Happy Kwanzaa

Would you send a Christmas card to a Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Zoroastrian friend? The thing that strikes me about the movement to boycott stores that promote generic holiday messages rather than specific Christmas greetings is not just that it’s ignorant, but that it’s so willfully mean, so intentionally and obviously anti-American (anti-freedom).

Now the same groups are tweaked that the White House is sending out non-religion-specific holiday cards. I’d like to get a list of addresses for these groups and send them some lovely Kwanzaa cards. These fundamentalist minds are so twisted up in knots, they end up defying everything Christ stood for:

“I think it’s more important to put Christ back into our war planning than into our Christmas cards,” said the [council general secretary of the National Council of Churches.]

Oh yeah, I’m sure Christ would be on the front lines in Iraq. His message always pro-war and anti-inclusive. Cripes.

Update: Looking back on the piece, it appears that the quote above was placed in a weird context, and that the secretary was saying that our war planning is missing Christ’s message. I stand corrected. Thanks Gilbert.

Music: Sonny Rollins :: Blue 7

6 Replies to “Happy Kwanzaa”

  1. Robert Edgar (Council General NCCUSA):

    Robert Edgar of the National Council of Churches is anti-war, and an active participant in the Washington Peace community. I don’t know where that quotation came from, but I’d put one hundred dollars on the fact that he meant precisely what you concluded. Christ WOULDN’T be starting wars, that’s why we should be putting more Jesus into our war planning. You’ve got the man mixed up with the wrong crowd.

    See their website for more: http://www.ncccusa.org/

    Christmas Culture War:

    The cultural war over Christmas is out of hand. Any Christian who gets upset over the secularization of a department store sale or government photo-op needs to re-examine the meaning of Christmas.

    Christmas Evangalism:

    While I don’t send Christmas cards to friends that aren’t Christian (usually), I do tell everyone I greet “Merry Christmas” during Advent for a simple reason: Christmas is a time of celebration: celebrate the good news! This time of year is exciting for Christians and that excitement should be shared:

    Hark! The herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King;
    Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
    God and sinners reconciled!”

    To conclude: these fundamentalist groups need to stop worrying about Macy*s and return to celebrating the meaning and importance of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

    I’d love a Kawanzaa card myself.

  2. Hey Gilbert – The Edgar quote was from the piece linked at sfgate. Looking back at it more closely, I think the context was somewhat confusing for someone not familiar with Edgar’s thinking, but you’re right – it does appear he was saying the opposite of what I thought he was saying. I’ve corrected the entry, thanks.

  3. >Would you send a Christmas card to a Jewish, >Muslim, Buddhist, or Zoroastrian friend?

    Generally, I don’t send cards to anyone (useless habit IMHO), but if I was to send cards out, I would send generic holiday cards to my non-Christians friends and real Christmas cards to my Christian friends. If I was not sure if someone was a Christian or not, I would send him a generic holiday message too. This way, everyone’s happy.

  4. Not your fault Scot. I see where the confusion came from, I had to do a double-take myself. While I’ve found Edgar to be a great public speaker, in this case he probably should have thought through his comments a little more, although, this looks like a case of missing context. Glad I had the chance to clarify. The NCCUSA are generally the ‘good guys’ at odds with their cousins over at the Christian Coalition.

  5. I think these complaints have a lot to do with the cosyness of the Christian coalitions in the States and elsewhere. Many Christian groups have become so used to having governments legislate in their favour that they have actually become more involved in politics and less involved in gospel work of spreading the news about Jesus.

    This irks me in Australia also. I just wish my Christian brothers and sisters would spend less time politicising and more energy on telling people about Jesus.

    It isn’t as if the early New Testament Christians had government on their side – or that holidays or marketing were even aimed at remotely related Christian themes (in fact, burning Christians were used as lampposts for one gaming holiday in Rome).

  6. Just one more addition :)

    At the end of the event that Bob Edgar spoke at he quoted the following Fransican Benediction, which I think is outstanding:

    A Franciscan Benediction

    “May God bless you with DISCOMFORT…
    At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
    So that you may live deep within your heart.

    May God bless you with ANGER…
    At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
    So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

    May God bless you with TEARS…
    To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war.

    So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
    And to turn their pain into JOY.

    And may God bless you with enough FOOLISHNESS…
    To believe that you can make a difference in this world,
    So that you can DO what others claim cannot be done.

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