This appeared in the Opinion section of the Cortland Standard on December 19th, 2018.
As the season of giving arrives and resolutions time approaches, I think we should reflect on the nation’s potential better-self and plan to reach for it. We only blind ourselves with a limiting “presently great America” myth and deny the need for any change at our own peril. Can we possibly be better? Of course we can. We can always be better. An example of where we risk failure is in allowing the “war on Christmas” myth to live rent free in our minds without questioning it. In this modern age, no snowflakes should melt over this make believe war any more than virgins should be sacrificed to the volcano gods. We should be smarter than that.
I was never made to believe that the most important thing about Christmas was my right to deck halls, be jolly or say “Merry Christmas”. I just do those things. I was especially never made to believe others had to do what I do or say what I say. If demonstrations of spirit or belief are valued, I was made to believe that works of grace and good will are available all around us to either do ourselves or see others doing. Do them when you can if you want. Take comfort in knowing others do them when you see it happening.
But if you buy into some made up “war”, you’ve already lost a battle. If you look the other way when you see a piece of the real war on Christmas being waged against refugees at our border (while raging over decorations, salutations or songs), you risk losing that war.