Bill Murchison

Here at Christmas, I wasn't going to talk about Christmas, inasmuch as public mention of the sacred feast leads these days to exchanges of rocks and epithets -- none of it very conducive to "comfort and joy."

I changed my mind. I think I will talk for a moment about Christmas, due to recent immersion in the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, as staged chiefly by the parish's extraordinary choir. Which occasion switched on a light bulb, showing the irrelevance of our annual "Christmas Wars" and the lawsuits they occasion over this or that public recognition of the Christ child.

To the ACLU lawyers, and such like, trying to muzzle Christian expression at Christmas, there is just one thing to say: Get a life.

Now, I know that's not the way many a serious Christian would talk about the perpetual toil involved in defending public Nativity scenes and pushing for general restoration of "Merry Christmas."

On the other hand, consider: You're at a choral service where sits, front and center, the Human Plight, our inability to get anything right for very long, if at all, due to an ancestral encounter with a talking snake in a pleasant garden. Scriptures and choral music escort the listener through the journey from despair to … to a stable in Bethlehem, where "in the bleak midwinter" (as Christina Rossetti put it) lies none other than the Son of God. I know, it hardly sounds like what you'd find on YouTube, but consider that the narrative of redemption through this miraculous birth has made the rounds for many a moon now, and continues to comfort and inspire. Here is affirmation. You want to ring bells, sound trumpets and weep for joy? By all means, do so.

Now, against this let us set the narrative of the politically correct, which is: Stop it! Stop those carols. Out with that Nativity scene. Why would that be? For the sake of a higher narrative? Not as it turns out. About as high as that narrative ever climbs is the shelf on which lies the mummified claim that religion, being "dangerous," is to be kept generally out of sight.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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