The news today from Shaw Air Force Base, SC is yet another confirmation that the "War on Christmas" is very real: the Air Force has taken down a Nativity scene--just 2 hours and 15 minutes after a complaint was received from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
The "War on Christmas" is an utter absurdity, championed by those who have this crazy notion that we are somehow an atheistic nation and that any display of faith surrounding a faith-based holiday, in a faith-based nation is a violation of their Constitutional rights.
Poppycock. And anyone who has even a cursory understanding of the Founding knows it.
It’s not always obvious, this War on Christmas. We think twice about saying “Merry Christmas,” lest we inadvertently offend a non-believer. I’ve done it—thought twice. Completely foolish of me, and evidence I and so many others fall for the multicultural, politically correct nonsense that suggests my belief in Jesus Christ, and my desire to celebrate his birth, is somehow an affront to others.
It may be just two words--Merry Christmas--but those words represent something much larger than a cheery holiday greeting. They are an affirmation. Not just of Christmas, but of God. And of the implications of Him being very much at the center of our founding and our founding documents.
Those who loudly demand that the “Constitution is neutral” on God, and therefore all evidence of God and faith should be purged from the public sphere, as one of the calmer emails I received after my appearance on O'Reilly last week did, are either ignorant or willfully misleading. If we embraced their notion, removing God from our Founding—going back and erasing all vestiges of Him—our country would be a very different place indeed.
This radical experiment that we call the United States was premised on the radical notion that all individuals (men at the time), have inherent, “natural” rights. That those rights were not bestowed on us by a benevolent government, but by the Creator of all things. He gave us liberty. We, the bearers of those rights, decide which individual liberties should be limited in order to create a civil society—one where no one may infringe on anyone else’s liberty. But we only give away those rights necessary to create order and justice. The rest of our rights—they are ours, to keep until we willingly turn them over, or until they are forcibly taken from us.
No other nation on the planet had established a government based on the idea that people know better than government. We do not understand now how truly crazy that idea was at the time of our founding. It was not based on any idea that people are so great in and of themselves. It was based on the idea that God is great, and that God created every individual to be worthy of liberty—knowing they will make atrocious mistakes along the way. That the individual is a safer , more reliable guardian for liberty than government could ever be.
Were the founders atheists or secularists, God would never have factored into the discussion. (No, they were not all Christians, but they believed in the God of the Bible. None were secularists, and all believed in the importance of God and religion in the Founding.) We would not have our God-given rights. There would be no ultimate right or wrong, good or evil. And the only power big enough to bestow rights, would be government. The cosmos, with no authority or purpose, cannot give such bounty. There was a deep, abiding confidence that God was the ultimate authority over the individual. Not government.
The atheists would have to argue that ultimate authority came from the strongest men—namely government. Consequently, the power that bestows rights, can just as easily take them away. The door is open for tyranny. There would be no freedom of religion. We would be worshiping the government, begging it for our survival, for mercy, for salvation. And government has no inherent good. It seeks not the well-being of the individual, but more power. That is in direct conflict with individual well-being--achieved in the freest condition possible.
Whether you are a believer or not, the next time you see a Nativity, or hear the words "Merry Christmas!", perhaps a little gratitude is in order: that the men who risked and often sacrificed everything in order to create a nation conceived in liberty did so because of their confidence that freedom is ours by right. Not some random right, not happenstance, but because of a merciful God, who created us with a hunger and a passion to live extraordinary lives, unencumbered by the chains of tyranny.