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Thursday, December 08, 2005

War on Xmas, Part VI

This just out:
This Christmas, no prayers will be said in several megachurches around the country. Even though the holiday falls this year on a Sunday, when churches normally host thousands for worship, pastors are canceling services, anticipating low attendance on what they call a family day. …

… Cally Parkinson, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., said church leaders decided that organizing services on a Christmas Sunday would not be the most effective use of staff and volunteer resources. The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday was 1994, and only a small number of people showed up to pray, she said.

“If our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched, basically the people who don’t go to church, how likely is it that they’ll be going to church on Christmas morning?” she said.

Among the other megachurches closing on Christmas Day are Southland Christian Church in Nicholasville, Ky., near Lexington, and Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, outside of Dallas. North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., outside of Atlanta, said on its Web site that no services will be held on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, which also falls on a Sunday. A spokesman for North Point did not respond to requests for comment.

The closures stand in stark contrast to Roman Catholic parishes, which will see some of their largest crowds of the year on Christmas, and mainline Protestant congregations such as the Episcopal, Methodist and Lutheran churches, where Sunday services are rarely if ever canceled.
So, the same folks who are upset that clerks at Target say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” aren’t actually interested in a religious observance of the birth of Jesus.They want to keep Xmas holy at Target and Wal-Mart, not at church.

Meanwhile, Bush's friends aren't very happy with him. As I noted in a previous post, this year's White House Holiday card did not mention Baby Jesus, but contained an Old Testament verse and wished 1.4 million of his close friends and supporters a happy “holiday season.” Conservative Christians are outraged:
“This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture,” said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Bush “claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn’t act like one,” said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. “I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it.”
And I'm sure they'll still be fuming about it on Christmas morning as they sit, happily ensconced at home, with family, opening gifts in front of their Xmas trees.


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