to agree with my colleague that there's a war on Christianity, but the forces assailing us aren't the "secularists" (a vague term used by some that includes anyone from the ACLU to those who profess other faiths to, of course, atheists). The forces assailing Christianity are far closer than that. They are the forces within Christianity that convince us that prayer in schools and the public posting of Ten Commandments are the battles Christians should be fighting.
Jesus was pretty clear that at the final judgment, he's not going to ask if we insisted on praying in his name at public events, or if we made a many-tonned block with the Ten Commandments on it. He's going to separate us by those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, gave clothes to the naked, and visited those who were sick and in prison, and those who failed to see Jesus in their fellow brothers and sisters.
So long as we permit people to be hungry, homeless, naked and lonely, the war on Christianity continues. Perhaps this Advent season, we could work a little harder to fight those battles, and let store employees off the hook for wishing us "Happy Holidays."