And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7
Apparently Bethlehem has once again appeared as a town that would like to stand against the remembrance of the Incarnation, God coming in the flesh, in the person of Jesus the Christ to save sinful men. No, I’m not talking about Bethlehem in the City of David, but rather Bethlehem, New York.
U.S. News & World Report reports:
Holiday signs have been banned at an intersection in the little town of Bethlehem, New York.
Officials in the suburban town just south of Albany prohibited a sign saying “Merry Christmas” from being placed at the busy intersection. They had a “Happy Hanukkah” sign removed from the same corner.
The Times Union of Albany reports the town allowed a public display of a Christmas tree and a Menorah, but officials banned religious holiday signs so they wouldn’t violate any laws or distract drivers.
Now, let’s be clear, I don’t think the Bible commands Christians to observe Christmas and I’m all too familiar with the arguments against the celebration, but honestly, this gets rather ridiculous to start banning signs that read, “Merry Christmas.” It’s absolutely childish and absurd.
Let’s be honest, shall we? If it were not for Christmas, there would be none of the celebrating going on. If it were not for Christmas, there would be no commercialization of said holiday. If it were not for Christmas, there would be no vacation time for these pointy headed knuckleheads who enjoy it… with pay.
These politically correct people are the first to whine about someone saying something about Islam or atheists or sodomites, but they are rabid about removing these kinds of things from the public square. Can you say hypocrite?
Even though a resident of the town offered to pay for the sign to be placed in front of the Christmas tree, something that she has selflessly done for many years, she was not allowed to do so.
According to an email she received from the town’s attorney, “The town cannot endorse one religion over another, so the town must either allow signs for all groups participating in the holiday display, or prohibit signs altogether.”
Really? I’m assuming the town’s attorney has no problem endorsing the secular humanism religion that he is so obviously promoting, without calling it a religion, of course.
The town’s people were having none of it though.
In protest, a rally sprang up on Wednesday evening at the very intersection the town banned Merry Christmas signs.
The times Union reports:
An informal rally in support of the public display of Christmas and Hanukkah signs sprang up Wednesday evening at the Four Corners in Delmar.
Placards — some handwritten, some with professional touches — were held up in protest of the town of Bethlehem’s decisions not to post a Merry Christmas sign at the intersection and to remove a Happy Hanukkah sign. Town officials say they do not want to violate any laws or allow highway distractions.
About 10 people, mostly adults, protested in the rain, drawing honks of support and shouts of “Merry Christmas!” from passing motorists.
The irony of the sign ban could not be any more telling about the current state of events in America.
I often hear “conservatives” and sadly even Christians who deny Christ’s role in government and law. Many of them wrongly think the law doesn’t apply, even though Christ said that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Furthermore, Christ was always calling people to repentance (turning from sin, which is transgression of the law), which implies stop disobeying the law and begin obeying it. Consider also a very popular verse that is cited at this time of year concerning the birth of the Savior of the world, but do so in its context:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. –Isaiah 9:6-7
Indeed, Christ has been increasing His government across the globe for centuries, mainly through the discipling of the nations (Matt 28:19-20), and will continue to do so until the end (1 Cor. 15:20ff; Rev. 2:27; 11:15 12:5; 21:24). Let’s not forget that Jesus is not a baby. He is the risen Son of God, with healing in His wings for the nations (Mal. 4:2) that will submit to his authority and His rule.
May God grant such a ruling once again in America, and may He do so to the little town of Bethlehem, New York!