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A Duck Dynasty Christmas
Commentary on the News
Thursday, December 19, 2013
J.L. Robb

''Christ-Mass Day, the old Heathens Feasting Day, in honor to Saturn their Idol-God, the Papists Massing Day, the Profane Man’s Ranting Day, the Superstitious Man’s Idol Day, The Multitudes Idle Day, Satan’s – that Adversary’s – Working Day. Taking to heart the heathenish customs, Popish superstitions, ranting fashions, fearful provocations, horrible abominations, committed against the Lord, and His Christ, on that day and days following …'' ~ Hezekiah Woodward, 1656 English minister

It seems like every time we turn on the news during the Christmas season that used to run from Thanksgiving to December 26th there is some report about the War on Christmas, and by default, Christianity. To most Christians this war is clear and evident; to non-Christians it’s, “What war?” How can that be? It may interest readers to know that the War on Christmas started a long time ago, and it was initiated and fought by Christians.

In 1647 England, Oliver Cromwell and other Puritans believed that holy day feasts were immoral and should be abolished. The Puritan Christians considered the Christmas celebration to be gluttonous, debauch and idolatrous, filled with “pagan” customs and Catholic idolatry, including the word Christ-mass. The 1647 Parliament not only banned Christmas but also Easter (derived from Ishtar, the goddess of fertility) and any of the Catholic Saint’s days. Anyone caught celebrating Christmas was arrested until 1660 and the Puritans lost power.

When the Puritans came to America, primarily to escape the Church of England and the Vatican, their fight against Christmas continued.  The Massachusetts Bay colony banned any observance of “Christ’s mass” in 1659, stating the following:

“For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God & offence of others, it is therefore ordered … that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by for-bearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

Many Christians in Puritanical America continued their celebration of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, in secret; and underground priests continued to visit homes and say mass. Puritans held great disregard for the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. The law against Christmas was lifted in 1681.

Fast-forward to Christmas 2013. Adorning Times Square in New York City is a large and prominent billboard deriding not only Christmas but also, Christ. Atheists.org proudly asks the question:

                             Who Needs Christ During Christmas?

Of course like many people of their ilk, rabid atheists, they answer the question for you. What would make an atheist group attack Christmas during one of Christianity’s holiest seasons? I know plenty of people who do not believe in God, but they don’t care if I do. They wouldn’t consider funding billboards at Christmas to attack Christmas. So where do these rabid, Christophobic groups come from?

In the western world today, Europe, Canada and the United States, religion of all kinds is losing its grip with the exception of Islam and atheism which are growing rapidly in the above mentioned geographical areas. We have become progressive and liberated from ancient mythologies that condemn behaviors that we might enjoy. After all, who really likes to be told what to do? Who likes to be told that our behavior is not acceptable to the Man Upstairs? So it’s easier just to mythologize the God of Abraham (Israel’s God), portray it as adolescent magic; and that opens the door for virtually any behavior that’s agreeable to two or more people.

Christians in the United States, the most populous Christian-practicing country in the world, and probably the universe, have always tended to believe in the past that we were “blessed” by God. The U.S. was blessed with abundant resources, a freely elected government with freedom to speak out about anything, including the government, which was unheard of at the time. It is still unheard of in many countries today. The U.S. was blessed with technology that won wars instead of starting wars and within 200 brief years was a global powerhouse with the “smartest” kids in the world. Not anymore.

There is no longer the freedom to speak in the U.S. if you are addressing many taboo subjects. That freedom is met with condemnation, belittlement of character, loss of job (Duck Dynasty), and sometimes arrest for “hate crimes.”

Today, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame has learned this the hard way, but he’s still swinging for his Christian theology. He has been “suspended indefinitely” by A&E for telling a magazine editor his belief based on his religious doctrine. His religious doctrine agreed with biblical teaching, but we have a tendency to kill the messenger rather than take our disdain directly to God who made the rules. That’s why the ancient prophets were killed by the Israelites. They didn’t like the message. Phil paraphrased Christian doctrine like this:

“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” ~ Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty

Phil’s source was from Corinthians:

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 NIV)

It is hard to figure out what is so offensive about Jesus in today’s world. It is difficult to understand why Jesus appears to be “problematic” for the ESPN network. It is confusing to try and figure out why Christmas vacation in schools was changed to Winter vacation, which would truly make it pagan-based, a celebration of the winter solstice which is always December 21 or 22, not the 25th.  Why would public school systems ban any Christmas songs that mention Christ while idolizing songs about Frosty the Snow Man? Don’t sing about real men; only sing about animated men.

The War on Christmas continues today, as some Christians remind other Christians of the pagan roots in Christmas. I do not know any Christians who worship the Christmas tree, bow down to Santa Clause or chant at Winter solstice. Most of us are aware of those talking points. Santa is simply the personification of St. Nicolas who was always giving to others freely, asking nothing in return except their love for God.

atheist.orgSo to the rabid warriors against God, to the vehement haters that spend big bucks to keep people from believing the truth, to the zealots who fight to have crosses removed from hilltops where they have been revered for decades and manger scenes from schools and to the atheist spokesman I saw on FOX News who said Christmas was still Christmas without Christ (say what???), I have this to say to you:

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Jesus loves you, and I hope you pay attention. When you find out your beliefs were the real myths, it might be too late.

To Phil Robertson at Duck Dynasty, you are brave to go against our progressively secular country. You are brave to talk about someone who is as “problematic” as Jesus, so God bless you, your bravery and we hope you endure the persecution that is surely to come from the rabid pseudo-intelligentsia.

And to A&E: Merry Christmas, but you have been “indefinitely suspended” from my TV screen.

About J.L. Robb

Last week:  What if Jesus Ran for President? Would He Win?

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