Consumerism, Goats and Vile Persecution

     Tis the season to be whiny.

     Sorry, was that negative? I didn’t mean it to be.

     But it’s hard to miss during the festive seasons. Which is too bad, because I was raised thinking this time of year was about the greatest gift we ever got: Love in the shape of a baby.

     And I can’t really point at anyone else and blame them for the complaining that marks December. It’s my own tribe. And there are two things you’ll be sure to hear us whine about until the new year.

     First, we’ll whine about how the rampant consumerism has utterly destroyed the message of Christmas. We’ll complain about the sex-driven ads, the ridiculous rushes at the malls, the blatant love of stuff and money.

     All the while, we shop with the rest of them.

     If malls are temples to the great and terrible gods of commerce and materialism, the folks in my Christian tribe are just as devout as anyone.

     My wife is using her wild, love-filled i117 project to fight consumerism. She’s buying goats for widows in Pakistan to help them get enough income to feed their families. Go to her facebook group or send her an e-mail if you want to help battle Christmas consumerism with her!

     Second, we complain about how no one says ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore.

     Seen this comic before? It floats around every year. Of course, no one ever gets sent to the Principal’s office for saying Christmas (sidenote: notice how the two on the left are dressed like punks and the poor, persecuted Christian boy is oh-so-spiffy?). Doomsayers have been predicting this kind of ‘persecution’ since the 80s, but it still hasn’t happened. And, no, the elimination of the state-sponsored promotion of Christianity does not count as persecution.

     Guess what? Jesus is not threatened by folks who celebrate other holidays around the Solstice. He’s just not. He’s more secure in himself. And I’m not threatened by people who wish me a happy holiday. I say thanks, and wish that all their holidays are happy, too. Whichever holidays that might be.

     Because the cause of Jesus (love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance) is not furthered by us whining about how good our religion used to have it back when we ran the show. It’s furthered by rejecting consumerism and intolerance both.

     And now I’ll quickly hang a lantern on this post and acknowledge that I’m whining, too. But, at the very least, I’m whining about something different.

Now go buy some goats!