All the hysterical bloviating and bleating we hear from the ACLU this time of year about whether school choirs can sing “Silent Night” is just gas, sound and fury, but signifying nothing.
The bigots and bullies of secular fundamentalism will yammer on about the separation of church and state, and the horrors of recognizing Christmas in public settings, as if democracy itself will fall if anybody so much as mentions the name of the Prince of Peace let alone sings a song or two in his honor.
Well, they can save their breath, for Christmas is clearly, flatly, unequivocally and unambiguously constitutional.
In fact, Christmas itself is in the Constitution.
This is not even a matter for debate, for the Framers themselves dated this document, one of the two most important political documents in human history (along with the Declaration of Independence) from the very first Christmas. You could look it up.
In fact, I’ll look it up for you. Here’s how the Framers concluded:
“…done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names…” (Emphasis mine.)
By dating the foundational document of the greatest nation in history to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Founders essentially celebrated Christmas as they signed their names. Since the Declaration was also dated from the first Christmas, you can even say that the two most important political documents in history are in the nature of Christmas cards from the Founders to us.
It’s worth noting how deliberate and how majestic this all is. Jesus is referred to as “Lord.” They were acknowledging Jesus Christ as the true and rightful sovereign of this fledgling nation.
And they did not identify Jesus as “the” Lord, but rather as “our” Lord, each signer acknowledging his own submission to him as master over his own life. And since they were acting on behalf of the whole American people, the Founders in essence were entering into a covenant with Jesus Christ as our rightful lord and liege.
Some will say, “You can’t attach any significance to that. That’s the way they dated everything in those days.” This just makes the case much worse for secularists, because it is an explicit admission that the advent of Jesus Christ was so widely accepted as the dividing line of human history that every document without hesitation or question was dated from the year of his birth.
There was a time when claiming that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the reverse was a controversial, world-view transforming declaration. Now we all accept that routinely. The very lack of controversy is an evidence of how widespread it is now to accept what was once a radical breakthrough and a giant leap forward.
The very ordinariness of dating the document to the birth of Christ, the utter lack of any controversy over including Christ in the Constitution, is the most compelling evidence of all that the Founders saw him as the pivotal figure in all history.
For this reason, we can’t commemorate the Constitution without at the same time commemorating the Nativity. And every time we do something as mundane as sign a check we bear silent witness to the influence of the God-man in history. Civilization is divided into two epochs, the era before his incarnation and the era after. Jesus himself is the center point of human history.
But we must note that this dating may not, in fact, be as routine as our secularist friends want us to think. For the Founders did not just date the Constitution from the birth of Christ but also from the birth of the nation: “in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.”
This quite obviously was a dating decision that was deliberate, thoughtful and intentional.
Bottom line: for the Founding Fathers, the two most important dates in all human history were the birth of Jesus Christ and the birth of the United States of America. I’m inclined to agree.
So celebrate Christmas this season content in the knowledge that Christmas is not only perfectly constitutional, it is IN the Constitution itself and will be until the end of time. Merry Christmas, everybody, from me and every signer of the Constitution of the United States.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)