Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Merry ChristmasAlright, it’s time for my annual rant.  When are Christians, who happen to be a majority in the United States, going to stand up and defend the faith.  Here we are, getting ready for the birth of Christ, you know, the guy who let Himself be crucified to save us from our sins.  There has never been a greater sacrifice, yet we’re allowing non-Christians deny us our celebration of this greatest day.

First, many  of the largest retailers refuse to recognize Christmas, even though they have no problem selling us tons of stuff.  Signs and ads proclaim “Happy Holidays”, “Seasons Greetings” and other politically correct nonsense while refusing to wish us a Merry Christmas.  Next we have the relatively new phenomenon of “Black Friday” creeping into Thanksgiving.

Of course, the government has joined in the fun by refusing to allow Christmas displays on public property, though that’s been kind of hit-and-miss.  Some places allow it.  Some don’t.  But the attack are getting more serious and at the same time more ridiculous.  Here are just two examples posted by Tod Starnes of Fox News.

Georgia School Confiscates Christmas Cards.  For years the teachers at Brooklet Elementary School have posted Christmas cards outside their classrooms…..until this year.  School administrators have removed the cards calling them “offensive”.  After all some of them contained the word “Christmas” and some featured Nativity scenes

Next, homeowners in Orange County, CA have been ordered to remove their outdoor Christmas lights.  One community is known for their light displays and draw visitors from great distances, similar to “Candy Cane Lane“, here in Saint Louis.  The county claims the lights are “an obstruction” and violate local ordinances.  Give me a break!

Abraham Lincoln once said that America wouldn’t be destroyed by outside forces, but from within.  Complacency is our greatest enemy.  Every little attack on our faith that goes unchallenged adds to the total religious persecution that we’re experiencing right here in the once God-fearing United States.  We need to wake up!  Don’t just accept anti-Christian persecution.  Don’t say, “Oh, it’s just one school.”  or “Hey, it’s just one neighborhood.”  Speak up.

When a store clerk says “happy holidays” smile and say, “Merry Christmas.”  Maybe you don’t like to make a fuss.  Maybe you don’t want to embarrass someone else (or yourself).

Tell it to the Guy hanging on the cross.

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Thanksgiving

I will be busy tomorrow so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.   Tomorrow is a day set aside to give thanks for all our blessings.  It’s not a religious holiday per se, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and even atheists can certainly give thanks, each in their own way.

It’s so sad that the pursuit of the almighty dollar has pushed its way into this special day.  Stores will be open tomorrow, Thanksgiving, some as early as 6:00 am or possibly earlier to get as much of our money as they can before we spend it somewhere else.  My guess is that 2012 may be the last time that stores practice any restraint at all.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m an entrepreneur at heart with many years of retail experience under my belt.  There’s nothing wrong with doing your best to get your share of the consumer dollar.  In fact, back in the ’70s I had a big customer who was open on Thanksgiving and my family spent several Thanksgivings in a motel in Southeast Missouri waiting for dad to get back from work.  We were there all weekend and the kids enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool and mom enjoyed having the turkey dinner prepared and served by someone else.  But that was the exception.  It was a tradition with that particular retailer that went back many years.

Here’s the thing.  Most Americans have a budget for Christmas.  That’s what they’re going to spend.  Whether the big box stores force everyone to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from now until December 24, or if they all get together and decide to be open from 9:00 – 5:00 Monday thru Friday, the spend isn’t going to change.  Extending “black Friday” until Thanksgiving becomes “black Thursday” isn’t going to increase the total pie.  But retailers, especially the big boxes have gotten the idea that they must get our money first before we spend it all.  For that, they’re willing to sacrifice our national day of thanks on the altar of greed.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, with you family and friends, around the dining room table, in front of the television or the fireplace.  Of course, many churches have a Thanksgiving service and that’s a great way to start the day.  Don’t get sucked into the idea that the proper place to spend this special day is lined up for hours waiting for some store to open.  Besides, prices will be lower later on and you won’t have to sleep on the sidewalk or fight the crowds.