Those of us who grew up in more innocent times have noticed that each year, especially for the last decade or so, Christmas becomes more controversial.

When I was a kid, that was unthinkable.

No one said “happy holidays” for fear of offending. Public schools celebrated Christmas without fear. Retailers understood where their bread was buttered – with the 96 percent of the country that celebrated Christmas, not the winter solstice. Presidents of the United States weren’t afraid to mention the word “Christmas” on their Christmas cards. Even the American Civil Liberties Union was more civil in those days.

Now the attacks on Christmas – and, by association, Christianity – are at a fever pitch.

Americans have become self-conscious about even uttering the words “Merry Christmas,” for fear of offending someone.

But something wonderful happened this year that could put the Grinches on the defensive.

A wonderful movie came out called “Last Ounce of Courage.”

It could become a Christmas classic in the tradition of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

It’s an entertaining film with a great message – and, boy, in times like this do we ever need both.

In fact, “Last Ounce of Courage” could well prove to be the antidote to the war on Christmas waged annually by the American Civil Liberties Union. Because of this movie, I fully expect to see a resurgence of the holiday spirit in America today – as well as a renewed commitment to liberty.

The movie struck a deep chord inside my soul, and I haven’t been able to forget it since.

Tonight might be a good time to view it with the entire family.

Since I first screened the film earlier this year, I’ve also had a chance to get to know Marshall Teague, undoubtedly the star of the terrific cast. What you should know about this guy is that he is not really acting. That’s not to say he’s not a good actor. What I mean is that he is portraying a character that is as close to his own as you can get.

In fact, I’m told that his closing, dramatic speech – and I’m not giving anything away here – was ad-libbed, unscripted, spoken from the heart.

Marshall Teague and most everyone involved in this production believe in this country. They believe there is a better future for us if believers in this country can rededicate themselves to God the way we are instructed in 2 Chronicles 7:14. They believe we – believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – have allowed ourselves to be bullied into retreat from the public square. They believe we have compromised too much with a hyper-secular culture. They believe we have lost our way. They believe we are guilty of betraying the founding vision of this country and the unique experiment in freedom and self-government God gifted us with through the personal sacrifices of our forefathers.

That’s what makes this movie worth seeing – and seeing again.

It’s what makes this movie worth sharing with your friends.

Have I stirred your interest yet?

Maybe you’re wondering what kind of a movie this is – about Christmas and liberty.

I hesitate to say any more about the movie in more specific terms – like discussing the plot, the characters, the conflict and certainly the resolution.

Just take my word for it and make a point of seeing “Last Ounce of Courage.”

Just be prepared to shed some tears – and to enjoy some remarkable performances.

Remember, this movie comes blessed not only by me, but it is the first theatrical-release movie ever to get the “Chuck Norris Seal of Approval” – something he has never even bestowed upon his own films.

There’s so much more I could say about “Last Ounce of Courage,” but I think it’s unnecessary and unwise to spoil it for you with more preconceived notions.

And, by the way, Merry Christmas to one and all.

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