Lighten up

The furor among some Christians over the White House “Christmas” card, which does not mention Christ or His Mass, is misplaced anger. The card, which wishes its recipients a “happy holiday season,” does include a verse from Psalm 28. So, it’s pretty clear that the Bushes are believers. No matter. From the front page (!) story in the WaPo:

Many people are thrilled to get a White House Christmas card, no matter what the greeting inside. But some conservative Christians are reacting as if Bush stuck coal in their stockings.

“This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture,” said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Bush “claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn’t act like one,” said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site “I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it.”

At the Catholic League, Donohue had just announced a boycott of the Lands’ End catalogue when he received his White House holiday card. True, he said, the Bushes included a verse from Psalm 28, but Psalms are in the Old Testament and do not mention Jesus’ birth. [well, this is a matter for some debate…e.g. Isaiah 7:14]

“They’d better address this, because they’re no better than the retailers who have lost the will to say ‘Merry Christmas,'” he said.

A few points. First, does anyone doubt that George and Laura Bush are the most sincere Christians to inhabit the White House in many a year? Isn’t this much, much more important than what is on a greeting card? If you doubt this, perhaps this might refresh the memory.

Second, isn’t there something just a little disturbing about self-professed Christians who find the time to complain about such a “vain display” as a Christmas card? The Bushes are sensitive to the fact that some Americans are not Christian. This makes them, if anything, more, not less, like Christ — because they still profess Him as Lord.

Third, and last, the Bushes will be criticized for not being evangelical. Well, as our Lord said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21). Given the need to keep church and state separate, it is an entirely foreign notion that our head of state be expected to evangelize for his faith.

So, people, lighten up. Celebrate our Lord’s Advent with a joyous heart, and know that He will come. And I suspect He would not especially care if a modern Caesar says, “happy holiday season” along with a picture of the White House pets.

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  1. I saw nothing wrong with their Christmas card. People do need to lighten up and ‘get over it’! I’d have been honored to have gotten one of those cards myself!

  2. Thanks, you beat me to the post. I have the Christmas card on my desk, waiting to be blogged about. Now I don’t have to.

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