Saturday, December 22, 2007

Punishing a Child at Christmas

Well, what do you know? I have to cave in already on my determination to ignore the news. But I think you'll forgive me when you see why. It is Christmas-related, after all. Take a loot at this story from a newspaper called The Scotsman in the U.K.

Basically, a nine-year-old boy described as an atheist was excluded from the class Christmas party by the school because of his beliefs. The boy was heartbroken, and it's not hard to see why. The school made the case that since the boy didn't believe in Jesus -- the reason for the season -- there was no sense in him being part of the party.

First, this was cruelty to a child -- a child who I can't really blame for his supposed atheism because that's what his mother and father have been teaching him. A nine-year-old really hasn't thought it out all that well. If Christians were behind this exclusion, what kind of witness was that? Didn't our Lord tell us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us? Perhaps some love and kindness shown to this child might well be used by the Holy Spirit to work in his heart later.

Now, even though I am whacking the school, I need to whack the silliness of the parents also. Their statement that Christmas parties "aren't religious" is outrageous. Sure, office parties and school parties typically aren't prayer meetings, but at the same time, without Jesus there wouldn't be any Christmas. What's next? Atheists demanding to be part of church worship services because those aren't Christian in nature either?

Before someone tries to bring it up, this situation is not morally equivalent to the row over atheists joining the Boy Scouts. That organization's charter calls for members to believe in God. So don't go there.

In the end, what is the fruit of this story? Those who are supposed to be celebrating the love, joy and peace of Christmas end up looking like Ebenezer Scrooge, and a child, put in that position by unbelieving parents, ends up looking like a martyr.

4 comments:

Jonny McCormick said...

Hi Joel:

Thanks for tkaing an interest and stopping by my blog to check out that I am still alive and kicking and trying to include me in teh debate again. Truth be told, I hadn't spent that much time on the interenet in the last few days, as in the run up to Christmas things can get busy. So it wasn't that i was "afraid of intense debate," I love it. It seems like some of the conversation was really useful and helpful in some ways. A lot of RS6 said was very rude however and I don't think it correlates with the way we are taught how to live in the Bible...just my opinion however, so Iw as surpirsed to see that you let his comments stay in place yet deleted my comment that I made about you. I don't think my comment was nearly as bad as any of his. It seems as if there is some anti-postmodern, anti-engagin, and anti-liberal elitist behavious. Anyway, just my tupence worth. I hope this comment doenst automiatically earn me the title of a "postmodern, over accepting liberal," because that is not what I want. I was just making my case. Anyway, this is not to be taken personally, I am just letting you inside my head a little. I am not trying to defame anyone's character or anything remotley like that. But it seems other people here DO have that objective.

I look forward to continuing our debate in the new year, nad wish you and all who read this a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Jonny McCormick said...

Joel, sorry to litter your blog once more, really loved this article. Thanks for sharing it. Agreeing with most of what you are saying.

However without Jesus-the reason for the season-there still would be a Chrsitmas. Well nt really a Christmas, because there would be not Christ to celebrate. But here would be a festival at this time of the year, not too far removed from what we now call Christmas (secularly-an oxymoron I know), just an interesting Church history fact for you. Have a good day.

SolaMeanie said...

Hi, Jonny..

I don't think you're littering my blog at all. You're always welcome.

I can also see why my choice of deletion might have seemed unfair. I tend to let such discussions go without too much intervention, and sometimes the mutual razzing can get pretty wild. But with that one comment about me making things up about the EC, that seemed like I was being called a liar.

If you had called me a hyper-paranoid schizophrenic with delusions that ECers were coming after me with pick-axes, I probably would have chuckled at it. But I don't knowingly post untruths here, so that bugged me a bit. I might disagree with you on things, but I wouldn't question your personal veracity or integrity without some real solid evidence.

In reflection, though..I chalk it all up to the "heat of the moment." Regardless, and I do mean this with all sincerity..you are welcome here anytime. Just realize that you are dealing with someone far to the right of Attilla the Hun in most of his views (smile).

Have a most blessed Christmas,

Joel

Jonny McCormick said...

atilla the hun is a pussy cat compared to you. :-) have a good Christmas.