No Christians, There is No War on Christmas

A hammer destroying a Christmas decoration.

Every year at this time Christians in America go to battle. They speak of a great war: the one they claim is being waged on Christmas; the one in which they are being surrounded by an encroaching Godless horde, bent on destroying all they hold dear. 

With fear and with great trembling they take to social media and to their pulpits and to the airwaves. They point to holiday coffee cups and department store signs and community parades as evidence that their holy treasures are under attack; that the very religious freedom hangs in the balance. 

And every single year, these folks remind us all what privilege and intolerance look like, and they confirm to so much of the watching world that Christians are both the biggest bullies and the biggest babies on the planet. Despite the fact that Christmas is the behemoth of all holidays in America, and despite the fact that it is still ubiquitous in this country this time of year and that all other faith traditions are greatly overshadowed by its presence—these followers of Jesus still managed to feel oppressed. 

Their brains are so conditioned to see themselves as victims that they instantly bristle at the words “Happy Holidays”, as if this is somehow a brazen enemy salvo and confirmation that they must instantly return fire or be overcome.

The idea that a store clerk’s parting greeting is a sign of some massive Left-wing conspiracy to insult Jesus and to trample upon their religious traditions is ludicrous and it shows the level of self-delusion afflicting so many professed Christians. It also reveals how paper-thin their spirituality actually is, that it requires some phony persecution to bolster it once a year.

What’s worse is when opportunistic politicians, celebrity preachers, and partisan news channels lead the choir of the persecuted, inciting their parishioners, constituents, and followers to go to war with them, lest God be defamed and their children’s future Christmases be erased. 

And so instead of carrying good tidings of great joy for humanity, they march into this season with self-righteous chips on their shoulders, making it their mission to shove Christmas down the throats of those who dare not acknowledge it properly. Leave it to Christians to take one of the most sacred days of the year and turn it into a weapon. And this is the great irony at work here, that though there is no war on Christmas, these Christians are fighting one using Christmas. They are the very bullies they are protesting.

America is not a theocracy. We are a pluralistic nation marked by our diversity. That is where our richness and our beauty is, at this time of year as much as any. Our religion isn’t threatened by sharing space with another’s. If it feels that way to you, maybe you’re not all that secure in your beliefs or you’ve lost the plot of the life of Jesus.

As a Christian, the notion that the world needs to yield to my faith convictions is ridiculous anyway. Those convictions are not contingent upon someone else holding them, and my ability to treat people with simple dignity and respect is not dependent on a profession of faith that matches my own.

The point of spirituality at all is to perpetuate the character of God to others. It is to be a source of peace, compassion and goodness in the world—not to wield religion like a defiant middle finger just to prove how much it supposedly means to us. 

I’m a Christian. When someone says “Happy Holidays” to me I simply smile and reply, “To you as well.”

I don’t lecture them or insist they acknowledge Christmas in a way that makes me comfortable and them uncomfortable. I don’t use the moment to feign persecution or to get in a little jab in the name of Jesus.

Because I’m a Christian—and not a jerk.

No Christians there is no war on Christmas, so stop fighting one using it.

Happy Holidays.

141 thoughts on “No Christians, There is No War on Christmas

  1. Dear John:

    Thank you for this.

    In the absence of any Biblical or theologically credible narrative/agenda, alternatives [can we say, ‘false images’] are raised for our affirmation and adulation.

    Thus do we participate in our own degradation even as we proclaim an alien and non-redemptive narrative to the world around us.

    How silly …

  2. John, if only a certain tribe of Christians waged their phony war once a year, only against the way everybody else celebrates Christmas! I would argue that Christmas isn’t the holiest day in the Christian calendar–Easter is. But this tribe wars against the way other people celebrate that, too–no bunnies! no eggs! (while happily munching chocolate crosses–is that weird?). And don’t get them started on Halloween! These folks have a war against the way everybody but them celebrates pretty much every American holiday except the Fourth of July–while blaming the “war” on everybody else, so they can feel the thrill of persecution, since they don’t get that much in real life. They are full of loud, smug certainty that they’re the only ones doing it right.

    • AMEN and AMEN.

      The so-called “War on Christmas” is a public relations creation of Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the so-called Religious Right. It is part of a phenomenon called the “Great Fundie Paradox.” On the one hand, fundies claim to be a major force in American life while they simultaneously claim with the other hand that they are a persecuted minority. Depending on what kind of lying and deceitful mood they are in on a given day or subject, they will play either one card or the other.

      The astronauts in space have electrodes attached to their bodies so mission control in Houston can have constant, real-time monitoring of their heart rates, blood pressure, etc. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have imaginary electrodes attached to their bodies at Christmas time as a real-time monitor of HOW SERIOUSLY people take them, their religious beliefs, and their influence on American society and culture—which they believe they once controlled and dominated—lost at some point—and desperately want to get back again.

      Every monitoring system has threshold limits where an alarm sounds. One of their alarm thresholds is “Happy Holidays.” If anyone uses that term in greetings at Christmas time, the alarm goes off and these morons start wailing about how their influence is ebbing, how they are feeling just so persecuted, and blah, blah, blah.

      As a Christian and a member of The United Methodist Church, I have just one thing to say to all you fundies out there.

      “Quite frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn what you fundies think about Christmas; your trumped up false narrative about persecution; your persistent lies on so many subjects; and your waning influence on American society and culture. Neither does anyone else outside of your own ranks—and all your Christmas complaining about your manufactured War on Christmas does is to drive more American citizens as far away from Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism as they can possibly get—not because they hate Jesus or Christmas—but because they so strongly dislike you, individually and personally, and how poorly they think you represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ before the rest of the world.”

      Here is a Christmas card from the rest of Christianity to all you fundies—and “Happy Holidays” to each miserable one of you:

      • Thanks for your insights Charles. I saw this start to happen at my daughters school in the 90s when teachers wanted to open up the Christmas pageant to have a multifaith celebration for the holidays. The only ones who complained and boycotted the event were those who celebrated Christmas. I dont know if they were all fundamentalists Christians or not. but what a fuss they made. In the end the concert was fun and all the kids had a wonderful time.

      • Take a look around you – who is complaining about the “War on Christmas”? It is fundamentalists and personalities on Fox “News”. As a Christian, I am sick and tired of that being the image of Christians – whiny crybabies who stage protests because someone wished them “Happy Holidays”. Oh yes, you’re sooooo persecuted. You can’t turn on the TV or walk through a store without being reminded of the holiday you claim there is a war on. Jesus must be so proud.

