I manage to spend most of my life without ever having to watch Fox News. As a result, I will be spared the endless hyperventilation that has begun already over their largely invented “war on Christmas.” The most recent salvo, of course, is being fought over the catastrophically inhumane decision by the Starbucks Coffee Company to use plain red cups from now until the end of the year. Inconceivably, these cups will not have the words “Merry Christmas” printed on them, which no doubt is a conspiracy to besmirch the sacred holy day designated to celebrate his birth to a virgin in Bethlehem.
Okay, I’ll give the sarcasm a rest, but, please, with all the starving people in the world, the abused children, and the families sleeping under bridges, Christians are getting worked up over red coffee cups? Now, I know you are probably not a Fox fan and, like me, you think that if people want to keep Christ in Christmas they ought to try acting more like Jesus, but there is a serious danger here. The grave danger of this annual faux outrage is that it allows a significant number of people to pretend they are somehow victims of the destruction of the Christian faith, when, in fact, they are the perpetuators of its destruction.
The orgy of consumption that is about to ensue is toxic to the faith taught by the peasant rabbi from Nazareth. Pretending there is a “war on Christmas” allows us to miss the fact that shopping, overconsumption, and materialism compose the real war on the baby born in a barn to an unwed teenage peasant mother.
I realize this is REALLY early to be writing a Liberating Word about Christmas, but blame it on Fox. I ask you to join me in DECLARING WAR ON WHAT THEY HAVE MADE CHRISTMAS INTO. This year, let us change where we put our time, energy, and money and, instead of being at war with who Jesus is, consider observing Christmas in a way that actually honors him and the values he taught. I don’t think it is EVER too early to give that a try.
Rev. Michael Piazza