Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Baptist Flip Flop on Christmas

I can't believe my ears this Christmas. A lot of my Baptist friends are upset at Walmart, Kmart and Target for allegedly taking Christmas out of their marketing plans this year because of political correctness. Unbelievable!

I can remember when Baptists were upset at the crass commercialization of Christmas! Now we want to encourage it?

What gives here? Didn't early Baptists downplay Christmas altogether as an adaptation of pagan customs and Roman Catholic tradition? It was Christ mass - remember? And Baptists never did think much of a mass. So how did we get into this mess over Christmas?

Enter Bro. Don Wildmon from Tupelo, Mississippi. Visor down, shield up, and lance pointed, he has instructed us this year "to let them know we are offended by their anti-Christian and anti-Christmas bias." Let's see if I've got this straight. We Baptists and Christians at large are to let the secular retailers know that we don't appreciate them not emphasizing our Savior's birth this year. Since when did secularists ever honor Christ? Just yesteryear we were complaining because they were commercializing Christmas too much and now we're complaning that they're not commercializing it enough!

Ho HO HO - we must really not have much to do if we're supposed to be upset over this.

Anyway when I first heard of this I started thinking about the Christmases of my childhood and how retailers honored Christ then. Here's what I wrote to my two sisters.

My World is Changing and I don't like It.

In the 1950's and 60's on mainstreet USA there was no Walmart, No Target and No Kmart.

You went to the shoestore to buy your shoes, the clothing store to buy your clothes, and JC Penney's if you wanted some bed sheets.

An interesting thing about our small town was that we had at least three stores owned and operated by local Jewish families. They put up Christmas trees in their storefront windows and wished us "Merry Christmas" as they rang up our holiday purchases. We went to school with their children and no one ever mentioned Hanukkah which was fine because none of us Gentile kids would have known what it was anyway.

The Jews minded their own business, mingled socially and educationally with us Gentiles and used our religious holidays to their economic advantage.

And the Baptists in my hometown thought nothing of it.

But it's a different world now.

The Pakastanis and the Indians (the Hindu kind) own and operate the local motels.
The Mexicans own and operate the most popular restaurants.
The Secularists own and operate the big chains.

Muslims have finished fasting for Ramadan.
Afro-Americans are preparing for Kwanza.
There's actually a Star of David hanging over one of the streets.

And I can't get anybody to wish me a "Merry Christmas" anymore at least in a language I can understand. If I don't get some relief soon, I'm gonna boycott somebody!

My oldest sister wrote back.
"In case you haven't noticed Toto, we're not in Kansas any more."

I don't think we're in Baptistland anymore either.


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