There is a reason

Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

By Staff
for the Christmas season
With Christmas just two days away, it is time for Christians to remember that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ and the message of hope, peace, love and salvation that the Messiah embodies.
Many people associate the giving of gifts with the Christmas season. What better gift than the one God gave to mankind: his Son dying on the cross to save people from their sins? What better gift than the Gospels with their message of salvation that provides eternal life?
Some people do not believe in God. Others believe in a god or gods, but do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as God’s son and the Messiah. That is their right. Christians, after telling such people about Jesus and salvation, should respect their right to believe as they do. By spreading the Gospel, Christians are following Jesus’ command to tell the world about God’s plan for salvation.
But how about others respecting the rights of Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus?
This year, Armonk, N.Y., allowed the addition of the star-and-crescent, a symbol of Islam, to be added to a “Christmas display.” The star and crescent will join a menorah that’s been part of the display for several years. A menorah is a symbol of the Jewish faith. According to a report by The Associated Press, Buddhists and Hindus may submit an application to the town for symbols of their religions to be included in the display.
The display includes a Christmas tree. Back to that tree later.
Judy Wesley, director of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce, was raised as a Catholic. She told the AP that “in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with having a spirit of inclusion. Jesus Christ himself would have gathered everyone around him.”
Those are nice sentiments, but sometimes being nice is not enough. There come times when being politically correct is not the right thing to do.
Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, has a laudable viewpoint on the matter. It is a viewpoint that should be shared.
Donahue contends that displaying a star-and-crescent and menorah, considered by him as religious symbols, “shows tremendous sympathy for Jews and Muslims at the expense of the majority Christians” because he does not believe a Christmas tree is religious. Donahue prefers having a Nativity scene for the display in Armonk.
We could not have said it better.
We also speculate that if a Christian symbol becomes part of the town’s display, then someone or some group will protest, saying Christians are pushing their religion on non-Christians. Well, if a menorah and star-and-crescent can be part of a Christmas display, then surely a Nativity scene can be a part of it, too.
After all, as the saying goes, Jesus is the reason for the season.
There is nothing wrong with Christians spreading the Gospel; it’s something Christians must do in a loving, caring manner. They want to share the gift of eternal life that Jesus’ birth, life and death on the cross provides them.
God gave mankind free will. Men and women may accept or reject the Gospel message.
Christmas is not about a Christmas tree, menorah or star-and-crescent. Christmas is about Jesus’ birth in a manger and the birth of a new message of love and salvation.
Merry Christmas!