This year, the ABC network television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (which first aired on CBS) turns 50, and ABC had a party to celebrate. When it was Obama’s turn to speak, he explained Christmas by saying — and I quote — “tiny trees just need a little love, and that on this holiday, we celebrate peace on earth and goodwill to all.”
Good Grief! Even Christmas is about the environment? Is nothing sacred from politicking? Granted, conservatives sometimes go overboard when it comes to the “War on Christmas” — with the non-scandal of Starbucks’ Christmas cups as an egregious example. What Donald Trump was thinking by giving it legitimacy, no one knows. But this statement by Obama — this really is a travesty.
Here is Obama’s full statement, in case a patriotic American hoped that our president did not just remove Jesus Christ from the “true meaning of Christmas”:
President Barack Obama: “Hi, everybody! We’ll be brief because we know that adults all sound like “wa, wa, wa, wa, wa,” especially here in Washington.”
First Lady Michelle Obama: “Good Grief!”
Obama: “But, we want to wish a happy 50th Anniversary to one of our country’s most beloved traditions, ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’”
Michelle: “For half a century, people of all ages have gathered around the TV to watch Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the gang, teach us the true meaning of Christmas.” (HERE IT COMES, FOLKS)
Obama: “They teach us that tiny trees just need a little love, and that on this holiday, we celebrate peace on earth and goodwill toward all.”
Michelle: “Because, as Linus knows, that’s what Christmas is all about.”
The Charlie Brown Version
Oh really, Miss First Lady, Linus would beg to differ. Here he is, on the first Christmas Special, telling Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about:
“Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights please!”
“And there were, in the same country, shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night,” Linus narrates, quoting from Luke 2, the old King James Version. “And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.”
“And the angel said unto them, fear not! For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord! And this shall be a sign unto you — ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Linus continues, “And suddenly, there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.’”
Simply and humbly, Linus concludes, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
The True Meaning of Christmas
There it is. The true meaning of Christmas, according to the Christian tradition, is Jesus Christ. This remarkable person is the reason for the season — the Son of Man, who is fully God and miraculously fully a human being, like you and me. Christians celebrate Christmas (the Mass of Christ) because we believe something truly incredible — that God became Man, and dwelt among us.
Next to the Resurrection, this is the most important doctrine in Christianity. It is the reason why Christmas hymns celebrate “Joy to the World – the Lord is come,” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing – Glory to the Newborn King!” In a little stable in the backwater town of Bethlehem in the outskirts of the Roman Empire, a baby was born. That baby is the Creator of the universe, the one true King of all humanity, the Word by which God spoke all things into being.
In Christian doctrine, all men and women have sinned and deserve death and hell. God, by sending his Son Jesus Christ, and by allowing Him to die upon the cross, gave sinful human beings a way to atone for their sin, and live forever in heaven with Him. Only a perfect sacrifice could atone for sin, and so the redeemer had to be perfect, and He was.
Christmas for over 1,000 years has been about the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth. “Peace on Earth” and “Goodwill to Men,” as Linus said, are made possible through the birth of Jesus. And even the Christmas tree is a celebration of Jesus, not nature.
Obama, by contrast, emphasized the tree, the peace, and goodwill, without one mention of God, Jesus, or the story that clearly inspired “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” While the TV special quotes scripture in detail, the president mentions one tradition or two, and then his wife triumphantly declares “that’s what Christmas is all about!”
No, Mister President, Christmas is not about green energy, your efforts at world peace, or the politically correct replacement of the Anglo-Saxon word “men” with the Norman word “all.” The trees, the peace, and the goodwill have one source — and that is none other than Jesus Christ. Obama says he’s proud to be a Christian, but statements like this make him seem ashamed of the Gospel, and encourage Christians to feel ever more isolated in the political realm.