    • Easter isn’t the holiest day of the year. We were saved by the blood, not the resurrection. In fact, that day was made holy and to be celebrated, but we set it aside for a man-made tradition after our own heart. We want the reward, not the work.

  3. Someone wanted to set up speakers at work so we could have Christmas songs playing all day long. I said, ” What about others who work here that don’t celebrate Christmas?” (while inwardly I was thinking… that would be irritating… and I already have to endure it at the malls and shops non-stop) There was no response to my question. I was ignored, even though I said asked again, and then said, “Wouldn’t it be rude to do that if people don’t celebrate Christmas?” (while again thinking it would irritate the heck out of me)

    No response and no more conversations with him anymore.

  4. Thank you! My thoughts exactly. I have never understood where this came from, never thought Christmas was under attack. If anything it has just been over commercialized over the years, but that is nothing new. Remember the song, Happy Holidays sung by Perry Como? Every time I hear this argument that sung sticks in my head. And I have to laugh! And thank you by the way for your voice of common sense. Much appreciated! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you!

  5. Actually, there is a war going on. That is the war John P. is waging against followers of Christ who don’t follow him in lock-step with the secular left, those who have not sold their souls to the Democratic party. He hates all such people and his posts never fail to make this clear. I am most troubled by his statement, “Because I’m a Christian–and not a jerk.” It’s hard for me to believe this based on his posts. Hatred, intolerance, falsehood, fearmongering. Is this what it means to be a Christian?

    • Brian. You said:

      ” Hatred, intolerance, falsehood, fearmongering. Is this what it means to be a Christian?”

      Just remember Brian. Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism, since their inception in the early 20th century, have been all about militance, hatred, intolerance, falsehood, and fear mongering. The history on this is clear and undeniable for anyone with half a brain and the ability to use a library.

      Brian the Pot” calls the kettle black. And yes, I am hard on you fundie guys because you deserve it. My post above sounds hateful I know, but I am simply a mirror reflecting back to you fundies all the hatred that you have expressed to the rest of the people on planet Earth and the rest of the Christians on planet earth for the past 100 years. How does it feel to see a reflection of how you really are and how other people RIGHTLY perceive you?

      • You call me a fundie. You know nothing about me. Can you not see that John P and people of his ilk are every bit as much fundies as those he/you routinely castigate? Do you not see your own militance, hatred, intolerance , falsehood, and fearmongering? Everyone else can see it. You are no different than the people you hate…if such people actually do exist somewhere. You simply project the worst of yourself on to others and think it is them. Apparently you need someone to hate so you create a caricature and false narratives to support it. The fundamentalism on the left is just as ugly as that on the right. But John P leads me to believe it is even more so.

        • Brian, there is a meaning of the word fundamentalism that speaks to what you are saying. It is when a religious group believe only they have the answers because of their rigid or fanatical belief system— then there is an understanding that religious fundamentalism in christianity was a movement in the USA which is marked by a literal interpretation of the Bible, intolerance towards other beliefs, a drive to protect the nuclear family, a disbelief in evolution and wariness of science or medicine. From what I understand, Charles is speaking not about fundamentalism in general, but the christian fundamentalist movement.

          • Bingo!!! The Christian Fundamentalist Movement began in the Great Lakes Region of the United States and in the northeastern United States in the early 20th century. It was officially founded as a “militant” movement by dissatisfied rebels within the major American denominations, particularly Presbyterianism, who were allowing German theological “higher criticism” of scripture to enter their teachings. The rebels got so upset that they split away from the mainline Christian denominations in extreme anger and started their own churches. “Militancy” is the key word to understanding Christian fundamentalism and how it operates today. The “ism” has a personality that is a cross between Khan in Star Trek II and Mr. Rogers—if you can imagine such a things—and being a part of the “ism” does awful things to the people who are part of it—and in turn here in the United States—fundies turn their militancy onto people external to their “ism” and do evil to others in the name of Jesus.

            • Charles, sounds spot on. You said,

              “The “ism” has a personality that is a cross between Khan in Star Trek II and Mr. Rogers”

              I think that image is spot on. I never understood how a person can say I am not a violent person then turn around and say if you don’t believe in Jesus you are going to suffer in hell for all eternity and be okay with that.

              To me those things are not compatible. But then again this is why we have the warning from Jesus about those in sheep’s clothing who are ravenous wolves inside.

    • “Actually, there is a war going on. That is the war John P. is waging against followers of Christ who don’t follow him in lock-step…”

      OH MY SIDES! This is rich irony coming from the camp of Christ’s followers who insist that everyone must believe exactly as they do every second of every minute of every hour of every day, and who, despite the wide range of religious expression in this country, spend their every waking moment exuding toxic negativity about those they cannot control.

      Oh my stars. Thanks for the laugh, though! That was totally fun.

    • I’m sorry, but if John’s posts about loving others and graciously sharing space with those who aren’t exactly like you are bothering you, maybe you should take a deep look at why it troubles you so.

      • Bingo, ChrisKid!

        Brian, you are sorely missing the point. Christ is Love. Christ commanded us to love one another, and not to judge. John P. advocates for acceptance and tolerance of those who are routinely condemned by the Christian Right.

  6. Not living in the United States, I don’t see a lot of this “war” happening around me, but I sure do see it on Facebook. I have lost track of how many threatening memes I have seen demanding that I reply “Merry Christmas” to prove what a righteous Christian I am, as well as all the irrational memes promising death and destruction to anyone who should dare to say “Happy Holidays”.

    The last is particularly curious since the word “holiday” has its root in the old English “haligdæg” meaning holy day. When Christians are offended by “Happy Holidays”, what they are actually doing, without realising it, is declaring that Christmas is NOT a holy day.

    • Patricia. I am not at all surprised. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are well known to major in the field of simple ignorance—but what else would you expect from people who insist—in great error—on a simple Bible with a simple gospel for simple people who have simple minds. That’s all you British Commonwealth folks really need to know about Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism in the United States. Its all about ignorance and simplicity.

  7. Jesus said:

    “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

    The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals seek to return the United States and the American people back to the cultural and social ways of the 1950s—a troubled time when life was anything but “abundant” for many people—a time of racism—a time dominated by the fear of nuclear weapons—a time of hiding from daily reality by wearing a mask of falsehood. I lived in that time, and I can tell you it was not anything particularly as unusual or great as many fundies seem to think it was.

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the fundie religion of the 1950s had ever met the “more abundant life” ministry of John Pavlovitz (and the ministries of the modern mainline churches) on “American Bandstand.” This is how it would have looked—watch closely:

  8. The man who claims not to be a jerk will block you on twitter for disgreeing with him. Several commenters have confirmed this.

