". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Garrison Keillor Asks Non-Christians to Leave Christmas Alone

As much as I have enjoyed listening to Prairie Home Companion over the years, I am not a fan of Garrison Keillor's politics. I think he had Bush Derangement Syndrome to the extreme. But I respect that he speaks his mind, even if it means enraging his leftist, intellectual, elitist public radio friends. Here he is doing so in spades, going after the president of Harvard University, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Unitarian Church in Cambridge (which recently rewrote "Silent Night" to make it more politically correct). This column has sparked a mini-controversy and has left various people wondering if he even meant it to be taken seriously. I think he did. He may be a leftist, but he's also a Christian (a Lutheran like me, albeit from the more liberal branch of Lutheranism).

Here's an excerpt:

Unitarians listen to the Inner Voice and so they have no creed that they all stand up and recite in unison, and that's their perfect right, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong to rewrite "Silent Night." If you don't believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn "Silent Night" and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism, and we Christians have stood for it long enough. . . .

Christmas is a Christian holiday - if you're not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don't mess with the Messiah.

Christmas does not need any improvements. It is a common, ordinary experience that resists brilliant innovation. Just make some gingerbread persons and light three candles and sing softly in dim light about the poor man gathering winter fu-u-el and the radiant beams and the holly and the ivy, and you've got it. Too many people work too hard to make Christmas perfect, find the perfect gifts, get a turkey that reaches 100 percent of potential. Perfection is a goal of brilliant people, and it is unnecessary where Christmas is concerned.

You can read the entire column at the link above.

1 comment:

Susan said...

"Perfection is a goal of brilliant people, and it is unnecessary where Christmas is concerned."

One might even say it's counterproductive. The Light of the world comes to those who sit in darkness. Those who are perfect (or are striving to be) do not need a Savior. Maybe, in our quest for a perfect Christmas, we are setting ourselves up to be people who don't want/need Christmas.

Had I no load of sin to bear,
Thy grace, o Lord, I could not share.
In vain hadst Thou been born for me
if from God's wrath I had been free. (Gerhardt, TLH 108)