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December 22, 2021



Christmas . . .

Billions of words have already been written, and many more will come.

I’ve noted before that to get into the “Christmas Spirit,” one thing that helps is to attend a Christmas program by the youngsters of your church or school.

It has been an inspiration for me many times over the years. It was best when the schools would include the authentic reason for the day. i. e. its religious roots.

I’ve seen several this year and they were very good. However, anything religious about them was maybe a song or two that somehow had a verse or two about the birth of Jesus.

I’m old enough to remember when most every Christmas program had the ‘Manger’ scene from Bethlehem. In case you haven’t noticed, for many years there has been a concerted effort by the Liberals in our country to eliminate any reference to the birth of Jesus not only from school programs, but also most public places.

I have noted in the past about what seems an effort by ‘Socialist,’ ‘Communist,’ and ‘Liberal’ elements in the U. S. today to not only get rid of public displays of religion, but to get rid of religion altogether.

The following was written some years ago, but is as important to remember today as it ever was. I remember reading it years ago as well but wanted to refresh our memories. to wit:

Before Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, he gave more than 1,000 daily radio broadcasts from 1975 to 1979, including one in which he shared a story about the history of Christmas in the Ukraine before and after communism.

In an effort to resist Christians, communist leaders secularized a favorite Ukrainian Christmas carol, “Nova Radist Stala” (Joyous News Has Come to Us). The original song began with these words: “The joyous news has come which never was before. Over a cave above a manger a bright star has lit the world, where Jesus was born from a virgin maiden…” Communists feared the public outcry that would follow a complete ban on Christmas, so they began to slowly secularize the holiday. The first rewrite of the song began: “The joyous news has come which never was before, a red star with five tails has brightly lit the world.” The second rewrite went further: “The joyous news has come which never was before. Long-awaited star of freedom lit the skies in October [the month of the Revolution]. Where formerly lived the kings and had the roots their nobles, there today with simple folks, Lenin’s glory hovers.”

The former Soviet Union eventually began banning Christmas commemorations. St. Nicholas was replaced with “Did Moroz,” or Grandfather Frost. This Stalinist creation wears a red cap and long white beard of Santa Claus, but he delivers gifts to children on New Year’s Eve. Christmas trees were also banned, but people continued to trim their New Year’s trees. Communism folded all Christmas celebrations into a New Year’s celebration.

Christians in the former Soviet Union exhibited bravery and courage in confronting communism’s anti-Christmas campaign. One person recalled how the young people would go out in the streets and sing Christmas carols, knowing that if police heard them, they would be arrested. In communist Romania, Rev. Geza Palffy, a Roman Catholic priest, delivered a sermon in 1983 protesting that December 25 had been declared a workday instead of a holiday. The next day he was arrested by secret police, beaten, imprisoned and died. Inside and outside the Iron Curtain, Ukrainians never stopped singing: “We beg you our Lord, we pray to you today. Grant us freedom, return glory to our Mother Ukraine.” Reagan ended his broadcast: “I guess we all hope their prayer is answered.” Indeed it was.

The secularization of Christmas is nothing new. Christianity Today in 2002 reported that in the Vietnamese province of Dak Lak, children’s choirs were forbidden to sing “Silent Night.” From 1969 to 1997, Christmas was banned in Cuba.

Legal challenges to Christmas and holiday displays have been ongoing for decades. The challenges to Nativity displays expanded to the public schools and even to nursing homes and assisted living centers. In some schools, students were told that Christmas cards, Merry Christmas greetings, singing religious Christmas carols, and even the colors red and green were not permissible. Some senior living centers prohibited residents from placing Christian or religious symbols on Christmas trees or decorating with any religious imagery. Around 2003, the censorship of Christmas entered the retail market. Christmas trees was renamed “Holiday Trees,” Christmas decorations were referred to as “Holiday Decorations” or “Holiday Lights.”

Repressive forces have always had the same goal – to first secularize and then to eliminate Christmas and Christian symbols, celebrations and speech. In America, the First Amendment is a guard against censorship and religious hostility.

That term, ‘Repressive forces’ is usually coupled with the words: “Liberals,” “Socialism,” and “Communist.”

In spite of: “covid,” “inflation,” and “Joe Biden” himself, please enjoy this “Holy Day” that has morphed into a secular holiday. In spite of whatever the Liberal elements want to do, we are very blessed and we need to express our thanks to God with prayer.

A O

 

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