    Try this: sign up for a twitter account, tweet Mr. Pavlovitz disagreeing with one of his poignant blog posts (because you know, they all just have so much meaning!), and watch how the man reacts.

    Go ahead, try it.

    • So? The fundies who claim not to be jerks block almost everything negative to their position that other people post on their blogs, FB pages, and Twitter accounts. If people like you do it unto people like John Pavlovitz, do not be surprised when John Pavlovitz does it unto you. The fundie side did it first and most comprehensively to nearly everyone. Of course, fundies do not like dialogue for the same reason they maintain their “Doctrine of Separation.” Deep down inside, in that little room they never visit, they know their positions on various matters are pure bullshit.

      • “The fundie side did it first” – This amounts to “but they did it first!”-child-reasoning; John Pavlovitz will respond in a very immature manner to criticism, which is why I’m asking people to try and see for themselves.

        “….fundies do not like dialogue” – Strawman and internal projection here. Have you exhaustively spoken with every single “fundie” out there? How could you possibly know this is true of every single “fundie”? You’ve already built up in your mind what they’re like and apparently already know what they’re thinking inside. How? I don’t know. Blanket statements like these don’t help anything and John Pavlovitz’s disciples seem to make them a lot.

            • Ohhhhh. I know what that means.

              Wow, that’s a really harsh thing to say and isn’t really reflective of being a source of peace, compassion, and goodness like John Pavlovitz wrote.

              I mean, it’s like you’re ready to have enemies.

          • So I’ve briefly perused your blog and would be willing to have a conversation with you at the email address I posted in response to another of your comments.

            Are you willing to email me? Or were you just looking for enemies this whole time? I’m open man, the email is real.

            • No. I have no desire to sit down, talk with you in private, and have you move your “crumby little fingers” across my psyche so you can “tease out” who or what it was that hurt me so much with fundie Christianity, show me how my hurt is misplaced, and by so doing open up my eyes to the real Jesus and one true path that can be experienced only at a fundie church—or some other such place. It is the oldest tactic in the fundie playbook, I am not susceptible to it, and I was not raised in a fundie church where I was hurt by fundies. Now leave me alone.

    • I haven’t seen him block anyone who attempts to engage him in a respectful conversations and/or debate points on which they might disagree.

      Hitting one note over and over again isn’t a cohesive argument, nor is parroting whatever rot’s being repeated ad nauseum on Twitter.

      • You haven’t seen it, and that’s why I want you to TRY it.

        I tweeted him once, and admittedly, it was smart-alecky. So you could be right there. But what surprised me was the two-fold nature of his response, which was firstly, the blocking. Secondly, I only saw what he wrote in response to me (after he had blocked me) because I receive notifications via email. Literally, he wrote “Yeah you and all 9 of your followers”.

        So I don’t have a lot of followers (which doesn’t matter because I used twitter as a newsfeed mostly), but is that the type of response you would expect from a pastor??? Is this a popularity game? Is that something a mature person would say?

        • Yes—to any fundie—it is the treatment you deserve. Trolls like you go to John’s social media sites just like the Scribes and Pharisees did with Jesus—for no other reason than to find faults that can be used to accuse John of not being a real Christian and to undermine his ministry. You claim Christ—but you do the work of Satan.

          • I never accused him of not being a “real” Christian, but what’s worrisome here is you know what I deserve and labeled me a “fundie” without knowing a thing about me. Yet YOU do the “fundie” thing and accuse me of doing the work of Satan. That’s pretty extreme man, especially after only knowing someone from about 3 paragraphs of text.

        • Have you considered that it’s not that he blocks everybody who says anything he doesn’t agree with, but maybe just that he blocked you, for being a general troublemaker?

    • Nice satire. Like most satire, it is closer to the truth than one might think. Did you fundies hear that? Yeah, you look stupid when you complain about “Happy Holidays.” Satirists make book with it.

      Oh yeah. I know. I hear your prayer:

      Dear Lord. Thank you so much for this awful persecution we are undergoing, like we do every Christmas. We know that our persecutions are just as great and just as painful as those of blood suffered in the Roman arenas, and we know that our reward for acting like A-holes on the American stage in Your Name is great in Heaven for so persecuted they the prophets who came before us in “Mad Magazine.” Please open the eyes, hearts, and minds of our persecutors so they may see our righteousness, that “we fundie few” are the ONLY REAL and TRUE Christians anywhere on Planet Earth today—and force them to believe in you exactly the way we would do if we only had enough guns. Take that Episcopal Priest over there or that United Methodist preacher over here. We thank you Lord that we are not anything like those men (Luke 18:11). Amen.”

      My wish this Christmas is that Jesus would help you fundies to see yourselves the way you really are.

          • Yes, there were Christians who paid in blood for their faith. But what “progressive Christian” would do the same? Dare I say none. Although some might pay in blood for their “progressive” political views confusing those with their faith. But I dare say that those who don’t know the difference between Messiah Jesus and Messiah Whoever Democrat/Republican will in no way pay in blood for their confession. The most fundamental of all Christian beliefs, the earliest of confessions, is “Jesus is Lord”. Some fundamentalists may be confused about what that means. “Progressives” simply don’t believe it.

            You whining liberals think you are martyrs because your candidate, the most deplorable candidate in the history of United States elections, lost an election. Why is it that you cannot see that your idol cannot talk, it cannot walk, it cannot save. You have fashioned it with your own hands, in your own image.

            • Your post indicates that you know virtually nothing about progressive Christians and progressive Christianity. However, I am not surprised because rank ignorance is one of the chief virtues of Christian fundamentalism.

              Have a nice day.

  9. Actually, when a groups right to speech is restricted and we are told that saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is offensive to some people, it’s the opposite of what you are saying. It’s the godless who are being whiney and babies about the seasonal greetings.

    • Not that people are offended by merry christmas but it is an assumption. Being aware of whether or not someone celebrates christmas before you wish them a merry christmas would indicate that you respect them. If someone said happy hanukkah to you, would you say something or not ?

    • No Michael. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals believe that “Merry Christmas” is a past “national norm” that they and their belief system established for every American man, woman, and child—regardless of the heritage, ethnicity, and personal belief systems various American citizens hold. When someone says “Happy Holidays,” the fundies see it the same way as a policeman who sees a person running a traffic light. When a fundie confronts a person who has just said “Happy Holidays,” they are functioning in exactly the same way as the Iranian Moral Police and the Taliban Moral Police. You have violated THEIR standard, and they are going to make you pay for it. The only problem for them here in the United States is that the fundies have no civil authority to set such a standard for everyone—no more so than an Islamic mullah has the authority to accost you on the street for failing to face Mecca on your prayer rug (which you do not own) at a given time of day.

