‘Tis the season to fuss over the season that is fast approaching. Is it the Christmas Season or the Holiday Season? Ironically, a threatened lawsuit by the American Humanist Association has taken the whole fuss to another level , which is to not just to stop Christmas, but to de-humanize it altogether.
Before explaining how the American Humanist Association (the “Association”) is trying to completely de-humanize Christmas, let’s make sure we have the players straight in our Christmas drama. Oops, make that Holiday drama.
At the website AmercianHumanist.org, we read what humanists believe: “without supernaturalism, [humankind has the] ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.“ In other words, humans can be good without God and promote goodwill among men.
Christmas for Christians is perhaps history’s most dramatic “humanist” event – God taking on human flesh and coming to live among us. It is the ultimate affirmation of the value of humanity. And, if you believe the biblical account, the angels declared to the shepherds of Bethlehem that Christ’s birth was about “peace and goodwill” among men.
There the similarities end between the Association’s view of humanity’s value and the need for goodwill. Unlike the secular humanism, Christmas is about God coming and living among us because we weren’t doing too well at this thing of being ethical without him. Our ethical lapses were not promoting much of the “greater good.” Sure, the Crusades were bad, but they pale in comparison to the death counts inflicted by atheistic communist regimes.
Now the stage is set for our Holiday drama, and as the curtain is drawn back on scene one, we see the Association threatening an elementary school in South Carolina. The Association will bring a lawsuit if the school follows through on its tradition of collecting Christmas toys (oops, Holiday toys) for an international Christian organization that will distribute them to children who might not get any gifts.
In scene two, the school capitulates. It doesn’t have the money to fight a lawsuit filed by a national organization that apparently has plenty of money. Maybe that’s because its supporters don’t spend much money buying Holiday toys for needy kids.
As I hang around at intermission, waiting for the final scene, I realize that the Association is concerned that needy children may contemplate the possibility that their toys have come from a Christian group that believes in God. I surmise that the Association believes it better for these children not to have the toy than to contemplate the possibility of God’s existence. And worse, yet, the children might consider the possibility that God’s existence might motivate some people to do nice things for others.
But from what I can tell, the Association’s concern for the youngest and neediest humans among us did not include an offer to replace what its Grinch-likeness took away: a means for families in that school to provide gifts to less fortunate children. Indeed, it’s a very Grinch-like idea to be willing to provide money to lawyers for a lawsuit but not gifts to children for the “holidays.”
The Grinch’s problem was that his heart was two sizes too small. Probably most people with a heart would consider the Association’s actions pretty heartless. Humankind may not be so good without God after all, and my guess is that I’m not the only one in the audience feeling that way.
Thankfully, for those who understand the point behind the play so far, there is a scene three and a happy ending. No humanist can keep it from playing. It’s called the Christmas story scene. And for those who have a heart to understand, they will believe what the angels in the wings of the human theater are singing right now – there is great joy because the Savior of mankind has been born.
I just love the way the story ends.