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The Problem with Merry Christmas ~ BENEATH THE SURFACE with PAUL MURANO

By: Paul Murano – Dec.17

At the local department store. An encounter at the check-out register between Guy Shoppin and Clerk Clark:

Clerk: That will be $24.99.
Guy: There you go. Thank you.
Clerk: Thank you. Have a nice holiday.
Guy: Which one?
C: Huh?
G: Which holiday?
C: Any one you celebrate.
G: If it were the end of November you’d say ‘Happy Thanksgiving’, wouldn’t you?
C: Yes.
G: And if it was New Year’s Eve, you’d wish me a ‘Happy New Year’, would you not?
C: I would.
G: Then why is it that you hide only the name of Christmas by replacing it with ‘holiday’?
C: Not everyone celebrates Christmas.
G: But not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving or New Year’s on January 1. This Jewish new year 5778 was celebrated on September 20, and the Chinese new year on January 28.
C: Well…since not everyone is Christian I don’t want to offend.
G: Do you fear offending when you wish people a happy Hanukkah, Ramadan, or Kwanzaa?
C: Hmm….I guess not. But Christmas just seems to offend people today.
G: That’s because Christ offends people – those hiding from God, themselves, and the truth.
C: Well, I haven’t thought about it that much …
G: It seems the mere mention of Christ acts as a mirror to the soul, into which they are not ready to peer. You can’t avoid saying ‘Christ’ in Christmas.
C: You may have a point. There is never any emotional reaction to the names of Buddha, Mohammed, Lao Tzu, or Confucius.
G: None. The name of Jesus challenges people and their comfort zones. He is the only one who claimed to be God, not just an earthly messenger or prophet like other religious figures claimed.
C: Then, if true, Christmas should be a cause of great awe and joy rather than avoidance.
G: Yes. For those with a humble heart it is. But not to those in denial seeking to be their own gods. To them it’s a cause of discomfort.
C: Maybe they need to be discomforted. I’ve learned too much comfort breeds stagnation, keeping us from flourishing.
G: And if Christ is who He says He is, Christmas profoundly altered the universe and radically changes our lives. There is no reason for hopelessness, cynicism, or despair – regardless of our lot in life.
C: Why do you think so many today reject the faith of their ancestors, which served as the foundation of western civilization? When I was a kid there was no problem saying “Merry Christmas.” Everyone said it with joy, regardless of their religion.
G: There seems to be two general reasons for this sudden change: ignorance and pride.
C: (looking around) Lines are short and business is slow. Elaborate please.
G: It’s fair to say some people genuinely believe non-Christians might be offended by “Merry Christmas” and avoid saying it out of respect. However, as the past has borne out, this is not a legitimate fear. People of all religions get caught up in the spirit and joy of Christmas, even if they do not believe its theological claim. The real problem lies in the “progressive” movement which is ‘progressing’ deeper and deeper into the pit of hell.
C: Why is this?
G: There are several causes stemming from modern philosophy, but the underlying factor is rejection of God. Like blocking out the sun results in darkness, blocking out God results in losing sight of reality. This is why there is so much confusion and insanity with regard to what it means to human, as male and female persons.
C: Okay, but there have always been a few who have allowed their minds to run amuck. Why have so many “progressed” to the point where simply saying “Merry Christmas” has become offensive?
G: You’re right – it’s more than just an intellectual problem. Once the culture ate the new forbidden
fruit of modern times and became dependent on the birth control pill, everything changed.
C: The pill is why so many today are offended by ‘Merry Christmas’?
G: It sounds funny, but it is a primary cause. When we were kids before the sexual revolution,
which was really a revolution against God and human nature, there was much more respect for women and for marriage. Today there are far more people walking around deeply wounded by premarital sex, abortion, divorce, and other dehumanizing acts. Many are in full denial mode trying to live with themselves, lashing out at those who remind them of what they’re denying. The name of Christ undeniably poses this challenge.
C: So you think unhealed brokenness is the problem?
G: Yes. It often remains at the subconscious level. Why do you think the angriest people in society are those most deeply violating their own nature: young unmarried college women who have fallen into the fornication culture and practicing homosexuals who have fallen to their disordered desires? Since nature never lies, the psyche rebels and unrest in the form of anger and depression sets in.
C: So the “Merry Christmas” problem is rooted in two elements: rejecting the truth about ourselves, as taught by the Church, and rejecting the mercy of God, who is willing to forgive and heal our transgressions if we let Him.
G: Yes! You have summed it up nicely: a rejection of God’s truth and God’s mercy. Unfortunately, the dehumanizing power of sexual deviation, unlike all other sins, has a way of psychologically blinding us to the truth of our nature.
C: This is SO sad…All these people walking around wounded and miserable, covering it up with anger, depression, and faux happiness. If they only allowed the forgiveness and healing of Christ to penetrate, they would be at peace. This is really what is meant by “Peace on Earth.”
G: Yes, there is nothing sadder. Wishing “Merry Christmas” was something people enjoyed sharing. Today in post-Christian America it is a sign of contradiction – a threat to the politically correct narrative constructed by the Left to avoid basic truths.
C: Well, it’s high time we spread some hope and joy despite the resistance. For me this starts with saying for the first time from my department store register: Merry Christmas!
G: Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too.

Dr. Paul Murano teaches philosophy at Rivier University and North Shore Community College and hosts Beneath the Surface radio show on 980 WCAP. Paul has a doctorate in marital theology, is certified in bioethics by the NCBC, and teaches adult ed. at St. Patrick’s in Nashua. He is founder of Heartbeat Pregnancy Help in Burlington, and is a singer-songwriter-musician. E-mail Paul at PJDM@aol.com

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Paul Murano

Paul Murano

Dr. Paul Murano teaches philosophy at Rivier University and North Shore Community College and hosts Beneath the Surface radio show on 980 WCAP. Paul has a doctorate in marital theology, is certified in bioethics by the NCBC, and teaches adult ed. at St. Patrick's in Nashua. He is founder of Heartbeat Pregnancy Help in Burlington, and is a singer-songwriter-musician. E-mail Paul at PJDM@aol.com

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