      Here is the real deal folks. Christian fundamentalists believe that they, and they alone, are the only real Christians anywhere on Planet Earth. God has put his exclusive stamp of personal approval on them and them alone. Therefore, if the fundies demand all Americans do something, all Americans are obligated to do that thing to please both them and God. You are authorized to say “Merry Christmas” and “Merry Christmas” ONLY. If you say “Happy Holidays,” they are going to behave like Gomer Pyle and arrest you:

    • Nobody has told you that you can’t say, “Merry Christmas”. What has been said, consistently, is that it’s not an attack on you when others say something else. No, it’s not a war on your beliefs when someone wishes you a happy holiday. It’s not an attempt to stop you from expressing your beliefs, either. It simply says you’re not the only person in the room and other people have a right to be included in the good wishes and the joy.
      You’re confusing a request that you not be deliberately offensive with other people being offended. You’re confusing expressing your joy in the holiday with trying to beat others over the head with your feelings.

  10. Every year about Thanksgiving I start seeing posts on FB about how “I’m not going to let anyone stop me from saying “Merry Christmas”. The strange thing is, I’ve never, ever had anyone attempt to stop me from saying Merry Christmas, but through the years, as my grandchildren’s schools have become more multi-cultural in population, I’ve come to realize how many Holy Days occur around the same time as Christmas, and how lopsided it would be to only recognize one of them in our huge multi cultural society. It’s not 1950 any more folks. Get over it! We all live together in this big wonderful country, and we can live in harmony if we just try a little! As I leave church, of course I clamor Merry Christmas, but in other settings where I’m less certain of the person’s faith persuasion, I often say Happy Holidays, because all Holy Days are a symbol of faith, and we should celebrate faith of all kinds!

  11. I am signing off for a while folks. Today is my birthday, and I am going out and about in my town to have some fun. Unlike most American small towns, the population of my town is VERY multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, international, etc. Because I am a Christian, I am in the habit of saying “Merry Christmas.” I have one friend here in town who is Jewish. I wish him “Happy Hanukkah” this time of year because that is his holiday. While I am out, I will wish assorted fundies “Happy Holidays,” just to see what will happen. Nothing I expect.

    • Good for you. It’s gotta be good getting out of your parents basement.
      Congratulations on your conversion Charles…or is it John P?
      Oh, and happy birthday as well. You must be about…11, I’m guessing.

    • Now look who has descended to the school yard. Do you two have anything intelligent or meaningful to say to the many people who come to the John Pavlovitz blog. If you do, I bet they would like to hear it—and this is your chance—right here—right now.

      John Ruiz. You go first. Your primary stated concern is that John Pavlovitz deletes your posts from his Twitter site. I think people would like to know two things:

      1) What is your primary purpose in going to the John Pavlovitz Twitter site and this blog and what do you plan to do there if John does not delete your posts?

      2) What concerns you most about having your posts deleted?

      3) What is your church affiliation, what do you think about the Christmas time mission of Jesus to the Earth 2000 years ago, and how does that have to do with John Pavlovitz and how does that feed into “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas.”?

      Brian. After Mr. Ruiz answers, it is your turn to answer these questions:

      1) What brought you personally to this blog owned by John Pavlovitz and what was your main purpose in coming here?

      2) What is your church affiliation, what do you think about the Christmas time mission of Jesus to the Earth 2000 years ago, and what does that have to do with John Pavlovitz and how does that feed into “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas.”?

      Thanks guys!!!

      • Charles, this was a good well thought out response. Excellent questions.

        In my opinion they are doing the adversary’s work by poking at people to make them yell.

      • You’ve misframed the first question and I think you were so hurried that you accidentally posited 3 questions instead of the 2 you said you would. I was not concerned about the deletions, I was concerned about the response which was the deletions and his immature response.

        1) My purpose is understanding other points of view and IF I visit his Twitter page again my plan is to read his tweets and articles posted.

        2) Again it wasn’t the sole action of having my tweets deleted (are you even familiar with Twitter?). It was the combined action of deletion AND the immature response that surprised me. Ultimately, there’s no concern.

        3) Catholic. What I think of the Christmas time mission of Jesus is that, while important, it was actually the death and Resurrection that was the mission. Christmas-time celebration actually has its roots in pagan worship; the early Church Fathers wanted to provide a way for converts (probably Roman converts) to transition to Christian practices and one of the ways of doing that was by co-opting one of their traditions, that being the Roman midwinter celebrations.

        What am I getting at here? If John Pavlovitz really wanted to write a scathing piece against “fundies” who are offended by this purported war on Christmas he could’ve taken the opportunity to wish them “Io Saturnalia” and really taken them to task, right? Instead he gives HIMSELF credit for not being a jerk.

        Now that I’ve responded, Brian may proceed, as you have so graciously allowed him to do so.

        • how about these two or three questions?

          why do you poke at people?

          why do you then complain about their reaction when you poke them?

          and why do you think this is a justifiable way to behave?

          • First, you’re reframing my actions as “poking” and while that maybe true to a very limited degree, people are allowed to discern and test the authenticity of people, right? Especially people who are as listened to as Mr. Pavlovitz. He deserves scrutiny not necessarily for his sake but for those who follow him and look to him for genuine teaching. I think it’s very possible he may be leading people with doctrine based on a dangerous mix of pop-pscyhe and Scripture and it may be hard for people to differentiate between the two.

            Two, my “complaint” is, yes, his response, like I’ve said. No pastor should respond the way he did and while I may be wrong about my methods his response was still…his response. It was very immature and I was surprised to learn he had a ministry.

            You’ve based your premise on an assumption that I’ve acted in a way that needs to be justified. I only tweeted him ONCE (with his surprising response, as I will again mention) and I think you can see that although my responses are tinged with emotion, I’m still quite a reasonable person. So there’s literally nothing to justify.

            • My mom told my brother that poking me was wrong and to treat me with respect. She never let him get away with that. You don’t have to do that to test someone’s authenticity. You could watch how they treat a LGBT person or a homeless person or someone who is disabled. That would give you all the insight you would need.

              I don’t know what the response was but it’s between you and the person. If he felt it was worth blocking you I won’t be stepping in to take sides, work it out amongst yourselves. (Maybe an apology from you is in order first). Another lesson my mom taught me.

