A Christmas Thought

Diane and I are visiting our parents. We’ll have the whole family together for Christmas day.

I am filled with gratitude to be here, given how easily I might have succumbed in 2004 to my illness. And my life has been filled with blessings. It is certainly a good time to reflect on these things.

One thing that perplexes me is the whole “War on Christmas” issue. I wonder what it is that is being called persecution. I’m sure that there are Christians in the USA who have suffered because of their beliefs, but I have a hard time believing that the numbers are anything but miniscule. We are easily the single largest group that people identify with here, and by and large we set the political agenda. Sure, there is that language in the constitution aimed at providing for tolerance toward different beliefs, but I think that benefits everyone and is nothing to kick about. I still say “Merry Christmas”, and nobody has offered to repress me yet over it. When there is a real abuse, we should pay attention to it, but what a store’s employees say in a greeting is so far down my list of “offensive things” that it doesn’t even register.

So I’d like to suggest that this Christmas we stop for a moment to look beyond the “War on Christmas”, which if nothing else is a form of group narcissism (instead of “me, me, me” it is “us, us, us”), and think a bit about trying to aid people who are undergoing real persecution right now. I think that helping out Amnesty International might be just the ticket.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.