We said we would not post until unless something big broke, and well, I think it has. The supposed “War on Christmas” is kind of old news now, and I never could get too excited about the placement of creches at fire houses, or not – that’s not what will kill Christmas. I am far more worried about stuff that matters more.
My business life has been awful this Christmas season in the sense that there has been no slow down. Typically the phone quits ringing and I get to use the later half to two-thirds of December to catch up on all the stuff that has been sitting while I was putting out fires. Not this year, at least not to date. As late as yesterday afternoon, I was getting emergency type calls from clients who had one government agency or another breathing down their neck demanding something by Christmas – or else. And who knows what next week will hold? In California, much of this is driven by stepped up enforcement intended to pad the grossly depleted state coffers. The only thing that will kill business faster than over taxation is fines – but that is a story for another time.
The Christmas spirit has been hard to find this year. So I sympathized when I read the quote from Senator Jon Kyl that Robert Costa carried on The Corner:
“Senator Reid is using the Christmas holiday as an anvil to pound people into submission,” says Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) in a conversation with National Review Online. “He’s no longer being realistic.”
“Harry Reid and the Democrats can’t win this debate on the merits,” says Kyl. “The only way they prevail now is by using the artifice that members supposedly can’t go home until we’re done. For Christians, this is one of the holiest days of the year. We want to be with our families. Reid knows this. It’s a very bad way to make public policy and horrible to use that kind of force to pass a bill of this kind.”
That dear friends is a war on Christmas that matters – in so many ways.
I am struck by how it emphasizes the fact that not being a religious bigot means not only not bad-mouthing someone’s religion, but respecting it, even if not believing it.
I am reminded of a time, a long time ago, I worked for a company in which the entire upper management was Jewish – observantly Jewish. As the Easter Season approached I requested Good Friday afternoon off for my largely Mexican Catholic crew to observe the Stations of the Cross. It was granted for a few hours until the company controller handed me the assignments for my crew for physical inventory that day and the president/owner of the company attempted to rescind his granting of time off. In a display of temper about which I should not be proud I pointed out that the upper management of the company took six weeks aannually off for religious observances and that four hours for my crew was a small request, and certainly a fair one. I was told by that upper management that as the owners, “They were exceptional.” I told them they were words-I-will-not-repeat-here (‘bigot’ was the kindest). This point was accompanied by a physical display (I was much, much younger at the time) that resulted in drywall repairs, and I stormed out.
Senator Reid is free to celebrate Christmas in any way he sees fit – that is the beauty of America. But it is a subtle and ugly form of bigotry to use his different and personal view in disregard of that of others.
I have, as an evangelical Presbyterian, staunchly defended here the rights of Mormons, and we should here remind everyone that Harry Reid is a Mormon, to identify themselves as Christians. But this is not about his Mormonism (though some schmuck will probably try to make it so), this is about Harry Reid. So it is with a great deal of hesitation that I will declare that the actions of Harry Reid in this case are decidedly unchristian. Bigotry, even subtle bigotry of this type, lacks charity – which is the preeminent hallmark of any Christian.
This is supposed to be a season of beauty for all, and one in which many of us celebrate the birth of our Savior. Well, this is just ugly and it robs all of us of the beauty of the season. Shame on Harry Reid.
Lowell chiming in . . .
Well, we are seeing here a mixture of hard-nosed politics and religion (used as a club). On the political side, Reid does not want his senators going home for Christmas and hearing from constitutents just how unpopular the Senate healthcare bill is. On the religious side, he knows Christmas celebrations are the most sacred of family traditions at one of the two most sacred times of year for all Christians. His behavior is indeed disgusting.