There is an urban legend that has been cited as the work of various radio and television personalities, including Andy Rooney and Paul Harvey. It has been floating around in e-mail and posted in numerous blogs for the last few years. Snopes has determined it to be compilation of various authors, not including either Andy or Paul. Regardless of who the actual author is, I want to include this urban legend in my blog today as a reminder that as an American, Christmas has a very significant meaning for many. It is both my right and privilege to respect and honor the meaning and tradition of Christmas as the birth of Christ, and for all of us to give thanks for all that we have been given, and in turn, to share our gifts, whether large or small, with one another in the spirit of Oneness.
My husband and I have different spiritual beliefs. While strong in our own separate beliefs, we are one in our respect for our privileges, and in our ability to honor the other, not despite of, but because of our differences. In the United States, we have the freedom to worship…or not… as we choose. We have that right not because of what we did to earn it, but because of what others died to create and protect for us. I am grateful for that freedom and, including all of its blemishes, for this great country in which I live.
I hope you will read, enjoy, and contemplate not only the words of this urban legend, but the intent with which it is offered in this Season of Hope and Joy:
“I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but I’m not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don’t agree with Darwin , but I didn’t go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what’s the big deal? It’s not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They’re just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
But it’s a Christian prayer, some will argue.
Yes, and this is the United States of America and Canada , countries founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect — somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem , I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad , I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
If I went to a ping pong match in China , I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.
And I wouldn’t be offended. It wouldn’t bother me one bit.
When in Rome ……
But what about the atheists? Is another argument.
What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We’re not going to pass the collection plate. Just humour us for 30 seconds. If that’s asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do I don’t think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world’s foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.
God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It’s time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn’t care what they want. It is time that the majority rules! It’s time we tell them, “You don’t have to pray; you don’t have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don’t have to believe in God or attend services that honour Him. That is your right, and we will honour your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!”
God bless us one and all…Especially those who denounce Him, God bless America and Canada , despite all our faults, We are still the greatest nation of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.
Let’s make 2011 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. And our military forces come home from all the wars.
Keep looking up.”
No, I don’t believe in Santa Claus, either. But I believe in the Spirit of Giving…and the Gift of Love.