Sunday, December 18, 2005

Gardening gives one time to think.

This is a very nice commentary about the nonsense going on with the imagined "war on Christmas". I have reprinted it here because the site uses frames, clicking the title bar will take you directly to The Daily Muse (where this item lives) separated from its frame, but then you will miss the rest of the site. To visit that, go to Soul of the Garden, the website of Tom Spencer and the Natural Gardener nursery. These comments don't completely match my (non-theistic) beliefs, but there's heart in it, along with a brain.
December 6 - evening

Amid the clatter of this year's holiday season, there is a lot of right-wing chatter about the "war on Christmas." No, the radio talk-show front-men of the radical right are not complaining about the crass commercialization of sacred imagery, they are painting a much more lurid picture of "secular liberals" out to destroy the celebration of Christmas altogether. For those of you not in the conspiracy circle, this is the theme du jour for the paid apologists of the right wing media. Following months of terrible news for the radical right - with no way out of the Iraq debacle in sight, treasonous actions of key administration officials being disclosed in the press, and indictments being passed out like Christmas cards, the dark side of the Republican Party is beginning to feel a bit panicked. Their response? "The liberals want to kill Santa, er, we mean Jesus!" The funny thing is the "ditto-heads" across the country are now repeating this spin as if it was straight out of the Gospels.

I do not claim to be a Christian, because I realize that I fail to live up to Jesus's ideals for human-kind, and also because I find truth and beauty outside of the Christian tradition (as well as some darkness within.) And, I do not consider myself to be a "secular liberal," even though I would probably be labeled as such by the radicals who are close to over-throwing our democracy. However, I do have a deep reverence for both Christ and the Christmas story. I am not concerned about the nativity scenes people want to put up on town squares (I'm all for that as long as the folks who put them up are willing to tolerate a menorah or two!) What does bother me is the commercial orgy that lasts for months and encourages people to spend themselves into debt to celebrate the birth of a man who denounced material posessions and wealth as hindrances to salvation. Yes, there is a war on Christmas and it is being waged by the folks buying ads on talk-radio!

I have loved the Christmas story since I was a child. I recognize in it a beauty that we can only pray is true... that God would be willing to shed his invincibility and take the form of an infant born in the humblest of spaces amid poor workers and domestic animals sheltering for the night.... that he would do this to begin a journey that would end in his own sacrifice to build a new covenant with his people, one built on a radical trust and love. It is the most beautiful of legends, something I would hope that would inspire people of any faith or belief.

No, I am not at "war on Christmas." That lie is a glittering disco ball-sized distraction, trying to steal the eyes of a frightened and worried nation away from the sight of thieves busily desecrating the temple from their darkened money-littered stalls.

Thanks to my husband (another gardener) who sent me The Soul of the Garden.
- - -


Neil Shakespeare said...

Gardening gives you time to drink. It seems I always get hot and thirsty, and the mosquitos bite me, so I'm always wanting a beer. Cooking makes me want a beer too. I don't do enough of either of them...

Blueberry said...

Mosquitoes and fire ants. Oh yes, and bees.

Yes, I think a beer is in order about now.