Mikey Weinstein from the Military religious freedom foundation joined us to talk about the removal of the nativity scene at Shaw Air Force Base.
3:05 Do we have a war on Christmas? http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/09/air-force-removes-nativity-scene/
3:35 New teacher evaluation plan?
4:05 White house announces 100 million for mental health.
4:35 Mandela brings Cuba and the US together even in death… http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-shakes-ra-l-castros-hand_770687.html
5:05 Do we have a war on Christmas? http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/09/air-force-removes-nativity-scene/
5:35 Zimmerman charges may be going away.
Fox News reports that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation contacted the Pentagon to inform that Shaw Air Force Base was in violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11. I didn't know that one off the top of my head so I looked it up. Just in case you needed a refresher it states; Government Neutrality Regarding Religion. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.
It appears that this clause is the basis of the entire Military Religous Freedom Foundation. It's obvious from their work, that their sole purpose isn't to defend military members from displays of religion, but rather just Christian displays. One would simply need to read yesterdays post on their site entitled "Too Little, Too Late" to see that if the Menorah at Travis AFB in CA had been to the scale of the Christmas tree and displayed over Thanksgiving, while Hanukkah was actually happening, they wouldn't of filed their complaint.
Bill O'Reilly and Jonathon Rush look at these stories and declare that a "war on Christmas" is obvious. I argue it's a war on culturalism. America has created a culture which declares it's own holy trinity of Santa, baby Jesus, and decorations. None of this really has anything to do with Christianity or even Christmas. Christmas is when Christians celebrate the birth of what the believe to be their savior. The date of Dec 25th has nothing to do with it, and most historians attribute that date to the pagan holiday celebrating the Winter solstice. Many Christians in other parts of the world celebrate Christmas on January 6th,7th, or 19th. Again the date isn't important. It's a time to celebrate that Jesus chose to leave heaven, come to earth as a poor person, lived a perfect life that no human is capable of living and then sacrificed his perfection in exchange for the punishment we all deserve, so that we can be seen by God the father as perfect according to the scriptures. That's Christmas.
Giving presents, Santa Claus, Christmas lights, all of that is part of the pagan traditions. American's incorporated them into our culture. So when someone complains that a Christmas tree is forcing Christianity upon them I have to laugh. It isn't forcing Christianity into the public square any more than Islam is being forced when the traditional Ramadan lights are displayed in Muslim countries during their holiday season.
But certainly a nativity scene with the baby Jesus is central to the Christian faith and removing that is an attack on Christianity!?! No. The first nativity scene wasn't displayed till Saint Francis of Assisi created one...over 1200 years after Christians started celebrating Christmas. There have been more Christmases without a nativity scene than with one.
Finally, I'd have to admit that I love the traditional Christmas scene. I wish my life was like a Norman Rockwell painting.
But Jesus warns all of us against the traditions that men create to celebrate God.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men.
If you are one of the people who has the mantra of "let's keep Christ in Christmas" remember what Christmas means to a Christian. This other stuff is fun for everyone. Plenty of Jews, and Muslims, and Atheists have Christmas decorations at their house, because it's fun. We should all enjoy it. But you aren't worshiping Jesus by giving a toy to your kid or hanging lights on your house. You are participating in an American tradition. Worshiping Jesus would be reading scripture with your child or telling your neighbors about the gospel.
Mick Mulvaney joined us on the show today.Check out the interview below.
3:05 Should we extend unemployment benefits? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-presses-republicans-to-extend-unemployment-insurance/
3:35 Chicken coops or not to have chicken coops...that is the question.
4:05 Obamacare is a mess...more from the health care industry
4:35 Rand Paula and the 4th amendment debate http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/8/sen-rand-paul-supreme-court-needs-re-examine-fourt/
5:05 Should we extend unemployment benefits?http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-presses-republicans-to-extend-unemployment-insurance/
5:35 Congressman Mick Mulvaney will stop in to pay us a visit.