              You said, “while I may be wrong about my methods…” and then said , “his response was still…his response. It was very immature ” and then you said, ” I’m still quite a reasonable person. So there’s literally nothing to justify.” Okay I am trying to follow you, You say you are wrong, you justify your wrongdoing by blaming John Pavlovitz then you deny you need justification even though you justified yourself by saying you are a reasonable person.

              You don’t even realize how that sounds to others do you?

              • No, you don’t understand at all. I was wrong about my methods, I shouldn’t have tweeted him in the first place. That stands on its own and I related nothing to it. Mr. Pavlovitz RESPONSE to my admittedly wrong action stands on its own as well. Second, what did I blame Mr. Pavlovitz for? Nothing. I simply stated I was surprised by his immature response. Third, I think you’re trying to construe my whole argument as non sequitir and incoherent but in the end you try and embarrass me by telling me i don’t even realize myself how ridiculous I look.

                That’s very personal, Anonymous.

                    • You don’t have to continue to justify yourself to me, you are under grace. Let love stretch you beyond the limits of your pettiness.

                  • Such a poignant response! I will certainly do that. As long as you also let love prevent you from personally attacking strangers.

                    Listen, my whole point being here and trying (wrongly) to get people to tweet Mr. Pavlovitz and see his response is to really examine this guy and what he’s saying. He doesn’t respond well to criticism and according to other Christian pundits who have legitimately questioned his teachings/writings and have also been immaturely responded to, it really does validate this point.

                    Because of Mr. Pavlovitz’ influence he should be under serious scrutiny, especially for someone who happens to be in the public sphere for unclear reasons.

                    • Don’t let anything I say feel like an attack.

                      I say these things to myself all the time. 😉

                      What are your concerns about John Pavlovitz? Be straight forward. I will listen.

  12. Thank you, no harm done. My concern is that what he’s saying isn’t being vetted enough by people who follow him and that could be a danger, in particularly in terms of understanding of Scripture, to them. I’ve read some of Mr. Pavlovitz’ posts and then I read these two posts:

    http://pastorgabehughes.blogspot.com/2014/12/christian-stop-sharing-john-pavlovitzs.html

    http://pastorgabehughes.blogspot.com/2016/01/more-on-continued-false-teachings-of.html

    They are pretty good counter arguments to his writings and I do suggest them you closely read them and scrutinize them as you would with anyone else.

    I definitely would like to continue this conversation, if you would, and this comments section really isn’t formatted to do so. My email really is jmruiz@gmail.com and you may contact me there if you’d like.

  13. Anonymous, I’m trying to respond and my original response is awaiting moderation, I’m not sure if it showing up yet.

    But thank you, no harm done, and I believe I can layout my concerns concisely.

    If you do not see my response here if it is not approved, please email me at jmruiz@gmail.com. It really is my email address.

  14. Anonymous this was my comment that is awaiting moderation (modified slightly so it will post immediately, hopefully):

    Thank you, no harm done. My concern is that what he’s saying isn’t being vetted enough by people who follow him and that could be a danger, in particularly in terms of understanding of Scripture, to them. I’ve read some of Mr. Pavlovitz’ posts and then I read these two posts:

    pastorgabehughes.blogspot[[[.]]]com/2014/12/christian-stop-sharing-john-pavlovitzs.html

    pastorgabehughes.blogspot[[[.]]]com/2016/01/more-on-continued-false-teachings-of.html

    They are pretty good counter arguments to his writings and I do suggest them you closely read them and scrutinize them as you would with anyone else.

    I definitely would like to continue this conversation, if you would, and this comments section really isn’t formatted to do so. My email really is jmruiz@gmail.com and you may contact me there if you’d like.

    • Ruiz, thanks for that. I have read Gabe’s blog post before. I think it is as Charles said— there are different denominations. I imagine you would criticize other denominations that share John Pavlovitz’s point of view, right? Pavlovitz is not the only one saying the things you and Gabe Hughes oppose. But, he is saying them in a way that is easy to grasp—and a way that is irritating to some and sometimes an affront to fashionable religious tradition .

      I have faith God is God over all the called out ones in the various congregations around the world, no matter how perfectly they follow Jesus or how well they read the Bible. The Book of Revelation talks about that. It describes what the Sprits is saying to the churches— everywhere. The Spirit is speaking to us both encouragement and correction. We need to take the time to reflect and listen especially, now, when there is so much information being churned out on a daily basis over social media. I would be more concerned about our inability to rest than what someone might be blogging about.

      One question though, specifically, what is the danger all about? You said, “My concern is that what he’s saying isn’t being vetted enough by people who follow him and that could be a danger, in particularly in terms of understanding of Scripture.”

      When Jesus says believe in me did he say believe in the scripture? Many times the Bible tells us Jesus said “you have heard it said” or “you have read in the scripture” and then he has turned around and said “but I say this…” For example, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Jesus was critiquing the Bible and speaking heresy— according to the religious leaders of his day.

      I won’t be responding to any private emails. I made a promise to stop doing that. Thanks for the hand of welcome though and I am open to discussion in this forum, as much as time permits.

      • Jesus is literally the WORD. He is literally fulfillment of Scripture. If we believe Scripture we believe Jesus and fully vice versa. Jesus was NOT a heretic, it is US who were/are the heretics, who twisted HIS word and the Law to serve our purposes.

        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

        It is LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to speak heresy, only Truth, because he was/is/always will be the TRUTH.

        What Jesus said was only considered “heresy” by the Pharisees because what Jesus said did not align with their selfish ambitions. He was criticizing them and their interpretation, a concept which you seem to grasp.

        When John Pavlovitz says “Jesus was a heretic”, this SOUNDS really good, as if the shock factor will legitimize it. But that’s the business of Mr. Pavlovitz, and again, that’s part of the point I’m trying to make. We, as Christians, can go back to Scripture, to vet everything; it’s the lens with which we view everything. Mr. Pavlovitz’ lens are undoubtedly progressive (and they seem to be his primary lens), not to say that some of what Jesus’ did/said couldn’t be considered such, but ultimately, Christianity is transcendent. Neither progressive nor conservative. We hold fast to Scripture, not to a blog, and certainly not to a flawed human being such as Mr. Pavlovitz (or you or me).

        I’ve read through some of Mr. Pavlovitz’ writings, and, no, they don’t elevate Jesus. His blog is an almost daily vendetta against people that don’t hold his worldview. He hasn’t changed lives except for those people who now feel that fundies are out to get them. This isn’t peacemaking. He’s tearing down those who question HIS version of the Kingdom, which certainly won’t include me.

