Brenda J. Verner is a nationally known media analyst on racial and women's issues, a former talk radio and cable television host and lecturer at scores of the nation's most prestigious universities. Describing herself as a life-long "Christmas" person, she wrote the books "Happy Birthday Jesus" and "101 Ways to Have a Christian Christmas," adopting the title of The Christian Christmas Lady. Her next book is entitled "101 Ways Christians Can ReclaimMore ↓Less ↑
Over the past 50 years, consistent organized campaigns to de-Christianize American history, deprive us of our Christian perceptions of ourselves as a people and expunge God from the public square have been relatively successful at dampening traditional, exuberant public displays of worship of Jesus Christ at Christmastime.
Presently, the American Christmas shopper has to contend with merchants who demand to present a Christless Christmas. Most department stores have banned nativity scenes from their windows and covers of their catalogs. Even TV public-service announcements recognizing Christmas refuse to post pictures of nativity scenes.
This is no small issue. Committed forces are waging war against Americans publicly celebrating a reverent and sacred Christmas. Anti-Christian groups have been attempting to undermine reverent displays of Christmas for decades. They have launched a subversive strategy to change our cultural language by substituting “Xmas” and “holiday” where we would traditionally see or say “Christmas.” Their recent intimidating use of the courts to ban nativity displays, combined with merchants’ relentless multimedia promotion of Santa Claus as a viable alternative to Jesus, has established acceptance of the celebration of Christmas outside of the church, with neither mention nor depiction of Christ. They have switched the public-square focus of December Advent from the birth of Baby Jesus to Santa Claus, the master seller; the one who steals the hearts of children with magic and free gifts.
Santa, a seemingly harmless Christmas character, has been morphed into the ultimate usurper – an alternative god. Santa armed with his elves, his reindeer, along with fascinating lines of marching toy soldiers, accompanied by endless assortments of cute animal characters and dancing snowmen, has the power to orchestrate formidable distractions away from reverent presentations of Christmas, especially for children.
Many millions of Americans officially open the Christmas Season on Thanksgiving by viewing merchant-sponsored, televised parades. On a day that is set aside to thank the Lord for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our great nation, the majority Christian population begins its holy Christmas Advent by being lured into watching elaborate processions that ban the visual image of, and outlaw the name of, Jesus Christ.
These local and nationally televised parades are masterful spectacles in deception. The events are called Thanksgiving Day parades, when, in actuality, they are Christmas parades. They are intentionally called Thanksgiving Day parades in order to avoid recognizing the name of Christ. Simultaneously, they have deftly waylaid the Christian cultural images of Christmas – wreaths, gift stockings, ornaments, gift packages, holly, mistletoe, Christmas cookies, evergreen trees, etc., in order to legitimate their chosen substitute.
The primary goal of these manipulative merchants is to convince the unsuspecting that “it is simply not Christmas without Santa.” The parades officially notify prospective shoppers that “Santa Claus is coming to town, and it’s time to spend your money with us.” Santa, the chief promoter of conspicuous consumption, the super salesman of toys, clothing, jewelry and appliances, the crafty manipulator of parents via their children. Santa, the secularist’s emblem of the Christless Christmas.
Fully aware that Christmas has been hijacked, Christians in recent decades have expressed dismay and a desire to “put Christ back in Christmas,” because “Jesus is the reason for the season,” while giving “Happy Birthday, Jesus” parties in their Sunday Schools.
Exasperated Christians are attempting to counteract the organized secular onslaught. What believers want is a Christian Christmas, as opposed to the Christless counterfeit that is now being foisted upon them by advertising and media moguls. American Christians have been made acutely aware that they are fighting against well-arrayed, brazen adversaries. Annual “Christmas wars,” which are planned assaults upon Christmas launched by anti-Christ forces in the courts and in our communities, are designed to remove Christ from the public image of Christmas and to discourage the Christian majority’s right to “free exercise.” Anti-Christian decision-makers in our colleges and universities, in media and show business and in politics and government have worked arduously for decades to denounce, deny and erase our nation’s Christian heritage, to stifle Christian expression in the public square and to disparage the image of the Christian. Their collective intent is to blunt Christian authority in our society and decrease Christian influence over future generations.
So what can we do?
In order to defend America’s legitimate Christian culture, we must codify our national rituals as central to our way of life – “our Christian way of life.” There is no other national ritual more unifying than Christmas. It is the most celebrated of all American holidays. It is estimated that between 87 percent and 91 percent (that includes non-Christians) of Americans observe Christmas. If we are to make reverent public observations of Christmas commonplace across this nation, we must recognize that we have indeed been manipulated into experiencing an irreverent Christmas and resolve to take control.
The immediate corrective remedy is to embrace the concept of Christian Christmas; which means that we will make Christ’s birth the exclusive central focus of all our Christmas activities, and that we will work consistently to bring that focus to public-square presentations of Christmas.
Each December Advent, in every major city, we should see televised Christian Christmas parades with marching bands, giant balloons of Christian characters and floats from churches, ministries and organizations that welcome Baby Jesus to town, instead of Santa. We should hear Christmas carols in office-building elevators, in department stores, on street corners and on TV shows. We must campaign to replace the mindless Christmas ditties that sing the praises of Santa, snow, reindeer, gifts and trees with carols telling about the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christian Christmas indicts all so-called secular depictions of Christmas and denounces them to be counterfeit and calculated acts of sacrilege. For what else should Christmas be, other than Christian?
Christian Christmas is a respectful, sacred presentation that empowers believers to practice their faith openly, unashamedly, without hesitation in the public square and in the marketplace. It gives clear definitive authority to “the Christian way,” the protector of our Christian heritage. It not only highlights the worship of Jesus Christ, but also gives the celebration of His birth preeminence over all other seductive manufactured distractions.
All who self-identify as Christian, be they individuals, organized groups or institutions, can express their unique presentation of Christian Christmas. The doable ideas provided in my book, “101 Ways to Have a Christian Christmas,” are specifically designed to impact your home, family, neighborhood, business district and church.
When the Christian majority commits to reclaiming a sacred image for the cultural presentation of Christmas, Americans of all denominations will be unified in observing a heartfelt December Advent. It will encourage believers to adopt a permanent mindset of Christian Christmas Activism: the unwavering resolve that Christians should control the cultural presentation of Christmas and demand that the projected images of Christmas be reverent.
Neither money-hustling merchants, nor jealous, duplicitous members of other religions should intrude upon Christian cultural rituals. Those who seek to dilute the exclusive meaning of Christmas by attempting to make it an ecumenical experience “inclusive” of other gods should restrain themselves.
Christians have earned the right to openly celebrate their Christmas festivals in the public square free of spiteful insults, mean-spirited court actions and outside intrusions launched by brazen Christ-haters. Christians founded, fought for, and many generations of Christians have died building, this great nation. It is Christians who have given us the wonderful legacy of freedoms that draws non-Christians to our shores.
The United States of America is a Christian culture/society that is tolerant of other religions and has allowed them to come and thrive in our midst. However, the overwhelming Christian majority does not relinquish its cultural authority as the founding religion of this nation, simply because disgruntled groups from hostile political entities and those of other religions envy the dominance of Christianity in our land (all of the non-Christian religions in the U.S. combined constitute only about 4 percent of our population).
Christians seek “peace on earth and good will toward men” at Christmastime, and are obliged to present a sacred, soul-saving Christ to the world.
We are still “one nation under God” – “We the people” shall continue to preserve our cultural tradition of spreading the Christmas spirit and shall continue to openly, without hesitation, wish everyone in our nation and in our world a very “Merry Christmas!”