Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
Christmas is a time for making merry and rejoicing in the birth of the Son of God, not for one more chance to turn every freaking thing into yet another bit of Culture Warrior hypersensitivity. You know those silly people who go around looking for racism under every rock? The ones who make normal people think “You are a human toothache” because they flip out over greeting cards and other trivia?
Well, normal people have the same reaction to silly Christians who go into the Holiday season itching for opportunities to police everybody else’s speech and actions for telltale signs of hostility to Christmas.
Look, I’m a believing Christian who not only thinks we should keep Christ in Christmas, but who even thinks we should keep Mass in Christmas. But even I’m tempted to shout “Happy Holidays” at fussy Puritan Inquisitors who write stuff like:
“I was looking for an ornament that reflected the reason for the season, and I could not find anything that said Merry Christmas. I’m tired of seeing ONLY snowmen, Santa Clauses, snowflakes, birds, glitter, ect. I could not find a gift bag, an ornament, or a gift box with a manger or the Holy Family on it. My husband & I will make a conscious effort to support stores like Mardel’s, Hobby Lobby, Life Way, or church bookstores that support Christmas wholeheartedly.”
This sort of obnoxious Christmas Police junk is as alien to the spirit of the season as the people who want to pretend it has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Once again, it seems to me to be an exhibition of the Schism of Truth and Love. Christians who imagine they are doing Jesus any favors by going around with a chip on their shoulders looking for opportunities to be offended by every bit of tinsel that doesn’t have Jesus’ name inscribed on it are as annoying as the secular fanatics who file suit every time they hear a Christmas carol in a mall. Both sides in the Christmas Wars are in severe need of Insensitivity Training.