        I don’t think anyone here knows how Mr. Pavlovitz reached this level of prominence, or notoriety, if you will. Again my concern, who’s vetting this guy? The first thing I noticed about his blog was that his face is just, in your face. At least with Charles’ blog, it has a title “Flee from Christian Fundamentalism”, so I have a good idea as to what it’s about and what topics I can expect. With Mr. Pavlovitz the name of his blog is HIS name, with HIS likeness, with a vague attempting-to-be-profound-yet-simple-at-the-same-time catchphrase “Stuff that needs to be said”.

        I think he’s skilled at conflating flair with real, substantive dissertation and people lap it up because our attention spans are 15 seconds and we like “stuff” that sounds good and makes us feel fuzzy inside. Don’t get me wrong, I like feeling warm and fuzzy inside but not if i get led by a blind person into a pit.

        Ultimately, I believe he’s pernicious. And I’m just saying, be careful with guys like this.

  15. Thanks You Mr. Ruiz.

    I would kindly suggest that you consider something important here with regard to John Pavlovitz, what he believes, and what/how he ministers. Christianity all over the world is divided into about 62,000 denominations. In addition, there are also many totally independent churches (probably millions of them) completely apart from these denominations. All of them have “The Holy Bible,” and the differences between all of them, for the most part, are a result of each one having various different understandings and emphases regarding the meaning, proper reading, and understanding of holy scripture. Despite all of these differences, the differences are held by faithful people who are active in their churches—and sincerely seeking and following Jesus. John Pavlovitz and his independent church is just one among this vast throng of different Christian denominations and independent churches.

    Where does the trouble and conflict arise? An old saying in American culture that a lot of people love and most people dislike is:

    “It is going to be my way or the highway!!!”

    A few of these many denominations and independent churches take the official position that says:

    “The beliefs of my denomination or independent church represent the one, only, and true Christian faith. I have a list of 30 things my denomination believes, and if you do not believe each of these 30 things in the precise same way that our church believes them, then you cannot possibly be a Christian. Therefore, all of you (every last single one one of you) in the other 61, 999 denominations and 2,999,999 independent churches are enemies of God and all that is HOLY—and you are all definitely going to Hell. Your only chance for salvation and a truly correct relationship with God is to change your beliefs to exactly match those of my denomination or independent church.”

    In other words: “IT’S MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!!!”

    This variety of belief is not at all surprising when you consider the fact that no two people AGREE with each other on a whole raft of secular issues, political issues, religious issues. To be human IS to disagree—and billions of us demonstrate it each day by having an argument with a spouse, getting a divorce, quitting a job, etc. people are by nature imperfect and disagreeable—because each person brings a unique constellation of life experiences, learning hurts, personal set of rights and wrongs, etc. to social situations in life—-each of us is unique—and that makes differences occur between people and groups in every human society and culture.

    Pastor Gabe Hughes is a pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention, and he is the pastor of an extremely conservative church in arguably the most extremely red state in the United States. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was once a mainline Christian denomination like the United Methodists, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc. In 1979, when hostile corporate takeovers were becoming common in the business world, two low-lying Christian fundamentalist baptists by the names of Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson noticed that the organizational structure and governing documents of the SBC had exploitable flaws in them—you might think of them like the flaws in computer programs that hackers delight in finding and exploiting. Pressler and Patterson saw these flaws and social-engineered a formal strategy to exploit those flaws and convert the entire SBC into a Christian fundamentalist denomination. It worked, and it has been almost 100 percent achieved. One hallmark of this change is that many independent Christian fundamentalist churches who previously hated the SBC have decided to join it because they now see it as a wholly Christian fundamentalist church.

    Christian fundamentalists are the most famous of the “MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY” denominations and independent churches in the United States. Mr. Ruiz, you have indicated that you are Roman Catholic. I like the Roman Catholic Church. Christian fundamentalists like Gabe Hughes do not. Historically, pastors and members of Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches have hated Roman Catholicism with a perfect hatred and believe that the whole church is the work of Satan on Earth. The pastor at my old Southern Baptist Church that I attended in the 1980s told me, and I quote: “The Roman Catholic Church is a worldwide system of evil.”

    So sure. Pastor Gabe Hughes is not going to fully agree with John Pavlovitz and his list of Christian beliefs—and vice versa. The thing you also have to remember, though, is that Pastor Gabe Hughes would gladly write a similarly long treatise on why the Catholic beliefs of you (Mr. Ruiz) are mostly wrong and tell you that you are CERTAINLY going to Hell if you do not become a Christian fundamentalist type who believes everything the exact same way that he does.

    Now, when you consider that other Christian denominations and independent churches have other lines of Christian belief that are uniquely theirs—-and they too take the MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY position and attitude with members of other denominations and churches—-you are going to have one hell of a mess and a lot of fighting over how the Bible should be interpreted and whose theology is right and best.

    But there is another key problem here—and it is where everything breaks down and goes crazy. THIS IS KEY.

    A considerable number of the MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY denominations and independent churches are not content to just say:

    “Oh. I see that you believe this set of Christian things, and you believe another set of Christian things. Okay. Well, we will just be civil about this and agree to disagree. Let’s go down to the corner shop, have a cup of coffee, and talk about the crazy things our children did last week.”

    OH NO!!! Many Christian fundamentalists are not like that at all. They do not just disagree with your Bible interpretation or theology—and live and let live—they are instead going to go out on the streets and TAKE ACTION TO HURT THOSE PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS who disagree with them. This is the pure, distilled essence of “Biblical Judgement.” Biblical judgement is not about having an opinion or a criticism. If that were a sin, we would all be in Hell—and Jesus would be too for criticizing the Scribes and Pharisees. No. Biblical Judgement is having a difference of opinion or a criticism about something COMBINED WITH (+++++) a decision to impose punishment on those people who disagree with them.

    Let me give you a mild example–but there are more extreme ones. The Roman Catholic church made peace with Charles Darwin and evolution long ago. Catholic documents attest to that fact. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals hate Charles Darwin and the whole idea of biological evolution. They hate both of them with a perfect hatred. They know that the Roman Catholic Church, United Methodist Church, and other churches have no problem with evolution. They will not just disagree with you or me on the subject of evolution—and it is not enough for them to just get their own kids an alternative science assignment and leave your kids alone. Instead, they are BY GOD going to take ACTION TO PUNISH the evolutionary scientists, punish the local school board, and punish science teachers for teaching evolution and they are going to stack the local school board with fundie members whose sole purpose is to remove evolution from the science classroom—and force your Roman Catholic Children and my United Methodist children to learn a bunch of phony pseudoscience called “creation science.”

