Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The War on Christmas: Book Review

I guess the best place to begin is with the definition of WAR: a state of armed conflict between different nations, states or groups.

I begin there because this book begins with an assumption that is not accurate. I have not seen, nor have I heard it reported, of anyone toting weapons and battling any other person because of the Christmas season. Yes, I see your hand raised, ready to note that it may not be actual, physical war, but there is a war going on. Over Christmas? Still haven't seen it or heard of it.

I'll let the book itself bring clarity to my disagreement. In the introduction, Mr. Hodge states that "We have seen: 1. Christian-based public schools and universities become humanistic; 2. The Bible removed from schools; 3. Prayer removed from schools; 4. Creation removed from schools; 5. The Pledge of Allegiance removed from use…" and I'll stop there because, sorry the pun, there is more than enough ammo to settle my review. Humans organize, administrate and run schools and universities, and it is stated that these schools are 'Public' schools. So "become humanistic" strikes me as awkward and jaded. Humans are fallen, so says our Christian theology, so why would we expect humans to stick to a Christian script without screwing it up? As for point number two, I tutor and mentor in public schools every week, and every time I walk into the school until the time I walk out, I am praying for each student and school administrator I happen to come in contact with. Every week. Every time. Do I fold my hands and publicly make a giant declaration that I am praying, no, because when was that ever the point? I try to be aware, as much as possible, to live scripture while I am in the schools, and in my mentoring I am constantly utilizing scripture within my advising and encouraging. Every week. Every time. Do I haul out a giant physical Bible? No, because imagine learning and having the Bible on our heart, and then living it with each great and action. It matters, a lot. As for point number three, I have had numerous conversations in which we had to speak of origins, and I always share from a place of understanding that God is the beginning, and the end while we are at this conversation. Do I try and argue scientifically that God created all things and not some scientific theory? Nope, because the Bible is not scientific, so why would I argue it as such? Is Biblical creation taught in public schools as curriculum? Not that I am aware of, but when was that the responsibility of science to explain poetry? And when was it the public school's responsibility to teach the Bible?

I'll end with point number five, because it is the most confusing and doesn't have to do with Christianity, so I'm not sure why the author used this to try and make his point on this "war." The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America? As Christians we pledge allegiance to Jesus, as he is our King. So why would removing the pledge to a country be an attack on my faith? I actually encourage my kindergarten son to not say the pledge in school, even though in the state of Michigan it is actually law to have it be said (and Mr. Hodge said whoops), because he knows our family pledges allegiance to Jesus. Jesus doesn't have borders, and he isn't American, which apparently is news to a lot of people.

There is not a war on Christmas, but there are angry, bitter and jaded religious people who love picking fights about religious things. I think this was supposed to be a book about "taking a stand for our faith," but it's really a book about how to take a stand and create unnecessary friction. The "how"comes across as forceful and argumentative, which strikes me as bull headed and bitter.

I'm going to give this book a giant thumbs down, which may cause someone to want to argue with me. But I won't consider that a war, because I am not interested in fighting, as my King was not interested in fighting. Jesus, of course, did throw down some strong words for the religious people who far too often missed the entire point of what he was doing. Which I can freely talk about, pray about and write about. Anywhere, and pretty much any time. I always have, and I plan right on having those beautiful experiences and conversations. Sorry Mr. Hodge, I am not interested in your war.

1 comment:

Praveen RS said...

You have a very nice blog
Metal Planters