Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Lacking the true Christmas spirit

Leave a Comment

A dear friend in England emailed me last week concerned at the ghastliness of receiving a festive email from his old alma mater, Oxford University’s Lincoln College, wishing him “Happy Holidays.” What he found particularly galling was the fact that the college was founded in 1427 by the then Bishop of Lincoln for students “who would defend the mysteries of Scripture against those ignorant laymen who profaned with swinish snouts its most holy pearls.”

He wrote that there had been much grumbling in Britain over recent years about Merry/Happy Christmas being replaced with Happy Holidays, and festive decorations instead of Christmas decorations.

Easter, another Christian celebration, had been reduced to a chocolate fest, he concluded.

I’m loath to tell him that political correctness is not unique to the “home” country and he would find the same bland greetings are being popularised in this far-flung reach of the once proud British Empire. I could also add that Christian films and programmes are conspicuous by their absence on New Zealand television and anyway they would look oddly out of place with the foul language and blasphemy that is now commonplace on our screens.

I’m certain that many Christians, even those who don’t attend church regularly, want Jesus to be part of Christmas and Easter, and feel disenfranchised when our religious festivals are turned into a huge consumer spending exercise, symbolised with a Santa figure created by graphic artists at the Coca-Cola Company.

The problem with only paying lip service to our Christian heritage is the long term effect it is likely to have on our communities. New Zealand is at risk of losing the source of its deepest foundations of a satisfied life. The traditional family model is disintegrating and the decline of religion as a personal and community value runs in tandem with disruption and unhappiness.

The social engineering that is being earnestly rammed down our throats means we mustn’t disrespect Muslims, or even joke about them, while their own traditions are marginalised as the media simultaneously bring us horrific news about Muslim extremism.

Whilst the left-wing luvvies can tell the public how they should think, they can’t control what people actually think. These are the kinds of issues that helped bring about Brexit in Britain, Pauline Hansen’s rising star in Australia and Trump in America.

“You cannot underestimate the role of the backlash against political correctness - the us versus the elite” said Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager.

It’s a scary thought, but using the same reasoning Winston Peters could be our next Prime Minister.

A traditional hymn opens with the words: “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear” and seems to imply that to a non-believer it grates. Hence it is often used as a curse word or a derogatory exclamation. And so I suspect herein lies the reluctance by some to use any expression with Christ in it when sending seasonal greetings to secular friends.

To some extent it’s understandable, but sad.

Nonetheless I unashamedly want to wish my readers (both of you) a very merry Christmas!

“Jesus picked up twelve men from the bottom ranks of business and forged them into an organisation that conquered the world” - Bruce Barton


Post a Comment