My war on the "war" on Christmas
by Barry Friedman
(From the inaugural issue of THE TULSA VOICE)
And so this is Christmas
To review …
Tulsa's traditional downtown holiday parade dropped "Christmas" from its name in 2009 to be more inclusive. The resulting outcry led to the creation of a competing "Christmas Parade" at Tulsa Hills Shopping Center the past two years.
“Resulting outcry,” my ass.
I remember comedian T. Sean Shannon doing a joke about the three wise men and the anger of the guy who brought the gold.
“You brought myrrh? Myrrh?” he asks. “Take my name off the card.”
Mark Croucher, one of the organizers of the “Christmas” Parade (and, yeah, it’s in quotes. He doesn’t get the name) wanted his name off the card. He and his partners, in fact, were so verklempt over the absence of “Christmas” from the downtown parade's name, so deflated that people of other faiths were being made to feel welcome, they took their mangers and headed to South Tulsa.
That was your “resulting outcry.” There were no angry throngs of protesters, wilding through the streets of Tulsa, screaming, “No immaculate birth, no holiday mirth” because organizers decided to add a subhead to the event.
There was this.
“Because what people want,” said Croucher, “is a Christmas parade …,” he said, explaining his decision to retain the Tulsa Hills event, “… not a holiday parade, not a parade of lights.”Thank you, Gaspar.
Then, after yet another squabble, one in which organizers of the now-named Downtown Holiday Parade of Lights offered to include “Christmas” was rejected by Croucher and Company— because it also included “Hanukkah and other holidays” (and Jesus would weep if we did that)—the Tulsa “Christmas” Parade took place on December 7.
"While some local parades were canceled or postponed, the festivities at the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center went on as scheduled despite a temperature of 21 degrees when the parade started at 6 p.m.”Maybe you heathens will get it now.
Okay, so let’s back up—like 2013 years.
A careful analysis of Scripture, however, clearly indicates that Dec. 25 is an unlikely date for Christ's birth. First, we know that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:7-8). Shepherds were not in the fields during December. According to Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays, Luke's account "suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night" (p. 309).And here’s the money shot.
Second, Jesus' parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating.”
“ …the important fact then . . . to get clearly into your head is that the fixing of the date as December 25th was a compromise with paganism" (William Walsh, The Story of Santa Klaus, 1970, p. 62).A compromise with paganism?
That’s as bad as celebrating Christ’s birth at a mall.
While parades Christmas or otherwise are commonly associated with downtown areas, holding it at a place like Tulsa Hills affords many multitasking shopping opportunities.That was discussed in Jeremiah 10:2, right?
But you know what? Who cares?
Really. Good on them. Good on the “Christmas” parade organizers for keeping the stores open. Who cares if Jesus was actually born on December 25? Who cares if he even existed? Who cares, while we’re on the subject, if Jim Glover Chevrolet references “The Lord Jesus” in its ads.
(Okay, I care about that one.)
A baby smiles, a couple married sixty years exchanges pajamas, someone falls in love with Jimmy Stewart … someone loves the Blu-Ray you shopped for after the parade.
Reason for the season.
The abject commercialism and lexicon only bothers people who like being bothered, like Croucher.
"You look at Christmas cards now, and how many say, "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings?" asked Croucher. “I’m just asking for let's have Christ in the parade. He stood up for us and died for us 2,000 years ago, and now it's time we stand up and honor him."Oh, for the love of Rudolph, Christianity and America will not become Beelzebub’s chew toy if the cashier at Target decides to say Seasons Greetings instead of Merry Christmas to a customer.
I’ll say it again. We’re not all Christian (including Jesus!)—nor want to be.
So, yes, there was a manger on wheels at the Tulsa "Christmas" Parade, but there was also a little girl who told FOX23, “My favorite part was the trash truck!"
Christ, I love this holiday.