As we approach Christmas tomorrow, we find ourselves as a country in desperate need of it. We find America besieged on almost every front. Though few are willing to openly talk about it, we desperately need to. Our families are crumbling, our popular culture is encouraging the deterioration, criminals and terrorists probe every inch of our borders, and we appear to be abandoning our allies in multiple parts of the globe. We need what Christmas brings and what it chases away, for it is the only thing that can save America from the dust bin of failed experiments across history. Even more, without the shining city on the hill that America has been for over two centuries, the world is at great risk of falling for decades or even centuries into darkness, much like when Rome fell and issued in the Dark Ages.
If all of this sounds a bit melodramatic to you the reader, consider the following. In a gallop poll this year 71 percent of respondents said they thought divorce was “morally acceptable”. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Terry Teachout describes how well Hollywood has secularized a holiday about the birth of Jesus Christ into “a commercially sanctioned opportunity for everyone in America, including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, pagans, agnostics and atheists, to take the day off, eat to excess, sing sappy songs and spend money they may or may not have on gifts they may or may not feel naturally inclined to give.” A national cable news network recently ran a piece praising and celebrating an 11-year-old drag queen. We are having a rabid debate based upon spending less than 0.2 percent of the federal budget to build a wall that will help keep out both criminals and terrorists from coming illegally into our country, while at the same time spending between 40-50 percent of the federal budget on social welfare programs. And within the last two weeks our president announced the withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan with no announced plan for continuing to support the allies on the ground that we have developed with blood, sweat, and tears.
So as a country we do not think we need to honor a vow to another human being, before God no less, to love them forever. We portray Christmas as nothing more than a money spending operation. We celebrate and promote darkness in our youth. We do not think we need to protect our country from criminals and terrorists. We do think we need to steal money from our fellow citizens to give to other citizens who have not worked to earn it. And we do not feel we need to be concerned with a minor detail such as abandoning our allies oversees in areas rife with terrorism, crime, and torture and with them surrounded by leaders from other countries who want them gone by any means. These are a small and wide ranging sampling of our countries issues at the moment, but they all tie back to one thing over and over again, a decay in the moral fiber of America. This decay is spreading from the family to culture to politics. That is the problem, folks, not the specific issues, but the overall attitude of a large and growing section of our country’s citizenry.
Now, how does this all relate back to Christmas and why America needs it so much? What could Christmas have to do with sentiments about divorce, criminal immigration and terrorists, and troop withdrawals? Again, it is the sentiment, in addition to the actual deeds themselves that show us. Christmas is a holiday celebrating the birth of a young boy some two thousand years ago, give or take a year or two and a month or two. Christmas, despite the attempts of network executives, cultural icons, and politicians is not about songs, or presents, or money, or snowmen, or happy holiday movies; and I enjoy all those things, but they are not the point. So what is the point of Christmas, and again how does it tie into all the earlier topics?
Well, I do not think there can be a better answer to that than one from an American icon in the true sense of the term, Charlie Brown. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, in response to the question from Charlie Brown, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus responds, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” His response follows:
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
This is indeed what Christmas is all about. A babe who became a man who taught that loving God with all your heart and mind and soul, and loving your neighbor as yourself were the greatest commandments on earth. Encompassed by these two commands are everything else good and worthy in the world: loyalty to your spouse, honoring your father and mother, defending the widow and the orphan, loyalty to your friends, and service to your country among others. We need this man, this Jesus, and his teachings. For as John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” We must have Jedeo-Christian ethics and morals at the core of our country, and so by default we must have Jesus as the core. This does not mean, as a recent commenter on one of my Instagram posts incorrectly insinuated that all Americans must be Christians. It does mean though without His ethics our country has no option but to fail, with them no possibility but ultimate success. We need Jesus today desperately.
When A Charlie Brown Christmas came out many people both from CBS and from those working on the show, did not want the verses of scripture included. Shultz response was, “… if we don’t, who will?” We need to have this mentality, folks, all year long, but especially now. As George Washington, the father of our country said, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more then those of the United States.” We have indeed been blessed by God in this country, but we cannot take it for granted, or disregard the source and cause of that blessing. America needs Christmas, because she needs Jesus Christ.
–JT Cope IV