    Another example is gay people today. It is not enough for the two opposing religious sides to simply agree to disagree about gay people and sin. The Christian fundamentalist side today has the criticism of homosexual sin COMBINED WITH a massive program of societal action and sanctions designed to punish gay people for being gay—and make their lives miserable—encourage parents to disown their gay children and kick them into the streets. This is human Biblical Judgement—the kind Jesus preached against. Intense criticism COMBINED WITH punishment.

    • Joe. No one cares what you think—but for people who feed on conflict like you do—a MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY POSITION is a PERFECT way to stir up discord and hatred to build a fine meal for yourself. I will no longer be responding to any of your posts—no matter how accusative or dramatic they might be. You are a worthless TROLL whose whole purpose in coming here is to further divide people and stir up as much trouble as possible. You know that, and I know that. Do not expect any feeding from me.

      • Joe Catholic –
        The word “Catholic” has and continues to have a universal theological context.
        While I understand your points, it should be noted, a great majority of “protestant denominations” (there are some exceptions of course) recognize the Catholic Church – see the Nicene Creed per the First Council of Constantinople (381).

  16. Thank you for this. I saw a cute, white tattooed couple and their 4 and one half month baby boy Wednesday night at a local store. They probably wouldn’t be embraced by most churches because of their non-traditional appearance. I thought that they were adorable and we engaged in light conversation as we both had returns. As we went our separate ways they wished me, “Happy Holidays”, and I wished them one too. If I ever see them again and invite them to go to church with me, I think that they will remember how warm and pleasant our interaction was, and that I didn’t try to shove Merry Christmas down their throats in righteous indignation.

  17. Luke 2:10-11
    King James Version (KJV)

    10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

  18. God almighty, your sure as hell didn’t get that firetruck or the high heel’s you wanted as a child. All Christians do not see Christmas as you so sarcastically see it as. To me, and many others, Christmas is a magical day. It is a day that is special, very special, that you have love for everyone. Its a day you buy presents for your loved ones. You refer to yourself as a Christian, but your whole essay is ball busting Christians. Even if me and my family do not even speak of Jesus, who you portray as some kind of evil person, the love my family shares being together, having a great dinner and sharing presents, is totally in the spirit of Jesus’ love. You are so god damn jaded you blame Jesus for the fact that some of us love our family and it is not some over exaggerated religious day. Our family does not go to battle. I am just as happy when someone says Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas or Happy Hakunnah. You refer to yourself as a Christian as some bullshit way to make what you spew a Christian view, well, you do not speak for me. I do not feel under attack, I feel love and happiness on Christmas. You speak of Jesus as someone who professes the bullshit you blab about. You are the angry baby, not Jesus, so stop blaming Him for your sarcastic heart. All Christians are not babies nor bullies. You are are dead inside, and what is more ridiculous, you keep referring to yourself as a Christian as to some how that gives you the right to speak YOUR words, not Jesus’. You are just a sarcastic, sad sesquipedalianist , and I’m glad I am not spending Christmas with you. And to refer to your last statement, you say your a Christian, you are not and you ARE a jerk.

    • Rob – I’m not sure to whom you addressed your comment. Regardless, sesquipedalianist is an outstanding word that is seldom used and I suspect – most appropriate. Merry Christmas.

    • Except he didn’t say all Christians. He referred to a specific subset of Christians. Why are you offended, unless he happens to be referring to *your* beliefs?

  19. God almighty, your sure as hell didn’t get that firetruck or the high heel’s you wanted as a child. All Christians do not see Christmas as you so sarcastically see it as. To me, and many others, Christmas is a magical day. It is a day that is special, very special, that you have love for everyone. Its a day you buy presents for your loved ones. You refer to yourself as a Christian, but your whole essay is ball busting Christians. Even if me and my family do not even speak of Jesus, who you portray as some kind of evil person, the love my family shares being together, having a great dinner and sharing presents, is totally in the spirit of Jesus’ love. You are so god damn jaded you blame Jesus for the fact that some of us love our family and it is not some over exaggerated religious day. Our family does not go to battle. I am just as happy when someone says Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas or Happy Hakunnah. You refer to yourself as a Christian as some bullshit way to make what you spew a Christian view, well, you do not speak for me. I do not feel under attack, I feel love and happiness on Christmas. You speak of Jesus as someone who professes the bullshit you blab about. You are the angry baby, not Jesus, so stop blaming Him for your sarcastic heart. All Christians are not babies nor bullies. You are are dead inside, and what is more ridiculous, you keep referring to yourself as a Christian as to some how that gives you the right to speak YOUR words, not Jesus’. You are just a sarcastic, sad sesquipedalianist , and I’m glad I am not spending Christmas with you. And to refer to your last statement, you say your a Christian, you are not and you ARE a jerk.

  20. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

    For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.

  21. Isaiah 7:10-14

    The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
    Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
    let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky!
    But Ahaz answered,
    “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
    Then Isaiah said:
    Listen, O house of David!
    Is it not enough for you to weary people,
    must you also weary my God?
    Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
    the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
    and shall name him Emmanuel.

    • Except that the actual word in the Old Testament for Mary is not translated “a virgin.” If that is in your Bible, it has been changed by some fundie creep like Josh McDowell. If I recall correctly, the language in the original manuscripts translates accurately into English as “the woman shall conceive. That is just from my memory. Some of you nonfundie Bible experts can go check that in a version of the Bible that has not been corrupted by fundie bias since 1970. I no longer trust anything fundies say about the Bible.

      • You have brought to mind the voice of one of my New Testament professors at university. He was quite adamant that Jesus established no church; it was Jesus’ followers who did that. That pronouncement caused quite a bit of consternation amoungst the students.

        • Patricia. The Bible indicates that Jesus had at least one biological brother and possibly other brothers and sisters. The key question is whether they were Mary’s biological children or whether Joseph was banging a new wife.

          • Yikes! I wasn’t even going to get into that debate! I don’t find the perpetual virginity of Mary to be a critical issue. Others do and I’m okay with that.

