Moral Contradictions

Friday, December 23, 2005

Target is not a temple

This week's Newsweek showed up in my mailbox yesterday, and I was struck by Anna Quindlen's article, "Frankincense in Aisle Five!". There are so many great quotes embedded, as the article expresses the sentiment I've had regarding Christmas and secularism.

...If God is watching us, as some believers suggest, as though we were a television show and God had a lot of free time, the deity would surely be bemused by how dumbed-down devotion has sometimes become in this so-called modern era. How might an omnipotent being with the long view of history respond to those who visit the traveling exhibit of a grilled-cheese sandwich, sold on eBay, that is said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary?....

...Or what about the statue in California currently said to be crying bloody tears?...Why worry about the alleged weeping of a plaster effigy when so many actual human beings have reason to cry?...

...It is hard for me to figure out how a snub by a home-improvement center can diminish Christmas one iota...

...O ye of little faith, who believe that somehow the birth of Christ is dependent upon acknowledgment in a circular from OfficeMax! According to the story, Jesus threw the money-changers out of the temple, saying that they'd made his father's house into a den of thieves. By any stretch of the imagination, does that person sound like someone who would hanker to be formally recognized at Sears and Walgreens, as though his legacy depended upon being given pride of place among redundant hand appliances and teddy bears in Santa hats?

I'm not sure where I read this, but I fully agree with the notion that I don't need the secular world to endorse my faith. I'm more upset about the commercialiation of Christmas - by focusing on that issue along with getting its panties wadded up over whether or not the $5.15/hour 17 year old K-mart cashier wishes me a Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, the Christian Right is sending confused signals to our society: "We don't want the stores hyping the holiday and focusing on the bottomline so much, yet we also want them to wish us a Merry Christmas!".

Once again, the true issue is clouded by the knee-jerk issue, causing the boat to sink before it can pull out of the harbor.

I believe someone on this blog admonished me for focusing on others as opposed to working on myself to affect change. So, instead of getting all worked up whether or not the girl at Target wished me a Merry Christmas tonight (she did), here goes nothing:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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