The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 19, 2012

BICKER: Remember reason for the season

By Angie Bicker
Lifestyle Editor

CLINTON — As I grow older, I will never be able to understand why society is constantly trying to take God out of our daily lives.

For example, children are no longer permitted to say “one nation under God,” when they say the Pledge of Allegiance in school.

Our forefathers created this country with God in the forefront. Unfortunately, some prefer to put Him in the backseat or even the trunk.

Did we forget, somewhere along the way, why the puritans came here? They came to this new land to escape religious persecution. When did it suddenly become wrong to be a Christian?

Every year around this time, I become more and more aware of this troubling fact. Children no longer take Christmas break or perform in Christmas concerts at school.

These have turned into the more politically correct winter break and holiday concert. Children 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years ago survived with those references. So, what is the big deal now?

I also have discovered another disturbing fact that has occurred while I’ve been out doing my Christmas shopping. No one will wish you a Merry Christmas. Cashiers, for the most part, tell you to have a wonderful holiday.

I can’t tell you how sick and tired I’m getting of the word “holiday.” It’s Christmas for heaven’s sake. We are celebrating Christ’s birth. Why are we trying to take Christ out of Christmas? Has our society become that shallow? We give gifts because the wise men gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

I was recently talking to some friends of mine about how society wants to take Christ out of Christmas. And as our conversation unfolded I found out in a hurry that I’m not the only one appalled by this fact. My friend later sent me a poem, which echoed my sentiments. The poem was called the “First Christmas Card.”

Here are couple of excerpts from that poem:

“Twas the month before Christmas when all through the land, not a Christian was praying nor taking a stand. Why the PC police had taken away the reason for Christmas no one could say. The children were told by their schools not to sing about shepherds and wise men and angels and things. It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say, “Dec. 25 is just a ‘holiday.’”

“Inclusive, sensitive, diversity are words that were used to intimidate me. To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter. And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith forbidden to speak of salvation and grace. The true gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded. The reason for the season, stopped before it started. So as you celebrate winter break under your dream tree, sipping your coffee, listen to me. Choose your words carefully, choose what you say. Shout Merry Christmas, not happy holiday.”

A 4-year old girl, who I know quite well, was recently asked a question during a worship service this past Sunday. The pastor asked her why we celebrate Christmas. And Abby answered without hesitation, “Because it’s Jesus’ birthday.” Now, if a 4-year-old can tell you the true meaning of Christmas, without any hesitation, why are some adults so scared to admit the truth?

With all of the horror engulfing our world today, we should be embracing what Christmas really means. Our nation was hurled into feelings of horror and disbelief on Friday when Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Twenty innocent little children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults were violently killed that day. And unfortunately, we may never know why.

Grizzly crimes like this are becoming more and more commonplace. Our society and our world needs to change. I can’t help but worry what kind of a world my little friend Abby is going to grow up in.

As this world continues to revolve on its axis, we need God more than ever. Stand up for what you believe in. Embrace the true meaning of the season and put Christ back in Christmas.

Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at angiebicker@clintonherald.com.