Merry Christmas: Can We Cut the Power Struggle Already?

Free-speech wars are about power and not very Christian: Michael Gerson
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2013 12:52 PM CST
Merry Christmas: Can We Cut the Power Struggle Already?
The debate about the "War on Christmas" centers on power, Michael Gerson writes.   (Shutterstock)

Christmas has become the most wonderful time of year ... for heated political debate, especially of the "War on Christmas" or First Amendment variety. It's "when all the ideologues get a little extra outrage or victimization in their stockings," writes Michael Gerson in the Washington Post. This year "is all the more poignant in the light of a fallen reality-television star who manufactures duck calls and culture war imbroglios." Such controversies are really centered on power, Gerson says. "Who has the ability to define and enforce the boundaries of the acceptable?" But the story of Jesus' birth and life turns traditional ideas of power upside down.

"If the deity was born as an outcast, it is impossible to view or treat outcasts in quite the same way," Gerson notes. "A God who fled as a refugee, preferred the company of fishermen and died as an accused criminal will influence our disposition toward refugees, the poor and those in prison." When we look to score political victories around Christmas, let's remember that Christianity is about "identifying with the vulnerable and dependent. Living for others," Gerson notes. "The author of this creed sought a different victory than politics brings—the kind that ends all selfish victories." Click for his full column. (Read more Michael Gerson stories.)

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