Posted: December 23, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern WorldNetDaily.com/ Â
By Pat Boone
Â©Â 2006Â It's very interesting, even curious, that there are increasing objections in several quarters to the Christmas observances that have been an annual part of American life for as long as any of us can remember.
I say ''curious'' because the objections are coming from small groups that wouldn't seem to have a lot in common. Some are made up of people who apparently have only recently discovered that they object to Christmas observances. Many of them have participated in the Christmas traditions themselves. And many still do, albeit at home or behind the closed doors of their churches! What's afoot here?
It's not surprising that the Anti-Christian Lawyers Union (known to most by just its initials) would recently ''decide'' that open displays like manger scenes in public places are unconstitutional; their lawsuits and threats against any Christian manifestations have become the expected background noise for Americans of faith. And, although we heard little or nothing from atheists and their small organizations in the past, they've recently decided that other citizens openly celebrating the birth of Jesus anywhere near them is offensive, and a ''violation of their rights.'' It was inconsequential to them for generations, but now they can't stand it.
What's puzzling, though, is the alliance between these militant groups and some others, like Barry Lynn's Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and Norman Lear's People for the American Way. In their memberships these latter groups actually have professing Christians, even ''ministers,'' who are lately persuaded that manger scenes in department store windows and town squares are somehow violating the First Amendment and abridging the ''rights'' of a few individuals â€“ most of whom hadn't even thought to complain.
I've been around quite awhile now, admittedly, but I feel sure most people reading this have early memories similar to mine: The Christmas season heralded, right after Thanksgiving, by all kinds of carols on most radio stations. Department stores and other emporiums competing for the most attractive and impressive depictions of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus, the shepherds, and the three wise men. Little towns and major cities decorating the business sections and virtually transforming them into scenes from Charles Dickens' ''A Christmas Carol.''
And with all this decorating and celebrating, people's attitudes softened and spirits lifted, and the emphasis seemed to shift from ''getting'' to giving. New happy Christmas songs were added to the popular play lists, and constantly we heard ''Don't you wish Christmas could last all year long? Wouldn't the world be a better place?''
Now, somehow, while we were hardly noticing, the scene leading to Dec. 25 has changed dramatically. School teachers are afraid to let their kids sing any songs that refer to the reasons for Christmas, or to the babe around whom the season formed. Haphazard bureaucrats decree that no crÃ¨ches can be erected on public property â€“ and local officials (cowed by the ACLU) agree. Store chains remove any reference to Christ or His birth from all advertising, while many continue to instruct all employees to chirp ''Happy Holidays!'' to customers and avoid the word ''Christmas.''
All this for any good, substantive reasons? Not on your life. No, the same First Amendment that decrees, ''Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion'' proceeds to add, specifically, ''or restricting the free exercise thereof.'' Congress (and by inference other legislative bodies) shall make no law restricting the free exercise of people's religion!
Has our whole government and our whole legislative system suddenly become concerned that a very few atheists and people of other religions are being seriously â€“ and unconstitutionally â€“ offended? No, all this friction and protest and legal action are being militantly prosecuted by individuals and groups who resent any notion that America is a ''Christian nation,'' and who are determined not to be confronted by moral or spiritual expectations that might cramp their style. You can draw your own conclusions about the source of this anti-Christ spirit.
Meanwhile, on a very positive note, an exceptional youth chorus called the Children of the World Choir are setting a much different example and shedding light into the gathering moral darkness. This large choir, already internationally known, is made up of kids of various ages, almost every racial and ethnic background, every size and color â€“ and they've been amazing and entertaining audiences worldwide for years now.
The group was founded, nurtured, and taught by a wonderful woman named Marrina Waks, and it has performed for royalty, Olympics and Special Olympics events, on the Tonight Show, and on countless other TV shows over the world. Joyously singing each other's songs and exemplifying harmony, mutual respect and appreciation for all the colorful differences they personify, they help raise money for medical research, education, children's charities, homeless people, human rights and environmental causes. I've sung and appeared on TV with them myself, as have many other entertainers. You really should check them out at www.cotwc.com. It'll bless your heart. Do I have an overall point here? Just this: Nobody forces Christmas on anybody. Nobody forces a St. Patrick's or Sons of Italy or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or Cinco de Mayo celebration, or any of the many other festive celebrations that are special to groups among us in this diverse society, on anybody.
Nobody has to participate or even give one of these special events any notice. Just like old Ebenezer Scrooge, people with pinched, warped, insensitive, self-absorbed, miserable souls can stand off and mutter ''Bah, humbug'' to their shriveled hearts' content. The festive spirit will pass soon enough, anyway.
And hey, if these admittedly hopeless nonbelievers want to devise some public display of their own â€“ a depiction of a black hole, an empty eternity, a molding grave, an endless evolution from primordial ooze through ape ancestors all the way through to final meaningless ooze and blackness â€“ more power to 'em! We'll find room in the public square for them, too.
But don't â€“ repeat, don't â€“ try to stifle our joy or rob us of the gentle, giving, and loving spirit of the Christmas season. Who's it for? It's for all who will receive it, be blessed by it, bask in it, profit from it, or even â€“ like old Ebenezer himself â€“ be surprised and overtaken and rejuvenated by it. Millions of us still hear the echoes of the angels proclaiming, ''Peace on earth, good will toward men.'' All men. Even the disclaimers, the nonbelievers, the Scrooges. Can't we all use a little period of peace right now? And will good will, like that exemplified and sung by the Children of the World Choir, hurt anybody?
Who's Christmas for? For the child in all of us.
For anybody with a heart.
Pat Boone, descendent of the legendary pioneer Daniel Boone, has been a top-selling recording artist, the star of his own hit TV series, a movie star, a Broadway headliner, and a best-selling author in a career that has spanned half a century. During the classic rock & roll era of the 1950s, he sold more records than any artist except Elvis Presley. To learn more about Pat, please visit his website.