By: Paul Murano – Dec. 2018
Welcome to Americamart.
The mood is festive. Snow is falling, and Christmas lights and décor fill the department store. Let us now wander over to the check-out counter and eavesdrop on a conversation between the store manager (Manny Jurr) and a guy shopping (Guy Shaupin).
Manny and Guy are now exchanging money….
Manny Jurr: That will be $34.99.
Guy Shaupin: There you go. Thank you.
Manny: Thank you. Have a nice holiday.
Guy: Which one?
G: Which holiday?
M: Well, the one coming up.
G: The one coming up? Doesn’t it have a name? If this were the end of November wouldn’t you wish me a Happy Thanksgiving?
G: And if it was New Year’s Eve, wouldn’t you wish me a Happy New Year?
M: Well, yes.
G: And you wouldn’t have a problem wishing people a Happy Hanukkah, Ramadan, or Kwanzaa, would you?
M: No, I wouldn’t.
G: Then why is it difficult for you to say Merry Christmas? Instead you replace it with ‘happy holiday’.
M: Well… not everyone is Christian. I don’t want to offend.
G: Do you fear offending when you say Happy Hanukkah, Ramadan, or Kwanzaa?
M: Hmm….I guess not. But Christmas just seems to offend people today.
G: And why do you think that is?
M: Well, I guess I haven’t thought about it much.
G: The mere mention of the word Christ, even in Christmas, tends to make people squirm. I’m sure you’ve noticed this.
M: I have. I’ve also noticed there is no discomfort when the names of Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, or Confucius are mentioned.
G: Good point. And why is that? People are often offended at things they’re trying to hide from.
M: They’re hiding from Jesus?
G: Yes. Christ calls Himself the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6). The hard-hearted are hiding from the truth, particularly about themselves and their choices, and are uncomfortable having to confront it this time of year. And this is a universal phenomenon: As soon as Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they hid from God among the trees in the garden (Gn 3:8).
M: But these people are usually atheists, aren’t they? Why would they care about what others believe or celebrate?
G: Good question. They don’t seem to be bothered by the celebration of non-Christian religions, do they?
M: No. Good point.
G: Think about it. Jesus is the only one who claimed to be God, not just a messenger or prophet like the others. It appears everyone, even atheists, have an innate knowledge that God commands of us a moral life, and that Christ is the Just Judge.
M: Interesting. When I was a kid everyone said Merry Christmas, regardless of their religion.
G: Yes. People of all religions get caught up in the spirit and joy of Christmas. Ironically, most of the popular secular Christmas songs we hear each year were actually written by Jews.
M: So this political correctness I’ve been caught up in – it’s a movement to stamp out Christmas from the culture because some want to stamp out Christ from their minds?
G: I think you hit the nail of the head. If they only understood that God loves them and wants them to be happy by forgiving and healing them of their iniquities. This is the message of Christmas.
M: These people need to hear this Truth; but I think some are too hell-bent on stamping out God from the psyche because of their attempt to be their own gods.
G: And that, in a nutshell, is the essence of secular progressivism. It’s rooted in the sin of pride and is the recipe for cynicism and unhappiness.
M: Then it’s high time we cut through the cynicism and spread some hope and joy – despite the resistance. Therefore, for the first time ever in my department store, I now dare to proclaim loudly and proudly: Merry Christmas, Guy!
G: And Merry Christmas to you, Manny! Be a light and spread the word.
Paul Murano is a college instructor and talk show host of Beneath the Surface on WCAP 980 AM. Podcasts available HERE . Paul has graduate degrees in philosophy, theology and is certified in health care ethics. He speaks on topics relating faith and reason, and plays oldies at local venues as a one-man band. E-mail Paul at PJDM@aol.com