“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
If I asked you to list your top 10 Christmas movies of all time, two animated movies would be included. Since its inception in 1964, ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ has been praised as an all-time classic for the whole family. And since its debut in 1965, ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ has also made the list as a top family movie that answers the question “Does anybody really know what Christmas is all about?”
Both movies have had staying power for more than 50 years! That means generations of families can watch these movies together, from grandparents down to young children. It takes hard work and skill to create movies that capture our imagination. It takes zero work and zero talent to destroy them. The politically correct, secular movement, which has been growing through our education and entertainment institutions, is now attacking the sanctity of our Christmas movies as being too offensive and non-inclusive.
In December 2016, Texas district officials asked Debra Shannon, a nurse’s aide at Patterson Middle School, to remove a “Charlie Brown Christmas” poster from her office door because it included the phrase from the movie “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” The Texas Attorney General sued the district on Shannon’s behalf to secure an order protecting her right to display the poster. A judge sided with Shannon and the state, but required her to include text at the top of her poster which reads “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas message,” to make the qualification that Debra Shannon is speaking for herself, rather than promoting a message endorsed by the school district or the state of Texas. The Attorney General issued the following statement: “Religious discrimination towards Christians has become a holiday tradition of sorts among certain groups. I am glad to see that the court broke through the left’s rhetorical fog.”
The Huffington Post’s attack on “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” just two weeks ago states that ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ is “seriously problematic”, explaining that Rudolph’s father verbally abuses him, Santa berates Donner for his son’s nose, the reindeer school coach encourages bullying and there are undertones of sexism, such as when Donner forbids his wife from joining the search for their son.
When ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ aired on CBS this past Tuesday evening, social media lit up afterwards with the same types of comments: “Every year the elf throws the bird out of the sleigh without an umbrella, even though earlier the bird said it can’t fly. Every. Damn. Year.” Or maybe this one: “What is wrong with the dolly on the Island of Misfit Toys?? Why is she a misfit??” Or this one: “I don’t have strength to watch this again. Those poor elves. That bully with the whip. Abusive deer. Dentist shaming. Unloved toys. It’s too much.” And there’s this last one: “Watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The moral of the story I’ve learned since watching it as a kid: People are %$@^#s until they need something from you.”
Neil Howe, President of Saeculum Research, is a leading authority on generational trends and serves hundreds of clients, from Nike and Fidelity to Disney and the U.S. Marine Corps. In his November 2015 article “Why do Millennials love Political Correctness?”, he explains how and why this politically correct movement is overtaking American culture today: “The most powerful driver may be generational change. Where Boomers once sought to promote progressive values, Millennials want to minimize hurt feelings. Where Gen Xers once touted resilience and grit, Millennials tout tolerance and inclusiveness.
P.C. policies today are supported and reinforced by an increasing ‘victimhood culture’, which is less often about enforcing a worldview or uplifting oppressed groups than about protecting individuals from emotional distress. These requests are largely coming from college students who are bringing their concerns to faculty and often getting them enforced by administrators. The ultimate goal is to turn campuses into ‘safe spaces’ where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.”
Why are many in our younger people becoming more “inward focused” and “emotionally distressed”? As Jesus Christ explains in our verse this week, the source of that true rest from those things you object to in our culture (bullying, abuse, intolerance) is the very Person we have removed from our education and entertainment institutions. Jesus continued in Matthew 11:29 with this promise: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Sounds like He is the very answer that college students are looking for, right? This Christmas, make it about Jesus.
“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance” – Article #325