In 1974, the Cincinnati Reds’ team plane hit some bad turbulence at 30,000 feet. MLB career-hit-leader, Pete Rose turned to reserve catcher, Hal King, and said, “we’re going down and I have a .300 lifetime batting average to take with me, do you?”
I have thought of that story often recently when reflecting on the threat of Covid-19. There is no doubt that the chance of dying has increased since this virus hit last February. Most people do not want to die, but how much we fear death is related to how we have lived.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me he doesn’t fear Covid-19. He said, he’s “always tried to live his life for God, and for the day when God calls him home. So, if Covid is the way I’m called home, I’m prepared.” He has as much confident in his spiritual batting average as Pete Rose had in his baseball batting average. Which begs the question; does each of us have a spiritual .300 batting average? Do we have spiritual Hall of Fame numbers?
If Covid-19 is really the dire threat that we are told it is, wouldn’t it make more sense to enhance our spirituality rather than simply doubling-down on our physicality when our physical bodies can be killed by something no bigger than .1 microns? This is similar to the logic of shutting down gyms during a pandemic when it is scientific fact that the better shape you are in, the more resistant you are to the virus. Likewise, the better spiritual shape you are in, the less you should fear dying from the virus or anything for that matter.
But, as they did with Thanksgiving, the people in power want to do away with Christmas this year. We are told that we don’t need to actually see, visit, or share fellowship with our loved ones to celebrate Christmas. Just go on Amazon buy and send them a bunch of worthless presents, and hop on a zoom call, and you’re good to go.
The Nativity scene would have looked a whole lot different if the gold, frankincense and myrrh were delivered by Eddie from Amazon, and the Magi Skyped in. The Magi put their lives at much greater risk traveling over a thousand miles through the desert on camel to show up for our savior’s birth then it is for us to fly in on Southwest.
Earlier this year, Dr. Fauci who wants us to cancel Christmas, refused to offer an opinion on whether we should limit any of the rioters and looters because of the dangers of Covid-19. When asked about the riots this summer, Fauci said, “I am not going to opine on limiting anything.” Yet now, he wants to limit Christmas.
It’s easy to say that this is a one-year thing because of Covid-19, but for years, there has been a push to get rid Christmas, real Christmas. Christmas light displays have been deemed offensive and biased by some people. There has been a constant push to replace “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings”. Starbucks removed the word “Christmas” from their stores a few years ago. The best way to control people is to control the language. So, removing Christmas from the language, removes Christ from our culture.
If you’re keeping score, you can riot and loot, but you cannot celebrate Christmas with your loved ones. You can get up into somebody’s face and scream, “black lives matter”, but you cannot say “Merry Christmas”. You can go to cannabis shops and strip clubs, but you can’t worship in-person at Churches and Synagogues. This is not about public safety, it’s about an agenda.
Promoting the use of “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays”, reduces Christmas to the level of a cultural celebration no different from Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, and Festivus with no religious or spiritual grounding. They want to turn Christmas into this feel-good holiday totally devoid of meaning and substance. It is the atheizing of Christmas; the removal of Jesus Christ, the true meaning of the holiday, from the holiday meant to honor him.
They do not want to do away with “Christmas” altogether. They still want the consumerism that “Christmas” brings, they just want to do away with the spirituality, the re-affirming faith of Christmas. They want to morph Christmas into a secular winter holiday, so we would still buy all that crap on Amazon to keep their profits up while they diminish Christ and the true meaning of “Christmas”.
Did we not learn the lesson of A Charlie Brown Christmas? As Charlie Brown asked, “Does anyone know what Christmas is all about?” That is their aim. To get everyone to forget what Christmas is all about. It is not about trees and lights, or who has the biggest display in their yard. It is not about presents, the next iteration of iPhone. It’s about the birth of a savior. If there was ever a time that the world needed a savior, it is today.
That’s the reason why so many of our politicians want to erase the true meaning of Christmas by removing Christ from the season, so they can to assume the role of savior despite the fact that they do not have the skill set of a savior. They have neither the spiritual guidance nor the moral courage to play that role. They can easily fill the role of Pharisee or Pilot.
They want to do to Christmas what they have been doing to our society, and our lives with this embrace of secularism and consumerism. Secularism and materialism are soulless life philosophies. The body becomes more important than the spirit. If you believe in God, you believe that your spiritual well-being is infinitely more important than your physical well-being. But if you do not believe in God, then our physical bodies are all we have, and must be protected at all costs.
Jesus famously asked. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” In the age of Covid, I would ask, “What does it profit a man to save his life, but lose his soul?”
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.