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From the Kitchen Table


Witness

by Peg Luksik
 

We are about to move into the most unusual time of the year — the time when Americans will be buying gifts, putting up decorations, and planning parties around a holiday that has no name. That holiday season is traditionally opened by "Blank-sgiving Day", where we all come together and eat a turkey for no apparent reason.

Welcome to the wonderful worldview of the ACLU. The group that works tirelessly to protect the civil liberties of all Americans, except for those who happen to be Christians. Then the ACLU works tirelessly to strip them of their civil liberties — particularly as they apply to the free expression of their faith.

The fact that groups like the ACLU have so much clout says more about us than it does about them. Their hostility to faith is nothing new. Our acquiescence to that hostility is.

We are the descendants of men and women who were willing to be eaten by lions rather than stand in witness to sacrifices to the gods of Rome. We follow in the footsteps of missionaries who left all they knew and loved to bring a living witness to people around the globe — people who often responded by killing them. We are the heirs of pilgrims who crossed an ocean to live in an unknown land because they would not abandon their witness to their beliefs.
And we let a petty bully like the ACLU cow us into submission. We should be ashamed.

So this year, instead of knuckling under, let's change the playing field. Let's exercise our rights to freely express our faith by doing so privately…publicly.

For example, the ACLU may try to bully local governments into removing Nativity scenes from town squares, but they cannot stop the owners of one single store front around that town square from displaying Nativity scenes in their windows. Imagine different visual remembrances of the most celebrated Birth in history decorating each display window in America's towns. Now it's not just an anonymous decoration, it's a personal witness to the Child Himself.

Or, the ACLU may try to prevent our government schools from including religious carols in their "winter concerts", but they cannot stop a group of citizens who decide to organize and conduct a caroling night in that same town square. Citizens who can sing whatever they like, without censorship. Imagine the spirit of joy and fellowship that such an event would create. Now it's not just a mandatory school performance, it's active participation in the gift of love that came in the person of a Child.

The ACLU may try to prevent the word Christmas from even being uttered in public discourse, but they cannot keep any of us from saying "Merry Christmas" ourselves at every opportunity, or sending Christmas greetings through the mail to friends and family. We can even send those good wishes to the ACLU at their New York City offices on the 18th Floor of 125 Broad Street. Now it's not just one wish for Christmas blessings, it's thousands.

The possibilities for witness are only limited by our own imaginations. The point is to BE witnesses.

If we truly want an America in which faith can be freely expressed, we must freely express faith. With joy and love and courage. Our predecessors in faith did so. The Empires who tried to silence them are all gone, but the faith they bore witness to remains.

We are the witnesses now. The question is, what kind of witnesses are we going to be?


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