On the way home from work a couple of days ago, I turned the radio on, and to my surprise, it actually worked. I drive a reliable car, but having been made in the previous millennium, some of the subsystems do not always function when desired.
Scanning through the stations, I landed on a Christian radio station. What I was subjected to was a seemingly endless roll call of companies moving from some naughty list to some nice list. From what I gathered, the criteria for moving from one list to the other was for employees of said companies to greet customers with a salutation of ‘Merry Christmas’ rather than some politically correct alternative.
Now, it goes without saying that I have some thoughts on this subject, though certainly not original. In fact, I am being a bit repetitive as I voiced similar thoughts in this post regarding the boycott of Pepsi products of a couple of years ago. Perhaps I am being a bit hyperbolic, but I cannot help but equate these tactics, these threats muster the troops to boycott a secular company for not doing something that is not a Biblical mandated as being akin to an Islam Lite behavior. It is almost as if a pagan business published a silly advertisement featuring a cartoon of Mohammad during Ramadan and offended the thin-skinned, perpetually outraged Muslims.
When those groups who chose to make a Christmas greeting a hill to die on, when they actually are successful in changing, by economic threats and for a short shopping season, the behavior of the employees of a company, are they actually being instrumental in changing someones heart so as to love the beauty of Christ? I think what these companies legitimately want is your Christian dollars, and if saying Merry Christmas rather than Seasons Greetings is what is required to mitigate the wrath of irate potential customers, then they will say what the public wants them to say regarding a holiday that is, ironically, not mandated in the Bible to be celebrated.
It should be noted, too, that the American Puritans did not celebrate the holiday. First, they understood that Christmas was not celebrated in the early church and secondly they viewed it as a venue to Christ-dishonoring worldliness and was a reminder of the Church of England. In fact, Christmas was banned in some areas.
To celebrate Christmas in a Christ honoring is fine. For the minority that gets whipped into a frenzy over an isolated skirmish in an ill-conceived culture war, understand our mission is not about our power or our ability to economically intimidate the world. There should be no need to explain this.