  22. Christian Privileges for Holidays & Holy Days:

    * Many stores take the Christian sabbath into account
    * Most Christians don’t have to work on their holiest days
    * Christians can assume they will see TV specials and hear music related to their holidays
    * Christians can erect Christian holiday displays without fearing vandalism
    * Christians expect to be greeted with references to their holidays (Merry Christmas)
    * Christians can ignore and be ignorant of other religions’ holidays
    * School events will probably address Christian holidays

    Christian Privileges in American Culture:

    * When traveling, Christians can assume they’ll find churches of their denomination
    * It’s easy for Christians to find a religious site to marry
    * Christians easily find Christian movies, radio programs, and TV shows
    * When someone talks about or thanks God, Christians can assume it’s their god
    * Christians will find Bibles in their hotel rooms
    * Christians have many Christian charities to donate to or get assistance from
    * Christians needn’t worry about finding foods to meet religious dietary requirements

    Christian Privileges against Discrimination and Bigotry:

    * Christians can assume that they won’t be discriminated against because of their religion
    * Christians can assume that their opinion won’t be ignored because of their religion
    * Christians need not worry about moving to a place where Christians aren’t welcome
    * Christians rarely encounter groups that exclude Christians
    * Christians don’t worry about revealing their religion to parents, friends
    * Christians can discriminate in ways not otherwise allowed & avoid members of other religions

    Christian Privileges in Schools:

    * Christian children will see other Christians in lessons about history
    * Christian children will participate in events relating to Christian holy days
    * Christian children will find or easily start school clubs dedicated to Christianity
    * Christian athletes are encouraged by Christian coaches
    * Christian children might avoid being exposed to foreign religions
    * Public school space is often shared with Christian churches
    * Christians can easily find private schools that cater to their religion

    Christian Privilege, Fear, and Security:

    * Christians can wear Christian clothing or jewelry without fear
    * Christians can promote their religion on cars or houses without fear of vandalism
    * Christians don’t have to educate their kids about persecution for their own protection
    * Christians can ignore the language and customs of other religions without censure
    * Christians need not worry if their religion will hinder their professional ambitions
    * Christians don’t have to worry about hate groups dedicated to wiping out Christianity

    Christian Privileges in the Community:

    * Many communities have names with Christian origins
    * Christians can assume that most neighbors & coworkers are Christian
    * Christians have directories of Christian-owned businesses
    * Christian businesses can hire all Christians without trying
    * Christians can criticize Christianity & Christian Privilege with more authority than non-Christians and without their motives being questioned
    * Christians can assume that almost anywhere they go and anything they do, they’ll feel normal

    Christian Privileges with Christianity:

    * Christians aren’t expected to speak for all Christians or everyone in a denomination
    * Whatever Christians do, they need not worry that it will reflect poorly on Christianity
    * Christians easily shop for items related to Christianity, even in specialty Christian stores
    * Successful Christians aren’t told that they are greedy because of their religion
    * The word “Christian” is treated as a label representing the best human attributes

    Christian Privileges in the Law:

    * Where relevant, laws take the Christian sabbath (Sunday) into account
    * Laws & regulations come with built-in exemptions for Christians & Christian beliefs.
    * Christians can assume that most politicians are Christians who represent Christian interests
    * Christians can criticize the government or society without being labeled cultural outsiders
    * Christians can assume that politicians won’t attack their religion
    * Christians assume that government prayers will be Christian in nature (they usually are)

    • Well you left out one very important category…

      Christian Privileges on the Fulfillment of the Likeness of Christ to Others.

      I’d like to hear it. I need to hear it. Please.

    • True. True. True. True.
      Thank you.
      I really want to share your list.
      Given that I am Jewish I’m worried about how that will be received.
      So I won’t.

      Thank you for sharing this!

  23. What always strikes me as stupendously silly about Christmas is the music.
    What passes for Christmas music is really winter music. Jingle Bells? Sleigh Ride? Frosty the Snowman? Not Christmas-y at all. So why don’t Christians balk at those songs being included in the repertoire for the celebration of Jesus’ birth?
    As much as I love advent and Christmas, the music drives me nuts. And you’re absolutely right; there is no war on Christmas or Christianity. Just our own hypocrisy and inablity to follow Jesus as closely or truly as we would like to do.
    Thanks for your thoughts, John. Much appreciated and as insightful as always.

  24. I have never even considered the two to be the same thing….years ago people said Happy Holidays to people…it was wishing them a happy holiday season….like from Thanksgiving to New Years….it is a period of time ….not a specific day!!!

  25. “Happy Holidays” means “Happy Holy-Days”.

    “Holy” means to set apart.

    “Merry Christmas” means “Merry Christ’s Mass”.

    Yet, Christians have many other holy-days other than just Christ’s mass in December and January (depending on if you are Orthodox or not)…. Advent (a celebration that goes on all month… Three Kings Day… St. Lucias Day… Catholics have Saint Days all month… Immaculate Conception…. St. Nicholas day… and more.

    Wish people whatever you like. Nobody has ever told you you can’t. What you shouldn’t do is try to make someone else say something that you want them to say. They get to wish you whatever they like, just like you want to. “Do unto others”…. it’s not a tough concept.

  26. –Hi, John,

    As a Christian, I have no problem with Happy Holidays, Shalom, Happy Santa, WhatEv…

    What I have a problem with is when others are offended when say, “Merry Christmas.”

    It goes both ways, man.

    Can’t we just love one another? !! x

    Btw, MERRY Early CHistmas!!

    • I am Jewish and most of my Jewish and other non Christian friends have absolutely NO PROBLEM with being told Merry Christmas. None. In fact I greet others that way. Secularism brings us bigger problems than this and we know we live in countries (US, Canada) where the majority celebrate Christian holidays.

      I really don’t like it when people say ‘Happy Holidays’ because that is insincere. It’s Merry Christmas. Wish me Rosh Hashanah when my new year happens (in September) or don’t, that’s okay. But don’t pretend that we are celebrating any of my holidays or my Muslim or Hindu or other cousins. We’re celebrating Christmas. Amen.

  27. Pavlovitz’s argument really doesn’t make any sense. Christmas is a Federal Holiday, yet there is a concerted effort to keep it from being mentioned, out of a (groundless) fear that non-Christians are so intolerant that they don’t even want to hear about holidays that aren’t theirs). They need to be protected from these things, while we do not. It’s kind of bigoted when you look at it from that side, isn’t it?

    Pavlovitz tries to drown this fact in hyperbole, but never really disputes it and basically concedes that part of it. But his defense is actually quite insidious. The argument is not that the campaign isn’t there, but that Christians are so numerous and so powerful in this country that they aren’t really hurt by it. That’s the same kind of mindset that says it’s okay to steal from a store because they’re so big they can afford the loss.

  28. In early English, “Holidays” is a contraction of the words “Holy Days.” “Happy Holidays” says “Happy Holy Days.” There can be no more sincere greeting than that.

  29. As we Jews say: “Amen”!!!

    I am happy to be invited to participate in Christmas and have no problem referring to Christmas as Christmas. I think secularism is the biggest threat to Christmas. It’s also a threat to Judasim.

    Some of us would like to peacefully co exist.

    Thank you.

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