"There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking, and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord"
~ Thomas Paine
FROM THE FRONT
By Len Semas Main Feature (12/7/2015)
A CHRISTMAS APOLOGY
As we enter the Christmas season, I realize I have been guilty of many transgressions over the past year, and will likely be guilty of them in the next, and in those to follow. I have therefore decided to come clean with a complete admission of guilt - and to apologize for my sins and errors.
Of course, my first apology must be for simply being a Christian and recognizing Christmas as such. Many, in their zeal to avoid causing discomfort to anyone (other than Christians) will avoid the use of such an inflammatory term and resort to more innocuous ones such as "Season's Greetings," "Happy Holidays" or even "The best to you on your choice of holy day or other event which gives you pleasure during this blustery time of year." No, it is Christmas - and it is a time for celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. That is appropriate in a country with a culture that was founded on traditions rooted in Christian philosophy.
For those who consider all religions to have equal standing in this country, I apologize but remind them that we were founded as a Christian nation, not Islamic, not Jewish, not any other religion. That is an essential part of our history and founding philosophy. The good news is that our foundations were therefore inclusive of tolerance and based on love for one another, not hatred and violence. If one has a problem with that, they are in the wrong country. I’m not going to apologize for that – I’m simply going to point them in another direction.
I apologize for our First Amendment, which protects us against the establishment of a national religion. It does not erect a wall between Americans and God; it simply establishes that there will be no state religion established by Congress, nor any prohibition by Congress against one exercising their religious choice. A nativity scene in front of a public building does neither of those things! If you disagree, I apologize – but you are wrong.
I apologize for not shopping at stores who haven't the guts to rise above political correctness and therefore instruct employees to avoid the use of the term "Christmas." Note to those merchants in this category - your decision to not offend any other special group has offended 80% of the country who ARE Christians and whose own great tolerance you have repaid with intolerance for their heritage.
A belief in the greatness of America seems to hold little favor among many liberals at home and abroad. Our valiant efforts to rid the world of terrorists and to secure freedom for so many are met with derision and disdain from Hollywood, academia, and the mainstream media. So, to those misguided souls, I issue an apology for believing that America is the greatest country on earth, and the greatest hope for the future of all mankind.
For those who think that families are obsolete and that two moms, two dads or a cross-dressing commune are all comparable alternatives, I apologize. For you see, I still hold the quaint notion that we are created as men and women for a purpose; and that men and women come together as couples and to create families for a purpose; and that families assemble into communities for a purpose. I understand that some may hold different views - they are not evil for doing so; they are simply wrong. Nonetheless, I apologize for thinking differently.
I apologize for thinking that the purpose of education is to enlighten and expand the minds of those assimilated into a single and unique American culture; a culture molded from western European traditions, in which the language of English is a common bond, and with equal opportunity, not equal outcome, the fundamental message of equality.
To those who feel entitled to feed on the efforts, risks, and investment of others, I apologize. You see it seems to me that the grant of freedom and opportunity to pursue our dreams carries with it a duty of personal responsibility, and acceptance of the outcomes of our efforts.
To those who fail to understand the difference between humans and lower animals, I apologize. I understand that you may prefer to dine on sunflower seeds and petunia petals in celebration of the "Winter Holiday." I, on the other hand, expect to fully partake in the bounty provided by nature's God - including prime rib! So if that bothers you, I apologize.
Christmas is a time of wonder, a time of thanks, and a time of reflection. In celebrating the wonder of Jesus Christ, we are all humbled. Whether you think of him as an historical figure, or the son of God, what other individual has held the reverence and esteem of the entire world for 2,000 years? In appreciation for Him as God's gift to humanity, we are all thankful.
In our attempts to understand the meaning of all life on earth, we pause in wonder to reflect on our own lives and the world around us. To be sure, the burdens are daunting and the challenges to our minds and hearts huge. I will continue in the New Year to try to understand in ways that I can, and I will try to share my interpretations with others. I don't expect to be right, or even necessarily agreed with - but I will do my best, and for that, I make no apology.