Photo Credit: Beverley Goodwin CC BY 2.0
Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time, and for most of us, it is.
[G]iving thoughtful gifts, spending time with family and eating good is always fun. However, there’s also that dark side. The aggravation surfaces in some people as you fight your way through long lines, or listen to people bicker over money they don’t have for the gifts they wish they could buy.
In the United States, Christmas is big business. This year it is estimated that $965 billion will be spent between November and January. A church in New Jersey is merging the latest craze for anything “Star Wars” by having a “Stars Wars” themed Christmas Eve service, complete with a Nativity scene with the characters. There’s even a “Darth Santa.”
After a while, it makes you wonder if people are forgetting the point of Christmas.
Has Christmas become a ruse just to suck the cash out of your pockets?
“The harsh reality is that materialism has become a problem in this country, especially around the holidays,” said Alexa Phillips of The Rocky Mountain Collegian. “People are consumed by what they give and receive. It is a major stress point for several people physically, emotionally and financially.”
Regardless of where you stand on what Jesus looks like or when he was born, if you are a Christian, then December 25th is supposed to be a day to celebrate the birthday and teachings of Jesus Christ.
This year Jesus’ teachings are being emphasized by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The NOI has been campaigning around the country with “Up With Jesus, Down With Santa.”
Minister Farrakhan is attempting to downplay the capitalistic aspects of the holiday season, and instead, focus on Jesus’ core mission.
After all, Jesus is the dude who flipped out on the money changers selling sacrificial animals out of a temple in Jerusalem, claiming they were turning the place of worship into a “robbers den.”
“I pray that after this Christmas, Santa will be out of business with us, and Jesus will be totally in business,” Minister Farrakhan said. “We will be acting on the principles that he left us with in these words:
‘Love ye one another even as I have loved you.'” – Jesus Christ
|Minister Louis Farrakhan is leading the “Up With Jesus, Down With Santa” Boycott|
Minister Farrakhan is also hoping to send an economic message with the “Up With Jesus, Down With Santa” boycott, which was announced at the “Justice or Else” rally in Washington D.C. in October.
Minister Farrakhan is encouraging African-Americans not to participate in the Christmas buying season as a form of protest against police brutality and other injustices.
The boycott officially started November 27 and will formally end on January 2.
“Don’t think about some ‘gift’ that you can give; the greatest gift that you can give is right within yourself: It’s your ability to love yourself and love your family, and love your people. That’s a gift, and that’s the best of gifts,” said Minister Farrakhan. “So open your heart to your family, open your heart to your neighbors—open your heart to your people—and show them the love that you want. And be the ‘Or Else,’ and be the change that you’ve been looking for.”
According to Patrick Brennan of the Kentucky Colonel, the concept of Santa Claus even has a more sinister underlying meaning.
Brennan said the concept of Santa Claus actually exists to start controlling children at a young age.
Santa is the all watching white figure each year, which threatens children into good behavior with promises of gifts. It is much like the prisoners and citizens in George Orwell’s book “1984.”
“Children are now being subjected to this same idea. Santa Claus is like the watchman at the Panopticon; their behavior and the intention behind it is altered accordingly,” Brennan explained. “In particular, kids act not for themselves, or some innate idea of what is right, but because of the fat white man potentially peering over their shoulder.”
So, how will celebrate your Christmas?
With all of the political and religious turmoil happening in the country, now is a great time to reflect on the importance of Jesus’ message of universal love and brotherhood to get it together for 2016.