• Christians, you’re not being persecuted

    by Kelvin Wade

    In Rome, July AD 64, a fire broke out in the Circus area where shops were located. Fueled by high winds, the fire quickly grew and spread and engulfed most of the grand city. It raged for six days and seven nights. When it finally burned itself out, 70 percent of the city was in ruins.

    Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, better known as the Emperor Nero, was rumored to have started the blaze. While he didn’t fiddle while Rome burned as the legend goes, the historian Suetonius claims the Emperor sang from the tower of Maecenas.

    Tacitus writes that Nero sought to deflect suspicion from himself by blaming an obscure Jewish religious sect called the Christians.

    Nero had those professing to be Christian arrested. He made them wear the skins of animals and then had them torn apart by dogs. He had Christians crucified, having huge nails driven through their wrists on wooden poles and hanging there in agony until they died of blood loss, sepsis or dehydration. Some were burned to death. They even used burning crucified Christians to illuminate the city at dark.

    Some historians believe the persecution was unrelated to the fire. Christians were despised because they refused to acknowledge the deity of the Emperor. Their rituals, such as partaking of communion, symbolically drinking the blood of Christ, made many believe they were cannibals. Christians were seen as haters of mankind.

    Whatever the reason, Nero is regarded as the first persecutor of the Christians.

    So what passes for persecution today? An employee at a big box store saying, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, communities referring to Christmas trees as “Holiday Trees” and other slights that make up the Fox News promoted “War on Christmas.”


    Christians go from being torn to pieces by wild beasts as a spectacle in coliseums in Rome to today being offended that someone spelled Christmas “Xmas”? Really?

    The most absurd part of these annual stories is that Christmas trees aren’t even a part of Christianity. People adorned evergreen trees for winter solstice celebrations before the birth of Christ.

    The true roots of what we celebrate as Christmas are pagan celebrations. The early Puritans understood this because they passed laws prohibiting the celebrating of Christmas with trees, caroling and the like.

    And there is no biblical scripture commanding the celebration of Jesus’ birth!

    Someone saying “Happy Holidays” isn’t a repudiation of Christmas. It’s not a persecution.

    Might I suggest that instead of looking for sleights so they can pretend there is some ‘War on Christmas’ every year, why don’t Christians just focus on being good Christians?

    Why not a focus on ‘peace on earth’ and ‘goodwill toward men?’ Donate money to a charitable cause. Donate food to a food drive. Send Christmas cards to the troops. Visit a convalescent home with candy, cards and a puppy for people to pet. Go caroling. Put up a manger in your front yard. Bake cookies for your neighbors.

    Can’t we all just embrace goodwill and leave the persecution complex out of it?

    • Love this message today Kelvin. Thanks for the history lesson. Peace on Earth, goodwill to humankind.

      • Jesse

      • December 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm
      • Reply

      Amen all the way. All this false persecution and formal whining is such a giant EGO trip. I just want to say to those who feign persecution…”Maybe it’s not all about you. Get over yourself.” Jesse

    • And “Xmas” is actually pretty ancient in itself, going back hundreds of years.

      • Jerry

      • December 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm
      • Reply

      It’s not necessarily about persecution. It’s a well-known fact that, in an effort to be “inclusive” and not risk offending anyone’s culture, we abandon the cultures and traditions which have existed in this country since its inception. Let’s not paint with too broad of a brush in either direction. We proclaim to be a country of
      Individual freedoms, as well as religious and racial tolerance when the very fiber of our govenment and society screams just the opposite.
      In closing, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

    • Love Jesse’s comment about “formal whining”… and agree with all her responses…. DITTO!

      • Kelvin

      • December 21, 2011 at 11:40 am
      • Reply

      I say “Merry Christmas.” Got no problem with that. I’m a Christian. But I always thought, “Happy holidays!” was just a way to cover Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years. Nothing wrong with “Seasons greetings.” Not everyone celebrates Christmas as a religious holiday. One of my closest friends just finished wrapping the Christmas gifts she’s giving out this year and she’s an atheist! My point is can’t we all just enjoy this positive time? Why do we have to invent some controversy?

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